Marathon #11 – Phoenix Marathon – March 2, 2013
- 132/632 females
- 392/1301 OA
- This was a great race. Fabulous course – mostly downhill (two stretches that were significant uphill climb – gradual and sort of long). Great organization at the starting line. Fires and heated lamp things to stand around and keep warm. Fireworks during the national anthem. Some fun music along the course. Decent crowd support throughout (though there were lots of stretches where there was no one watching).
- Weather was not the best for a 3+ hour marathoner. It started at 6:30 a.m. and the temps were around 50 then. But by the time I finished just before 10:30 it had to be about 70 degrees and full sun. The last 4 miles were hot and miserable. I think we got unlucky with the weather – normally looks like it’s a bit cooler this time of year.
- Cons: The course was not completely closed to traffic anywhere – so they had cops directing traffic at intersections and the cops were letting cars through when they shouldn’t have (I had to slow at one intersection when a cop let a big white truck with a trailer through – I literally yelled “What the F*&K??!?”). Also – at one point just after I crossed an intersection, I heard a cop blow his whistle and yell “Runners, hold up”. Are you fricking kidding me?? If the organizers are going to bill this as a Boston Qualifying race, they can NOT make runners stop at intersections! Granted, this was pretty late in the course, but at that point I was still on track for a BQ, so I’m sure others around me were too and they might not have squeaked through the intersection like I did)
- From the start I wasn’t feeling it. I had hoped to run 7:55ish pace throughout. Plan was to run the first miles slower – like 8:00+ pace and then just run what felt good and hope it ended up around a 3:30 marathon. Maybe faster. Maybe slower. From the start I was “feeling” around 8:10ish. Sometimes faster. Sometimes slower. But that felt right and manageable to me and I was not stressing about the fact that it wasn’t as fast as I ideally wanted. I was just going with it and feeling good. Started to slow down around mile 12, so that by mile 20 I was averaging 8:20ish. But I still felt strong and ok. Then things started to deteriorate. In miles 20 and 21 I felt like I needed to stretch my right quad – so I stopped for 15 – 20 seconds and did that and those miles then were just over 9:00. By that time I knew even requalifying for Boston was slipping. Then at mile 22 there was a runner laying down on the sidewalk, with no one around him. So I stopped to see if he needed help (he said he thought someone had called for help and was on the way) and I tried to get him to drink some of my Nuun but he declined. Another 30ish seconds lost (which is ok – I think if it gets to the point where a finishing time is more important to me than stopping to see if someone is ok, I’ve lost focus). So at that time I figured it was time to be smart and save myself for Boston. So I walked/jogged/walked/jogged the last 4 miles. They were hot. And I kept needing to stretch my right leg. I COULD HAVE tried to push through and speed up to 8:xx miles – but even doing that wouldn’t have gotten me a BQ or a PR. So I figured the smart thing to do was not screw myself up for the race I’ve been trying for for 5 plus years – Boston.
- So I know my lack of pushing through and my finishing result was probably disappointing to my coach, who I’m sure wanted me to kick ass in case he legitimately wants to get into coaching middle aged marathoners like me. And really, letting him down is the only part about my race that I’m disappointed with. Because as much as I didn’t like the finishing time – I truly was not disappointed with anything about what I did during the race. I gave it all that I had for that day and I made a conscious decision not to be stupid and potentially ruin Boston when it became obvious to me that the stars weren’t aligning that day for a PR or BQ. So I’m satisfied with marathon #11.
- I had THE BEST spectator again! Scott got up at 3:15 and made signs and plotted his spectating route. He was at mile 10.5, 19 and the finish waving a bright pink sign around, cheering, taking photos and just being there. And that helped so much!
- My friend Mike kicked ass, with a 2 minute PR and 3rd place master.
Post race festivities were awesome – beer and sun and pool, followed by beer and food with some other runners from MN who were there running the half. All in all a great number 11!