Normally for a race report post, I'd save the exhausted, spread eagle picture until the end. But, for this race report, it deserves to be front and center. Afterall, this race turned out to be a combination of the exhaustion on my face, the look of concern on the little girl behind me, and the mid-chew look of disgust from the girl's mom. (Who ARE they judging anyway? They are lucky I didn't drop 'trow right there and swap out my sweat soaked pants.) I said in my race preview that poor races make for spectacular blog post. Well, prepare to be amazed!
AG Place: 61/335
The race weekend itself actually started on Thursday. I'm friends with the Social Media lead at the Competitor group who told me about a press conference about the race. All of the major networks were there. I tweeted that I would photobomb the taped coverage for $10, and I had some takers, but I had to get back to work and I didn't want running away in dress shoes to screw up my feet. Next time I suppose.
Tempe, AZ mayor Hugh Hallman talking about how he was going to run the 1/2 course twice
On Friday, I actually took the entire day off to do the expo how expos are supposed to be done. 2.5 hours of free sample, blogger friend meeting, running skirt trying on good times! The Rock and Roll group REALLY knows how to put on great expos and this time they didn't disappoint. No sooner did I walk in the door that a local blogger and Team in Training coach Mike tracked me down. We chatted about race strategy, the new course,
I also saw some of the Phoenix blogger crew! Lauren was working the Asics booth, Adrienne and Demi were running the full. It was good to connect with them and give them the guilt trip about attending the Freeze Your Thorns Off 5K virtual race in person. Fortunately, I think it might have worked for 2 out of the 3!
I promise I didn't smell. But I guess Adrienne thought that Lauren smelled better?
Finally I was able to meet up with my friend Maya the previously mentioned Social Media director for Competitor. She is the real person behind all of the Rock and Roll facebook pages and twitter accounts. We chatted about the logistics of putting on a race like this - mostly because I'm a huge dork and love to get into stuff like that. I'm going to team up with her soon and get some cool posts out that are behind the scenes.
The one and only thing that was missing from the expo?
Sugar sugar everywhere. Too bad that it didn't meet up with some yeast first
One of the Biggest Loser dudes was at the expo as well. I took one of those corporate sponsored pictures where they email you it afterwards but it hasn't shown up yet. I'm sure I'm now on their mailing list though to receive a million messages about their foundation......not that I am bitter. Sometimes I feel like these deals are a bit like MarathonFoto and their incessant emails. "It's Martin Luther King day! What better way to celebrate than to order a picture of yourself at mile 22 of your marathon?"
Since it was a bit slow at the time, I was able to chat with him (I'll look up his name as soon as I get my picture in my email.....again, not that I am bitter) for quite a while about the show, how he was able to make a living post-show (he is on the road 41 weeks a year!), and keeping his weight off. Joking aside, he is one of the more public outputs of the show and I do think it is amazing that he has been able to stay fit.
Finally, right as I was walking out the door, a gloss black mannequin caught my eye. It was covered completely in a KT Tape competitor:
It was only upon closer inspection that this mannequin was VERY VERY anatomically correct. I am not going to even circle it, I'll just let you see for yourself. Of course, I assumed that this implied other "benefits" from the tape so I immediately bought a dozen.
Marathon "stuff" for race day. Whomever said that running didn't take a lot of stuff was WRONG. Either that, or they were running naked like my KT Tape covered friend above.
Really quick - if you take a look at the above picture, you can see a custom bib that Maya made for me to pin on my back. While it says "follow me" as you'll find out when you read below, most people were reading that as they were blowing past me at mile 22.
Miles 0-6.5 (Hurry up and wait, and then RUN) - 7:12 pace
I arrived at the start of the full marathon pretty early and settled into my normal routine. A bit of gatoraide, some water, and a banana. I went for a quick warm up jog and settled into the corral - only to find that the race was delayed 30 minutes. UGH. I understand why they did it - a bunch of racers were stuck in traffic and they only had specific windows during which they could delay the race because of train schedules. A delay of 5 minutes meant a minimum delay of 30 minutes so that the course wouldn't be blocked off by a train. Delay aside, the starting line was really well organized and surprisingly not crowded - mostly because the half marathoners were starting at a different spot. This was a GREAT change that RnR made for this race this year.
Anyway, once we got going things were great! I was right on my race plan starting out with 7:30 pace and then settling into 7:10 pace. My legs settled out around mile 3 and I started to cruise. Full steam ahead!
Miles 6.5-13.1 (Isn't Arizona supposed to be flat?) - 7:16 pace
The course was changed slightly this year to be straighter with fewer turns and therefore faster. However, I had modified my original race plan slightly from what I previously thought because of the ever so slight incline from mile 5 to mile 12. Over the course of those miles, we gradually gained 300 feet or so. Instead of pushing down to 7:00 pace I decided to stay at 7:15 pace as not to get my HR too high. I executed this great and was right on pace with a 13.1 split of 1:34:50. Right on track for a 3:10 finish!
However, one thing started to happen right around mile 5 that I was afraid was going to come back to haunt me. I started to get the puke-burps. You know, that feeling of your stomach being WAYY too full and just a little bit of stomach "stuff" coming back up. (Luckily, no chunks) FUN. As a result, I couldn't stomach as much liquid as I knew that I needed. I honestly tried to put it out of my head - not wanting to screw up a race before the half, but looking back deep down I knew that I needed more electrolytes.
Running at mile 13. I can only assume my heel strike foot leveled out to land with perfect form
Miles 13.1-20 (Scrreeeeeetch.....stop) - 7:28 pace
Around mile 15 I saw Trisha Miller (elite runner who I interviewed - she was at mile 19) looking GOOD. I knew that she had to have been leading because she had a bike escort.
Anywhoo, I was continuing to click away miles but I felt a strange tingle in my
Miles 20-26.2 (suck suck suck suck suck suck) - 8:03 pace
As I look at my garmin stats, by mile 20 I was still on 3:13 finish pace. I had ran one mile of 8:30 and one mile of 8:20 but overall I was still doing decent. I stretched out my legs and was able to power through the sinking feeling of a race slipping away. But around mile 21, the wheels officially came off and I felt like I walked more than I ran.
We've all done it before, first you walk the aid stations, but then before you know it the aid station was 30 seconds ago. Start to run again but your legs won't move right and the run feels awkward. In fact, the pain in my legs screwed with my gait enough that once the race was done my foot and knee were VERY sore (thankfully, not as sore today). I turned in a few 10:30 miles and even an 11:11 mile. Good for some, but 4 minutes off my goal pace. Not exactly how to set a PR. I could elaborate more, but essentially I death marched it in from 21 on. Lots of walking, grabbing at my legs in pain, you know the drill.
As I look back, I think that there are a few things that lead to my disaster of a race:
- Puke burps. Where did THOSE come from?
- Not enough electrolytes because of burps
- Hotter than normal temps. I had planned for about 10 degrees cooler w/ long sleeves. Should have trusted my instincts
- Should have eased up even more on the hill between 6-12. I still wonder if a few seconds here or there could have at least delayed cramps
Overall, I am happy with my performance through 18 or even 20 miles or so. But, after that I become VERY frustrated that my body didn't cooperate like I wanted it to. The Rock and Roll group puts on a solid, consistent race with lots of amenities. I think that I could have benefited from some Endouralyte tablets and better fueling. In the back of my head, I do wonder if my puke-burps were due to the level of effort that I was putting out or if it was due to some other reason. If I am being true to myself, it is probably a combination of both. But, all are things that I can adjust and move forward with!
Drinking a Michelob ultra skinny can post race
I'm assuming the only way to drink beer like that is with your pinky up?
Remember the interview I did with Trisha Miller? Yeah SHE WON! She broke 2:50 and cruised to a win by 40 seconds. She said that she received a great Sally Meyerhoff trophy.
Since I always get shit for not posting, here it is! I like how it isn't obnoxious but is still high quality. Of course, the irony is that it was cloudy for the entire weekend. Valley of the sun!
So, what is next?