That's me on the right after finishing in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl 1/2 marathon. My goal was to finish strong and under 2:30. Made it in 2:20 and some change and am supremely happy about it all. I ran the whole way with Lauren (in the middle) and got to meet fellow blogger Rio. Both are really nice, and both are terrific runners. Lauren stayed with me the whole way and was the only reason I was able to run in the last 1/2 mile.
The race started out really positive -lots of 5K'ers and 1/2'ies hanging out and enjoying the cold Phoenix air. It was around 35 degrees at the start and stayed pretty cool throughout the race. The gun went off at 7:30 and we took off shortly thereafter. We kept a moderate pace in the first couple of miles and ran through our scheduled walk breaks. I didn't say anything, but my ITB started to call out at mile 4 and I was wondering if I would be able to finish the race. I decided to do the medically appropriate thing and ignore the pain. It worked and I kept going.
At around mile 5 or so, I decided to eat my pre-purchased lemon gu gel. Yummy. It was really good and a far cry from the Vanilla Gingerbread they were handing out for free --I refused to even try that flavor. Discarded el cheapo gloves and tied my jacket around my waist. We were in stride and making good time. We ran along side two of Lauren's friends for a while and chatted. At mile 7 we met up with my wife and two year old. They both were yelling for me and took some photos. Thanks family! Love you both!!
Was feeling good at this point and this was helped by a fairly long downhill stretch. Got to Hayden road and tuned south for 2nd half feeling good.
As we worked our way through the second half, my legs began to wobble a bit, but I wasn't worried. Sometime around mile ten, I grabbed a Vanilla Gingerbread gu but swore that I wouldn't eat it unless forced by race officials. Thinking 'only 5K to go', I tried to up the pace a bit to check Lauren's reaction, but quickly learned that I didn't have any increase left and a quick check to the ole Garmin told me that I was losing pace and was now at about 10:30......and fading!! We got into some turns and underpass swoops and then were in the final mile. I could feel my left hammy starting to cramp and stopped a few times to try to stretch. I even took a few bites of the Vanilla Gingerbread gu and thought that my finish photo would be me barfing right on the Chronotrack while my left leg cramp-twisted backwards over my head. I was head down running at this point and Lauren had to remind me twice to lift my head so she wouldn't have to listen to my wheezing/gasping. Seeing the balloons of the finish line lifted my spirits, but as you can see from the photo, I was not doing so good.
Look at how happy Lauren is and look at me. But my wife and HJG were waiting for me and were yelling when they took this photo which made me feel good. I finished (20 minutes faster than last year's PF Chang 1/2 marathon!!), went off to stretch and feel pretty good today. My second 1/2 marathon!! A little crampy in the left ham, and quads are a bit sore, but I will run tomorrow. I love running in the rain. Besides, I have another 1/2 coming up in Jan and a full in June. Thanks for reading. I'd love it if you would follow my blog and give me feedback.