Happy hump day! I hope everyone’s been doing well this week. I was in Arizona over the weekend for the Phoenix Half Marathon and am getting back into the swing of things! TLDR of this race report: I’m very happy with my time of 2:10, and will be going onto conquer my half marathon goal for 2016.
I travelled out with Mike and our friend Chris. Phoenix in February’s a lot of fun, just because it’s not freezing out! The Phoenix Marathon puts on a good show – they bused us out from the finish line area to the starting points, which were all different from each other. I thought the bus system and the pre-race space at the half marathon location seemed great for the runners that were there.
The race got off at 6:30 AM, and was pretty flat or slightly downhill from the half marathon on. Mike reports that the first 13 miles of the marathon course (the part that I did not run) was a pretty decent downhill and he had to hold back on his speed but still trashed his quads and calves. Aid stations seemed to be one every two miles until we got about 3-4 miles to the end, when they became more frequent. It was fine, but you need to think about if you might want more frequent hydration. I did, and carried a waist-belt hydration pack with me.
Here’s my race breakdown in notes.
Miles 1-3 (10:21, 10:08, 10:09):
- Felt very good. Started a little behind the 2:10 pace group, but lost track of them quickly (they didn’t hold their sign up high). Had hoped to have a sense of where I was related to them, but that didn’t work out.
- had to pee, but decided to hold it to next restroom.
- Only had sports drink (carried w/ me) for first 3 miles.
Miles 4-10 (9:40, 9:55, 9:44, 9:50, 9:48, 10:01, 10:25):
- Felt pretty easy to get to sub-10 still. Held these for first 5 of the 7 miles. Wasn’t 100% sure I’d be able to hold for all, but wanted to see. Also was expecting I’d need to stop off at a port-a-potty, and lose some time there.
- Found that if I focus 20 ft ahead on the ground, rather than focusing on the horizon, seemed easier to go a little faster. (Makes sense–lean forward).
- Stomach had not been feeling need to have more, so cut down a little on the chews. Still drank something (water or osmo) every mile & salt. At some point about mid-way, I got off track with salting. Luckily, it’s easy to get back on track w/ Base Salts.
- Then it became VERY challenging to even hold 10 min/mi for miles 9 & 10. It was starting to get hotter out.
Miles 11-13.1 (10:08, 9:44, 9:15)
- Still was a bit hard at mile 11, so I shoved 3 chews down my throat and focused on speeding up.
- Seems like it worked. Also there was the only real downhill at the end of it.
- Just focused on pushing more and getting done quickly! Paced aggresively fast until I hit the last half mile or so when I tried to go as fast as I could. Mentally it was hard to accelerate when I couldn’t see the finish line and didn’t have familiarity with how close I really was.
My final time was 2:10 — something I was incredibly happy with and not 100% sure I’d be able to get at this point in the season. I’ve only been running for three months since I took off the month of November.
Post-race, I found my friend Chris, and then we settled in to cheer for the marathoners!
Shout out to Eric who I cheered into the finish line!
Pre-Race & Nutrition Notes:
- 10 oz sports drink (Osmo). Water at most/all aid stations (they were usually every two miles)
- 13 chews (inc 3 pre-race). Started first dosing at at mile 4 w/ 3.
- Dinner the night before was shrimp puttanesca, gluten-free pasta. and a glass of red wine.
- Imodium night before & 90 minutes before race start. Worked well for me (but I’d been having issues in the two weeks before race).
- Breakfast 3 hrs before race (greek yogurt, coconut, chia, cashews, almond milk) — approx 300-400cal.
- Bottle of water w/ Nuun in the few hours before race. 3 chews & salt in the 15 min before race. (Was this maybe too much water? Felt the need to pee throughout much of the race)
Overall, I really liked the Phoenix Half Marathon and if I was local, I’d do this race every year! Great for a mid-winter escape too!
What’s your next race?