Pros and Cons of the Wildfire Half Marathon

What a weekend!  I drove up to Pinetop AZ for the Wildfire Half Marathon on Friday afternoon after like 0 planning or training! Let’s do this recap by the pros and cons.

CON:

I realized that driving long distances is an anxiety trigger for me!  I was able to kind of keep my anxiety in check but yeah, I’m not doing that drive for a while.

I was more than ready to be done driving by the time I got the hotel! When I went into the lobby, passing the ‘no vacancy’ sign and said I needed to check in, the manager said those dreaded words, “Could it be under any other name?”

Um… no! Not at all.

CON:

They didn’t have my reservation! I booked through Expedia (which normally is a breeze) but there’s was a problem with their system and long story short, the motel no longer partnered with them so they never got word of my res. It’s all Expedia’s fault and the manager was beyond helpful about it and they got me another room in a near by hotel. Problem was, this hotel didn’t have a microwave! So I couldn’t reheat the pre-race meal I prepped and packed! After scrambling for a new hotel room and checking in for the race and not knowing the area at all, I got the best meal I could think of fast. McDonalds Chicken Salad w/ Balsamic dressing.

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It’s been a while since I went to McD’s and they didn’t even have this on the menu. I probably sounded pretty dumb asking for it but oh well. Plus he called it a “Ranch Chicken salad” so I had to even further ask if they had other dressings. But if worked out enough. Luckily my room did have a coffee maker so I heated up some water in that in the A.M. to eat my oatmeal before the run.

CON:

I did not sleep well!  I think I woke up 4 times during my 6 hour sleep and had 1 dream that really shook me up. I was planning on waking up at 4 but when my eyes opened at 3 I decided I might as well get up and get moving.

PRO:

Pinetop is beautiful!! I loved loved loved running through the trees and part of it was even around a little lake. Ya’ll know how I feel about all bodies of water so that was my fav part.

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CON:

The course was rough, man! It was a trail run for the most part (maybe about 2 miles of pavement?) but lots of either loose dirt or either groovy, rained on then driven over dirt packed roads. Avoiding all the grooves and holes and ankle-twisting paths was definitely a challenge!

dirt

PRO:

The first 4 miles were downhill.

pinetop

CON:

The next 3 1/2 miles were uphill and I mean uphill! I didn’t see anyone run up those steep hills. I walked up a lot of this segment. Sometimes it was the kind of walking where you have to hunch over and keep your balance it was so steep. It would level off a little and I would try and catch my breath and then run the straight bits but they weren’t very long till it was uphill again.

 

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PRO:

I saw the mile 8 marker and next thing I know it was mile 10!  I love when this happens. 🙂

CON:

I am not used to running in high elevation. Where I live it sits at about 1,000 ft. This course got up to 7,300 ft! I could feel it for the first couple miles but luckily it wasn’t a big issue and I could breathe the whole time. But keeping this in mind (along with all the other things going on) I kept a very slow pace and put absolutely no pressure on myself time-wise. I knew I wasn’t going to PR so I just enjoyed being outdoors and looked at it like a long hike.

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PRO:
I finished! It may have took me barely under 3 hours but I did it and I didn’t give up. And now I have another medal to add to my collection.

PRO: (CON??)

I was CRAVING ice cream the entire last 5 miles! I knew there was a Burger King across the street from my hotel and so I set my mind to getting a Froot Loop Shake. And while I’m there and just exercised off 1000 calories, dammit I’m getting Mac n Cheetos!!

Both were satisfying as in they fulfilled what I was craving but neither tasted so spectacular that I’d 1) get them again 2) recommend them.

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CON:

By the time I finally got back to the hotel, I had just enough time to eat, take an bath and clean up before I had to check out. I peeled off my shoes and socks and laughed at my dirty self! I really did run through the dirt trails!

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CON:

Ice bath! enough said.

ice bath

CON:

Time to drive back home!

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PRO:

But the BIGGEST pro is really, just how freaking gorgeous this Earth is! The older I get the more I just want to be outside!! I love than running takes us all over the world and to such beautiful places and courses and we get to just do what we love in the sunshine (mostly…) and out in nature.

pt lake 2

Overall, even though I think there were more cons on this list than pros, I am happy with this weekend. Normally a 3 hour time would make me so miserably depressed but I just had the attitude from the start that I was going to enjoy the course. There were a few road blocks that definitely tried my anxiety and state of mind  but I’m proud of how I handled it all.

Sometimes races are way more mentally challenging than physically so even though I may not have pushed myself to be fastest or strongest or whatever there, I did push myself mentally to be positive and kind to myself so I still win!

Plus this was the inaugural Wildfire Half Marathon so who knows, maybe I’ll do it again next year!

 

It’s been so long!

Hello again!

It’s been a while since I’ve updated here. I sometimes feel so silly writing into the void of this little blog but I think it really does keep me somewhat accountable. And lately I’ve been holding myself accountable for well, nothing! So let me take up this little corner of the web and ramble. 🙂

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What have I been up to?

I joined a diet bet! I was so good for the first week and then so bad for the second. I have till 6/18 to lose 7lbs or I gotta pay up! Time to really buckle down. (how many times have I said that lately??)

I decided that every day in June I’m going to workout. I WILL work out for a mere 10 minutes every day. I can run, strength train, do yoga, anything for 10 minutes. I made this decision after I already got to work but didn’t want to let even 1 day go by so on my 1 and only break before the clock turned 12:00 I ran down to the gym and used the treadmill for 10 mins in my jeans and sandals. But hey, I got it done.

I have a half marathon this Saturday! The Wildfire Half in Pinetop. I really have not been training very hard and didn’t really let myself comprehend what I was getting myself into. I always think half marathons are like literal walks in the park but they are HARD. I have ZERO time expectations on this one. It’s a pretty small host and it’s up in the mountains with a high elevation so I’m just going to take it easy, go slow and my own pace, enjoy the scenery and run through the forest and hills. (that picture is from a couple weeks ago when I went up to Pinetop/Show Low for a hike. It’s so beautiful up there! Being outside, near the water. that’s all I need!!)

 

 

 

Phoenix Half Marathan Race Recap: Well that didn’t go as planned.

Did I tell you guys I got sick again? ‘

My grandfather died a couple weeks ago, so my dad, brother and I drove to California for the funeral and both men were coughing and sneezing and generally gross. My brother said it was allergies and my dad… I can’t remember but I was stuck around them for a long time and my grandfather’s house where we stayed is as close to shambles as I can say without being too disrespectful. Anyway, I came home with a nasty cold that is lingering and I was furious that I was running another half marathon while sick. (This was my third time.)

I thought I could power through and after all the races I missed last November & December from my sprained ankle, I did not want to miss another race (that I paid for!) At the starting line of this race, I talked with a few people that were also running on injuries and how we runners just won’t give up and want to race no matter what! That’s the kind of people we are.

So Friday, I’m literally driving to the expo, when I get a text from the dude I was dating ending things completely. I called him and we had a very horrible/mean/heartbreaking conversation. As I was driving to the damn expo! So I literally walked in, picked up my packet and left. I didn’t even stay and grab a shirt. Just got my bib and walked out.

I was so upset all day, I didn’t eat anything. Not a smart decision before a half but I couldn’t even think about food.  I went to bed early but woke up at 1 am and my mind was spinning so I couldn’t go back to sleep. I just laid in bed till 3:00 came and it was time to get ready. I did eat some oatmeal and brought a banana to eat at the start.

The start line was FREEZING. We were huddled around heat lamps but they were the tall kind so the tops of our heads were all that could feel any heat and that was only when the wind wasn’t blowing. We stood out there for about 1.5 hours and the whole time I kept thinking about how I should just go home. I shouldn’t run. I was in no position. My heads not in the game. I didn’t eat enough or drink any water yesterday. My body is sick. I shouldn’t be here!

But I came all this way and paid all this money so I ran. The first two miles, my feet were literally numb from the cold. By mile 3 they defrosted but now I was running on pins and needles. My race plan was to start off slow and pick up the pace at mile 4 but by the time it was mile 4 I was exhausted, upset and so disheartened by the whole weekend I just couldn’t go any faster. Already.

By mile 5 I just started to walk. I pretty much gave up. Around mile 8, by BFF AL texted me good luck. With schedules and stuff, I haven’t seen AL for about a month and I didn’t remind him that I was doing this so in my emotional state and knowing he remembered and cared, it literally made me burst into tears. I must’ve liked a crazy person crying on the course. I texted him back that I just couldn’t keep going and he gave me a little encouragement and he always listens to me complain. I walked so so much of the course but I kept moving forward despite how badly I wanted to stop and how many times I texted AL to come pick me up.

I crossed the finish line after just under 3 hours. It’s the worst I’ve done since my very first half marathon (2012. that I was ALSO sick for!) and I was not very proud of myself for it. I texted my sister “I’m never running again!” but of course I already have future races on the books. Lol

This was definitely a learning experience but a painful one. The rest of the weekend, I just stayed in bed and “zipped up the sleeping bag 0f myself.” (-extremely loud and incredibly close)

 

 

 

Am I Ready for the Phoenix Half?

Short Answer: No.

And it’s tomorrow…. yikes bikes.

So so many of my plans have changed in prep for this half marathon, I don’t even know if I can list them all. The biggest issue I’m dealing with right now is:

I’m sick AGAIN!

I’ve had this hacking awful cold for about a week now and I can barely even breathe sometimes; its awful! I can’t believe I’ll be sick for another half marathon. It’ll be the third time I’ve done a half while sick. 3 out of 8. Those aren’t great odds.

I really wanted to PR on this run but, again, I’m back to just trying to get to the finish line. I had such plans and high hopes but I let sickness, family death, traveling, dating, and stress totally derail me. And I’m back to eating like a frat boy (that is,  not great.)

I know I can do it. I always know I can. I can run 13.1 miles. I’m just going to go in as positive as possible and take the pressure of a PR off myself. In the mean time, I’m taking every single pill I think will help in the slightest to kick this cold and I can breathe again.

 

 

Phoenix Marathon Update

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After much deliberation, I finally, officially decided to drop down to the half marathon for Phoenix (now the Mesa-Phx (since 0% of the race is actually in Phx?)) I honestly just wasn’t ready or training the way I’d like. Yes there was laziness on my part but there was also sickness and injuries that knocked me outta the game.

I decided to just focus on running the best half I could and really wanted to do well! I was proud of my performance at the RnR half considering I woke up sick 2 days before and I felt really good and kept a good pace throughout the race. I know I’m a slow poke, but I had a good finish time (for me) at 2:27.

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Even on FB I said 2:26

Then a couple nights ago I was cleaning up my desk (where I keep my bibs just in a pile…) and looked at my bib from last year’s Phx half and I’d written 2:26 as my finish time. Well, I actually double chked that today and it has me at 2:24!  Gun time was 2:26, rookie mistake.

phx-results
sorry it’s so small…

So that’s my PR as of today but I realllly want to beat that this year! I liked the Phx course and the finish line/ zone was amazing! It had so much food and vendors and exhibits it was like another expo but even better because everything was free! haha.

Goal is to take a whole 5 min off my PR. I’m going to 2:19! #under220

 

 

 

 

Rock n Roll Phoenix Half Marathon Recap

I did it! After my sprained ankle and sickness I got very worried on how I would do at this race and although I wanted a good time, my main goal quickly switched to “just finish the damn thing!”

Saturday I woke up early (for this graveyarder) and went tot the expo. It was my friend’s first marathon so I kinda showed her the ropes. As far as expo’s go it wasn’t the best but it wasn’t the worst I’ve been to. I was chatting with my mom, a non-runner, a few days before the race and was explaining to her the whole Rock n Roll deal. I likened it to the McDonald’s of races. All over the country and not the best quality but you know what you’re getting. I’m not the biggest fan. I liked the RnR Vegas only because running down the strip at night was so cool but I don’t think i’ll bother with another RnR.

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RACE DAY!

The half marathon started with the 10K and the gun didn’t go off till 7:50. It felt so late! But it was enough time to drive to our work where we hopped on the light rail instead of trying to find (and pay for) a parking space downtown. We dropped off our gear, went to the porta potties  and pinned our bibs and before I knew it the race began. I was in a different corral than my friend so I dropped her off and went to my station (corral 11). Right before I left her she asked if it was a big deal that she didn’t have that plastic band that was on her bib! uh oh! She left her timing chip in her gear bag! Well since this is her first race, she automatically PR’s right? She just kept her time on her phone.

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The course is not that beautiful and I never once thought about taking a picture while running. We just run down major city streets in Tempe/Scottsdale/Phoenix. My favorite part was either running by Hole in the Rock (mile 9??) and over the Mill Ave bridge across Tempe Town Lake.

I had a plan for this race and I think I followed it as well as I could! I stayed very positive and just kept repeating my mantras in my head. I made sure I started off slow and didn’t burn out like I did at Long Beach. And I was able to keep a pretty steady/ consistent pace.

The first part really zoomed by and I didn’t start to really get tired till mile 8. And that was only after I told myself “4 miles left… no wait. It’s 5. 5 miles left.” I can’t run and do simple math! Mile 9 went by pretty fast since you double back for most of it and I just kept trying to look for a) my friend and b) the 2:30 pacer. I always just wanted to stay in front of that 2:30 pacer!

By mile 10, I was tired and ready to be done but I pushed on. Then at mile 12 I really wanted to be done!! My plan was to run as fast as I could that last mile and turns out as fast as I could for the first half of it was walking. I picked it up though and once we got to the bridge and knew I had about 0.3 miles left I started to really give it my all. I turned the corner and saw the finish line but I was soooo tired and my legs/hips were done and I wanted to walk so badly but I knew I wouldn’t be proud walking over the finish line so I dug in and kept running. I finally finished at 2:27:19!

results

Not the goal I had in my head when I signed up for this race, but after everything I am pretty darn proud of myself. It’s a faster time than my last 2 half marathons (Long Beach and Fontana)

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Overall, it was a pretty good day. The weather was perfect! There was a chance of rain but that held off but the air was still cold and crisp that made it nice to run in.

My friend finished 5 min faster than her goal time and did really well. She learned real quick how a race can take everything you got. But she’s already signed up for another half in March!

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The Phoenix Marathon is 5 weeks away and now for sure, I’m gonna drop down to the half. I don’t know if I’ll ever do a full again but I know I’m not there right now. I’m just going to keep training and go for a PR!

Prep/ Taper week for the RnR Phx 1/2!

Less than 1 week out from the Rock N Roll Phoenix Half!

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I’m getting really excited but also pretty nervous! I haven’t ran 13 miles since my last half and I didn’t do as well on that one as I’d hoped. Plus my ankle after the crash still isn’t 100% but it’s close. (I still can’t sit cross legged. Annoying!)

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This week is tapering week tho! I actually think I’m still gonna push it on Monday. The planner says 8 miles but I may do more just to gauge where I’m at for the Phx marathon. We’ll see. Luckily, I FINALLY went and bought new shoes that were desperately desperately needed so I’m breaking those in. 🙂

Monday: 8+ miles

Tuesday: Yoga

Wednesday: Lift- will focus more on upper body

Thursday: 4 mile tempo run

Friday: light lift sesh either upper body or HIIT

Saturday- REST

Sunday- RACE DAY 🙂