We stopped for brunch (really it was just lunch, but I hadn't had breakfast so I called it brunch) at Pizzeria Limone. Gosh I LOVE that place.
I was very stressed about the size of our carry on bags. We were flying Frontier Airlines and they charge for a carry on bag, but allow you a personal item. And when they charge it's $35!! PER BAG. I couldn't check a bag because what if they lost it. I have never packed so light in my entire life! Alas, we made in on the plane with no extra fee's. Once we shuttled over to pick up the rental car and made a mad dash straight to packet pick up. My other biggest fear had been that our flight would be delayed and we'd miss packet pick up. The "expo" was outside and incredibly small. We were in and out very quickly. Inside the bag I got a GREAT looking Albion Fit running tank. One of the very few race shirts I will likely wear! I also got some Albion arm warmers although I have to say I am very disappointed that mine (as opposed to my husbands and others I saw) didn't have the Phoenix Marathon printed on them.
But while the expo was small it was easy access in and out and we were on our way to find out hotel very quickly. We got lucky to stay at the Hilton there. My dad hooked us up with a free room using his points. It was REALLY nice. We're used to just staying at the cheapest motel we can find.
After checking in to our hotel we headed out to find a Panda Express. I know it doesn't sound like the greatest but it's what has worked well for us during training. No tummy issues, and good amount of energy. We drove around a LOT and were quite hungry at this point. The first location the GPS sent us to, apparently wasn't a good location anymore.
4:45am came pretty early. We found somewhere to park pretty quickly and headed towards the buses. We got on right away and were on our way. I think this is the WARMEST I've ever been pre-race! Once we were dropped off we headed straight for the bathroom lines. I felt like it was a very festive starting line. They had announcers the whole time talking which made the wait go by quickly.
Before we knew it they were asking runners to go line up. Right before the gun went off there were fireworks. That was kind of fun. I've never experienced fireworks before.
I am always amazed at how the elevation map can be misleading. Considering how steep the downhill looked early on, I kept waiting for the downhill. There were very few sections that seemed downhill. However, the uphill sections definitely felt uphill. Early in the race it was really quite pretty, lots of cactus and huge homes. My goal pace was 9:55-9:58.
Miles 1-4 Went by quickly. Caught up in the excitement. I fought very hard to not run TOO fast on the "downhill" section. In hindsight I wish I'd took advantage of the downhill a little more.
Mile 1: 9:13
Mile 2: 9:19
Mile 3: 9:40
Mile 4: 9:34
Miles 5-6 The first and what I thought was supposed to be the ONLY big hill. It felt REALLY big and also like it went on forever. I was digging deep to not fall off pace too much. I just kept telling myself that this was the only really awful hill and I just had to make it to the top of this ONE. I knew I'd banked a little time on the first 4 miles so I was hopeful this would flatten out my overall time.
Mile 5: 9:58
Mile 6: 10:23
Mile 7-12 Nothing much going on here. I was just focused on settling in to my goal pace at this point. After the uphill there there was some downhill that followed. It always feels weird to have that shift in muscle work. Takes a minute for you to settle back in again.
Mile 7: 9:31
Mile 8: 9:45
Mile 9: 9:44
Mile 10: 9:51
Mile 11: 10:00
Mile 12: 10:00
Mile 13-20 I hadn't taken a walk break yet and I was feeling good about that. Mile 12 was where I lost Jeramie. He slowed to a walk and waved me on. At this point I was still feeling like I had a good chance with my goals. I hit the halfway mark and I was only a couple minutes off of where I wanted to be according to the clock itself. So I knew I was close. Looking at my stats after the race I was ON POINT at the halfway point, exactly where I needed to be for my goals. But hitting that halfway mark was also hard. It was a reminder that I was ONLY half way and I had to do that all again. Plus this was wear it flattened out. I could feel my right hip getting tight and I stopped at Mile 16 to take some ibuprofen.
Half Way: 2:08:51 (pace: 9:51, rank 1359)
Mile 13: 10:28
Mile 14: 10:05
Mile 15: 10:00
Mile 16: 11:03
Mile 17: 10:33
Mile 18: 11:12
Mile 19: 10:31
Mile 20: 10:51
Miles 21-26.2 This is where I fell apart a little. Specifically my right hip wasn't having it. I could go about a mile and I needed to stop and stretch the hip. Stretching helped a ton. I could then run another mile relatively pain free. But that stop to stretch followed by a minute of walking is what killed my race. STUPID STUPID HIP. I had no hip issues during training.
And here's the key. When I was running I was still running VERY strong. I could hold the 9:58 pace without a problem. The problem was that I had to stop to stretch and walk for a minute to get rid of the hip pain. So with that being said I knew that yet again I was stronger than I'd been at any marathon. Maybe it's the downhill that agitates the hip? I'm not sure. What I do know is that I continued to pass a LOT Of people the last half. Lots of people whom I remembered passing me early on. So I knew I was doing something right.
Mile 21: 12:22
Mile 22: 11:02
Mile 23: 10:36
Mile 24: 11:50
Mile 25: 11:25
Mile 26: 10:30
Mile .2: 9:52
Last Half Stats: 2:23:39 (pace 10:58, rank 1145)
** I told you I passed a lot of people!
It felt wonderful to cross that finish line!
And then I waited for awhile for Jeramie to finish. And cried.
Finishing a marathon is emotional. Lots of people cry. I cried because I was SHOCKED that my time was worse than Ogden. And I walked a LOT at Ogden, I was dealing with IT band issues there.
Overall Place: 1228
Division Place: 95 out of 149
Gender Place: 518 out of 848
I'm proud of myself that I didn't give up. I knew I had missed all my goals. At Ogden I walked during the last mile because I was SO SO angry. I didn't go to that place in Phoenix. I committed to just giving it my all until the end regardless of time. I was just so sad. I felt like I trained for a much better race. I didn't feel like the lower elevation helped. My HR was through the roof the entire time. I was working hard for sure.
My husband came in with a solid PR: 4:53:40.
This post has been weeks in the making. I guess the short story is that I'm beyond disappointed with my performance. I was capable of better. I will run another full marathon. There is no question. We're already talking about running St. George later this year.
What it leaves me wondering is what am I doing wrong? Why am I not getting faster?? Is it just age? It could be.