1/14/08

Rock N Roll Arizona 1/2 MARATHON report

Well, I finally did it. I completed the half marathon in 2 hours 15 minutes and 30 seconds. Back in September when I signed up for the marathon, I took a shot and put down on the registration for my completion time of 2:15, not too bad for guessing 4 months out. It was a little disappointing that Chad could non run the race with me due to his injury he got at the Across the years where he completed about 39 miles. Can I hold that against him? Hmmm. Also, Momo offered to pace me and we were unable to find each other at the start, so I was on my own with my Garmin. Which was probably a good thing, now that I look back on it. One year ago, I would have asked who your dealer was if you told me that I was going to run a half marathon in January 2008. I had set a goal and I (by myself) had to slay the dragon, and run the race to the best of my ability without any assistance.
Last year when I was over 40lbs heavier and could not walk up the stairs in the house without being out of breath, I started walking to the corner, and now I RAN 13.1 miles. I am so PSYCHED, that I did it.

I got dropped off about 40 minutes before the race and I went and checked in my jacket and sweat pants with UPS at the gear bag check. I finished drinking my Gatorade and found the corral that I was assigned. I stretched and even did some warm up jogs. I even checked out some graffiti on the back of some dumpster ;) The portapotty looks longer than the race line. Took my Hammer gel and settled near the front of the corral near the left side so I could look for momo. About 1 minute before we took off past the start, I called Lori and let her know that we were taking off. As I went over the mat, I hit start on the Garmin and we were off. For the first mile, I ran at a comfortable pace that was not killing me, but was faster than my goal. I considered slowing down, but I know from my training I get slower as the distance gets greater. I told myself that I would not push myself, just zone out everything and feel my body and listen it it for a starting pace. Before I knew it I was passing the 5K mark with a time of 30:45. That is a PR for me for a 5K run, I am feeling really proud of myself at this point. We then turned a corner in the residential area and there is a speed hump (not a bump, but a hump that is a softer grade than a bump) Who added this hill to the course? We got back on McDowell Road and headed for the long stretch East, I knew that about 2 miles up was my wife waiting to cheer me on. I finally saw her waving to me in the distance. I ran up to her and gave her a big hug and kiss and took my next Gatorade, and off I went. This was about mile 5.5 or so. It was a great pick-me-up to see someone in the crowd actually cheering You on and to see the excitement in her eyes, really kept me going. We then get further down the road and hit the 10K marker and my official time was 1:00:53. I have never ran an 10K before. I have run 5 milers and even 7 miler race. But looking at the garmin, my second 5K was faster then the first. That excitement kept me going for a couple more miles. I then came to the famous mile 9 thru 13 which has a gentle grade of a hill, but I was about drained of my energy, the most I have ever ran before was 10 miles, so I did not have much left in the tank. I sucked down my other hammer gel and gave it what I got. I did elect to walk about 100 yards after each of the following water stations, giving me an opportunity to catch my breath and get some more fluid in my system. At about mile 11 we are at the highest part of the course, the rest is down hill. I know I can do it from here, of course the lady on that stretcher getting loaded into the ambulance also thought that. I hope she is doing well now. Enough of this, I am entering the area of town that I train on two to three times a week. I start going over the Mill Ave. Bridge and the 2:15 minute pacer person passes me. He started about 15 seconds behind me at the start, if I can just keep up with him for the last mile I would meet my goal. About a half mile ahead I should see Lori cheering me on. I finally see her and as I give her a high five she tells me go give it my all and I can get the 2:15. So I did and for the last .3 mile I was passing people like they were standing still. I saw the two photographers above on the bridge, and I made sure that no one was in front of me, put my hands up and ran like a wild animal. The finish line is about 100 yards away, I kept the pace and as I crossed the mat I stopped garmin that gave me a 2:15:28 finish time. I made my time. Made my way over to get my metal, get rid of the timing chip, got my picture taken, and headed over to get my metal engraved. I met Lori at the engraving table and the results did not post by this time, so I went with the time on the garmin. Close enough. We got my gear, called Java~mom and told her to keep up the good work. Called Pat and left a message for him to keep going. We walked back to the truck and went to the Bamboo Club for lunch. What a relief to get off my feet. What a high that I am coming off of.
Congrats to everyone that raced this weekend, Stephanie (Catalina 50m), Wes, the entire gang here in AZ, and Tig in Texas (Houston Marathon). As for everyone that I met in AZ this weekend, it was truly a great pleasure to meet all of you. I hope that we can make this an annual event for all the Bloggers out there, even you Non Running Nancy, we do want you to run with us next year.

14 comments:

Non-Runner Nancy said...

OMG, awesome report. I had no idea the journey the past year has been. 40lbs and 13.1 miles...You totally give me hope!! What an awesome run you had. I'm so excited for you.

Congrats. and thanks, I feel like a star for being mentioned. :D

Pat said...

great race. I wish I could have run with you. We would have stayed together. Thanks for the phone call, it was a real picker upper. I had my phone on vibrate and didn't know it until mile 20.

Tiggs said...

Congrats on your first half!!! Way to go! That is a great time. When I ran my first half I predicted a 2:15 as well and came in right under it. It's a great feeling to meet your goal!!! Enjoy it!

Taryn said...

Congratulations Eric! You have come such a long way from those +40 pounds and stair-puffing! You set and goal and accomplished it with aplomb - awesome!

And I'm so happy we got to meet you two!

Stephanie said...

I loved reading your report. The first half marathon you will always remember; I haven't forgotten mine and the feeling how proud I was. Reading your post reminded me of that.

Congratulations Eric - now you are on your way to a full marathon:-)

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Absolutely freaking awesome, buddy!! I'm so sorry I couldn't run with you, but meeting your goal with no help at all is something nobody can ever take away from you. I knew you would do it, and you can do whatever else you put your mind to. As for the doubters out there that told you that you couldn't do it...just show them that finisher's medal and tell them to kiss your @#$!

Recover well, brother. I want to see that medal around your neck, too.

Marcy said...

CONGRATS Eric!! Great report! You had an AWESOME race!! You've definitely come soooo far since a year ago!!

IronJenny said...

You were awesome! Great to finally meet you, too~!
Jenny
p.s. - your splits look a lot like mine - I'll run with you next time, OK?

RunningCrazyAfter3 said...

You kicked that course's @$$!!! Seriously awesome job Eric! It was such a treat to get to meet you and your lovely wife! Definitely going to have to do it again :)

Cheryl said...

Great race report! It is inspiring to read how much progress you have made in a year. Gives me hope. Congrats on a great race and on meeting your time goal!

Wes said...

Congratulations on a great first half marathon! After doing Disney, and feeling just awesome at the end of a marathon *sheepish grin* I can tell you I have absolutely learned my lesson about starting out too fast. It is much better to start out too slow and then pick up the pace in the second half of the race. IMHO :-)

Hitting your target time on your first half mary is huge! Congrats again, man!!!

David said...

Eric, you had an awesome race! And right on your projected time, too. Congrats, and we'll be expecting Chad to be chasing after you now.

Great hanging out with you and your bride last weekend! It was a really fun time, and you guys are great people. I look forward to doing it again, hopefully!

Mendy said...

Eric! You did awesome!!! I'm so happy for you. Really, to set an estimated time of 2:15 4 months ago and actually get it - that's crazy!

It was a pleasure meeting you! You both are really sweet people, and I loved your energy. Hopefully, we'll meet up again soon for another race.

J~mom said...

Congratulations on a great half!! You totally rocked it! Great to see you and Lori this weekend!