Tag Archives: 1/2 marathon

RNR Arizona 2017

17 Jan

After the 4th snow storm in the last 5 weeks, we were ready for some sunshine.  Too bad the entire 3 days we were in Phoenix there was no sun.  It did rain on Saturday but we were just happy it wasn’t snowing!

We did our annual see all the friends and eat at all of my favorite restaurants while we were there weekend + a 13.1 mile run.


This race was much different than all the years in the past.  I am heart rate training now so all my running has been slow. Slow!! If you have never tried heart rate training, it is definitely different.  Since I started with my new coach December 1, there was no way to start the heart rate training and still run fast for this race.  I was absolutely ok with that.

Here were the instructions from coach:

First 3 miles—Easy; hold back

7 miles— Tempo; moderately paced

last 5K— I could go as fast as I wanted

My only real goal was to negative split.  (I was pretty sure if I followed Liz’s instructions I would.)

I didn’t have to look at my heart rate! Which was nice but it is usually a nice guide.

My friend Abbey, dropped us about 1/2 mile from the start.  We did a short walk, a short warm up run, and got in the corral about 10 minutes before go time!


Dan and I started together and neither of us was real sure what was going to happen.  He hadn’t been training much and I haven’t been running fast very much.  We started out “easy” very conversation pace.  We bought some new wireless headphones at the expo.  We tried them out on our shake out run on Saturday and we both had problems.  I wasn’t going to risk it.  He thought he had figured out the problem.  But they still didn’t work and he put his way.  I put mine away too and we chatted.

We got to the 5k mark. I’m pretty sure slower than in any 1/2 I’ve done the last 4-5 years.  Which was fine.  I wanted to make sure I would be able to speed up the last 5k.

We kept running and kept chatting.  We sped up a bit.  Still feeling good.  At mile 7, Dan peeled off to use the portie potty.  I told him to catch up.  I would at least see him on the hill between mile 9 and 10.  I put my headphones back on and kept on trucking.  I of course felt like I was going much faster than I actually was! 🙂  I know I had dropped the pace a bit more.  I did check my heart rate at about 8 just to see where I was.

I got to the turn around point and saw Dan not too far behind me.  By the time we got to the bottom of the hill he had caught back up to me.  He asked if I was going to speed up and I didn’t think I could.  I sped up coming down the hill so there was no way I was actually going to speed up more than that.

I still felt relatively good.  I knew if I wanted to sustain the pace: 9:45ish it was going to be a hard last 3.1 miles.  I thought I would just see what happens.  Dan left me at about mile 11 to see what he had left.  I kept up my pace and finished strong.  He beat me by 2 minutes.

Dan is keeping the Fastest Pancake Award.  I thought I might have a chance but he was able to sustain the pace.  (To think he didn’t even want to do the half but really only did it to get his puzzle piece.  (I explain later)

I finished in 2:13:59.  Slow.  But it was good.  I negative split and definitely left everything out there!  I had fun.  I ran with Dan way more than I thought I would.  It was a very progressive run.   I averaged 10:40s for the first 5K. 10:14s for the middle 7. 9:48s for the last 5K.  I feel like it was a very successful run!!  I have confidence that the heart rate training is going to work and my runs are just going to get better and better!! 🙂img_2705

We got our 3rd puzzle piece for our 4 medal series.  I had understood that for 4 years we were going to get 4 medals that were eventually going to fit together.  We got our first 2 (’15, ’16) and then this year everyone got the regular medal and if you had run ’15/’16 we would get the third puzzle piece.  The same will go for the 4th next year.  I don’t think that was the intention when they set this up 2 years ago but who knows. People like medals.


My after race treat: Baked Bear  I had a cookie/brownie combo ice cream sandwich.  It was well worth it! They make the ice cream sandwich and then put it in a fancy cookie warmer where the ice cream doesn’t melt. AMAZING!!


Another awesome trip!  A great start to the year!! Until next year!!!

RNR AZ 1/2 marathon report

31 Jan

The plan about 6 months ago was to FINALLY run a sub-2 in AZ. Was that a realistic goal? I had no idea.

After I ran a 2:03 in Vancouver, I thought wow could I take another 3 minutes off in 2.5 months?

Then I ran the Holiday Half in December. (I never did a race report. Shocker I know) I ran with some friends and went out way too fast (but faded at the end) but I didn’t really have a plan. I did have fun. It was flatter than Vancouver and I thought what the hell! I took another minute off my PR.

I only had 5 weeks between races. I missed a track work out (thanks to the wind in Vegas at Christmas). My last long run was in the snow and slower/shorter than I wanted it to be. My final mile repeats were not as fast as I wanted nor as fast as the ones before Vancouver.

The new plan was the run with the 2:00 pace group and see how long I could hold on.  I wanted to run a “smarter” race.

We arrived in Phoenix early Friday morning. The weather was great. We hit up the expo. I have a couple of Momentum bracelets. They were at the expo so I got a few more.
We signed up for next year and I took way too much time trying to decide what I wanted on my bib. I settled on Mrs. Pancake!

Always fun in Phoenix seeing friends and eating at my favorite restaurants!!

Race day: Pre-Race:
There was a 2:00 pace group at the front of our corral and a 2:00 pace group in front of the next corral.

We were too far away from the first pace group so I said F it I still don’t have a plan. My NEW goal will to be don’t let the 2:00 pace group from the other corral pass me! 😉

Dan only ran with me for about a mile. I had no music. The first 2 miles clicked by and didn’t look at my splits. I checked my 3rd/4th mile splits. It wasn’t good. They were like 9:30/9:25. I was on a slight incline. I knew my PR splits were 9:20s. I didn’t think there was anyway I would sub 2. I wasn’t even thinking I would be able to PR. I wasn’t being negative but more realistic.

What I did know was after the big hill at mile 9ish, it was mostly downhill, slight decline, to flat. Maybe there was hope. I caught up to Dan at about 9.5. I couldn’t believe it!!! He didn’t look too hot and said he was out of steam. I said I was still feeling relatively good. (I was working hard…still not really knowing how I was doing). Still positive and really mentally strong. I was having a good race. I just had to keep it going. I told him I was going to keep pushing.

I thought could I actually beat him. I was planning my Facebook post for my victory. At about 11.5/12 he caught back up to me and stayed right in front of me for the rest of the race. I was pushing and it was definitely a negative split. I felt good and had an awesome race whatever the outcome was!!

Well I PR’d by 20 seconds!! (and that 2:00 pace group never passed me)

Post race:
Not a sub 2 but I was leaving AZ with a PR!! The sub 2 dream will have to wait until after IM Wisconsin. Maybe I should have put sub 2 or bust on next years bib! 😉