Tag Archives: Rock n Roll Marathon

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly–RNRAZ Race Report

21 Jan

I ran 26.2 miles at the Arizona Rock N Roll Marathon on Sunday. My only goals were to have fun. I had no time goal. I of course would have liked to PR but I did not. I am going to do this report a little differently then I usually do.

I am going to start with THE UGLY!
I have only briefly talked about this but I signed up for the half. Right around Chicago time, Dan decided he wanted to do a winter marathon. I told him that if he wanted to go to Arizona that I would do the full with him. After some wavering he finally caved in, bought his plane ticket, and race registration. I changed over to the marathon!

Fast forward to Black Friday. We did our first 20 miler together. It was awesome! Such a great day and run. I finally was running like I was pre-Chicago. Then it happened. Dan hurt his foot. I continued to run and he saw the doc. At this point I had to decide if I wanted to continue training for the marathon or drop down to the half. I kept training for the marathon like a stupid person!

I just was not in the mental mindset. I am not sure why. I did all my long runs. They were all 12-17 seconds/mile slower than any of my Chicago runs. NONE of them went as good as my Chicago runs. I never pulled the plug because I didn’t think I had enough time to train to PR the half.

Dan finally was healed up but not in shape to do the full so he was in for the half. Even though we were still doing runs together again “my mind” was not in good “mental” shape.

I really was trying to be positive the week leading up to the race. I can do this. I can run a marathon on Sunday. I had a great time in Phoenix leading up to the race. Now that it is all said and done I was absolutely not mentally prepared for this marathon!

It all started at about mile 14. I could feel some chafing going on underneath my left arm. I am usually really good about putting enough body glide on. Well I guess not on Sunday! I finally ran over to the med tent right around mile 19 to get some Vaseline. I caked it on pretty good! Enough was enough!

I have had a re-occurring blister on my big toe on my left foot. That decided to flare up even though I taped it up! My right big and second toe were hurting bad. Who knows why!

Between the blisters, the chafing, and loosing it mentally the last 7 miles weren’t exactly great.

Dan and I got dropped off at the half start line(which is where both races finish). I took the lightrail to downtown Phoenix where the full starts. Met up with Greg and Erica for good luck hugs. I was feeling good. It was nice and cool. I was positive. I was going to have a great day!!

I was ready to have a 4:45 kind of day. I found the 4:45 pace group. Mark was the pace leader. I recognized him from 2012!
Me: Did you pace the 4:45 group in 2012?
Mark: Yes!
Me: I joined you that race too!
Mark: Did you see me at the finish line?
Me: YES!!


We got started and I was feeling good. I met Jackie(from Colorado) and Jamie(from California). It was their first marathon! We chatted about goals and races! The miles were clicking by. I was positive. This was really going to be great.

This is where it started going a rye. The blisters and chafing had started. The pace was great but we were losing the pace group. Not sure why?! Jackie needed a walk break. Jamie had dropped back a bit before this. I was on my own for the time being. I put my music on and kept the pace group in view. There is an out and back from mile 13-20ish. Plus a little out and back in the middle of that. I saw the pace group, Jackie, and Jamie.

I just kept chugging along. I stopped at the portie pottie at 18.5ish. (I have NEVER EVER stopped in a road race before—>I needed to go. I thought if I stopped maybe I would feel better) Well I lost the pace group and did not feel that much better! I saw that Jackie was 100 yards (maybe?) in front of me. I just didn’t think I could put the effort in to try to catch her. 😦

It was a long 7.2 miles!!

It was a long 7.2 miles!!

The last 6 miles were pretty boring. Really the course is boring. I am not sure why I keep going back. This is my 5th RNRAZ(2 full and 2 half). I guess I like seeing my friends and going to Phoenix in the middle of winter!

It was getting warm. The wind had kicked up and at mile 23 we turned right into it until the end! I finally finished after walking and running those last miles. I was so happy it was over. I don’t think that I will do the marathon again. I need something to keep my attention better. Which makes me even more excited to do Big Sur and NYC this year.

I met up with Dan and Kamie!
We headed to Sonic for a cherry limeade!

BIG THANKS to Kamie who drove us around all weekend!! It was a great weekend in the sun!!

What do you do if a race is not going your way??

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Thoughts IN Arizona!

17 Jan

I made it to sunny Phoenix. The temperature hit 77 today. The high for Sunday is supposed to be 79. WHAT?!! It barely gets to be over 79 in the summer in Portland! It was cool this morning but it was definitely warm by noon!

We hit up the expo. I got some compressions socks on sale from CEP! That was the big score of the day. The shirts are super cute. I got some Nuun and another Nuun bottle (because I need another bottle like I need a hole in the head!) I also got a couple of the regular suspects: Larabars, Cascadian Farms granola, and Rice!! Good staples for a runner!! 🙂


We walked around downtown Phoenix for a bit and soaked up some vitamin D. Of course did lots of HYDRATING!!!

When I come to Phoenix I have specific restaurants I like to go to. It is so funny cause this is the only city that I like to go to the same places. Most places I visit I like trying different and new places. Today I stepped out of my box and went to a new breakfast place: Crackers and Joyride Tacos for dinner. Delicious!!!!!! Amazing!!! There is still plenty of time for my regular places! 🙂

NOW for the GOALS of this race:
1-To have fun!
2-To be positive!

I was originally signed up for the half. Dan decided that he wanted to do a full and I changed over to the full. Dan hurt his foot for about a month and wasn’t able to run. At that point I had to decide if I still wanted to the full or change back to the half. I didn’t think I could PR the half so I stuck with the full. I got all of my runs in. This cycle just hasn’t been as good as I would have liked it to go.

So here we are. I am running the full. Dan is running the half. The problem with Arizona is the start is a split start. No running any miles together. WTF?!! 😦

I am going to start with the 4:45 pace group. Going out REALLY SLOW!! At the half mark If I am feeling good I am going to start my music and try to pick up my pace by about 10 seconds/mile. If I am able to do that I will be able to PR. Again I am not looking to do anything crazy just survive and finish this race. 🙂

Here is my fortune from a PF Chang’s fortune cookie: SOAK IT UP! LIVE IT UP!! RUN IT DOWN!!! Marathon #8 here I come!!

Racing AGAIN This Weekend!

18 May

Watch out Portland! Rock N Roll 1/2 marathon is here this weekend. Last year was the inaugural year for this race. I had some friends come from out of town to do a “reunion” race. We all got together but only a few of us did the race.

Here we are with Kara Goucher at last years expo:

Abbey, Ashley, Mandi, Kara, Me, & Kara

Abbey, Ashley, Mandi, Kara, Me, & Kara

Sherrie and I cruised around the expo pretty quick. Same ol same ol.

Corral 6! My projected time was: 2:00. I guess I was overly optimistic when I signed up! 🙂

The good thing about Rock N Roll races are if you sign up at the expo they are WAY CHEAPER. You just have to know that you are going to do it the following year. I paid $60 for this years race at last years expo. Today the bibs are going for $150! INSANE! I ended up signing up for Portland 2014 for $65 today! I also do RNR AZ in January most years. I missed this year so I signed up for the 1/2 in 2014. I got this rad water bottle too!

This is definitely worth something. A 24-oz INSULATED water bottle. SCORE!

Hit up the Nuun booth. I wanted some cherry limeade but they are totally out and I am super sad. I got some lemonade and of course a new water bottle. They have changed the design of the water bottle again.

Here is a map of the course:

I like this course because it is different from all the other courses in the Rose City. It hits the eastside. The course was harder last year but they changed it because there were too many traffic problems.

Goals for this race:
1. Have FUN!
2. Going crazy isn’t really what I want to do tomorrow. I have had 2 hard weekends in a row. I have taken it easy this week. I have not done a whole lot of running since Wildflower so I think I will be able to put in a good effort but really just a good long run effort.
3. Enjoy the aid stations and not having to carry my own water for 13 miles. 🙂
4. I do not even really have a time goal. Maybe sub 2:12 or so!

The weather is always the other factor. It was supposed to be dry than it changed to rain and now it is back to sun/clouds. 20% chance of rain. The temperature should be perfect!

Who else is racing this weekend?

Have you done a RNR race? Where?

RNR San Fran 1/2 Marathon

9 Apr

Sunday at 7am was the start of the inaugural Rock N Roll San Francisco 1/2 Marathon. Sunday was also my birthday! Now I know most people on their birthday would rather be lazy or relax or do whatever they want. No not me! I am totally crazy and wanted to run a 1/2 marathon on my birthday!

Don decided that we needed to leave the house 2 hours before the race started. Which meant a 4:20 wake up call. I went out to the kitchen to put my bagel in the toast, Happy Birthday Leslie, Sylvester(the cat) ate half of it last night. What?? I ended up having some oatmeal. I have only started to eat oatmeal but I have never tried it before a run. There goes “nothing new on race day!!”

It was still dark. We had lots of time to hang out. Here is Alana and I with Alcatraz in the background as the sun came up:

You may have noticed the giant cupcake on my head?!? Tracy got me this cupcake headband a couple of years ago for my birthday so now I wear it every year. You also may have noticed I plastic wrapped the entire headband because I sweat like a beast and I may have ruined it, if there had not been any “protection.” I also wanted to wear it the rest of the day! 🙂

Plan A: PR 2:08:xx if I was having a fantastic day.
Plan B: 2:10-2:12 Pretty much what I was expecting
Plan C: Anything over 2:12 I would have been happy just as long as the race went good!!

Alana and I decided we were going to run together. I was nervous for multiple reasons. 1-She is fast and strong. But she had a baby(Emilia) 6 months ago. Lucky for me she has not been working on her speed…but she does push the baby stroller!! She is just getting back into racing after doing Boston at 18 weeks pregnant! 2-I did not want to go out too fast and blow up at the end! We decided we were going to run strong and have fun!

Here is the Elevation chart-Not exactly an easy course! 🙂

Onto the race. Alana, Ilana, and I started in corral 10.
We went directly uphill when we started! Dang it! Just ease into it! We went downhill. We had some flats.

First couple of miles we were warming up.
The Golden Gate Bridge was ahead of us. The fog was disappearing as we were getting closer.

We hit some more hills going into Golden Gate Park. Not just some hills. Some steep hills. We had just hit the 5k mark going uphill. We passed a guy who (looked like) taking some coverage of a speed walker. He yelled out I like your cupcake. He asked if it was my birthday. I said yes…but totally out of breath! He ended up signing me Happy Birthday in Italian. What a treat that was. We kept chugging up the hills until we were very close to the bridge.

Another photo-op:

We were at about mile 5 pretty much on track for a 2:10. I am glad that they capped the entrants to 5,000 because it was crowded but not awful on the bridge. We did a far amount of weaving in and out of people. Our pace slowed a bit but the views were amazing.

We hit the half way mark. Had a steep downhill on trail no less. This was the view:

We proceeded to go directly up a steep hill back to the other side of the bridge. We were keeping an eye out for friends that were in front of us and in back of us. We saw Ilana. It was so fun…we screamed to her!!

I had a lot of people comment on my cupcake. A lot of people said Happy Birthday. That was fun!

We were still weaving in and out of people. We wanted to try to get some “free” speed with the slight decline on the bridge. We got to mile 9 just off the bridge. Still feeling good. Had a little more steep downhill than flat gravel trail. At this point I stopped looking at my watch. Just after 10 I was feeling the burn and I know if I had not been running with Alana…I would have slowed down. Dig deep!

The flat gravel lasted maybe another mile and a half?! We hit mile 12 and we were at 1:59. (I only know that cause Alana told me) 🙂 We had to go uphill one last time…someone kill me! A guy did say he liked my muffin hat. That was funny. Another short downhill. We were all of a sudden on flat ground with maybe a quarter-mile to go. We talked about how fun the race was and that we were happy to have run it together!

Monica from Run Eat Repeat passed me right before we hit the finish line. I yelled Go Monica and she waved! I knew she was running the race as well but figured she would be way in front of me. She was one of the “celebrities” I met at the Surf City Expo.

2:10:08! Not a PR but awesome race. I accomplished all of my GOALS! Had such a fun birthday run.

The medal is easily one of my top 3 favorite RNR medals! It has a red ribbon too which is awesome because they are always blue.

I have done a ton of RNR races and this was my favorite so far!! Awesome Course!! Very organized for an inaugural event! Unfortunately they are going to change the course next year.

Have you ever done a RNR race?

What do u like to do on your birthday?

FIVE Friday FUNday!!

8 Feb

1) The Rock n Roll Portland 1/2 marathon kick off party was last night. I met Tiffany and Jaime at Fit Right NW running store for the big unveiling of the 2013 medal and t-shirt. We also did a 3 mile “fun” run. IN THE RAIN.
There was no rain forecasted yesterday. It was pretty gorgeous all day and as soon as everyone got out of work. BAM. RAIN. LOTS OF IT!

Just made it before we had to wait for the train! SCORE!

Just made it before we had to wait for the train! SCORE!

The course has been changed this year. Not hugely but a few of the hillier miles have been changed to flat. They had some traffic/public transit problems last year so they changed it to accommodate the runners and the drivers. I liked the course last year but the new course will give us more time to warm up on the flat miles before we hit the hills. YEAH!

They had a raffle and food for us when we got back from our “fun” run. They gave away water bottles, socks, shirts, a few pairs of shoes, a couple of race entries…but they also gave away $10 gift cards to the Fit Right. Guess who scored one of those babies? ME!! SO EXCITED!! There was an Irish I Was Faster shirt that I was eyeing.

2) I unfortunately was not successful in finding a date last night. I will be working on that all weekend long. In between biking and running miles + baking goods for a Portlandia party that I will be attending + sleeping because I have stayed up late every night this week! WOW it is gonna be a tough weekend! 😦

3) I put it an application to be a Nuun Ambassador. I love Nuun products. Nuun has been keeping me hydrated since 2009!! Have you heard the news? They are making a cherry limeade flavor. HELLO!!

4) I had an awesome run with Ilana this morning. We have not run together since we did track work outs leading into IMCDA ’10!
As you can see we hit the road early this morning! Ilana is in med school and all of her exercise is done before the sun comes out. Or in our case when the clouds come out!

5) I was at Trader Joes today picking up supplies for the treats I will be making and sharing tomorrow. I came across these:
Anyone had either of these? I am stoked to try these. I need them like I need a hole in the head but I might keep them for a rainy day. I guess that means I will be able to eat them soon! 🙂

Are you doing a Rock N Roll event this year? Which one?
I am doing the inaugural San Fransisco and Portland.
Do you use Nuun products? What is your favorite flavor?
Absolutely! Fruit punch for the time being