2:17:00 (10:28 mile pace)
When I first signed up for the Scottsdale-Tempe Women’s Half Marathon, my initial goal was to finish faster than I did at the Phoenix Half Marathon (check) and to average under 11 minute miles (check). As my training went on, I realized I could be much faster than that and pushed my goal to finish around 2:10, averaging around a 10 minute mile pace (fail). The fact I didn’t… I’ll be honest I’m pretty disappointed in myself for last week’s race.
I have a series of excuses. I tried to stay with my friend Amanda (who finished her first half 2:00:12!) early on and went too fast, I had a side ache, I didn’t feel good nearly the entire race, I missed training time due to my foot injury and cold… I could probably make up more.
The truth is, I just didn’t run the race I should have. I knew I was starting out too fast but instead of slowing down, I kept going at that speed. I deliberately went far off of what I had trained myself to do. I ended up having to walk a bit and was barely moving near the end of the race. Everything I had taught myself the past few months was shot out the window.
I know I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, averaging a 10:28 is nothing scoff at and I am proud of the fact that I did follow a training plan. I’m just upset at the fact I did not run the race I could have run…
Onto my thoughts on the actual race and route. I loved the first half of the race. The start was in Old Town Scottsdale and the sunrise that morning was gorgeous. Having been to Old Town multiple times, it was a bit eerie to see it so dead aside from runners. As I mentioned before, the sky was amazing and it was about 62* or so at race time. We ran down Scottsdale Road for a bit before we turned into my favorite part of the race, along a canal through I believe Papago Park. It was exactly the type of path I had been training on. Saguaros were the only things cheering us on at this part and that actually helped keep me in a zone. For those visiting the area, it truly felt like you were in the middle of a desert oasis and felt like the idealistic Arizona run. Following the canal, we crossed Tempe Town Lake on the Mill Ave. Bridge. From then on, I really disliked the race. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve driven through that area too many times, if it was because that was when I was hurting the most or if it really just wasn’t that sweet. The last 5.5 miles or so were basically an out and back so you passed the finish line pretty much at the halfway point. They had us running on a freeway onramp and there was a decent hill at the very last mile. I just wasn’t a huge fan of this part of the race.
While my favorite part of the race was where there were no fans, I was pretty disappointed in the spectator support on this race. The Phoenix Half has you run through neighborhoods and there were multiple people cheering you on almost the entire way. This part, there were a few cheers, but it was pretty sparse in comparison.
The swag was decent. The shirt is the same material as my Pat’s Run shirt, which I like. It’s bright pink which will be a good color for me to wear in the mornings. The medal was beautiful and I love how localized the Women’s Running Series makes each one. I don’t currently have a charm bracelet so it will probably stay on the medal for now, but that is a nice feature they have. The rest of the bag included a Luna Bar (which I actually finally ate today!), some pain relief spray I haven’t used yet and a copy of Women’s Running Magazine which I enjoyed reading the night before. Amanda and I loved the giveaways at the end of the race (the snap pea chips were AWESOME!) and the freshen up station with wipes and deodorant was amazing!
Despite the fact it didn’t go the way I wanted it to go, I’m proud of myself for training for this race. I know I can do better, so I signed up for half No. 3… I’m taking on the Phoenix Half Marathon again! I really want to get under that 2:10 mark and I know I will on March 1. They have had several promo codes for the race, so keep an eye out for those if you are interested. I loved the fan support at this race and it is a mostly downhill run. I’m going to use the Hal Higdon Half Marathon Novice 2 program to train for it. Additionally I will be running Beast 2 Feast in Minneapolis with my sisters-in-law on Thanksgiving, the 12K’s of Christmas in Gilbert in December and may sign up for the Lost Dutchman 10K in February. I also registered for Pat’s Run which is April 26. Lots of races but I’ve caught the bug and am loving it! Sub 2:10:00 or bust!