Sunday, January 14, 2007

2007 PF Chang's Rock and Roll Half Marathon

I am now a half marathoner. I ran my race and I'm very pleased with the results. I believe I finished around 2:47. My goal was to finish and enjoy the race. I did. I then wanted to finish under 2:50, which I did (I think) and finally I wanted to finish under 2:40. I missed this, but that's ok.

My day started after not getting much sleep last night. I woke at 5:30 am and left the house around 6:10 am. I had a bagel and planned to eat something at the start line food court. I dropped my car off at an ASU (Arizona State) garage, which no one was using. Walked to the north side of the finish area to the other parking, which everyone was using. This must have saved me half an hour. I then got in line for the bus ride to downtown Phoenix. There must have been 1000 people in front of me, but the line went fairly fast, until they ran out of buses. Then we waited. I was talking with two guys from the National Guard cross country team. I didn't even know they had sports in the National Guard. These guys were freezing there butts off. It was near 30 degrees and the sun had not come up yet. I wore sweats over my sweats, a full winter coat, a sweatshirt, gloves and a stocking cap. I planned to have most of that stuff transfer ed by UPS from the start to the finish. It worked out well. The gloves, were mismatched pair that I have had for over 10 years. I ditched them around mile 6. The sweatshirt was a Notre Dame model that I picked up at Goodwill yesterday for $2.48. And that included an older t-shirt from the 2005 Rock and Roll Marathon. Both looked brand new. At Goodwill I met another family that was doing the same thing I was. Buying throw away clothes for the RnR.

We got to the starting line a half hour before the gun. I had enough time to drop off my bag at the UPS truck, go to the bathroom and get in line. I was in corral 19. It took me half an hour to get to the start line. So, when we started, the leaders were probably at mile 6. No first place for us today.

The first 2 miles are through downtown Phoenix. It starts out at the state capitol and winds through a rough part of town. There was about 6 people with signs proclaiming that if you don't follow God, you gonna go to hell. It was interesting to say the least.

Boy, there were a lot of runners. We turned onto McDowell. A lot of people were chatting and having a good time at this point. I was enjoying all the atmosphere and before I knew it I saw the 5k sign and realized that I had run the entire time. I have never run a complete 5k before and I felt great, but it was time to take off the ND sweatshirt. I really liked the deal I got at Goodwill, so it was a bit sad to leave my new sweatshirt behind. I left it spread out on an unused drink table, so that ND fans could see it and be motivated by it.

I walked thru this drink stop and tried the Accelerade sport drink. I think I'll stick with gatorade. So, now I was running with only my TnT shirt and sweats. I had forgotten that I had put my name on my shirt. At this point a lady cheered me on by my name. I staired at her, trying to figure out how she knew me. I'm a little slow, but I figured it out. My name is on my shirt, dummy.

When I got tired I played a game. This was the first run I tried this and it worked pretty well. I would try to name three cities in each state. Some states I can name lots of cities, but the dakotas and Wyoming are tough ones. Anyhow, it kept my mind busy for a while. The other thing I did was ask fellow runners where they were from. I met people from Canada, Kansas City, Arizona, Boston, New York and a few other places.

I also, got a photo of me and Clark Kent while we were waiting to start the race. A fellow racer was dressed in a suit with a fedora that said, C. Kent, Reporter. He said he had Superman Tights on and that he would transform into the man of steel around the 12 mile mark. Pictures to follow soon. I got a picture of me and the Corona Del Sol Spirit line. That is the high school my son goes to. I actually used a disposable camera to take the pictures, so we'll have to wait for them.

At mile 9 I got to see my family. My wife, Amy. Son, Tyler and daughter, Emily were there to root me on. We then raced to the finish. I ran there before they could drive, park and walk to the finish line. Seeing them gave me a boost to the 10 mile mark.

Somewhere around the 10 or 11 mile mark I felt less than perfect. I made two stops at porta-potties, but that did not make me feel any better. I believe I lost a bunch of time between mile 10 and 12.

But all was not lost. I got my second wind as I started over the Tempe Bridge. Tempe Bridge is beautiful and it actually goes over water. A rarity in Arizona. The final mile I was passing people and I had a lot of energy. I believe I was doing about an 11 minute pace, which is pretty good for me.

At the finish I was all alone. There was a group in front of me about 10 yards and a group behind me about 10 yards. I was all alone for the finish photographer and the announcer said my name, mentioned how wonderful Team in Training was and asked me if I was a first time marathoner. With raised arms I said yes and the crowd gave me a pretty good cheer. Unfortunately, my family was still a bit a ways from seeing me. But, they did hear the announcer.

What impressed me most about the race, was the large number of Team in Training coaches and support people on the course. I bet there were TnT people cheering us on every half mile. I'll give you a report on my TnT experience later. But to say the least, the race day support from TnT was phenomenal. I will let them know about what a wonderful job they did today.

TnT also had a huge tent at the finish with drinks, food and seating. But do you know what I liked best at the finish? Spenco, the footcare people gave everyone a pair of slippers. Nice rubber slippers that felt soo much better than my running shoes at that point. I have spenco insoles now and I will continue, because I'm sold on Spenco now.

All in all, Elite racing did a fabulous job with the RnR Marathon here in Arizona and I'm now thinking about doing some of there other races. That is once, my legs and feet feel better.

Weather: We started the race at 30 degrees and finished at 41. The race organizers must have left the bananas out last night, because they were still pretty frozen at the end of the race. The Arizona Republic reported that it was the coldest low in Phoenix since 1990, or before I lived here. So, on the coldest day I've ever experienced in Phoenix, I got to run a half marathon. I actually felt fine until mile 11 when I felt cold and sick. But that was temporary.

Official Time: Elite Racing had some equipment malfunctions. I did not get a split for the 5k or the finish. I saw the clock when I finished read 3:17:xx. I know I started about 30 minutes after the gun. So I know my time is around 2:47-2:48:xx. As soon as I get my finish photo, I should be able to figure out my official time. My split for the 10 k was 1:11:11. 18 seconds off my PR from the Mesa Turkey Trot. My split for the 10.2 mile mark (I don't know why this distance) was 2:09:xx.


J~Mom said...

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You did it Pat!!!! Way to got!!!!!!! Your time is fantastic!!!!! Thanks for the race report!! I can't wait to see the pictures!!

Phil said...

Congratulations Pat. This is a very big day for you. First, you actually finished a 1/2 marathon! Second, you ran an entire 5K. I think of the two, running the entire 5K may be the more impressive accomplishment. You've come a very long way in a few short months and I suspect you'll have another string of PRs throughout 2007.

RunnerGirl said...

I am so happy for you!!!!!!!!

Congrats on the run today! :) I will let you know when I am back in AZ for sure!

Enjoy the rest days!

J-Wim said...

Awesome! I am so excited for you! Now I have to work on catching up to you.

pika said...

Wow Pat, you've come a long, long way from when you first started last summer. I'm proud of you! :)

Thomas said...

Congratulations Pat, that's an achievement. Not many people have finished a half marathon, but you're one of them.

K80K said...

Yay Pat! Congratulations! It sounds like you had an awesome run. You should be VERY proud of yourself.

Spark Driver said...

Great race report.
Seeing your family reminded me of my family meeting me at the finish line of my first marathon. A very emotional expercience.

Vic said...

Great post and awesome job on your first half marathon. You picked an exciting race for your first. Sounds like you really took in the whole experience. I'm really proud and happy for you.

carmen said...

I loved your race report, Pat! It's been so wonderful following you on your journey to running your first half-marathon.

My first halfer was the PF Chang's 1/2 last year and to this day, I haven't forgotten one single detail of it. I'm just glad that it wasn't as cold as this years! hehe

You did an awesome job out there! Kudos to meeting most of your goals.

Firefly's Running said...

OMG!! We were in SAME DAMN CORRAL and I did not see you. CRAP!! I was on the left side near the pot-a-potty towards the back near Corral #20. I could not believe how long it took us to get the start. Nice job on the finish time!

Angela said...

Wow - thats one massive medal!
Congrats on your success.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

woo hoo!!!!!!!!