Saturday, October 25, 2008

Phoenix YMCA Half Marathon

That's the long sleeve tee you get and my bid number. I paid the morning of the race, so getting a two digit number was pretty cool. There's probably 300 halfers and the same number of 5k'ers running. I saw bib #1 on his way back in. I was jealous. Sort of.
This picture doesn't do the line to get into the park justice. It was a bit of a traffic jam and I was afraid I was going to be late. I made it with time to spare. At the registration table, the lady said my name and Ried, Life Strides was sitting next to her. He said Hi. I knew he was going to be there, but I was already in the zone. I wish I could of had more time to talk with Ried. I'm not conversational right before a race. Check out Ried's report, it has pics of the start.

The YMCA Half Marathon bills itself as the oldest continuous footrace in Arizona. Going on 40 years now. Wyatt Earp starts things off with a real shot gun start. Wyatt is a great great great (I don't know how many greats) grandson of the famous Wyatt Earp.

I started in the back with a gentleman that had a Aramco Houston Half Marathon shirt on. We discussed that race and how wonderful it is. He really recommends it.
This years race had about 1 mile of double track trail running. Much better than the park road to start things off. I tried to take a picture but it was still too early with not enough light. But, to see that long string of runners on the desert trail was pretty cool. We started the race at around 57 degrees. We'd finish around 75. A nice pleasant day for running.

I knew this wouldn't be a PR day. I was hoping it wouldn't be a PW (Personal Worst) day. And as you can see with the splits, the downhill and my speed work lately paid off. The first five miles were all under 11:24. I ended up eating a GU at the 3 mile mark and the 6 mile mark. My gut told me that I didn't want to eat anything else on the back end of this race. My split at 6.2 miles was 1.09.22. Just one minute and 23 seconds away from a PR for the 10k. I continued for the next three miles to get splits just over 12.

Then slowly, I took longer walk breaks and the splits crept up into the 13's and 14's. Mile 11 was the start of the hill back up to the finish. It's not a steep hill. I kept telling myself it wasn't a hill at all. But, I ended up walking a lot of it. With about 1 mile left there were two other runners near me. One lady was running her first half. I told her she need to do the Rock and Roll half in January. She looked at me like I was crazy. Do this Again?
The other lady went off course twice. We had to yell at her to keep her running on course. She kept ahead of me and would run whenever I would run. It was one of those things, if you walk I'll walk, but I want to beat you. With about 100 yards to go, I broke out into my finish kick. A full sprint. Garmin said I was under a 3 minute per mile pace at the end. I passed her, but I just like to sprint at the finish and would have even if no one was in front of me.
My final unofficial Garmin time was 2:43:25, about 6 minutes faster than last year, same race. I'm ok with that. It's a tough finish and I'm not really prepared to run a half at this point. This is all part of my training for the 'real half', The PF Chang's Rock and Roll Half in January.
So, this was a great race to do for the second time. So, in 22 months time I have done one full marathon and 7 halfs. Half Marathon #8 is early December and it will either be the Fiesta Bowl Half in Scottsdale or the Tucson Half about 1.5 hours from home. Then #9 will be the Rock and Roll Half.


Reid said...

Nice job Pat! Sorry I missed your finish. I had to get back home to be with the kids so my wife could go to a church activity. I had a great time volunteering. This is definitely a race I want to run, though.

Glad you had a good run.

Irene said...

Still, that's a very healthy finish! You did great, hill at the end and everything!

It's funny how people tend to pace with each other at races.

Congratulations on another well-run race. :)

SuperDave said...

Great job Pat on another race. You are a running machine. I hope to get to where you have been..

Jeff said...

Way to go Pat.

Looks like from your splits it's really an endurance thing -- plenty of time to build that up between now and January.

Darrell said...

Cool that you decided to go ahead and run the race and that you did well, to boot.

Aaron said...

So this wasn't a personal worst was it? When you walk during a race like this, is it to drink or just to give yourself a break?

Jeff said...

Good job, Pat! Looks like you're on track for a good outing in January!

Marcy said...

ALRIGHT PAT!! 6 minutes of last years time is nothing to shake a stick at! Very nice!! ;D ;D

The Running Knitter said...

Great job!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

awesome job!

Pokey said...

Great job Pat!! Way to go out there and knock out some are the half mary runnin' fool!!! ;)

We still up for 10 this weekend? Sunday????

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Nice job with the half. Anytime you can improve your time on a course, you have done good.

As far as your next race, I would do the one in Scottsdale. Tucson is well organized, but it is all downhill and might make recovery for PF Chang's more difficult. I did my first marathon at Tucson and it took me 3 months to recover from the pounding.

J~Mom said...

Nice job out there Pat!!! You are amazing!!