Monday, January 17, 2011

2011 PF Chang's Rock N Roll Half Marathon

I didn't run this summer. Fitness wise I gave almost everything I earned over the past four years back. I gained 42 pounds. I lost the ability to even run a half mile. I went back on my cholesterol medicine.

Then in October I ran. I walked and I ran some more. 2 miles a day, six times a week. I got to the point I could run a mile non stop. In December I was up to run/walking 3 or 4 miles, five days a week. Slow progress. I dropped from 252 pounds to 242. Then, to 236 before the race.

The new year arrived, but I wasn't ready for a 5k, let alone a half marathon. I was resigned to skipping the PF Chang's Half Marathon. Four days before the race, the media started telling stories of some of the runners. A guy that lost 70 pounds and others. I wanted to run. I wanted to run with all the others in the half marathon.

Could I? My longest run was a 5 mile run/walk. No where near the 13.1 miles I needed. If I slowed down, could I run/walk the first half and walk the rest?

I felt I could do that. It didn't matter how fast.

Sunday morning arrived and off I went. I brought my cell phone and another camera so I could document the day. I was part runner, part spectator. I took the light rail down and got to chat with several runners heading the same way. I arrived at the race about 10 minutes before the elites would start. I've always wanted to see a race start, so I didn't get in a corral with thousands of other racers. Instead I was about 50 yards in front of the start line. See the youtube start.

I watched as corral 1 and 2 went. Then I decided that I didn't really need to get in a corral, I would just start running from there. I figured if my garmin didn't reach 13.1 miles, I would do a loop on the course before I headed into the finish shoot. Wouldn't that be a site to see.

I hit start on my garmin and followed corral 2. Saw a couple Elvi's running. Saw a homeless man with shopping cart cheering on runners. It takes about 2 miles to get out of the downtown area. I stopped to take some pictures along the way. The first mile was at an 11:48 pace. A few minutes slower than in other half marathons. I was hoping I'd do a bunch of 12 minute miles to start.

Mile 2: 13:08
Mile 3: 13:17
Mile 4: 13:51

The slower miles were due to me not being ready for a half marathon. It's like I did the four day Couch to Half Marathon plan. Just not a good idea. Now, I was taking lots of pictures and posting them on tumblr while I walked.

I was having a good time, enjoying the spectacle that is the Rock N Roll race series. I had no time goal.

Mile 5: 14:28
Mile 6: 14:08
Mile 7: 13:54
Mile 8: 14:41
Mile 9: 15:13

Since I started real early I found that a lot, and I mean a lot of runners were passing me. I think I might have seen 90% of the half marathoners. I saw two guys dressed as bumble bees. I saw two gals playing air guitar to the music as they ran with blow up instruments. I saw one girl fall on her face, but she quickly got up. I saw two different runners in extreme pain. I guess they should have done my four day training program. But, each mile was getting longer. I was getting a bit more tired.

Mile 10: 15:54
Mile 11: 16:49
Mile 12: 14:48
Mile 13: 16:20

But, I kept marching on. Actually, I saw a guy in army fatigues, boots and carry a pack soldiering on. The race organizers have UPS trucks at the start that you can put your extra stuff in. The trucks drive to the finish, so you don't have to carry your stuff. So, I went up to the soldier and as we ran I pointed to his pack and told him they had UPS trucks for that. We both laughed. I told him thanks for his service, gave him a fist bump and we parted.

Mile 13 was slow in part, because I was conserving my energy for running in front of the large finish crowd. And when I say conserving, I mean walking. I walked until I was close to the finish and then for the last 1/3 of a mile I ran in at an 11: 49 pace. You can see all my data at my site.

I finished 3:11 minutes after I started for a 14:38 pace. This was my 13th half marathon.

10/25/2008 Run
ymca half marathon - south mtn
Race 13.1 Mi 2:43:25 12:29
12/9/2007 Run
Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon
Race 13.1 Mi 2:27:41 11:17
10/27/2007 Run
ymca half marathon - south mtn
Race 13.1 Mi 2:49:30 12:57
10/7/2007 Run
Casa Grande Half Marathon
Race 13.1 Mi 2:34:49 11:50

3/18/2007 Run
Valley of Gold Half Marathon
Race 13.1 Mi 2:42:53 12:27
2/18/2007 Run
Lost Dutchman Half Marathon
Race 13.1 Mi 2:43:06 12:28
1/14/2007 Run
RnR Half Marathon Course
Race 13.1 Mi 2:47:54 12:50
/16/2011 Run
RnR Half Marathon Course
Race 13.1 Mi 3:11:33 14:38
1/17/2010 Run
RnR Half Marathon Course
Race 13.1 Mi 2:49:52 12:59
/15/2009 Run
Lost Dutchman Half Marathon
Race 13.1 Mi 2:19:47 10:41
1/31/2009 Run
Random Route
Race 13.1 Mi 2:27:15 11:15
1/18/2009 Run
RnR Half Marathon Course
Race 13.1 Mi 2:25:21 11:06
12/14/2008 Run
Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon
Race 13.1 Mi 2:32:36 11:39

It was my slowest half marathon. It was slower than my fastest by almost an hour. I had a blast. I would have loved it if I walked the whole way. I won't lie to you. I would have loved running a 2 hour half even more. But, I loved getting it done.

Now to lose some more weight and get ready for the next one.