Over recent years as I have fumbled my way along through a few injuries (more strains due to upping my mileage more than I should have) and few sub par marathons (a 3:08, a total implosion 3:3x something, and a 3:03), my journey has evolved from a journey to more of an obsession.
Along the way though I have not stopped believing (cheesy song by the appropriately named band Journey).
And over the last few months I was introduced into / found the awesome Phoenix Free Soles running group here in The Valley. They have so many awesome runners and I have been having my a** handed to me regularly twice a week. It is funny how receiving a regular thrashing can motivate one... Not to mention having another great running coach who gives straight feedback and has pointed out some of the same things my prior great coach did (was laughing with old running coach about this prior the race today before he went out and set the masters course record and masters state record in the 5k). It seems as though I like to try to cheat in extra miles into my weekly mileage (love me some junk miles) which both of them have busted me about. I guess there are worse things I could be doing for not sticking to my schedule.
Anywho... within my current buildup to a full later this year, this 1/2 marathon would serve as a perfect opportunity to judge where my fitness is at how things look for me getting under 3 hours in a full later this year.
And things look good.
With this as a background - earlier today marked the running of the 3 TV 10k & 1/2 Marathon, and I was able to brush a little dirt off my shoulder...
(dig this song - was bopping my head to this jam prior to the race)
as I was able to set a shiny new 2-min PR, 19th overall, and 2nd in my age group in running a 1:25:31 for the 1/2 marathon (haven't uploaded the Garmin yet - having technical difficulties). Boom. Dirt off my shoulder.
Prior to the race saw a number of folks from the Phoenix running community so was great catching up with so many people. Had a pic snapped off (was the only picture I had from the day as our youngest was sick so I went to the race solo) with 3 folks from my prior running crew from where we lived prior to going to Japan this last time;
Earlier in the week my coach thought I would run about the same as these two really fast ladies in our running group - which knowing them I thought would be a little rich for me, but I figured he knows what he is talking about, and so I would go out in ~6:30's and just see if I could hold it for the race.
And generally speaking it worked out that way. I was actually a bit surprised as the last about 5 miles I was able to pick up the pace slightly (miles about 3 - 8 were a slight uphill, then that same 5 miles / road back in thus a slight downhill). I even felt like I could have pressed slightly more and picked up maybe another 30 or seconds or so in total, but who knows, if I tried to I may have blown up (as I usually do in most races). But are you kidding... a 2 min PR in the 1/2. I may or may not have gone old school like ESPN's Stu Scott after I crossed the finish line and did "a little pop and lock, and.. Booyah!"
So now it is time to put the head down for the final push up to my full marathon, and somehow find . a . way to get under 3 hours. Which given the time here, should be doable.
Running is awesome!!!