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P. F. Chang's Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Phoenix, Arizona
United States
Competitor Group, Inc.
60F / 16C
Total Time = 1h 31m 18s
Overall Rank = 270/15,663
Age Group = M25-29
Age Group Rank = 34/626
Pre-race routine:

With running races there's really not much of a per-race routine (which is nice). I woke up at 4:30 and made some coffee. While that was brewing I loaded my iPod with some tunes, checked the webs and just kind of hung out. I had a cup of coffee and a bagel with peanut-butter for breakfast. We left a bit early for the race site but with over 15K people running the half I wanted to be sure we had plenty of time to park and get to the corrals. This proved to be a smart move as the race was actually delayed for ten minutes or so due to some traffic problems.
Event warmup:

Once we got to the race site we had about 45 minutes before the race started. I was assigned corral #1 based on my predicted finish time of 1:30:00. My wife and I walked over to the start to check things out and take a couple of pictures. Other than that, I just took it easy. I had made a bottle of Gatorade to sip on up to the race so I just enjoyed that and sat on the curb. Eventually, my friend Elliot met up with us and we made our way to corral #1. We saw a few of our DURAPULSE teammates along the way and it was nice to talk and give each other some positive energy before the race. Other than just walking around and some very light stretching I didn't do any sort of "warmup".
  • 1h 31m 18s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 06m 58s  min/mile

Going into this race I had no strategy or expectations. I've taken A LOT of time off since IMAZ and for the most part had been pretty lazy and unmotivated to really do any training. I had done only a handful of workouts and I had definitely lost a bit of fitness. I discussed this race with my coach. Originally my goal was to run a sub 1:30 but I told him that I didn't think I was capable of doing that given the amount of time I had taken off from training. Like a good coach, he agreed to an extent and said that while I had lost some fitness that he thought I was capable of pushing myself to a 1:30 or faster finish. Since I had nothing to lose and was going into this race without a lot of expectations I decided that I would follow my coach's advice and try to run a 1:30 or faster. Coach gave me the plan of running miles 1-3 below my AT heart rate of 179, miles 4-10 at AT heart rate and miles 10-13.1 above AT heart rate and going for broke.

I positioned myself in the back of corral #1. Looking around it was pretty funny to see some of the people that were in the first corral. I don't know why people feel the need to line up in the front when they don't belong there (I don't mean to sound like a dick but this happens in every run race). I wanted to take the first mile somewhat easy and run between a 7:00 and 7:30. As soon as the gun went off I took off at sub 7 pace and never thought about looking back. I weaved my way through people until I found an open area to run in. My Garmin was set to auto lap and when I saw my first lap I thought I was in for a rough race. I was feeling good and was within the guidelines my coach had given me so I kept up the effort. I figured I'd just race as things unfolded and see what would happen.

Most of the race was rather uneventful. I did get worried as the race progressed because I was no longer running according to the plan that my coach had given me. At this pace, my HR climbs rapidly and once it get's up to and above AT it takes a lot for it to come down. From miles 4 and on I was above my AT heart rate. I was feeling good though so there was no way I was going to sacrifice my pace to lower my HR. I knew that I only had ten miles left and was feeling confident enough in my ability to maintain my HR at that effort. I really felt the gradual climb on miles 7 through 10. My pace dropped to low 7's there and I was also starting to feel a little fatigued. Heading South from Scottsdale into Tempe takes you through Papago Park. It was also downhill for the final three miles which allowed for me to drop my pace back below 7:00/mile.

I was really starting to feel tired at mile 12 but I just kept pushing myself and I gave everything I had over the final mile to finish strong. I credit my IMAZ race (for which I still need to put together a RR) for teaching me how to race. I trained my ass off for that race and gave it everything that I had. Training for and racing IMAZ really taught me how to push myself mentally and to be confident in my ability to do more than what I think is sometimes possible.
What would you do differently?:

Honestly, nothing (ok, maybe some actual run training or any training for that matter)! While I didn't go into this race with a real goal I thought I would be somewhere around 1:35 and I would have been happy with that given my lack of training since IMAZ. When my coach told me he thought I could run a 1:30 or faster I thought, "no way, he's just being encouraging". I pushed myself from the start with the attitude that I would just see what happens and adjust as necessary. It hurt like hell at times but I didn't want to finish the race knowing that I could have given more.

This year I'm focusing on racing more and at a higher intensity. My main focus will be 70.3's but I'd like to do a lot more run races to improve my run in triathlon. This year will be about gaining the ability to be uncomfortable for a long time, what it feels like and that it is tolerable. I'll be pushing for a sub 1:30 next month!
Post race
Warm down:

A Gatorade, A Jamba Juice and just hung out with friends talking about the race.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Run fitness

Last updated: 2011-12-10 12:00 AM
01:31:18 | 13.1 miles | 06m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 34/626
Overall: 270/15,663
Performance: Good
6:53 165AVG/175MAX 6:49 176AVG/183MAX 6:50 179AVG/183MAX 6:52 180AVG/182MAX 7:04 179AVG/184MAX 6:48 181AVG/186MAX 6:54 183AVG/186MAX 7:09 182AVG/187MAX 7:09 183AVG/186MAX 7:01 184AVG/187MAX 6:47 184AVG/187MAX 6:58 184AVG/187MAX 6:51 186AVG/192MAX 1:07 190AVG/192MAX AVERAGE CADENCE: 92 5K = 21:23 10K = 42:57 10MI = 1:09:52
Course: Through Tempe, North into Scottsdale then West before heading South back into Tempe. Course had about 174ft of climbing with a gradual climb with most of it coming between miles 7 and 10. From mile 10 to the finish it was all downhill. [IMG=]
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-01-17 9:22 PM

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Chandler, Arizona
Subject: P. F. Chang's Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Half Marathon

2012-01-17 9:47 PM
in reply to: #3996331

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Subject: RE: P. F. Chang's Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Half Marathon

Nice job Kev. You failed to mention the dropped GU though.

You were placed in the fastest corral so next time you can line up accordingly. No need to trash talk. I was looking at the results and I think they placed everyone with a sub 1:40 in the first corral. I made the same mistake as you by starting in the back.

2012-01-18 11:02 AM
in reply to: #3996331

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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: RE: P. F. Chang's Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Half Marathon
Great work, Kev.
2012-01-18 3:08 PM
in reply to: #3996331

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Goodyear, AZ
Subject: RE: P. F. Chang's Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Half Marathon

Awesome race Kevin. Congrats on a huge PR!  The IM fitness lasts a long time but not forever


Wishing you a very successful 2012!

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