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P.F. Chang's Rock 'N' Roll AZ Half Marathon - 2007 - RunHalf Marathon

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Phoenix, Arizona
United States
Elite Racing Inc.
28F / -2C
Total Time = 3h 50m 23s
Overall Rank = 19353/20245
Age Group = Men 35-39
Age Group Rank = 1199/1225
Pre-race routine:

Outbound Trip - After checking my one bag with "weekend" stuff and gels, I realised that I had eight sealed, foil packets that contained something called "Cherry Bomb." Hmmm... I really hope that my bag makes it to Arizona and isn't "detonated" by TSA out on the "South 40." Long stinking plane ride. Couldn't get comfortable. Eventually made it to Phoenix. Woohoo! My bag made it too - excellent! But, yes, they did go through it.

Day before race - Got up and felt like swimming. Thankfully, the outdoor pool was heated (OK, slightly warmed) because it was really chilly outside. Had a nice swim drill practice by myself, got showered and read my Graham Obree book until it was time to go to the Pasta Luncheon (there were 1700 TnT'ers there, so they had to divide us into a Pasta Luncheon and a Pasta Dinner). John "The Penguin" Bingham was our motivational speaker - AWESOME. He is very funny in person. Later on, they showed a video/music/slide show of a girl that was diagnosed with blood cancer when she was 4.5 months old and only lived to see nine months of age. It was really hard to watch it. It brough back too many of the wrong kind of memories.

Later that evening, I had a chance to meet up with some of Jen's relatives that live out there for dinner. It's been a while since I had seen them, so it was nice to catch up over a great meal. Walked down to the Circle K after our team meeting to get some bottle water and found a 12 nozzle slushy machine. I was in HEAVEN, but since I was in race mode, I skipped the slushies. Never went back for one though :(

Race Morning - Woke up just before 5AM. Typical prerace breakfast of gel packet, Myoplex shake and a banana. Got dressed, chilled a little bit and went down to the hotel lobby to get on the shuttle bus. Snagged a group picture.

Event warmup:

Not much. Just tried to stay off my feet. Walked around the starting area to make sure that I knew where to find everything when the time came.

I watched the Fool Marathon start with some TnT'ers from my chapter. We saw the guy with the pink tutu and fairy wand :)

Waited about half an hour then dropped off my sweats/gear check bag at the UPS trucks and headed to my corral. One of the race photographers took a cool picture of me with three of my local chapter teammates before we split up to go to our starting groups.

  • 3h 50m 23s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 17m 35s  min/mile

The race started about half an hour late. Not such a big deal to me because we were packed into the corral and the sun was starting to come up. Talked with a few people in my starting group.

I started to get excited when the gun finally went off, but it was obvious soon enough that it was going to take a while for us to get to the starting line... Thirty-five minutes or so later, we were finally there - the starting line!! The announcer started us and I took off running. I actually managed to not take off too quickly though. Soon enough I settled into a 15:00 min/mile pace and was feeling good to finally be moving. Looking forward and back and seeing nothing but people as far as the eye can see was pretty cool.

I've never been one of 20,000+ people in a race before. There was a band close to the start, people holding signs telling me that I was headed to hell (no kidding, I'm starting a half marathon) and clothes everywhere. I figured I just missed a good party or the people with the signs were right and I missed the rapture. Regardless, it was a pain to run over, around and through all that crap. Seriously, WTF?. About half a mile into the race, my right foot started to hurt a little bit. Hmmm. That never happened in training. I kept running just to see where it went. By two miles in, my foot, ankle and lower leg were hurting - and not in a "run it off" sort of way, but in a "I think I'm done now" kind of way. At that point, I changed to a walk to see if it would stop hurting. I figured if it didn't feel better in another couple of miles, then I'd stop. Thankfully, it did feel better by mile three, but started to hurt again within a few steps of running. New plan. Looks like I'm going to walk this thing...

So I walked. And walked. And walked some more. Made a pit stop around mile six. I couldn't believe that it took twelve minutes with only four people ahead of me. WTF? I guess I would have been OK if I had gone one more time before the start of the race. Oh well, live and learn.

About mile 6.5, I heard someone behind me say "No kidding, did you really come all the way here from Pennsylvania?" Sure thing, buddy. I ended up talking to this guy until mile nine or so. He had walked some marathons for the Heart Association and it was neat to hear his stories. I shared mine as well. It was at this point that I realised that maybe I wasn't here to learn something about my self by setting a new personal record (although any finish time is a PR for a first timer), but to learn something about myself through learning about other people. From mile ten to mile twelve I spent time walking and talking with other charity walkers. It was truly a life changing day to hear their stories. By the time I got to mile twelve, I really didn't care that I didn't run as much as I had trained and hoped for. I was going to finish anyway and I had an amazing day to boot.

At mile 12, I figured I would try to run to the finish from there. I made it about half a mile before I figured I should go back to walking before I really hurt my foot. I walked to the mile 13 marker and ran in the last tenth of a mile. It felt so good to run across the finish line. Of course, since it was the "Rock and Roll" half marathon, I had to throw the horned hand up. Funny that it came out in the finish line picture so well :)

What would you do differently?:

Not much to say here. I couldn't continue to run, so I walked. I was there, so I figured I may as well finish.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around a little bit.

Got my medal, mylar blanket, Spenco sandles (yummy idea) some oranges, made some phone calls, got my gear check bag, checked in to the TnT tent to let them know I was finished and still alive, put on my sweats, drank my bottle of recovery drink, got on the shuttle bus back to the hotel, drank most of a bottle of tamarind soda, shared my Sweet-Tarts Ropes with the people around me, got to the hotel and headed straight for the pool :)

I went to the TnT post race (victory) party and realised that I left my ticket back at the hotel when I got to the hall. Hitched a ride back to the hotel on the shuttle, ran up to my room and when I came back down - there were no more shuttles... So I walked the half dozen or so blocks back to the hall (stupid bus driver said he'd wait for me). I even managed to dance for an hour after eating some really good food. Walked over to the Hard Rock with a couple ladies from my TnT chapter for some souvenirs and then walked back to the hotel from there. We even tried to run a little bit to see if we could and it just wouldn't happen. I almost fell in the parking lot from laughing so hard... Time for bed.

Picture from the morning after right before we got on the bus to go to the airport...

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Fatness, injury, a little bit of everything. Regardless, I had a great day!

Event comments:

Excellent event. Really well run for it's size.

Last updated: 2006-12-13 12:00 AM
03:50:23 | 13.1 miles | 17m 35s  min/mile
Age Group: 1199/1225
Overall: 19353/20245
Performance: Below average
HR: Min 113, Avg 158, Max 186
Course: Very flat course with a small hill from mile 8.5 to mile 10. Mostly downhill from mile 11 on.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
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

2007-01-23 9:19 PM

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Mechanicsburg, PA
Subject: P.F. Chang's Rock 'N' Roll AZ Half Marathon - 2007

2007-01-23 10:10 PM
in reply to: #665762

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

GEAUX TEAM!!!  Congratulations on a job well done!!!   You crossed the finish line.  Laughing 

Dylan said he'd never been around so many people at one time as when he did this half a few years ago.  We had a great time for the event.  The pool at the hotel we stayed in was huge and heated-we enjoyed it.

It's pretty interesting to talk to other walkers along the route.  I've met some pretty cool people along the way who still keep in touch.   I love hearing Bingham talk, (he knows me, too)Smile.  He has beautiful twin grandchildren.  TNT suppers always made us laugh and cry.

I hope your feet feel better soon!  You did great!!!

2007-01-24 6:59 PM
in reply to: #665762

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Keller Tx
Subject: RE: P.F. Chang's Rock 'N' Roll AZ Half Marathon - 2007
Outstanding RR, and an even better accomplishment!  You showed a hell of a heartto keep going when you hurt that bad!  The horned hand salute brings back many a Heavy Metal concert memories for me from the 80's
2007-01-25 7:45 PM
in reply to: #665762

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Extreme Veteran
Miami, FL
Subject: RE: P.F. Chang's Rock 'N' Roll AZ Half Marathon - 2007

Nice job Frank, and nice RR!  Absolutely love the finish-line picture.  You were smart about listening to your body, and not even remotely allowing your hurting foot to change your outlook, which is always so positive.  I'm so proud of you for this, and for everything really.  MUA!

2007-01-26 8:03 AM
in reply to: #665762

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Keller, Texas
Subject: RE: P.F. Chang's Rock 'N' Roll AZ Half Marathon - 2007
Great RR Frank.  You should be really proud of yourself!  You hung in there and finished.  There is nothing like the feeling of crossing thatfinish line is thre?
2007-01-26 11:29 AM
in reply to: #665762

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Tucson, AZ
Subject: RE: P.F. Chang's Rock 'N' Roll AZ Half Marathon - 2007
Loved your race report! I agree...being in a race with 20,000 other people is quite an experience. Loved the pics too!

2007-01-28 6:43 PM
in reply to: #665762

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West Chicago, IL
Subject: RE: P.F. Chang's Rock 'N' Roll AZ Half Marathon - 2007
Great job Frank!
2007-01-28 9:47 PM
in reply to: #665762

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Broomfield, Colorado
Subject: RE: P.F. Chang's Rock 'N' Roll AZ Half Marathon - 2007
Frank, you are awesome.  Love the pictures....especially your finish!  What a riot!  Awesome job in AZ!
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