Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Arizona RNR

Flight in Friday - No problem.
Will post on Rental Car Scam later.
Saturday - went to the expo, ASU campus, and Sedona (John and Cindy's),

then met up with some friends Sat for pasta dinner.

Saturday: had a fun time at dinner with Greenlee and Sllygrl (a couple of imaginary friends I met online),

but it passed much too quickly. Thinking of everything, I had a martini, just so I’d have something to blame a poor performance on, should that come to pass. Greenlee = planner extraordinaire for setting all this up. Also met Greenlee's friend, who gave me the prognosis, that indeed, my toenail that I’ve been waging a 3 month battle with and obsessing over, will be a lost cause.

Sunday a.m. Off to the races:Since I was struggling with my calf last week, I wrote on my hand…I got this idea from Runnerbabe (another online running friend).
If you can't read it, it says, "Brain = Boss. Calf = NOT Boss." Um, yeah, those = my man hands. I shaved the fur off., This was to come in handy late in the race.

We started walking to the race, about .1 miles outside the hotel, we were waiting to cross the light and a couple fellow runners yelled out their car window in the darkness, “Heyyyy, you want a ride to the race?” How GREAT!! And they were New Yorkers, so I thought that was good karma. New Yorkers being nice! They did do an awesome NYC no-left-turn traffic maneuver that impressed the hell out of me. No 1.5 mile walk. No 5:15a.m. shuttle, we got the personal driver at 7:30!!!

We make it to Corral 5 right as the gun goes off (our corral starts about 7 minutes after the gun, so we are in PERFECT shape now.)

I've been doing heart rate training and these percentages are off a Heart Rate max for me of 184. Now, after some discussions online with another imaginary running pal, I plan to run another max HR test in a month or so to see if 184 holds.

My Target is 9:03 pace for 1:58:34.
Mile Pace HR %MAX
1 9:09 155 84%
“wow, this is like a tempo pace HR. Must just be nerves.”

2 9:05 159 86% “Hmm, HR not dropping, usually it drops by now. It should be high 140’s.”

3 9:10 162 88% “Not good, really into the wind. My 1:58 is in jeopardy, if I can’t get this HR down. WTH is going on? But, at least this new visor is cool - looking.”

4 9:11 165 90% “Uh oh, this is my 10K race HR. No way that I can hold this for more than 40 more minutes. Maybe I just need some Gatorade” (water stop = stuff called Cytomax. I gulp it, having never tasted it before. I about spew it 30 feet in front of me. It tastes like children’s cherry cough syrup mixed with sugar water. Nasty. Note to self: Never enter a race again that has this as the official drink.

5 9:06 168 91% “Hmmm, maybe I can hold it." Look at hand, "Brain = boss”

6 9:26 169 92% “Okay, sub 2:00 might still be possible. Maybe I just need a gu.” Take Gu. “Dear Wind: Please stop.” My sister is going to see my 10K split time back home, gotta hold it.

7 9:15 172 94% Gu worked, I feel better, but HR out of control. "This is crazy. I’m going to just blow up in the 2nd half. There’s going to be a Black Bear yard sale if I don’t settle down.”

8 9:56 167 91% “Dear Brain: Don’t listen to Brain. Brain is an idiot.” 2:00 no longer possible “Okay, Brain, how ‘bout we go with 9:20’s in the back?” Then I see THE hill. Brain says, “Okay, you can slow down a bit and just claw back some time to offset this mile later.” Other Brain agrees. This is where I really notice the heat in addition to the wind and I think about toughing it out since sllygrl and greenlee are about mile 15 by now and probably hitting them hard. Up a hill, you know, 60 feet doesn’t seem so high on paper. I decide I better tap into some Endurolytes I brought along, so I don’t cramp up. It seems pretty hot now and the sunload is intense. Plus, I could use a little break so I fumble with my fuel belt finding the Endurolytes, drop the cell phone, and have 3 waters. 2:00 isn’t going to be happening now, unless there’s a city bus around.

9 9:09 171 93% Course turns south!! "Yea, just a cross wind now. No head wind."

10 9:16 173 94% “Damn martini – it’s killing me.”

11 9:43 173 94% Into the wind again. My legs feel fine, but my heart is going to pop out.
"Alien! I'm an Alien! This is too close to my max to keep up." 2nd Gu goes down.

12 9:24 174 95% Course turns south! Phew no head wind.

13 8:52 178 98% “WTH am I? ” I don’t even notice there is a giant ASU mountain and I’m running right next to it.

.1 8:17 181 98.4% Get my 2 free beers and try to see end of marathon to see if I can see Greenlee and sllygrl finish. No luck. Wait for Jimbo and find him. Give him a much needed beer. He finished around 2:30.

2:02 Top 13% all women. Top 10% in my division. Top 21% overall.
Averages: 9:16 pace 168 BPM 91%
Front 9:11 m/m
Back 9:22 m/m About a 1 minute positive split.

A couple minutes slower than I went looking for, but the wind was a big unknown factor. Pretty much the whole course was directly into the wind. The sun load was pretty high. No shade. I gave it the best effort I had. For that reason, I am really happy. Do the best you can with the hand you're dealt that day.

Get back to hotel. Meet the girl in room across the hall -she was the 10th female finisher. She ran 1:27! We chatted about the conditions and she said it was windy, so I felt really good about my time. I also met a Kona Ironwoman on the plane (both to Phx and back home) who ran a 3:05. I asked her about heart rate training, and she said, yes, definitely it works and she does it. And, uh, no, she did not see me woofing down that Cinnabon (treat) and beer.


  1. No 10K split..must have been running so fast the time didn't sinc with the chip

  2. Cool that you got to have a FE dinner (Greenlee being the FE queen and all around cool chick, and sllygrl as another first time BQ-attempter-chick).

    Love your blog! If you don't mind I'll add you to my blogroll!


  3. I almost fell out of my chair laughing at the note on your hand. I loved it! Sounds like you had a good time out there. Was it a 1/2 PR for you?

  4. Hey Matt. Naw not a PR - but I'm overyjoyed with pushing myself. I haven't done too many halfs officially (maybe 4?) but back when I was a real runner(read in between the lines, "20 pounds ago"), I could hit low 1:50's in training runs with Karen. I found an old log book and had an entry for a run that said, "10 miles 80 min, 87 degrees". I've really gotten slowwwww. It's all about weight, and a little about age.

    I'm in for DWD. We'll need to run a bit of that course to trial it out.

  5. Hey Mary, have to tell you I had a good laugh while reading your experience in AZ...that was pretty much how I felt too. My mental state was..water..water...water!!! Lord I was so focused on the next water station that I couldn't stand it...so much warmer and dryer this year. So glad to have met you at the gym. Bummed we didn't see each other in the corral...go figure took to mile what...12 before we saw each other again. Run girl run!

    Mary Ann