The Cactus race, you know, prickly and all. This race has been a pain in my butt for 7 years if I counted by bibs correctly. Not once have I broke 4 hours which is a pretty typical benchmark for marathoners. Training, health and a million other things have kept me north of 4:00:00 and this year I went in with a new mindset and training. Rather than training to run mindless 9:05 miles for 26.2 miles and hope to not waste time at aid stations or a nasty Port-O-Let. This year I trained to run about 8:00 to 8:15 miles and maxed out at about 22 miles. The idea was to bank enough time where the last few miles could be 10:00/miles and I would still squeak it out.
I tried to warm up or really just stay warm prior to the race. It gets damn cold in the desert at 5am! After the madhouse of the corrals and people who clearly were 6 hour runners hugging the start line with the Kenyans, we were off! The first few miles always suck. You feel tight, you doubt yourself and it feels like that first mile takes 20 minutes. I went with pacing myself versus the pace group and made it about 7 miles before I had to lighten the load. I think being paranoid with hydration I over consumed liquids this time!
I hit the half way point at around 1:50 and was pretty confident. I made my way through old Town and was making the way towards Tempe. At mile 24 I had Tribe waiting for me. I had all intentions of having some cold beer there but by the time I made eye contact with mile marker 24 I was hurting. Mentally and physically. The 4:00 pacer was right on my tail and I didn't have a spare 30 seconds for a beer. Hell, I didn't have time to smile for the camera!
So with just over 2 miles to go it was 10:00/miles and goal was to stay within a few strides of the 4:00 pacer. Those miles hurt, I knew I was screwed and would pay for them after the race. As I limped into Tempe Town Park, it was full speed ahead and trying to get the brain to shut up. I crossed the finish line, hit stop on the Garmin and sure shit, 3:59:41! Unreal, I mean I planned that race perfectly haha.
So there you have it. I have ran Rock N Roll AZ in sub 4:00 and plan on keeping Grandmas the race to PR at!
On a side note, 2018 might be a different kind of year for me. I really want to pick a few races, plan on "racing" some Olympic distance races and the A race will be Madison 70.3 probably. No 140.6 this year. Also want to focus on giving back. Via volunteering and fund raising for things I feel are important. For that aspect, stay tuned! O, and maybe a Kona trip for the 40th Annual IMWC 🤟🏼
#TribeRacing #wattieinkHITSQUAD #racewithbase
WORK HARD. STAY HUMBLE. A LIFE FILLED WITH SWIM, BIKE & RUN. 5Ks TO MARATHONS, SPRINT TO IRONMAN 140.6