I finished the Phoenix marathon with a personal best of 4.01!!!
Staying warm before the race
This is a great accomplishment considering my winter training. I did a test to see how my fitness would hold up after a few months of training in the cold outside just by effort. The outcome is that I kept my fitness and was able to finish in a fantastic time.
But there is a downside. The marathon is not a race to underestimate. For me every marathon I learn something. This time my old friend of intestinal discomfort visited me around mile 14. First I thought I was ok and could run on but I was wrong. I used the port a potty and lost maybe a minute of 2 or 3 but it didn't end there. After that I had two more stops to use the bathroom due to pretty bad diarrhea. In short, I could have done this race in about 3.55 or so. That means I could have qualified for Boston (50-55 age group) with a few minutes to spare.
However as every marathoner knows, there's always something. It's too hot, too much wind, diarrhea, too cold etc etc. It is what it is. I did very well and know that I can get my BQ. I just have to be strong enough to overcome whatever it is that particular race.
I also learned that with my colitis I need to travel at least 2 days before the start of the marathon. This race I arrived the day before and it just does not give me enough time to settle my stomach. I won't give you TMI here. Live and learn.
About the Phoenix marathon. It's a great race. The course is slightly downhill, I liked it a lot, not too much pounding for the quads. The weather was perfect. Dry, not too warm and overcast. Very well organized and lots of nice goodies at the finish line. I was also very impressed with the tank top that I got, very good quality.
It's not a race with a huge crowd and lots of support. There is some support though and the race is fairly new. I think it will only get better. I personally like a smaller race a lot.
I also got to see some of my running friends and of course my super supportive coach Susan Loken. She is the one that helped me to train hard and improve my time from a 5.30 to around 4 hours. Can't wait to see what else I can do, there's always new goals and improvement!
That's it for now. I am thoroughly enjoying my time in Phoenix and Seattle. Don't think winter is over yet, I will be shuffling through cold and snow until at least mid April. But I know it's worth it!