Monday, December 22, 2008

Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon

It's my favorite half marathon, period. Today, I ran the the Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon in Scottsdale for the second year in a row. Most other races, I might have stayed in bed. The weather forecast was for rain. My heel didn't feel 100% or even 80%.

But, this was the Fiesta Bowl. Bigger than Texas v. Ohio State. It's my final race for 2008. It was my final race for 2007 (funny, in 2006 my final race was the Holiday Bowl 5k in San Diego).

The start and finish line are at the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts and they have a wonderful sculpture garden. I got a "LOVE" shot after the race.

The finish line festival is around one of the fountains. Here's a shot right after I finished the race. The race started at 7:30 am under clear skies. I didn't feel a drop of rain the entire day. It was cool, maybe 50 degrees at the most. I started with one of my famous 'goodwill throw away' sweatshirts and got to run with Karen and Christina for a bit. I, also, got to see Chad who was running the 5k. We started 2 minutes after the gun (not that we heard it). Karen said I could go on, as I was hoping to get a PR (I always do), so after running a bit with the TRC (Tumbleweed Running Club) I looked at my garmin and headed south of an 11 mpm pace.

According to garmin, the Fiesta Bowl course is 94% flat. The other 6% are speed bumps (well, the hills were not an issue). Five miles up Scottsdale rd, across Gainey Ranch (a nice subdivision) and then back home along the Indian Bend Wash (home of the SF Giants, at least in March). I love to look around as I run in new areas, so much to see. I've driven these roads, but you miss a lot at faster speeds.

Six of the first seven miles were at 11 mpm or less. Mile 7 was at 9:57. I have no ideal why. My feet felt fine and I wasn't having any issues with getting winded or tired legs. I was taking some walk breaks and conserving my energy. I knew I hadn't logged enough training miles (better to spare the heel, then train too much). But the last six miles were a bit slower.

Not to bore you with the details, but my left heel started to be a constant pain and I didn't deal with overcoming it like I should. I would run some, then walk some and watch all the people I pass, pass me by.

I ended up finishing the race around 2:32:44, five minutes slower than my PR. I'm ok with that time. It could have been much worse. I didn't stop at the McDonalds for a Big Mac around mile 10 and I didn't stop at the Circle K for a bag of fried pork rinds at my 12 (I don't really like them anyway). I made my way to the finish, just like Karen in the picture below.

Karen, got a PR and was happy. She didn't have any leg issues and you couldn't tell she had just finished 13.1 miles. She did great.

Christina ran her first half marathon, therefore she too got a PR. Two out of three TRC runners got PR's today, which ain't bad (ain't ain't a word, so don't use ain't).

Here's the TRC - Christina, Karen, Pat. The medals this year are the same as last year, but bigger and thicker. Metal must be cheaper this year.

Christina getting a back rub by the fine folks at Massage Envy.

If it looks painful, it probably is. But, I'm sure it was good for me. Here's Amber removing my bothersome left leg.

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