Phoenix Rock n’ Roll Marathon

Posted: January 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

  I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the starting line on time due to extremely long traffic backups in the downtown Phoenix area.  My family dropped me off about a mile from the start and I used that as my warm-up.  I entered Corral #1 just moments before the playing of the Star Spangled Banner.  It took me 2 seconds to cross the starting line mat.

I settled in a relatively comfortable sub 8 minute pace and focused on getting comfortable with my stride and rhythm.  Once I arrived at 10K I started easing back down to 7:37 pace and maintained that through the half-marathon in 1 hour 40 minutes.  At that point I felt like I could easily maintain that pace to the finish line unless something drastic and unexpected occurred.

I arrived at Mile 20 in 2:35 and felt like running definitely required more effort.  It was a little disheartening that had I run my marathon PR of 2:33, I would have already finished but I still had 6.2 miles remaining.  Those days are long gone!

I attempted to keep my form together and my thoughts positive.  A lot of runners were either in the survival shuffle or walking.  I had just passed my sister less than a mile ago and had to contain the emotion I felt.  I had written, “For Donna Kaye” on the palm of my hand and as I passed her I held it up.  I had fueled properly and hydrated throughout the run so I had done all the things necessary to be able to maintain my pace.  The reality is that I simply didn’t have sufficient training miles, particularly long runs, to allow me to sustain my pace for the remaining miles.

I slowed considerably the last 6 miles and finished in 3:28:48.  It was a qualifying time for Boston by over 6 minutes but my 3:18 will stand as my qualifying time for Boston with respect to the number I am assigned in April.

I gave my number and my finisher’s medal to my sister as soon as I hugged her in the family reunion area.  It felt so wonderful to have finished and to have run the marathon in her honor!

Now it’s time to recover and reunite with the Marathon Coalition runners on Saturday.  I leave for Los Angeles tomorrow and will be in San Diego for the balance of the week.  I’m also looking forward to reuniting with my family.

While I’m not thrilled with my time, I’m extremely proud of my effort.  I continue to learn so much about the marathon and will take a lot of valuable lessons from the Phoenix Marathon as I prepare myself and my runners for Boston!

  1. Stephen Frail says:

    Congratulations on your finish, Rick! Looking forward to our group run this Saturday.

  2. Thank you, Steve. I’m looking forward to returning home even thought it’s going to be 75 degrees in Phoenix today. I’m also looking forward to seeing you Saturday.

  3. Dana says:

    Congrats Rick! 75 degrees is sounding pretty good right now – I’m about to go out and it’s 15. Thanks New England.

    See you Saturday!

  4. Hello Dana,

    I would take 15 degrees if I could be home with my family! But I’ll enjoy the Arizona and California weather while I’m here.


  5. Fran says:

    Great Job Coach Rick!! You’ll get a hero’s welcome when you reunite with the Team on Saturday!! Looking foward to it.

    Best, Fran

  6. Cheryl Reed says:

    Congratulations, Rick!!! Amazing, considering you were not sure if you would do the full marathon. Thanks for the play by play, also. It helps us slower, mid-pack runners keep perspective. Running is such a personal thing, that even fast runners like yourself get frustrated with times and miss those old PRs! A 3:28…I can only dream(: Safe travels!

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