Phoenix 1/2 Marathon + 10k

We had a fun family race day at Phoenix this year!  There was a good group of us running that included both of my brothers, my sister, my hubcap, my brother's friend, my mother-in-law (her first!) and my aunt from Vegas.  My dad was in town for the weekend and given the option to hang out with B3 for a couple of hours or run, my dad chose the little B man.  They had a great time together.

So the long and dramatically recited story told short, quite early the stars showed signs of having no intentions of aligning.  It was kind of a 49:51 train wreck.  The :51 part only because I beat PF Chang's by 37 seconds, my goal C, but it was not pretty and I loathed running (ONLY FOR A MOMENT DO NOT FRET).

Baby boy couldn't handle the 3:30am wake up call.  Can't say I blame him!  That's early even on Christmas.  He passed out right after the race and took a three hour nap later -- such a champ!

Ben and I with our coach, Charlie.  He paced somebody to a 39:xx 10k and they both placed for masters.

This year the expo was at the Sharaton hotel but in a little ballroom type area.  It was crammed in there but it was nice that it stayed open until 9pm so we could wait for rush hour to mostly pass before heading that way.  The Phoenix Marathon is really in Mesa, so I'm not quite sure why it's called what it is.


This race requires you to park at the finish and bus to your start line.  I am not sure what part of the parking system failed so badly in comparison to other years, but race morning it took us almost two hours to park when we live 35 minutes away.  Traffic was at a standstill!  We left around 4am and didn't board a bus until 6, when we were supposed to be starting our warm up.  And I forgot my bagel.  :P

The race started at 6:30 so we should have still arrived in time to have a few minutes to warm up a little.  As we exited the freeway on the bus, a police officer said the exit was closed for the race that started soon and the driver was like, "YEAH UM THIS IS A BUS OF RACERS AND WHERE I AM TO DRIVE THEM."  But the officer didn't care and made us merge back onto the freeway to go another route.  I shall refrain from further sharing my thoughts.  

We got off the bus during the national anthem and it was either we A skip our warmup + bathroom opportunity and just start, or B we wait in the bathroom lines and start late (chip timed).  I chose A, Ben B.


^^The course is not pretty (a tour through Mesa), but it is pretty flat so people love it.


As far as actually racing, I never got to a good spot and by mile 8 I pulled back a little bit because my legs were showing a lot of fatigue already.  By mile 9 I could hardly pick them up, and the rest of the race included some of the most miserable miles I have run.  And I walked a lot.  Dare I say, it was harder than my last 26.2. 

I watched my average pace slide into the 8:30s, then pass 8:37 (my B goal) and at mile 12 it was at an 8:45.  I needed an 8:45 to hit my C goal so I somehow found it in me to still kick it a little at the end (it was my mile 10 GU kicking in I swear).  Heaven forbid I fail all of my goals.

My family all congratulated me because it was a 37 second PR, but although it was a faster race than PF Chang's, it was not better in any other way so I couldn't help but feel frustrated.  I trained to have a solid race and that wasn't the case and even a bad race I still had myself at my B goal, so this was definitely a learning and humbling experience.

As for Ben, he started 8 minutes late and his Garmin lost satellite which was frustrating for him to run blindly while aiming for a specific 1:38.  He still finished in 1:38:xx so that was wonderful to hear that his journey to a 1:29 is still right on target.  He passed me right when I was starting to lose it which was a boost, and he looked great (duh) and strong.  He's a talented runner!

Christy Official:  1:54:20
Ben Official:  1:38:26

So what's next?  7 weeks until SL, again with team #runlikehales.  It's time to do it all over again because we love it (at least afterwards!! HA), even when it goes terribly wrong.  In 10 weeks I have my next shot at 26.2 and this Phoenix half really sliced my confidence for that one, but I still have a couple of months to build it back up.

I still get nostalgic. NOSTALGIC.

Ben sent me these pictures and I had never seen them before.  It made me all nostalgic and also made it feel like such a long time ago.  *sigh* 

Time is such a funny thing.  Growing up you don't realize how fast it's going until it's almost too late.  Now that I realize the speed of life, it goes by even faster.

Our little handsome first born.

Here's to the stars, that they shall align.

We're days from Phoenix so I'm doubting myself like crazy!!  I had my coach help me set my goals but then during my last couple of long runs I've had a hard time with my race paces so my confidence is sucking a bit at this point, BUT that's nothing new for me right before a race.  The doubt creeps in like whoa.

My A goal scares me!!  It's my 1/2 goal for the entire 2016 year and I wasn't planning on even considering it as a race goal until September's race...7 months out.

Via Pinterest
A goal: 1:49 (8:23 pace)

B goal:  1:52 (8:37 pace)

C goal: Beat PF Chang's 1:54:57 (8:45 pace)

Every goal would be an official PR!  I run 7:30-8:15 paces in my workouts, but the big question will be how long I can maintain that pace right now.  I do feel like my fitness has decreased somewhat since last month after pulling back my mileage because of my knee, so we will find out.

Ben is shooting for a 1:38 this time around on his journey for a 1:29 in May!

We did get this email which is a slice of bummage:

I think the forecast has cooled down a bit since, maybe a high of 82 instead of upper 80s.  It's been a warm February after a cold winter, all in the blink of a coupe of days.  Freeze warnings --> BAM --> record highs

A couple of weeks ago I got a diagnoses on my knee of pes anserine bursitis which is essentially inflammation of the three tendons that connect just below the inner side of the knee, almost to the shin, which is where I have had some swelling.  It's an overuse injury and can cause inner knee pain which is what I've had, but so far it's cooperating and Charlie has given me more of a taper to help the inflammation.
Also, I shouldn't sit on my right leg while I'm working which I have done ALL THE TIME and apparently that's not good.

So here's to the stars, that they shall align and I will hit my top goal when I have no idea how I will.     I need to have more confidence in my running, hopefully it will come with time.

After Phoenix it'll be time to ramp my mileage up again because in 10 weeks it's time to give 26.2 another shot.  I'm getting pretty excited [for that sub 4:00].  

Have a wonderful Wednesday!  My mom has been visiting which has rocked, but just went back home.  waaah

Alright.  I'm done new paragraph-ing.  Goodnight.

We have creepy neighbors.

We walk a lot.  Our weather is amazing and Bentz loves to run all day long, so I try to take him out in the late afternoons when the hot air balloons are out to get some fresh air.

Over the past few months I've noticed this house that backs up to our favorite uncrowded park (shown above) which is a really nice looking house from the outsider's viewpoint, but I noticed one day that the side window in the front had been smashed, and the blinds were all drawn tightly but messily, almost like whoever lived there was assuring nobody could peek in.  On one of our walks B3 and I walked past as the front door was open to which I saw it dark in the house and a couple of guys walking out.  I figured maybe it was being renovated or something, but I still had the heeby geebies and pretended like I didn't see the guys in the doorway so we could keep on going.  Something didn't ring right, plus a couple of times I have run past this house and seen cops.

After controlling my mind from running down the path of a house of murderers 800 meters from our own, all based on a smashed window, shut blinds, and cops (aren't those good enough reasons!??), we were back at the park weeks later when I noticed this same house's backside.  They have plastic over the missing windows, a folded up trampoline type deal leaning against where the master bedroom window should've been, and big platic-y drapery things over the patio door location.  This poor house isn't even 10 years old and it is trashed!  As I was glancing at the mess through their fence, some guy was like, "it's just lovely isn't it?  I've been working with the HOA on getting them evicted for over a year."

The next door neighbor.

Story goes like:  a kid inherited the house and 1/2 a million from his parents, and he and his buds do something in there all day long, probably something that starts with an M and rhymes with seth, except they have no electricity or running water and there have been 14 guys living in it while they rotate turns getting arrested.  FOURTEEN.  Like 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1.  In my safe family neighborhood and all on my "SAFE BLOCK" that I run around over and over when the sun hasn't come up enough for me to feel safe to venture out of the 'hood.

Hashtag BOOOO.

The neighbor says it'll be foreclosing soon enough because the money is long gone.  So now we're going to the more crowded park, but it makes me wonder who else lives close by because now that I have a kid, I really freaking care.  I still can't shake the heebie geebies about what's possibly going on there, enough that I just wrote a whole blogpost on it.  Maybe they really just lay around and read by candlelight all day every day.  Maybe our neighbors are just giant book worms hosting everlasting readathons.  I hope so.

A to Zs

A – Age:  31

B – Biggest fear:  Aside from all things seriously life, it's getting injured.

C – Current time:  Almost noon o'clock lunch time

D – Drink you had last:  Simply Lemonade

E – Easiest person to talk to:  Ben, that's why I married him.

F – Favorite song:  Catch My Breath by Kelly Clarkson

G – Grossest memory:  In college I was about to go to bed one extremely late night when a mouse decided it was a good time to run under my bedroom door!!  Ugh.

I lived in my childhood house with only my dad and he was out of town so I decided I was going to sleep in the guest bedroom in the basement to temporarily escape the mouse madness.  In the guest bedroom two stories below mine I discovered more mouse poop.  UGH #2.

Mouse infestation!!!  I found one in my dirty laundry a day or two later, and one died in a beautiful SHOE, ruining it!  I avoided sleeping at my place of residence until the exterminator got it under control.  The mice had chewed through the weather stripping of a big storage room side house door, gotten into the walls and come back out via the A/C closet on the top floor.

My sister drew this for me and put it on a shirt:

Another gross memory was after Ben had his arm smashed to pieces and it literally looked like sushi.  For your viewing pleasure in case you forgot (this was taken a day before we got married):

H – Hometown:  Layton, Utah.  It felt so big growing up, now it feels small and country!  Makes me a little sad.

I – In love with:  my family!

J – Jealous of:  people sitting on a Hawaiian beach because that sounds so nice and I just bought some new swimsuits.  Or Bora Bora.  One day!

K – Kindest person you know:  Ben.  Everybody loves Ben!  He genuinely tries to understand everybody's point of view.

L – Longest relationship:  Ben - 7 years - we just celebrated!  

M – Middle name:  ---

N – Number of siblings:  3, I am #2 in the line up

O – One wish:  Time needs to slow down.  My baby is getting old.  I'm getting old.  My home town is old.  EVERYTHING IS OLD.  

P – Person you spoke to on the phone last:  My work.

Q – Question you’re always asked:  How's B3?  or  Any races coming up?  How's work?

R – Reason to smile:  Having the windows open, enjoying the beautiful weather while watching the little guy having so much fun with his toys, while also blasting movie soundtracks and working on the new Utah State Stadium.

S – Song you last sang:  Good question.  Thus far, today my music is mostly instrumental.

T – Time you woke up:  7:15

U – Underwear color:  White

V – Vacation destination:  Right now I'd say anywhere for a destination race.  I would like to one day go to the Big Apple with Ben.  That's a new seed we've recently planted in our minds.  But man, Bora Bora or Hawaii do sound amazing...

W – Worst habit:  Aspartame and Monster energy drinks.  So good.

X – X-Rays you’ve had:  That I remember:  neck (2008), neck (2011), shins (2012)

Y – Your favorite food:  Sushi, Angry Crab, shaved ice, sugar... anything Oreo at all, or smores.  Plus some pho.

Z – Zodiac sign:  Virgo

2.714 Weeks to Phoenix 1/2 <--my 1st goal race

We're < 3 weeks out from Phoenix and while I was (am) hoping for a PR, things since PF Chang's haven't gone entirely as planned.  I had some new knee pain show up two weeks after PF Chang's and I know I was recovered by the time I started noticing it, so it rang major alarm bells!!!  NOOOOOOO  $#%@ *$%#!

Charlie had me take a couple of days off and I was a little bit of a mental wreck (HA. judge not).  I jumped back into training with a slow 10 miler and it went just fine, so... I'm still working through it but maybe it's not as bad as I initially ran my mind into thinking.  I have an appointment this week with Charlie so hopefully he'll be able to pinpoint some issues with his mad physical therapy skills.

So between a week recovery and just now coming off a 14 mile WEEK I feel like I've lost fitness since PF Chang's, which doesn't fare well when I'm going for a PR in a couple of weeks.  Plus this week I'm only scheduled to run 3x while I coddle my knee.

C'est la vie.  To be continued.  (...for I must go fetch my child standing on the furniture.)


Have mercy, winter has arrived again!  I realize this may fall on some deaf ears but it is nearly a legit freeze around here which means everybody covers their plants and I use it as an excuse to leave B3 in his pajamas all. the. day. long.  We don't cover our plants but they don't seem to have a problem surviving.  lol  I kinda want them to die so we can start over.

Bentz isn't in pajamas today, he's wearing balloon pants and a turtleneck from the 80s.  Adorable vintage!  I just went through a box of 18 month clothes from my brothers as babies and pulled out some serious gems.