Masters Running


PF Chang R&R AZ half (Read 360 times)

    The short summary is that I finished in 1:58:58 for a 9:04 pace. This is a little over a minute slower than my PR but 4 minutes faster than my Detroit half in Oct. I was 3902/20285 OA and 46/249 in my AG (60-64). This is the first time I've finished in the top 20% in a race. The best I've done before is about the top third. It's also, by far, the largest race I've been in. In fact, my AG had more runners than most of my races have had in the total field. The flight out on Friday evening went off as scheduled. On Saturday, daughter Sandy and I drove from my brother in laws in Scottsdale to downtown Phoenix to meet brother Dave (selb3) for lunch and go to the expo for package pickups. Dave was there as a coach for Team in Training. At the expo, we met up with mc. We had a nice chat. It's nice to put a face with another of our cyber group. mc is as nice as he is fast. Saturday, we got to the parking and starting area without any problem. It was a nice day for a race, the temperature was probably in the mid 50s for the start of the half and about 65 when we finished. Sandy and I watched the wheelers start the marathon and went to our respective corrals for the half. The half and full had separate, point to point, courses with their start and finish lines close to each other. The wave start by corrals was the smoothest that I have experienced in any of the larger races I've been in. I did not feel crowded at all and was able to immediately start at the pace I wanted. Sandy reported the same for her corral. Other than finish, my main goal was to match or beat my Detroit time of 2:02:58. My second goal was to break 2 hours. I couldn't help but think about my PR of 1:57:46 as a third goal. My ancient GPS will only display one item of information other than time. Usually, I select distance but this time I selected average pace since there would be mile markers and I could estimate distance from pace and time. A few hundred yards after starting, I looked down to see a pace of 8:40. I immediately backed off a bit with the goal of keeping it closer to 9:00 knowing that, since I'd be doing a bit of weaving and not hitting tangents that I'd cover a little extra distance and therefore the pace would be more than what my GPS said. I got into a zone and just plodded along without seeing much other than the pavement about 15 feet in front of me and the runners near me. I was aware of, and encouraged by, many of the bands and cheer groups. I was able to keep the GPS average pace between about 8:55 and 9:00 most of the time. When it would read 9:00 I would try to push just a bit harder. I saw most of the mile markers and hit the splits button. I missed a few but knew from the time that I had just passed them so got splits for approximate miles that way. At the start, the 2 hour pace group was in my corral and I sort of tucked in behind them. Sometimes I was as much as 50 yards back and sometimes I was even with the pacer. In the early and middle part of the race, I wondered if I could pull ahead of them without overexerting myself but it didn't feel like I should follow through on the idea. Then, somewhere around mile 10, I realized they weren't in front of me any more. As I got into miles 10 and 11, I felt that I had 2 hours in the bag as long as I didn't have anything go wrong and it didn't. Even though there were a lot of people in the finish area, getting water, finisher's medal, and chip removed went smoothly due to good organization. Leaving the finish area, I saw my wife, Ann, brother in law, Al, and sister in law Donna handing out food at one of the tables. Not too much later, Sandy finished and was happy with her race. She said she felt worse during the race than at Detroit but recovered more quickly after finishing. During the race, Dave had called Sandy. He ran about 14 miles of the full with one of his team then went cross country for about half a mile to catch the half course about mile 8. At that time Sandy was at about mile 10. Even though Dave's fast, he wasn't going to catch her before the end. Sandy ended up 7491/20285 OA and 371/1133 in her AG (18-24). Dave finished the half course encouraging some of his runners, ran back several miles on the full course to cheer on some more there, then ran in with one of his team. He estimated he got in about 30 miles for the day. Checking my GPS later, I got paces for the approximate miles of 8:53, 8:51, 8:53, 8:59, 9:09, 9:06, 9:07, 8:53, 8:55, 9:06, 8:50, 8:56, and 8:55. We ended the race related part of our trip by having breakfast with Dave on Monday. The rest of our visit with Al and Donna was a lot of fun. Between the race, the nice AZ weather, and the visiting, it was a great trip. TomS
      Tom - nice race and delightful race report! You did a great job of pacing yourself, and it sounds like you had a great time. Congratulations on breaking 2 hours!

      Sue Running is a mental sport...and we're all insane! Anonymous

        Nice race, Tselbs! Sounds like a well-run event and always neat how you run with family. (Dave sure put in the miles, wow!) Thanks for the write up and congratulations on the sub-2!!

          Hi Tom, Thanks for the thorough RR, and congratulations on a greta job of achieving your goals in the Half. You ran a terrific race with nice, even splits, and earned your sub-2 and the nice improvement over last October's half. It's also nice that you got to spend time with family, and that so many in your family found different ways to participate in the race. Jay

          Without ice cream there would be darkness and chaos.

          Back on Stride

            Great race, Tom, and way to run that consistent pace. But you make it sound so easy, I should think that you have an easy PR on the horizon if you pick another flat-n-fast course. Maybe later this year? By the way, there's a new HM this year right in my back yard (almost literally): The Brooksie Way on Oct. 5. Unfortunately, I wouldn't call it a PR course since there are some notable elevation changes. But it would be less crowded and easier to get to than Detroit. They've even got a deal to register for the Crim and the HM both for $75.

            Doug, Runnin' in Rochester, MI

              Great race. It sounds like you had an overall excellent trip. (I was hoping to say hello to you on Saturday at the Freeze Your Fanny 5k but I have a meeting down in Flint that morning, so maybe next time.)

              And so it goes

                yeah tom! nice pacing, great time, fantastic finish position! i'm glad that you and sandy had such a good time with the race and the logistics... lots can go wrong in these huge events, but i think they pulled off another successful one this year. it was great to chat for a while at the expo. hope we cross paths again. and pass along a "way to go" to dave for me... that's a nice day's mileage... and it's fantastic that he helped his runners so much and so unselfishly! come back next year. Smile
                  Nothing like a nice even pace to get you to the finish as fast as possible. Congratulations on breaking two hours! It sounds like you and your daughter each had a good time and ultimately that is the most important criteria for judging a good race.

                  Live like you are dying not like you are afraid to die.

                  Drunken Irish Soda Bread and Irish Brown Bread this way -->


                    Sounds like you had a great weekend. My first full was with PF Chang's with TNT. Loved the weather and course. Hope to see your brother at a TNT event again.

                      Smile It was a great event, and very nice to see Tom and Sandy. Got to meet mcsolar99 too. Tom and Sandy both did great. Tom's spouse also worked the finish area, along with her brother and sister-in-law. Yup, put in lots of miles, finally not sore, but still feeling pretty tired at the end of the day. Munch - I am sure we will meet up again at another event! Dave
                        mc is as nice as he is fast.
                        Tom, Wait a minute. Someone else just posted, "mc is as nice in person as he is here." So which is it? Hey, nice run. You beat my Seattle time by 21 minutes. But you weren't carrying someone else's personal gear including jacket, spike heels, makeup kit, gels, snacks, car keys, sunglasses, tissues, and what-have-you. Dark Horse
                        I'm a dark horse, running on a dark race course.
                          Tom, excellent race and report! How wonderful to run with family. Smile Thanks for sharing your experience.

                            Tom, I'm with Doug. You make it sound so easy! congratulations on your sub-2. Was this the race you were a little hesitant about at first? I'm so happy it all worked out so well. congratulaions to Sandy & Dave too.
                              Way to go Tom! I had to look twice before I realized that you really did travel all the way to Phoenix to run. It definitely sounds like it was well worth the trip. Excellent race. You'll have to go back next year when you move up to a new division. You should have a good shot at top 10% then. Congratulations, Jim
                              Age 60 plus best times: 5k 19:00, 10k 38:35, 10m 1:05:30, HM 1:24:09, 30k 2:04:33
                                Great Job Tselbs very even pace. Staying with a plan is sometimes difficult but you nailed it pretty good. Now back to reality and colder weather Shocked

                                Chumbawamba: I get knocked down But I get up again You're never going to keep me down