Tucson Half Marathon

Three weeks ago, I ran the Tucson Half Marathon (I need to work on getting these up quicker…). This was our fourth time running it; Janee has done the half all four years and I ran the full in 2008 (5th overall, 2:44) to qualify for Boston. I ran the half in 2009 and 2010, and I happened to win it in 1:13 last year. That was sort of a surprise because the winning time the year before that was 1:05 haha. You never know who is (or isn’t) going to show up! This is a fun end-of-year, relatively small race – and the downhill course is a plus!

I had no idea what to expect going into it this year, being only three weeks after Ironman Arizona. I was almost certain I was still recovering but I felt pretty good. Although, I had only run 5-6 times since IMAZ…So I decided to go out and just see what happened. I had talked to Derek Delancey earlier in the week (see azparentsontherun.com) and he said a few of them (Brett’s Banditos I assume) were shooting for 1:13. I would have been stoked to run the same time as last year, considering IMAZ, so I went with them in the beginning to test the legs.

Here are the splits – keep in mind this is not from a Garmin and is based solely on the course’s mile markers:

1 – 5:14 (haha, yeah right)
2 – 5:34 (10:47)
3 – 5:40 (16:28)
4 – 5:34 (22:02)
5 – 5:33 (27:35)
6 – 5:38 (33:13)
7 – 5:48 (39:01)
8 – 5:28 (44:29)
9 – 5:52 (50:20)
10+11 – 12:03 (1:02:23)
12 – 5:48 (1:08:11) – has only uphill in the race
13 – 5:51 (1:14:02)
13.1 – 00:32 (1:14:34)

Obviously, the first mile marker was placed early. I suspect that was fixed somewhere in the 10th or 11th mile since that split looks slow considering all of the other miles.

Truth is, I had no business running in the 5:30s! My decision to continue trying to run sub 5:40s after the first two or three miles was based on last year’s experience. The first mile was around 5:36 or so and I thought, ‘ha, well that’s not gonna last.’ But, it did. Since this course is downhill, it can make you do things you didn’t think you were in shape to do. Being in contention for the win last year also helped, I’m sure. In this year’s case, the Ironman hit me hard. That felt like the back half of a poorly paced full marathon. The heart rate was good, but this race was very painful as far as tendons, ligaments, and muscles go. I’m lucky I held on as well as I did, and I’m very happy with a 1:14:34 finishing time to place 6th overall and 2nd in the 25-29AG.

Janee has been run training more consistently than ever so she was shooting for a PR here, which she got by three minutes! She finished in 1:41:21 (7:44/mi) and also placed 2nd in the 20-24AG. She’s training for the Lost Dutchman Marathon (her first full), which is in early February.

On to 2012!

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