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PF Chang's Rock n Roll Marathon

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Member Since:

Jul 23, 2007



Goal Type:

Boston Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

5K: 22:15 (January 2005);
10K-48:40 (November 2005)
Half-marathon: 1:50:25 (, March 2006);
Marathon: 3:54:16 (January 2006)

Short-Term Running Goals:


Finish half marathon in January 2010

Run consistently

Lose pregnancy weight + 10 pounds 



Long-Term Running Goals:

Complete an Ironman triathlon; run the Comrades Marathon in South Africa (55 miles)
Marathon: sub 3:30
Half marathon: sub 1:40
10K: sub 42 minutes
5K: sub 21 minutes

Find out what my potential is and reach it.


I've been running since high school (mid-1990s) and do pretty well when I'm focused on a goal. My main problem  is running consistently when I'm NOT training for something specific. I'm an attorney, and I've been married to my husband, also a runner, for 5 1/2 years. We live in Phoenix, Arizona.  We had a beautiful baby girl, Caroline, in August 2009.

Russian champion tries Crocs, commits to racing a marathon in them

Nikolay Chavkin in the video below did 3x1000, first two in Adidas carbon-fiber models, the last one in Crocs. Surprised by the result (2:52, 2:52, 2:50) with the fastest interval done in Crocs, he committed to racing a marathon in Crocs if the video gets 42K likes and 195 comments (for 42 km 195 m, the marathon distance). Nikolay's current marathon PR is 2:14:00. The video was created by a Russian sporting goods store chain. Their moto is "more sports - brighter life", which we think is wonderful, and also deserves a Like. If you want to see a fast marathon in Crocs, go to the video and click the Like button. And make sure to share it with your friends.

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
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Today is a beautiful day.  It's about 60 degrees out, and I wore shorts and a tank top (new running clothes that I bought with my Christmas money).  The streets were deserted.  The running felt very easy, and I'm starting to get very excited about the race.  I won't know what to do with all the time on my hands, though, during the taper!  I have to force myself not do overdo it.

Total time was 47:31, a 9:30 pace.  Mile splits were 9:30, 9:34, 9:38, 9:38, and 9:13.

Time to make blackeyed peas!  Happy New Year!  5 miles down, 2003 to go!

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I hate tapering!  I feel so unmotivated that I turn into a sloth!  I had every intention of running tonight.  Last night, we drove to my husband's brothers house to pick up a FREE treadmill that his wife is "letting us borrow indefinitely."  I was SO EXCITED to get a treadmill.  Everything worked fine at their house, except the display and the incline.  It was set at a permanent incline, but somehow we got everything working there.  So we loaded it up and brought it home.

Tonight I was planning 5 miles with 2 miles at race pace, and I thought I would try out the new treadmill.  Lo and behold, the incline AND the display were broken again!  I got some phone books to prop up the back so it would be flat, but I have no idea how to get the display working.  By then, I was so frustrated that I decided to just call it a night.  I spent the evening on the computer setting up the Mvelopes system (very cool budget tool-I am determined to quit blowing so much money this year!).  Tomorrow I'll just plan on running outside.  It was 71 degrees here today!

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Tonight's run was a real struggle.  I planned on running 7, but once I got out there, I knew it was not going to happen.  I had a cramp in my side for most of the run.  The plan was to start easy and finish with 2 miles at race pace.  I did it (kind of), but none of it felt easy.  This happened during my last marathon taper.  I had some crappy workouts.  I crashed and burned at the race, but still ran a 17-minute PR.  So hopefully by tomorrow I will have put this run out of my mind.

Total time: 47:30, average pace: 9:30.  Mile splits: 9:35, 9:40, 9:51, 9:15, 9:08.  Blah!

I haven't decided my goal for the race yet.  I think I could PR if I go all out (sub-3:54:16), but I don't know if I want to do that.  I take a very long time to recover from marathons, and I have a lot of work ahead of me if I want to qualify for Boston by June.  I think I might pace my friend, whose goal is to break 4:00, and that would be a great race for me.  But my biggest goal will be to not hit the wall.  I think I would be ecstatic to finish in just under 4:00 and still feeling good.  We shall see...

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Today's run was harder than it should have been.  I am just psyching myself out too much for the race.  After today, NO MORE WATCH until the race.  It was perfect racing weather: 55 degrees and cloudy.  I hope it's like this next weekend.

For some reason, I decided to run a little faster today.  I think I was hoping to emulate my awesome run on Christmas Eve, but it didn't quite happen.  Today I ran from my house to my office building and back.  Total time was 1:37:20, a 9:29 average pace.  Mile splits: 9:29, 9:37, 9:23, 9:23, 9:36, 9:35, 9:28, 9:33, 9:30, 9:26, and 9:03 for the last .26.  I'm surprised that mile 2 was the slowest mile.  The run back felt much harder, but it's a long, very gradual uphill, so that probably made a difference.

Has anyone had a massage after a marathon?  My friend has a free gift card to Massage Envy, so we're thinking about going in the afternoon after the race.  I think it would help my recovery.

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OK, this marathon needs to happen already!  I started running on our new old treadmill, but it just wasn't happening tonight.  I felt a little sick to my stomach, and I just wasn't into it.  The treadmill is a little weird, too.  You adjust the speed with a dial that takes you from fat-burning to cardio to aerobic zones, etc.  I turned it to the speed I wanted, but it kept changing as I was running.  Maybe I'll get on it again a little later.  The night is young...

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Tonight I ran with my husband-fun!  We both left the watches at home, which was nice.  We did 5 pickups during the run.  They were supposed to be 30-60 seconds each, but, with no watch, we just winged it.  It was a nice, easy, no-pressure run.

I'm starting to get ready for my friend's family's arrival from Seattle.  She is bringing her sweet little girl and her good-sport husband.  Both of our husbands are good sports, because we just talk nonstop when we are together and are oblivious to everything else.  Her husband and daughter will be our cheering section!

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OK, there is something seriously wrong with my treadmill.  I ran a mile at my normal pace, and it felt like a tempo mile!  I think the treadmill is pretty old, and maybe the belt sticks or something.  My husband took a picture of me running (I don't know why he thought it was so novel-I run every day!), and it is awful!  I'm horribly hunched over (something I thought I only do late in a race) and I look like a fat cow!  I know the camera adds 10 pounds but MAN!  Time for Weight Watchers again!  Ha-just kidding!

This has been a weird week.  For every other marathon I have run, I have been able to really focus on the race for the entire week before.  This week has been CRAZY at work, and I have been very mentally challenged every day, to the point where there is nothing left when I come home.  I have enough work to last through the weekend, but I'm taking the weekend to enjoy with my friend and focus on the race.

I'll do one more run, tomorrow or Saturday, enjoy the expo on Saturday, and kick some butt on Sunday!

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I am very busy with work today and have lots to do before my friend arrives tonight, so I don't know if I will be able to squeeze in a run. 

I went online and printed out confirmation cards for race registration for me, my husband, and my friend.  We all said 3:40 would be our finish goal, so we could start in the same corral (goal is now just sub-4:00).  I got an email from someone at Elite Racing the other day, saying that, based on my projected finish time, I am one of the top 40 Phoenix-area runners, I get a special racing number, and I start in Corral 1!  HAHAHAHAHA!  Now, 3:40 is a good time, but I know it's not even close to top 40 in the Valley!  I don't want to start with all the fast, superskinny people!  It would be fun to have a special racing number, though.

This, and the erroneous reporting of a 1:25 half...I think it's a sign that I am meant to run superfast!

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Two easy miles with my friend.  Now it's off to the expo!

Race: PF Chang's Rock n Roll Marathon (26.2 Miles) 04:30:04, Place in age division: 190
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Not the best running day for me (actually, one of the worst!).  I'm still very upset about my performance and probably more upset about the fact that I have no idea what went wrong.  My friend is still here and leaving tomorrow, so I will wait until then to do a full race report.  Also, it will be easier to write when the emotions have calmed down.  :-)

Monday: OK, here's the full report.  It was a beautiful day with perfect running weather (about 45 degrees at the start).  The race has grown tremendously since I last ran it two years ago.  The lines for the shuttles to the start were very long, so we didn't get to the start area until 20 minutes before the race started.  Once we checked our gear, we had to line up in the corrals (I started in corral 3, not corral 1, even though I had an "elite" number-oh, the irony!).  So, no warm-up, no stretching, and no time for a snack or water.  I wasn't too worried, because marathon pace is usually slow enough to not get injured.  Looking back, though, this was out of the ordinary.  I have always jogged enough to at least break a sweat and stretch before a marathon.  Maybe this was a contributing factor to my catastrophic race???

My goal was to shoot for 3:54 or better (a PR), sub 9:00 pace throughout, or just under 4:00 (9:09 pace) as my fallback goal.  From the very beginning, I felt fine, but not great.  Mile 1 was 9:06.  I wasn't too worried because it was VERY crowded.  Also, Frank Shorter, Khalid Khannouchi, and Bernard (forgot last name), and our governor saw us off.  They were up on the arch over the start line.  It was very cool!

Miles 2 and 3 were 9:12 and 9:14.  Water stations were very crowded and probably slowed me down a bit.  I felt a little worried, though, because I was slowing down already.  I saw friends (spectators) at mile 1.5, so that was fun.  The crowd was fun too, as were the bands.

Miles 4-6 were 8:58, 9:04, and 8:58.  I crossed the 10K mark less than a minute off 3:54 pace.  I was starting to feel better and enjoy myself more.  The course was still very crowded but had thinned out enough to where I was comfortable.

Miles 7-9: 9:05, 8:59, and 9:03.  There was a slight uphill, followed by a slight downhill at mile 8.  At that point, the course is going through a beautiful upscale neighborhood with TONS of spectators.  I felt great at that point, but still not able to go faster.  At that point, I adjusted my goal to just breaking 4 hours.

Mile 10 was 9:09 with a long, very slight uphill.  Miles 11 and 12 were 9:19 and 9:00.  At this point, I was starting to get a little concerned.  I felt OK, but I wasn't running as fast as I had expected and was a little worried about keeping up this pace later in the race.  Mile 13 was 9:05, and I crossed the halfway point at 1:59:22, still on pace.

Near the halfway point, I saw someone out of the corner of my eye and though to myself, "That looks like my dad."  It was my dad!  And my sister and her husband!  They hadn't told me they were coming to watch-I wasn't expecting to see them until the finish!  What a great surprise.  I cried a little bit after I passed them.

Then, bad things started to happen.  Inexplicably, I just started getting slower and slower.  One other thing I forgot to mention: I took a Gu every 4 miles and drank a sports drink every time an aid station had it, which was often.  Earlier in the race, though, I had been more thirsty than normal.  By the time I got to each aid station (almost 1 per mile), I was thirsty.  This has never happened, and I'm not sure why it happened this time.  I hydrated well in the days before the race, or so I thought.  With all the gu and sports drink, I should have been taking in plenty of fuel.

Anyway, I digress.  Miles 14-17 were 9:22, 9:25, 10:30, and 11:09.  By this time, I was feeling horrible.  I hadn't hit the wall, but obviously my pace had slowed way down.  I was very worried because I had a long way to go.  I have never started feeling bad that early in a marathon.  I had a little pity party in my head (not good, I know).  After I passed the mile 17 mile marker, I stopped to stretch, and I completely broke down, sobbing uncontrollably.  Since so much of running is mental, I know this probably contributed to my poor performance.  I finally got control of myself and started running again (it was probably about a minute).  The stretching helped for a little while.

Things just got worse from there.  Every step hurt worse than the last.  Miles 18-20 were 12:28, 10:41, and 12:05.  My family was at mile 20 (again, unexpectedly), and I had another meltdown when I saw them (and having another one now as I write...).  My sister saw my distress and ran with me for a minute.  She was very encouraging and said all the right things, but they were not much help at that point.  She reminded me that I would still beat her marathon time by a good hour plus-ha!.  She is the best sister ever.

After that, the only thing that kept me going was seeing my husband and family and friend at the finish.  I also have never dropped out of a race and knew I would regret it forever if I did.  The t-shirt is cool, and I wanted to be able to wear it.  :-)

The remaining miles were the most brutal I have ever "run."  I walked through all the aid stations.  I took my last gu at about 20 or 21 miles.  My stomach started to feel a little full, and I wasn't so thirsty anymore (weird???).  Miles 21-26 were 10:43, 11:25, 13:00, 13:42 (overpass), 13:16, and 11:47.  The 4:15 pace group passed me, and I tried to keep up, but I couldn't.  As I got to 25, I thought I would try and break 4:30.  I ran the last .2 at 9:47 pace, and according to Garmin, got down to 6:36.  I sprinted to the finish, but not in time to beat 4:30.

I think I saw my dad near the finish, but I'm not sure.  As soon as I crossed the finish line, the floodgates burst, and I was a mess.  I'm really embarrassed about it now, because the whole world saw me bawling.  At least I was wearing sunglasses.  :)  I skipped the picture at the end (me and the medal).  Some well-wishers tried to give me some tips, but I just felt insulted (bad attitude, I know).  I guess no one would have ever know it was my 4th marathon, though, by the way I was carrying on.

Interestingly, my husband also started feeling bad at mile 14.  We did't run any of the race together.  He finished way ahead of me, but 10-15 slower than expected.

So now the questions begin: what happened to me?!?!  I know my training wasn't perfect, but I ran more miles consistently than ever before.  My last 20-miler happened without a hitch and no soreness.  Thinking about it now, there were some little things (some of which I have already mentioned) that, combined, might have created the perfect storm of a horrible race.  One important thing to mention is that I NEVER WALKED, except through aid stations.  And the brief stretching stop at mile 17.  I never "hit" the wall.  It was more of a gradual deterioration.  I have hit the wall only once before, to where I could not run another step.  If I felt so bad, why didn't I hit the wall?  And how was I able to sprint to the finish?  Based on my training and recent race times, I really don't think I went out too fast.

Some of the things I did differently were: a 2-week taper (last 2 marathons were 4-week tapers), less time at the start (see above), and sushi for dinner the night before (normal dinner the night before a long run, but this was the first time I had it the night before a marathon.  Not enough carbs in the rice?).  Also, the previous work week was very intense.  I didn't work super-long hours, but the week was mentally taxing.  I got plenty of sleep, though, until Friday night (restless sleep for 6 hours) and Saturday night (just under 7 hours).  I loved having my friend and her husband and 17-month old daughter stay with us, but maybe the routine upheaval was too much for my husband and me.  I ate a lot of good carbs last week, too.  Normally, before a marathon, I spend a LOT of time mentally preparing for the race.  With the crazy work week and friends in town, it just didn't happen this time.  Another consideration: I am 8 pounds heavier now than I was in my last two marathons.  I weigh more than I would like, but I am not overweight.  In isolation, these seem like little things, certainly not enough to be 30 minutes off my goal.

I'm still really emotional today.  I got to work, my boss asked me how it went, and I melted down again!  Luckily, I work with very great, supportive people, and my boss handled the meltdown very well.  It's a small and close-knit enough office that everyone knows everything about each other.

If anyone is still reading this race report that turned into a novel (ha!), I would love to hear constructive criticism and opinions of what went wrong here.  I need to pick up the pieces, learn from this experience, and move on.  Boston 2009 is calling my name, and I need to be there!  Thanks to everyone who left me encouraging comments yesterday!  They really helped.

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I'm still not quite ready to run yet.  Most of the upper-body soreness has gone away, but the lower body is still really sore.  I wore heels to work today but changed into my speedo shower shoes as soon as I got there!  Work is really busy right now, and I'm glad to have several days to devote entirely to work.

THANK YOU so much to everyone who posted such encouraging comments on my LOOONG marathon report.  You have no idea how much each one helped.  It put the race into perspective.  Yes, I fell apart and ran a horrible race by my standards, but I also kept going under extreme physical and emotional distress.  That's something!

Emotionally, I am 90% better.  This will be the first year that I run more than one marathon a year, and I'm excited to increase the volume of my training and see where it takes me when I train like this long-term. 

It's too early to tell which marathon I will run next (Eugene or San Diego), but I have a half marathon in 7 weeks.  It's time for a PR!

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OK, I'm back.  Tonight was my first run since the marathon.  I ran slowly with a friend, and we chatted the whole time, which was fun (and a good indicator of an easy pace).  It felt fine, with the exception of slight left hip and groin pain.  I sprinted at the very end, which also hurt more than it should.  So, I'm obviously not completely recovered yet.

It's racing season down here, and there are so many races coming up.  I have to stay focused on my March half, though.  I'm tempted to do a 10K in a few weeks.  I really hate 10Ks, so I rarely do them, but I probably should do it to see what kind of shape I'm in.  I know I am in much better shape than what my marathon time reflected....

Tomorrow I'll do 5 miles a little faster and see how I feel.

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I am SO not recovered yet!!!  I always forget how long it takes to recover from a marathon: at least I hope that's the explanation for my SLOW pace.

It was a beautiful evening for a run: high 50s, and still light outside when I started!  I felt very fresh for the first two miles, then just normal, then pretty tired toward the end.  I also started getting random aches and pains.

Total time was 57:30, a 10:20 average-yikes! 

The plan is 20 miles this week, 30 next week, and hopefully after that I'll be back up to 40+.  I thought I'd be able to recover more quickly, but it doesn't seem to be happening.  Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow.

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Holy motivation!

I have lost my stride since the marathon.  This is normal for me, but I don't like it.  Lots of things have happened besides just recovery, but nothing earth-shattering, but life is becoming more busy. 

Work has become more intense and busier in the last few months, and I am realizing that this is just how it is going to be.  It is not going to let up.  It's not that the hours are super-long (10 hours per day, max), but I feel mentally drained and lethargic by the end of the day.  However, I feel very blessed that I love my job so much.  I wouldn't trade it for something less stressful at this point in my life.

But, the running.  Part of my issue is, since my performance in the marathon was so far below my expectations, that I feel like I have such a long way to go.  I have missed it.

I have said it before: I have to get used to running in the mornings!  I know I'll feel better and be more consistent if I get it out of the way first.

Has anyone run either Rock n Roll San Diego or the Eugene marathon?  I have run San Diego, but I was in so much pain that I don't remember the course (my first marathon)!  Which course is faster?


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Tonight I ran 5 easy miles, although they didn't feel that easy, probably because this was my first run in a week, and maybe there is still some lingering marathon soreness.  My knees and IT band started to hurt at about mile 3 or 4.

Today was a little cooler than normal, about 59 for the high.  By the time I got out there, it was cooler than that, and pretty windy, so I wore shorts and a long-sleeved shirt.  Phoenix people are so funny: I saw several people out in pants or shorts with tights, 2 long-sleeved layers, and gloves!!  That's what you Utah people wear when it's 10 degrees!  Yall are tough!  I'll be singing a different tune when 110 degrees this summer!

Total time was 50:06, a 10:01 pace.

I have one more day to register for Rock n Roll San Diego before the rate goes up.  What to do, what to do....

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Whew!  Still not my mantra for the week.  The good news is that nothing hurt during the run, which means I'm a little more recovered.  The bad news is...I'm still slow, slower than last night.

I had a good run, though.  I have some new music on my iPod, which made it fun.  And, after all this whining about not being recovered, guess what I did today?  I signed up for a half marathon...on Saturday!  My rationale: it was only $25, and the shirt is supposedly a very cool tech shirt.  So, this will be a "training run" that I happen to pay for, get a cool shirt, and run with other people.  I don't think I could "race" it if I tried.

I know some of you are telling me not to look at the Garmin when I run, and I didn't for the most part.  But I decided to really pick it up for the last mile, and I did: to a 10:03 mile.  :-(  This marathon recovery stuff is pretty depressing...I'm glad I got out there, though.

1:11:22, 10:12 average (snail) pace.

Later: I signed up for the Rock n Roll Marathon in San Diego!  It's on June 1.  I've never done 2 marathons this close in time before, and I'm excited to see how I will do.

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