Tucson Marathon Race Report

JonRoig.com | Posted: 2006-12-11 00:54:02 | 5748 hits | View in Hi-Fi Mode

In the eternal marathon battle of Las Vegas vs. Tucson -- they're on the same weekend -- this time Tucson won out. Having lived in Tucson for five years while I attended the University of Arizona and got started in the working world, returning was a nice little trip down memory lane. It's been awhile...

Of course, a lot has changed. The city got bigger. The UofA campus got more dense, although a lot of the quirks and oddities remained.

Tucson is a smaller marathon. I heard rumors that there were 1500 marathon runners... I dunno if that's true, but it was a small enough that they could bus us all the way to Oracle to drop us off to begin the race. From there, we had to run back to the El Conquistator hotel, way off at the base of some mountains that seemed impossibly far away.

Anyway, I did get a new record time of 3:36:15, a pace of 8:15/mile. While I am happy with that -- heck, I'm happy whenever I finish a marathon -- I really should've done a lot better.

Check out these splits:
Half Marathon 1:41:24 pace: 7:31
21.5 Mile: 2:29:34 pace: 6:58

Had I continued at that pace, I would've made Boston. Things got pretty ugly in the last 5 miles -- it took over an hour. Me and some dude, Steve, pretty much pulled each other through that brutal last last little bit. Talk about hitting the wall.

Going into this race, I wasn't so sure how prepared I was. I've been doing long runs and whatnot on the weekends, but since it's dark when I'm not at work during the week I've just been doing uninspiring roadwork with the dog.

So, next up will probably be PF Changs in five weeks. If I came that close last time, I think I have a pretty good sense of what needs to be done. I've been doing lots of night time runs through the park in the last week or two with a headlamp on. I see lots of eyes glowing in the darkness around me, but I proceed on the assumption that they're the rabbits I see out there during the day.

It's a lot more fun than just tooling around the lake or going up and down the canals. Don't get me wrong, I like that stuff... but running around in the park at night has been a lot of fun. I get a lot of variety, that's for sure.

I think I've trained the dog... although I still have a bunch of work to do with him. He really is a different dog. Now he's really good about sticking around next to me and not pulling me all over the place. I think our runs are going to be a lot more fun.

The Tucson course was pretty windy, but mostly downhill as promised. A lot of it was on highway shoulders and there really weren't very many spectators out there at all. In fact, officially, they were banned from most of the course.

Overall, it went by pretty fast. I fell in with a pack that kind of helped to break the wind and keep up the pace. Eventually, we just kind of fell apart and got all strung out along the course. The weather was perfect, temperature-wise, anyway.

I stayed at the El Conquistador, so all I had to do was walk up a hill and I was back in the room and into the bathtub. Seems like a nice enough place... very, very convenient if you're going to do that run.


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