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Tucson Marathon Race Recap

This recap took me a bit to write, not because I didn’t want to write it, but because I was honestly pretty disappointed about how the whole race went down. I was just bummed. This was my goal race this year and I knew my training was solid to hit sub-4, which is what I wanted. After Santa Clarita my confidence was boosted and I was really excited about this race. We took off to head to Arizona on Friday and I was feeling good. My legs were good, my mind was in the right place and I was ready to run. After picking up our bibs on Saturday I was really ready to go and couldn’t wait for the next morning. It was a very, very small expo and we were in and out in less than 20 minutes. I didn’t buy anything but we looked around for a bit. We had lunch at SmashBurger which was super good, I wish we had a closer one back home.

It was decent weather in Tucson and though it was going to be a cold morning, I was prepared with ample clothes and mittens. I knew I would have to bundle up as I don’t do as well in cooler weather, so I made sure to pack extra.



I laid out all my clothes the evening before and we had a delicious lasagna to carb load up for the race. The morning of the race I changed my mind and decided to wear a heavier black jacket instead of my purple top and I was so glad I did. We drove back into Tucson and parked to board the buses that would take us to the top of Mt. Lemmon, where the race started. It was a pretty long drive but I was feeling pretty good and was happy to be on a warm bus. We left the bus with 30 minutes to the start to hit up the portapotties before the race. While we were waiting in line at the portapotties snow flurries were coming down. I couldn’t believe it! The wind was whipping around but I was still feeling confident. We finally got out of the bathroom line and headed to the start where there wasn’t even a banner or anything that said start line and the horn went off and off we went. It was a pretty boring start but I was ready to go at that point so I was glad we didn’t wait around a long time.

We started towards the very back of the pack because we didn’t think that weaving more toward the front was worth it. The first 5 miles were relatively hilly and it was pretty cold. I was feeling good and our splits were right around 9:13-9:22, exactly where I wanted to be for the first half of the race. At mile 5, I really had to go to the bathroom so I told Mary Kate to keep running and I would catch up. What I thought would be a quick stop ended up being much longer, but I was thinking that this was hopefully the only stop I would be making and on I went. Unfortunately at mile 7.5 I had to stop again. I felt really good and picked up the pace a bit to see if I could catch Mary Kate and did right before mile 10. Then it was a very long, very hilly and killer out and back section where we both struggled, but I was glad to be together. At the end of the out and back, I had to stop again and this time it was for a lot longer that I wanted to stop for. That’s when I realized that I wouldn’t be hitting my goal this race. My stomach was just not happy and I was already feeling pretty miserable.

Mile 1 – 8:56
Mile 2- 9:15
Mile 3 – 9:19
Mile 4 – 8:40
Mile 5 – 8:10
Mile 6 – 13:45
Mile 7 – 8:20
Mile 8 – 8:45
Mile 9 – 8:17
Mile 10 – 8:08
Mile 11 – 9:42
Mile 12 – 9:28
Mile 13 – 10:25
Mile 14 – 17:50

Right after this stop it also dropped quite a bit in temperature and I put my hood on for at least the next 10 miles. I was so cold! I continued on but didn’t push the pace and to be honest, I felt pretty defeated. I was so ready to go and then had the usual stomach issues. I was hopeful that MK was having a great race and way out in front of me. I just counted down the miles and ran/walked each mile. At a time when I was feeling most defeated, around mile 18, I found some random guy that I started chatting it up with and he pulled me right along which was awesome. I ran with him until mile 23 when I unfortunately met back up with Mary Kate who was also having a tough day. We walked until the last .5 of a mile and then ran in together.

Mile 15 – 9:10
Mile 16 – 10:22
Mile 17 – 9:28
Mile 18 – 10:50
Mile 19 – 11:07
Mile 20 – 10:53
Mile 21 – 9:52
Mile 22 – 9:51
Mile 23 – 11:07
Mile 24 – 15:20
Mile 25 – 16:43
Mile 26 – 13:26
Mile .37 – 4:44

tucson-marathon-finish-linetucson-marathon-course-photoI was glad that we were able to finish the race together, even though we both had rough days out on the course. I’m also pretty glad that I didn’t quit when I really wanted to. After mile 14, I was just done. My legs were tired, and I just never got that feeling that it was go time, well besides being go time in the bathroom. As soon as I knew that it wasn’t going to be my day I really wanted to call B and have him pick me up. I knew that I’d be out there for a while. I’m glad I stuck with it though and finished because I think I would have been even more disappointed if I quit.

It was a hard race, but at the end of the day I was still able to cross the finish line and even though it makes me angry right now, I know in a few days I’ll be able to get over it and the medal is actually pretty cool. I was also VERY happy that B came to this race, and it was his first marathon he was able to come too, I just wish that I had a better race.

tucson-marathon-finish-bdAs for the course, I honestly wouldn’t run it again. It was pretty rough and VERY barren in both spectators and scenery. It was somewhat pretty and thankfully they did have quite a few portapotties but it was not one that I would run again, maybe because I also had a rough day. Either way, number 11 is done!



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