Sunday, January 14, 2007

2007 PF Chang Rock n Roll Arizona - Race Report

Today is January 14th. I didn't realize how important a date that was until the night before we left for Arizona. In case you don't realize how important that date is, you can read about it here.
Don't worry, I'll be here when you get back.
Get it now? It's been exactly two years, and this just happens to be the day that I ran my first marathon! How cool is that?

But back to the marathon.
GOAL: 6 hours or less.

Yesterday I got to meet John "the Penguin "Bingham, and I shook his hand for luck. Mine, obviously not his. Now here we are at 6:39 am, in Corral 12, and I was expecting us to be herded in there by snarling men on horseback, but it was mostly slower newbies, like me hanging out and hugging each other for warmth. The bus bringing us here from the finish line, 26.2 miles away, got lost, so we wondered around for a while before finding the gathering area. We passed a bank sign that said 25 degrees.

Did you read that?


The good part of this is that this is the type of conditions in which I trained, but it was cold as hell waiting to start. I did kinda feel sorry for the tiny bird people huddled together, with their feathers all fluffed up for warmth, with their little tiny shorts and trashbags on.

Sweet Baboo is going to run with me in this race as this his first run since December 10th, about the time he was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his fooy. It was pronounced "healed" a couple days ago.

A rundown of times and events, by the mile.

First two miles - 26:04

Mile 3-13:15. We're running near the yellow line on the street, as the street is arched, and nearly flat in the middle. This was advice given to us by fellow Outlaw "Bones" MacKinzie.

mile 3 - 18:04. This was the first of Sweet Baboo's many potty breaks...I'll let you read about that on his blog. I wait for him. I take a puff off my inhaler.

mile 4 - 12:55. I start to realize that the girls and boys bundled up by the side of the route, yelling at us, are cheerleading squads. It's too damned cold for cute cheerleading outfits, I tell Sweet Baboo. I'm excited to see them. I pat my chest and gesture to myself, soliciting some extra Cheer Love, prompting lots of cheers and yells.

mile 5 - 12:49. I'm running 10 minutes and walking 5. Sweet Baboo stays along side me, chatting happily. I try to keep up my end of the conversation, only to see my heartrate shoot up every time I try to talk. Eventually, I limit my end of the conversation to grunts and mono-sullables. The sun is up, and the temperature has risen up to 35 degrees. Apparently, the coldest Phoenix has gotten in nearly 17 years.

mile 6 - 17:36. Sweet Baboo's next potty break. (I took one, too, to be fair.) I also swapped out the old socks on my hands for a pair of discarded gloves lying discarded on the sidewalk. Hey, DON'T MOCK ME; IT WAS COLD OUT THERE. Besides, I was going to put them aside when I was done with them, so they'd still wind up where all the discarded clothes go.
I take another puff of my inhaler. I'm running 10 minutes, and then walking 5 minutes. The five minutes gives me a chance to take gels, water, enduralytes, whatever.

Mile 7 - 13:17

Mile 8 - 13:09 Here, we see the a hand-lettered sign proclaiming this the second annual marathon viewing party named for the family hosting said party. This consists of a fenced yard full of people smoking, barbecuing, and drinking beer, and several loose dogs. People are lounging and chatting, and every once in a while, one looks out and yells, "Yeehaw! Y'all are looking GREAT!"

Mile 9 -13:40 This is where stuff starts hurting. Legs and feet and talking to me. Not quite barking. It's more of a growl. A rather disgruntled murmer. I take three Advil. Sweet Baboo takes another potty break, but this time encourages me to keep going, and stay by the yellow line and he'll catch up. He does, distressingly quickly.

mile 10 - 14:08 Then I got a side cramp, probably from the Advil. It's 37 degrees now.

mile 11 - 13:02 Side cramp's gone. Legs are feeling better, but it's still damned cold. Still, for some reason I cannot fathom, I toss my gloves off - maybe because I'm a slave to suggestion - to join the rest of the discarded gloves, and spend most of the rest of the race unable to feel my hands or open a pocket on my shorts without great concentration and furrowing of brow.

mile 12 - 13:37

mile 13 - 12:59 "We're halfway there," Sweet Baboo says brightly. By now, when we see a group of cheerleaders, I nod towards them and even flip up my hand in a sort of half-assed wave and try to smile. I'm too tired to solicit extra cheers.

mile 14 - 13:07. Sweet Baboo takes another Potty Break, and then catches up.

mile 15 - 14:00 We start up a long, slow incline. No a huge hill, just about a 1% incline. It nearly kicks my ass. I'm not a hill runner. Not during a marathon. Not yet.

mile 16 - 13:42

mile 17 - 14:13 I'm really starting to hit the wall here. Tired. Sluggish. But at least it's finally starting to warm up. About this point, like the car at the end of "The Blues Brothers" whose mission is complete, the zipper comes apart on my very high-quality $8 Tyvek jacket. I put it out of its misery, as it's now up over 40 degrees. I know from all my reading that this is when most people hit the wall; I just need to keep going and I'll get my second wind.

mile 18 - 14:03. I'm whipped from that long gentle incline. Ugh. but the road flattens here.
Sweet Baboo takes his sixth potty break. Somewhere along the way there was another one. He took 6 altogether, three where I waited, and three where I didn't.
I'm starting to feel a little nauseated, which means I need to drink more, so I do.

mile 19 - 14:31 We hit the miracle gel station, and I suck down a regular ClifShot and one with caffein. It's been so cold out that I have to chew them. I don't complain.

mile 20 - 13:23 Ah. Gels kick in. About this time, I find a song that I really like that's somewhat inspirational, "She's got the look."

walking like a man,
hitting like a hammer
she's a juvenile scam.
Never was a quitter
tasty like a raindrop - she's got the look.

I like the line, "never was a quitter." I will spend that last 10K of the race backing it up and listening to it repeatedly
I start to notice that the people we're running with aren't the same people. Did we pass the other people, or did we pass them?
"We passed them a while ago," Sweet Baboo says, "the marathon really begins at mile 20."

mile 21 - 13:39 I take another gel with caffein, and it continues to work its magic. An ambulance goes screaming by me. I wonder if someone collapsed on the course? I remember to tell Sweet Baboo how glad I am that he did this with me. He grins and says, "it's fun!" I wonder how many husbands run a marathon with their wives, far slower than they're capable, and say, "it's fun!"

miles 23 & 24 - 25:49 Forgot to push the button on my watch.

mile 25 - 13:36. By now, at Sweet Baboo's suggestion, I start running 15 and walking 5.

Final 1.2 miles - 15:18 As we approached the finish line, I start waiving at myself trying to get some more good Cheer Love. People answer in kind. Then, I looked at the chronograph on my watch and see that it says, 5:59:52. I grabbed Sweet Baboo's hand and we sprint to the finish line. I can't believe we sprinted in. I do think I'm going to throw up. But I'm done.

Final chip time: 5:59:54.

  • The announcer called out my name.
  • Someone handed me a bottle of water.
  • We walked over and someone put a medal around my neck.
  • Then someone handed me a mylar blanket. These things rock. They should distribute them to the homeless.
  • Then someone put a lanyard with a $10 PF Changs card around my neck.
  • Then I had my chip snipped off.
  • We had our picture taken.
  • Then someone handed me a free pair of sandals.
  • Then someone asked me if I wanted some chips or a snack.
  • Mini Baboo (my new nickname for the Jonster) meets us at the finish line and tells us that he did his half marathon in about 2:30.
Now I'm hanging out in the hotel room sucking down Mike's Hard Mika-a-Rita and Advil. I've had my hot bath/shower thing and I'm eating the potato chips they gave me at the finish.

I look at my feet. They don't look any different. They just look like my feet. So do my legs. I had this idea that when you finished something like this, you'd look different. Your legs would look like the legs of a runner - all ropy and muscley. But I still look like me.

I just don't feel like me.

I'll close with something I saw on a T-shirt once at


  1. The whole thing is pretty amazing. How far you've come in those 2 short years, how NOT lazy you certainly are, how cool it is that Sweet Baboo really is that sweet and how well you did to finish your first marathon, finishing in less than six hours! Congratulations, I hope you're still feeling alright tomorrow.

  2. Nice race. Amazing how far you've come in just 2 years. That is so incredible. Rest up and take care of yourself.

  3. Congratulations, marathon woman! Well done!!!!

  4. I just re-read more closely. Baboo ran a marathon a month after being diagnosed with a stress fracture? Regardless of pace - BAD BABOO!!! I'm pretty sure that was NOT doctor-recommended rehab!!

  5. well done! Good Job!

    I hate you!

    OK, not really. But I am extremely jealous.

  6. Great job! How funny they gave you sandals as swag, considering how cold it was. LOLOL!

    Regarding Sweet Baboo's potty breaks, are you sure he wasn't slightly hypothermic? That's an early sign, you know.

    It sounds like you had a good time, and that's what it's all about.

  7. Nancy, read again. He was diagnosed in December, and was cleared for running just before this race. He took it easy; his usual marathon pace is 9 minute miles; today he ran 13 (and higher) minute miles with me.

  8. Way to go! Congratulations!!!!

  9. Sensational. What a journey you have been on over the last two years. Congratulations on finishing your first marathon - just imagine what the next 2 will hold for you!

  10. Congratulations on a terrific race, you are a marathoner, woman!

  11. I thought of you all morning as I was on the treadmill looking out my bedroom window into the rain-drenched backyard! I hope you had fun!!! I recall mile 9 being a painful one, too.

    You are now a marathon runner!

  12. Great job and you broke 6 hours--my hero! I love the sign.

  13. He was cleared for running a *marathon* five weeks after being diagnosed with a stress fracture? Wow. He sure must heal a lot faster than I did!!! My podiatrist didn't want me running more than 1 minute at a time before about 8-10 weeks after my metatarsal stress fracture!

    Anyway, congratulations!!

  14. Congratulations! Look at all that you have conquored these past two years. Yeahoo you! Celebrate!! I imagine a 50K is in the planning?

  15. Congratulations!

    It is quite amazing how far you have come in two short years. Sweet Baboo really is a sweetheart. How cool that the announcer called out your name!

  16. You're an inspiration! Congrats!

  17. Way to break 6hrs!! Good thing Baboo didn't have one more bathroom break! Congrats.

  18. great work! hearing success stories helps ease my post-marathon suffering.

  19. CONGRATULATIONS! I got all blinky reading this - you (and SB) are my hero!

  20. Congratulations!! That was an awesome report! You really have come a long way!

  21. WTG Misty! I'm so proud of you! You make me miss running SO much!

  22. Woo hoo! You ROCK!!

  23. I found your blog through somewhere else (can't remember!) Nice job finishing the marathon, and it was an enjoyable story!


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I'm sitting here, looking out the window.  I did 3 miles this morning.  Big whoop.  After recovering from CDiff last month, I got a cold...