Sunday, February 13, 2011

February 12, 2011 - Sedona Marathon

Well this weekend, I went to Sedona to run the 6th Annual Sedona Marathon.  For those of you who haven’t run in this event, I would highly recommend it.. The organizers do a great job and offer cool prizes.. The course is WICKED tough.. but the scenery is beautiful.  I ran this race last year and had surprisingly good results… Last year, I hadn’t been training much, so I came in with hopes of running around 3hrs.  I ended up winning the race and running it in 2hrs 44min… which was a course record.  Honestly, I was pretty shocked..  This year, I felt like I was in good shape, but no doubt, still recovering from being sick.  This week was my first full week back, so I didn’t know what would happen on race day.

Sedona Marathon Profile.. OUCH!!:

During my warm-up, I felt pretty good.. loose, but I had a good amount of energy. By the time, the race was ready to start, with my adrenaline finally pumping, I started thinking about the course record.  The first mile I ran with one of my running buds, Brian Tinder.  We kept it pretty relaxed and were chatting quite a bit.  Other than a gal sprinting by us in the first 200m.. then 20m later, falling back behind us.. (was she doing wind-sprints???).. we had already put some space between ourselves and the rest of the field.  At mile 2, I started to get the “itch” and decided to pick up the pace… that’s when “course record” started echoing in my mind… so I figured “what the hell”.. I might as well go for it.  I started to push the pace fairly steady.  Despite the difficulty of the course (Hill.. after Hill.. after Hill), I was able to keep my pace between 5:50/mile & 6:05/mile fairly comfortably.  By the time, I hit the dirt road section of the course, I still felt pretty solid and decided to continue the push.. Before I knew it I was at the Half Marathon in just under 1hr 19min… now for the second half of the race…

After the turnaround, I remember hitting negative splits last year and I was already ahead of last year by 4min.. so I am starting to think “sub-2hrs 40min”.. As I worked my way over the next few miles, I started to physically feel the wear-and-tear of the first 13miles.. I had also worked up quite a lead due to my fast start, so my mind started to wonder a bit.  Before I knew it, I was back on the pavement with about 9miles left to go.. still with a chance to break my record, but a sub-2hrs 40min was probably out of reach.. Also, at that point, my body was pretty tired, and I started calculating how fast I would need to run to maintain a lead..

I ended up dragging myself through the rest of the race… each hill feeling longer than the next.. I finished in 2hrs 50min and in 1st Place.  Brian held on for 3rd place and ran 2hrs 59min.. nearly 10min faster than he ran last year!!..

All in all, I was happy with the race.. Hey, a win is a win.  Now, I am looking forward to the next 6 -7 weeks of some intense Grand Canyon training…

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