Home > 1/2 Marathon, Rock 'N' Roll > Running a 2:40 in the Desert

Running a 2:40 in the Desert

Went down to Arizona with my friend Chris for the Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon 2011. The drive down didn’t take very long and we saw a lot of great sights on the way. Went to the hotel but stayed at a friend’s house instead, she was really nice about everything. Went to bed right away and left in the morning right away. It was a couple miles away. Got there really early, went to get my stuff in the morning and just walked around for an hour. I watched the marathoners start and then went to my corral and waited for the “gun” to start. I walked up many corrals so I would be right near the 2:30 pacer. The gun went off and we were on the way.

I don’t remember that much that happened because I was really focused on running a good time. I just remembered that the course was one of the flattest that I’ve seen so far. I kept up with a pacer for a few miles and then went ahead of her, didn’t see her again. I remember a lot of people being on the course around me, in front of me, in back of me, everywhere the entire time, not too many gaps in people.

I cramped really badly at the mile 12 marker. My calf pulled in, then out, then in, and out, and I almost face planted in the asphalt. I was half a second and a little balance off scaring a lot of people. After that, I just went to the side and stood there for a minute. It was one of the scariest moments that I’ve had at one of these events and since I’ve been exercising. I guess it deserves a few more words but that’s all I have. It was pretty scary. Really scary. I can see why when an elite runner gets a cramp running they fall to the ground. The whole muscle gives out and your legs give out too. Wasn’t the same feeling as a regular cramp that you’re used to where it contracts and goes away ten-fifteen seconds later.

I was pretty bummed at that point and didn’t think that I could make the 2:30 so I kind of gave up. I recalculated my time really quick somehow and found that I actually could make a 2:39 still so I tried as hard as I could to keep running but I couldn’t keep up. Right when I started up, every part of my body was wearing down. At the end they always tell you it’s mental and this time it definitely was. Physically, I wasn’t there but I could have made it if I had the mentality for it. Mentally, I couldn’t do it at that point which makes sense because the week before I ran the most I’ve ever run (10.4 miles).

As I told a few people afterward, when you’re sitting on the side you see that it sucks and that, oh you have a more, you’re young, etc. And that’s absolutely true but after a little over 2 1/2 hours of running in the Arizona sun and you miss a 2:30 which you’ve been working for since last July (5 1/2 months) by 43 seconds, it hurts. Just another “Awww” moment. I’m getting a lot better at these so I’m not worried, I’ll definitely get it in the summer. Not much else to say.

Stood out in the sun for a few hours after that, ate subway right before the 10E freeway, and made our way back to California. Staid up for a little bit but went to bed because I had school that morning.

[I thought I would have a lot more to say but not much happened. I got my best time 2:40:43 but I was so involved with that, I guess I don’t remember anything else. It was still a great run.]

[Original post date: January 16, 2011]

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