What: The BMO Harris Bank Mesa-Phoenix Marathon, aka The Phoenix Marathon, aka The Mesa-PHX Marathon. (There were approx 17 different hashtags associated with this race at various points — a little bit of an identity crisis, I think.) (Not to be confused with the Rock ‘N Roll Arizona race, also held in the Phoenix area.)
Where: Mesa, Arizona, just a few miles outside of Phoenix. Race started in Usery Mountain Regional Park and ended in the Mesa Riverview shopping center.
I will do a traditional race review with all the key information on this race, but in the meantime, here is a compilation of what I was thinking (approximately chronological) during the Phoenix Marathon, where I finally earned my BQ with a finish time of 3:28:56.
This blog is intended up document my running journey. The ups and the downs. I’ve tried to fight the temptation to re-touch the snapshot of my life that I provide here (although I am known to crop and filter my Instagram photos…). So here is a moment of honesty. I am running the Phoenix Marathon in seven days, and I am trying to run a Boston Marathon-qualifying time there. And, this week, I am freaking. the eff. out.
Each December, I like to sit down and write out my goals for the coming year. Last year I set several goals, outlined here. I hit many of them, including my goal to run four marathons in 2016 (I did six), go camping (check!), hike and run trails (I did that a bunch), read Move Your DNA (done), and run a marathon under 3:45 (woohoo!). A few others, not so much.
I believe that “diet” is a bad word. I believe that there’s a lot of evil happening at the hands of the diet industry and their co-conspirators (looking at you, women’s mags). I believe that our society has done a shamefully good job of teaching girls and women that they should always be “trying to lose weight” and should never be happy with their bodies. I believe that men need to speak about women differently. I believe that women need to speak about themselves and each other differently. I believe that girls need to be raised differently — including but not limited to changes to shape of their toys and the appearance of their Disney characters. I hope my kids never go on diets, and I don’t plan to use that word in front of them.
I set this all up to say — I’m going on a diet. A real one. With rules. And Excel charts. It’s not touchy-feely. It’s not “eating by intuition.” It’s actually the opposite of how I’ve been peacefully but unsuccessfully “trying to lose weight” for the past several years. Which is exactly why I chose it.
I first started running regularly in 2005, when I was in college. I slowly built up my mileage and confidence, and I ran my first marathon in 2007. Running made me happy and greatly improved my fitness.
But in early 2011, I had what can only be described as a running awakening. My times starting improving way more than I had expected, and I felt like a real athlete and a real runner for the first time in my life. I was setting PRs and decided I was ready to think about getting that much- coveted BQ.
Unfortunately, by the end of 2012, that BQ looked out of reach, and my times were slipping slower and slower. My running had awakened, and then it apparently went back to sleep. Here’s my story of how I got faster, how I got slower, and what I learned.