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Saucony Triumph ISO Review

The Saucony Triumph has been a shoe I have wanted to try since its release a few months ago.  Since I was having such good luck staying injury free during marathon training I didn’t want to try anything new.  This meant waiting to try new shoes, new training methods, etc…I knew what worked and I stuck with it.

After I started running again I decided to take the plunge and try the new Saucony Triumph ISO.  Before actually running in them, I tried them on and walked around several times at work.  I knew by all the updates Saucony had done on this shoe I wanted to eventually try running in them.

Side Note: I’m always hesitant to do running shoe reviews because what works (or doesn’t) for me, won’t always be the same for others.  I like a lot of cushion and am a neutral runner.  This means that shoes such like the Saucony Triumph are a good option for me.  This also means I don’t care for minimalist shoes but to each their own.  Another thing to keep in mind is that I’m not a techy person.  Either the shoe feels good to me or it doesn’t and I’ll explain why.  I don’t care so much about the technical side of a shoe so I won’t review that part.  Plus, there are much better blog posts that review that anyways…I just give my personal experience with the shoe.  (And no Saucony is not paying me to review their shoe).

Price: $150

I like a lot of cushion and cushioned shoes are more expensive.  This price is compare able to the Asics Nimbus (150) or the Brooks Glycerin (150).  Honestly, cushion keeps me healthy so I stay cushioned.   Since I run a lot of high mileage, this is the best option for me too.

The Fit:

As a company Saucony generally runs a little bit wider.  It’s not wide but it is wider.  In my opinion, the New Triumph ISO is one of the more narrow models Saucony has created.  In most brands, I wear a 9.5 wide.  In most Saucony shoes I wear a 9.5.  In the Saucony Triumph I still need to go wider into a 9.5 wide.  The toe box is wider but it is also has a wider heal.  For me I wish the heel was a little bit narrower but it still fits well.

An important piece of the shoe is the ISO.  This is the new update that makes the upper of the shoe more glove like.  It certainly hugs the metatarsals (without constricting).  I have a high instep so I was surprised it could accommodate my feet well.

The Feel:

The shoe is more of a firm than I am used too.  For the last 4 months I was training exclusively in the Nimbus.  The Saucony Triumph is much more light weight and also lower to the ground.   The major reason I like this shoe is that it’s got a lot of cushion but is light weight (like the Hoka Clifton).

Instead of the 12 millimeter drop there is an 8.  Does this really matter?  It provides less heel to toe drop and will probably make your calves a little bit tighter for the first few runs.

When I actually went for my first run my calves were sore.  That could be since it was my first run post marathon or because of the different heel to toe drop from the Nimbus.  Either way they were sore.  I have been running every run (alternating with the Nimbus).   I actually don’t mind at all and really enjoy the feeling.  Since I naturally run and walk on my toes, it feels good to have a shoe that supports that.

Overall thoughts:

I really like the Saucony Triumph ISO.  For now I will continue it in my rotation of running shoes.

It’s a great light weight running shoe while still providing a lot of cushion.  Working at a running store I can say it was one of the best shoe updates that a company has made for 2015.  For me personally, I think it fits well and provides a lot of cushion.

Edit to add: I have put roughly 100 miles on this shoe.

Questions or you:

Have you run in the Saucony Triumph ISO?

Do you prefer light weight or heavier shoes?

I prefer to train in heavy shoes.  While they do slow down my pace, they provide cushion that allows me to keep healthier.

The #bumbutt Week 4

To begin this post, it’s all over the place.  I think my brain exploded into Microsoft word and the baby was this post.

Was this worth it...I don't know at this point...

Was this worth it…I don’t know at this point…

To be honest the longer my butt issues are prolonged, the more frustrated I get.  Last week was not enjoyable.  I am doing everything the sports doctor has said but it seems like nothing is working.  Part of the problem is that I need to find out the problem.  I am not 100% convinced that my only issue stems from the hip.  Often times with the body the pain manifests itself one place but is actually coming from somewhere else.

So physically my bum butt pain is still there.  The pain does not affect my gait or stride but it’s noticeable and unenjoyable.

Mentally: 

I have questioned a lot about myself and running lately (but it in all seriousness who doesn’t when they are injured?)

I don’t think the marathon was worth the struggle I’m having right now.  I didn’t particularly enjoy the marathon more than another event (At this point, it’s safe to say I did a lot of damage).

To be honest if I didn’t have my wedding to look forward too, I would be down on myself.  I would be down on running and I would be more upset.  I alluding to this last week but I haven’t had the training or enjoyment out of running that I once had.

Is it because I’m not doing well?

Is it because I’m running distances I don’t even enjoy?

I don’t know but probably.  Why do something you don’t enjoy?

I’ve mentioned this a lot lately but the next few weeks are going to be a nice break that I need from running but also blogging and social media.

Yes I could take a break from social media at any time (LOL, no one is forcing me to blog) but this is largely a running blog.

If I’m not running, what am I blogging about?

I need to figure out what I want to do with my running and where I want to go.  I’m obviously all over the place and honestly don’t have an answer for what I want to do.

Do I want to completely take off time from running?  Maybe…

Do I want to cross train or even get back into the pool?  That also crossed my mind.

Do I want to train for shorter races and bypass a marathon this year?   I think that is a very strong contender.  I don’t enjoy marathoning (there I said it).

I feel like a broken record the last year about back to back injuries.  It’s been a hard year both physically and mentally (running wise…life has been great!).  I am looking forward to having better races soon.

Since this is a lot to follow and makes sense to me (but probably not people who aren’t in my mind).  Basically I am frustrated.  I am beginning to exhaust all of my options to figure out my #bumbutt.   Once we pin point the exact muscle location of injury, we can fix it but until then the frustration continues.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite race distance?

How was your weekend?

 

Where am I running to?

I’ve been talking about my injury and marathon recovery for the last four weeks…I guess I should I consolidate my thoughts and figure out what I’m doing with my running.  I don’t know where I want to take my running in the next month or even the rest of 2015.

Phoenix Marathon

It’s not a secret I’m getting married in a couple of weeks.  While I’m not stressed about it, I’m not planning to “train” for anything before then.  A two week training cycle makes no sense and I’m not going to stick to any set routine or plan before the wedding.  Why on Earth would I rush to train for a race before (or even just after) the wedding?  Plus duh, I’m still working on that small injury.

After the wedding I’ll be going on a honeymoon.  I won’t really be training for anything then either.  I won’t be training, blogging or doing a whole heck of a lot.  Yes I will still run and workout…but will it count?  Anything without internet proof never happened…

In reality, if I’m healthy I won’t begin any plan or routine until early May.  I don’t have an exact plan, routine or schedule since I have a lot going on in the next month,  There is a lot of uncertainty before May.  Will I be healthy?   I would like to think I’ll be healthy before the wedding but that would be a wedding miracle.

So hypothetically after getting back from my honeymoon, I would like to begin running shorter distances in May, June and July.  I haven’t run many 5ks for the last two years.  I had planned to run more last year but after a slight case of plantar fasciitis last summer,  I wasn’t running at all.

I would love to win another piece of log to decorate my house with.  That was my fastest 5k of the year...

I would love to win another piece of log to decorate my house with. That was my fastest 5k of the year…

I’ve been thinking a lot about my training lately.  What I’m doing is no longer working.  I’ve been been on/off injured the last year.

Is that from being inconsistent?

Is it from running high mileage and it wearing on my body? 

Is it from poor recovery or burning the candle on both ends with wedding planning, life, work and running? 

Is it from focusing on longer races versus shorter races?

I’ve always said races are my “speed work” but lately I haven’t been doing a lot of road races.  I went from running 2-3 each month in 2013, to running 1-2 longer races each month.  That is a drastic change.  I’m not sticking to the very core of my original training.

I guess I can say this about my training:

My major goal is to get healthy.  I’m not going to train for anything until I’m 100% healthy.  I would like to focus on shorter distances this summer and improve my turnover.  Perhaps next fall I’ll work on training for a half or even another full marathon.   The cliff notes version is:

1. Get married and get healthy (injury free).

2. Train for shorter races for a few months

3. Run longer races next fall

Questions for you:

How many races do you do each month?

What are your training plans for the spring and summer? 

 

My Start to Running.

Tomorrow is St. Patricks Day!

Since 2010 St. Patricks day has held a much more sentimental reason to me than drinking beer, wearing green and pots of gold.  Although if you would like to send me a pot of gold that is fine too!  Five years ago I ran a 5k in college that would change the path and direction of my life.

You can read my entire running story here or in the tab above.

When I was a college sophomore, I saw a sign at the gym stating if you completed the annual campus 5k you would get a free long sleeve t-shirt.  As a college student you can never have enough things to stuff in your dorm room.  My roommate appreciated my hoarding I guess.  I had plenty of short sleeve shirts but long sleeve shirts were something I was always looking for.  All I had to do was sign up for a 5k and complete it?

Okay sign me up.  Sign me up and I didn’t run an ounce beforehand.

Keep in mind my running history previous to March of 2010 was lackluster.  I failed the mile countless times in both middle and high school…or passed by a couple of seconds (passing was 12:30 and my mile PR was 12:12). Since 10th grade gym class I had avoided running like the plague.  The only two times I had run was to “impress” upper classman on the swim team.  It wasn’t impressive and I made a goober out of myself both times.

During the off season from swimming I went to the gym and used the elliptical or lifted weights.  It was nice to keep cardio and strength when I wasn’t swimming but I didn’t use running as cross training.  Long story short I had no idea what I was getting myself into but the phrase “if it’s free, it’s for me” comes to mind with this race.

merunning1

The race itself is pretty much a blur.  I don’t remember much other than I didn’t really hate it.

A photo of me at the same 5k the next year...

A photo of me at the same 5k the next year…

I finished the 5k is around 24 minutes.  I don’t remember the exact time but I remember not dying, texting my shocked dad that I had run a 5k and picking up my tshirt.  (of course I didn’t tell my parents I was running this 5k…I didn’t want them to ask if I didn’t finish…).  DadLOLZ had a marathon the next weekend and I didn’t want the embarrassment that his daughter couldn’t finish a 5k.

I wore that tshirt all around the following day.  I was going to wear my badge of honor.

After the race, it wasn’t as if I magically became engrossed in running.  I did realize it wasn’t all that bad and ran occasionally when it was nice out.  I ran 10-20 miles a week off and on for the rest of the spring.  When it was sunny I would run the same 5k loop around campus.  When it wasn’t nice out, I wouldn’t run.  I would just go to the gym.

I mark St. Patrick’s Day as the official day I got my running start because after that point I considered myself someone who didn’t hate running anymore.  When you fail the mile test multiple times in grade school, it’s hard to like it.

I began to consider myself a runner:

I didn’t run everyday.

I didn’t run fast.

I didn’t log my mileage.

I didn’t run when it was cold, windy or not perfect weather.

I had no desires to run with anyone or at a certain time…

I didn’t run anymore races until July.

But I ran…and when I did I enjoyed it. 

Questions for you:

When did you get your (workout) start?

What are you up to this St. Patrick’s Day?

A Pain in the Butt

pain in the butt

This week I’ve seen much better improvements with my butt, hips, hamstring and everything else but instead of listing every muscle group I’ll just refer to my leg.  Instead of being stubborn I went to get some to look at it.  It turns, it was nothing that I had originally thought.  While I’m not better, I do have a formal answer.  I used fancy paint and filled in (yellow and blue) the parts of this diagram that are the problems.  (I drew in the blue for the piriformis muscle since it was wasn’t there).

hollie injured chart

In Cliff notes: My piraformis had a few adhesions which caused my adductor muscles to become strained.  Along with that my psoas muscle was extremely tight.  The chiropractor said she hadn’t seen one that tight ever.  (I guess that explains why I couldn’t walk).  Both the psoas and the piriformis being so tight  caused my hips to be knocked out of alignment.

The Longer Version: 

The most important is that I have an answer to why I’m in pain.  I’m glad I got it looked at because I would have continued to think it was my hamstring. Most runners who strain their adductor muscle do so by going to the track and starting speed work. I didn’t do either of these things.

I do have a sneaking suspicion that I might have strained it about 4 weeks ago when I did the Feel the Love 5k.  I distinctly remember that race having a lot of turns (like a track). Since I began tapering the day after, I didn’t feel the effect as if I was running high mileage.  It had began to heal but when I ran the marathon, it obviously restrained and made it much worse (enough that it was hurt when I finished).  There is nothing I can do about it now but hopefully promote healing.

The next issue is my psoas muscle. The psoas muscle is tight and knotted.  This is where the root of my problems stem with my hip.  Someone told me that you don’t know you have a psoas muscle until it begins to hurt.  I think this is 100% true and it took me from running normally to wishing I could lay down. The muscle is so deep the only way to address the tightness is through ART, trigger point or dry needling. It appears as if this has been tight for a while now.  That could be from improper stretching of the hip flexors and psoas. During the marathon I pushed through a threshold and the muscle became too tight to stabilize my pelvis which is why my hips became tight.

But wait…there’s more!

Since my psoas muscle was so tight, it pulled my hip forward. My pelvis, sacrum and hips are noticeably crooked (to the chiro…I look fine In my opinion). That’s a matter of the chiro realigning them and loosening up my psoas. If my psoas is still tight, my hips will just return to be crooked.  That was the easiest part and I feel a lot better (not 100% but noticeably better).

Finally (the injury gift that keeps giving):
My piriformis (butt muscle) has multiple adhesions which is causing everything to also tighten up.

Long story short, half of my butt, hip and upper leg muscles are tight causing my pelvis to tilt forward. It doesn’t sound like it was caused by the marathon but has been building for a long time. The marathon caused it all to manifest into an injury.

The problem with most of these issues is that they will not get better with just resting. There are a lot of tight muscles, knots and adhesions that have to be taken care of. Rest (as my chiro put it) will just allow my muscles to fester but not solve the problem. They won’t feel better until the problems are solved.

Since we talked on Tuesday I have gotten a few more things done as far as recovery goes:

  • Deep Tissue Massage (this is number 2)
  • Stretching my adductor muscles 2-3 times a day as well as foam rolling that targeted area.

How did this happen?

Honestly I don’t exactly know.   I didn’t up my mileage quickly and I stretched, foam rolled and rested when appropriate.  I think it was a combination of running the Feel the Love 5k during a high mileage week as well as running a lot of the same routes which caused me to favor my hip.  I didn’t realize it was bad (because I wasn’t in pain) until I reached a threshold of no return.

Running Plans:

I gave myself two weeks before attempting a run.  I’ve run twice now and both runs have felt decent.  I am still sore but I also haven’t run in two weeks.  I know the deep tissue massage and chiro appointments have been working because I’m beginning to feel half way decent again.  I still have quite a few knots to get worked out but I am beginning to loosen up.

All of this rambling makes my issues sound a lot more severe than they are.  I can walk normally and it’s not hindering my day to day life.  I slowly run but the thought of running fast right now does not sound pleasant.

Questions for you:

Have you ever dealt with any of these issues?

How was your weekend? 

To Hire a Coach or Not…That is the Question…

I have gotten this question a few times and I thought it was a good time to address it. 

It takes a little bit of a back story though (IE: this post will be lengthy)…Most people know that I swam for 15 years competitively before running.

swimming

This is what I looked like swimming…looked (not look since I would probably not make it that far)

 

I loved swimming, I loved having a set training plan and I really enjoyed the entire team aspect.  Everything about swimming followed a plan: the practice, the time we practice, the amount we practiced, the distance…everything.

I had many great coaches throughout club, high school and college.

Each coach helped me to succeed. In college I did extremely well in conference championships.   This set routine and schedule wore on me and by junior year of college I became extremely burnt out. 

I was burnt out from having an exact training plan to follow.

I was burnt out from going to practice every day at an exact time.

I began to enjoy running because I had no responsibility.  Running wasn’t stressful and I didn’t have any training plan to follow.  I could run when I felt like it and train when and how I wanted.  I wasn’t training by any means but I could do what I wanted (You can read my full running story here).

During junior year of college, I decided to try out for my cross country team.  I made the team.  We were not conference champions (in fact I think we were close to the bottom).  Our primary goal for each race was make it across the start and finish line healthy.  It fairly clear I thrived on that environment of training (I still do).

crosscountrystart

Probably one of my first instagram shots of cross country

 

It was the type B training I needed and wanted after so much “type A” training.  In summary:

Running: Relaxed, casual, do what I wanted

Swimming: Follow an exact plan, be at practice at a certain time, etc

This laid back approach translated into my running for a few years after college.  It’s obvious I still thrive and enjoy this training.  I enjoy going out for an easy, relaxing 10 mile run.

My cross country coaches and I.  (those bangs are embarrassing)

My cross country coaches and I. (those bangs are embarrassing)

Fast forward to now: I have been running off and on for about 5 years now.  I work at a running store and I know how I train isn’t conventional.  In fact I know my training is enough to make most coaches cringe.  I’m fully aware that I run 9-10 min 12 mile runs and mostly race below 7 min pace.

I race more often than most runners.  Since most of runs are easy, I enjoy “the thrill” of running faster with races.

Do I think every race will be a PR?  No, of course not…

Do I choose to train for a few goal races each year in hopes they will be PRs?  Yes…

See Atlantic City half last year or the Nike Women’s Half in 2013

I’ve only been running 5 years now.  I’m also 24 years old.  Road races of every distance will be here when I’m 30, 40, 50, 60…100.

I want to be able to run races when I’m older without being burnt out.  I want to have a different mentality about running when I’m older.  Unlike swimming where I have absolutely no interest to get back into the pool.

That is the biggest reason I chose not find a coach for a very long time after college.  Running is life long and with so many various coaches, philosophies and mentalities this is no reason to “just pick” the first coach that you find.  There is no need to rush anything.  If I found a coach, ran high and intense mileage now, I would be burnt out before I’m 30.  Why rush that?

I could write another post about this as well but along similar lines, I still feel young to be competitively racing marathons.  I have a long ways to go before I’ll “peak”, and there is no reason to beat myself and body up at 24.  I would like to still be competing (and faster) at 30.

I have always said there will be a point I will not progress as a runner without the help of a coach or doing speed work.  That is science.  Repeating anything for multiple years will lead in a plateau or injury.

After 5 years of running, I’m approaching that point where my training will have to train.  I’ve gone back and forth debating getting a coach.  I know I have a lot of credentials for what I am looking for in help (most of which I will talk with a coach personally, not put on the blog).

I’m not high maintenance when it comes to coaching but I am looking for someone with experience as well as success.  An important factor for me is that I’m also not looking for someone online.  While it doesn’t have to be daily or weekly, I am looking for someone who I can see occasionally.  I don’t want an internet or give me a plan coach.  I’m 100% not using my blog to look and seek out a coach either but explaining and reflecting upon many years of sports and coaching. I’m also not looking for advice of whether I should/shouldn’t hire a coach…I’ve made up my mind.

Phoenix Full Marathon (3:14.59)

I don’t know how to start this post.  I ran a marathon, I PR’ed and won my age group. 

I should be pleased (I am).  I do know, however, my fitness was a little bit faster than this race showed.  I also know that I finished this race not healthy.  Not a full blown injury but I did have a major issue in my hips and hamstring that lead to a painful finish.

There are a couple of factors that played a part in the “bitter aftertaste” with this race.

  1. My travel the Thursday night before. It left me not fueling accordingly, up for 22 hours and traveling for 14.  I didn’t know traveling made you sore….but it does.
  2. My hamstring became very aggravated around mile 21…not tired but it was in pain. My pace slowed because my stride shortened (not because I was experiencing the “bonk” like last marathon). While it’s tough to say, I lost around 5 minutes of time because my hamstring and hip were in pain.

Enough whining because despite finishing in pain, I did have a 2 minute PR.  I’m truly grateful for a PR but I would have liked to have shown a slightly faster time.

Incase you don’t want to read 1000 words here are cliff notes or a screenshot of my splits:

finish time hollie phoenix

The recap: 

I woke up at 4 am and made it to the bus drop off right on time.  Tim drove me to the start.  I chatted with people on the bus and got to the race start successfully.  The Phoenix marathon had fireworks at the beginning which was unique. With the exception of long bathroom lines, there was nothing stressful before the race. Sacrifices had to be made and I delayered my pink Avalanche jacket, never to be seen again.  I threw it to the side of the road and bid it farewell (I have too many jackets anyways and I paid 5 dollars for that thing…it lasted 3 years).

Before I knew it the race was off.  Unlike my first marathon, my Garmin actually worked. I made the decision to start with the 3:15 pacer.  My original goal was to stay with the 3:10 pacer but after everything happened, I knew it was best to start less aggressive.  I did not want to have an unenjoyable second half of the race (but I still did).

During the first mile, my shoe came untied.  So I stopped and tied it…Spending an extra 10 seconds tying my shoe was not the end of the world (or any world).  My first mile was 7:17.  I chatted with a few guys training for Boston.

Phoenix Marathon

During miles 2-3, were pretty boring.  I enjoyed talking with the pacer and a few athletes around me.  One thing I enjoy about marathons is the amount of talking people do!  (6:50, 6:55).

During mile 4, I went to get water and just kind of left the pacer. I didn’t mean to but I sped up and then proceeded to go forward.  Despite my finish time, I never saw the pace group again.

I took my first gel at mile 5.  I didn’t feel like I needed it but the (fueling) plan called for 4 gels and I’m a follower.  I ran with a few other runners and we formed a nice pack. We talked for a few miles and by the time I knew it, we were at mile 8.  My legs were feeling good and as a whole my body felt good too.  Each mile between 5-13 ranged from 6:50-7:00. I ran the only uphill mile of the race in 7:44.  I wasn’t too upset and I actually passed a lot of people during that mile.

635610868350750942

During miles 7-10, I found myself running with a really nice man from Colorado.  He had run multiple 100 milers and wanted to run one more marathon.  We had about the same goals in mind.

I took my next gel at 10.5 and started to focus on the half way point.  I hit the half marathon at 1:34.  This was about where I hit the half in NYCM.  My goal originally was to hit around 1:35 so I was on pace with my original goal.  I didn’t feel tired, my hamstring felt okay and I actually felt really good.  I counted my eggs early and thought I might be able to achieve a 3:10.

Everything after the half point increasingly got worse (I think that means I’m doing marathons right?). Miles 14-16 were extremely windy.  With NYCM, my most memorable mile (in a bad way) was mile 15.  It was exhausting mile up the bridge and I felt sore and tired.  For Phoenix, I was worried about this mile too.  During the Phoenix marathon, miles 14, 15 and 16 were all extremely windy and boring.  I had a no mans land clearing of 10 feet in front and behind.  They were mentally challenging miles and once again, I think those miles were the most mentally draining. I took my next gel around mile 16.  I had planned on mile 15 but I wanted to take it with water.

At mile 17, I saw Adam.  I mumbled something (who knows what?) and high fived him.  I grabbed water.   My hamstring began to feel tight but I choked it up to…oh I’m running a marathon, things should not feel good. I didn’t think the pain would progress like it did.

Waving

By mile 18, my hamstring hurt.  It hurt a lot. I almost stopped and stretched but I knew if I stopped, I would not start again.  The issue was annoying from mile 18-20 but it wasn’t painful.  I hit mile 20 and was overwhelmed that I still had 6.2 miles to go.  Not because I was tired but because my hamstring and hip hurt.

I really thought about dropping out due to the pain escalating.  Did I want to stop at mile 20? Doesn’t everyone ask that? I knew physically I had the energy to get through the last 10k but my hip/hamstring was hurting. It was quickly becoming more of a worry. I began to analyze my situation and figure out what felt the best. I realized turns made the pain worse as did a longer stride.  I shortened my stride and proceeded on.  I wanted to accomplish marathon number 2, PR or not.

I hit 21 and took my gel.  5 miles to go (7:59).  At this point I began calculating how much time I had left to the minute.  45 minutes, 44, 42…

Despite having 5 miles to go, I began to focus on the finish.  I thought to myself “no one drops out of a marathon at mile 21″.  That is inaccurate but it motivated me. My hamstring and hip pain was very much there.  It wasn’t altering my stride but it was a very noticeable pain.  If I had felt a pop, tear or anything alter I would have stopped. A 2 month injury recovery was not worth it to me.  The moment I felt I had to alter my stride I would have stopped.

When I hit mile 22, I blindly assumed just half an hour left.  Somehow dividing the race into half an hour then 2X15 minutes made me feel a little bit better.  My pace was slowing and my hamstring was getting progressively worse.  I decided that I might end up walking the race if needed.  I also knew if I stopped running I would not begin running again (8:04).

During Miles 23-25, I just focused on getting to the end.  We had a brief tail wind during mile 24-25.  I remember silently cheering to myself because at that point my hip and I needed all the help we could get.  I stared at the people running in front of me and noticed they were not getting further away and I was not gaining on them.  We were going the same pace and that made me feel better.  I passed several half marathoners who were walking.  I wanted to say “please walk single file and not 5 across” but decided it was too much energy.

The last mile was a blur.  For mile 26 was just focused on “less than 10 minutes to go”.  I repeated that to myself several times.  I was so mentally checked into finishing the race I was oblivious to anything and everything around me.

Thoughts during mile 26:

Who are these people?  Where is the finish line?  Which way to go?  So close, so close so close…OMG…no there is that .2…now so close.  Here I go..they are announcing my name.  Don’t cry, finish like a woman.  They are taking your photo.  Raise your arms, do something…why aren’t you race photo ready…you had 3 hours to think of a good  finish pose…omg just cross this damn line.

Seriously what am I supposed to do?

I’ll settle for bird pose I guess…I mean a Phoenix is a bird right (Absolutely no thought went into that. but I’ll let you think it was planned)

I crossed the finish line in 3:14.59.

Yes it’s a PR but not a PR I’m satisfied with because I spent the last 5 miles dealing with an issue (hopefully not to turn injury).  After crossing the finish line I found my friends and Tim then sat around.  I do remember repeatedly saying (being very dehydrated) that I must find my checked bag so I can get my pants.

Phoenix marathon finish

The awards ceremony was at 11 so we waited around until then.  I was second in my age group and 21st woman overall.  Since one of the top 3 women was in my age category, she was pulled out.  Therefore I was bumped to first.

Climbing the podium

Climbing the podium

Phoenix marathon

To summarize, it’s hard to complain about a PR.  I’m happy that I’m over my stress fracture hump, but I think I was in better shape than a 3:15.  I didn’t slow down because I was tired, I slowed down because I was in pain.  So far I’ve gotten another deep tissue massage and I’m resting accordingly.  I’m happy with a PR but I am leaving with a little bit of a sour taste in my mouth.  I’m not entirely sure I enjoy the marathon distance yet but I’m sure I’ll try again at some point.

I’ll write a few more posts discussing final thoughts, fueling thoughts and a comparison of both marathons.  As always thank you everyone for your support.  The love I received race day was overwhelming.

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