Why Phoenix Marathon?

With the Phoenix marathon about a month away, I realized I never explained my reasoning for choosing it. There were a lot of factors that went into choosing Phoenix as my first “goal race” of 2015.  I know I won’t be in peak fitness but I know it will be a good way to test my fitness level.  Since my plane tickets are now secure and I am officially signed up for the race, it’s becoming more real.  If you know me, then you know I wait until the last possible minute to sign up for races.

pheonix full marathon

I chose Phoenix for many different reasons.  The first reason is that it gives me plenty of time before my wedding in April.  I don’t want to be juggling marathon training and wedding planning in the same month.  I also don’t want to be exhausted from marathon recovery.  The ruled out a lot Spring east coast marathons such as the NJ full marathon and the Shamrock Full Marathon.

Next, The Phoenix course is flat and fast.  NYCM is the opposite. The New York City course is hard! I struggled with since it was my first and only marathon. I never realized how hard of a course it is! For my second marathon I want to race something flat and fast.  That was a big reason I chose to train for Wineglass last year. It is now the reason I chose to train for Phoenix this year.

Third, the weather is normally pretty decent in February. With some research and advice from friends, I’ve heard the weather is pretty nice for the race.  I can race in my trademark Runderwear and that is certainly a positive.  The average temperature is moderate with minimal wind.  Since we are currently receiving a snow storm on the east coast, any other weather seems better to race in.  Wind is a huge factor for east coast Spring races. Wind is another factor I didn’t choose an East Coast race.

I originally wrote this with the downside that T would not be able to come. After a positive change of events, it looks like he will come with me. In the length of time we have been together he has only seen one of my “goal races”. Words cannot express how excited I am to have him to to travel with me.  That is a huge plus.

The downside:

A direct flight from Philadelphia to Phoenix is 300-400 dollars.  While that isn’t bad, airfare does cost a bit.  My only choices for a winter marathon would require travel. I have a chunk in savings for occasions like this.  While I don’t go travel the world every other weekend, it doesn’t mean I can’t take a mini vacation. It’s well worth it for me to go run this race (I’m not associated with any of the blogging happenings going on at the race).  Honestly that isn’t a downside because it will be a nice mini vacation to the warmth. Everyone knows I’m always 10 jackets ahead of the norm.

Believe it or not, this is the first race I have flown too.

Cliff notes: The race is flat, fast and has great timing for my personal situation. I have a long enough training cycle for a good marathon build up but a short enough cycle to avoid an overuse injury.

Questions for you:
Have you traveled to a goal race before?
When is your next goal race?

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  1. A this sounds so fun! I think race travel is exciting- i’ve never flown to one but to me even making a weekend out of it is fun 🙂 I’m so excited for you that Tim can be there!!:)

  2. I think its a perfect choice for you and I’m thrilled to hear Tim may be able to go with you. Happy Training Hollie!!

    1. I hope so since he bought plane tickets too LOL. Thank you Kris and I cannot wait to see you at Shamrock!

  3. ohh man you are going to kill it, i seriously can’t believe how well you have come back from this injury and i see this race as totally showing that 🙂

  4. I’m actually running Phoenix, too! It will be full #3 for me, while my husband does the half (#15). We are coming in from Wisconsin to do it. We try to fly to a race 1-2x a year, usually in winter to escape the cold and snow. It’s a great way to see the country. I just did a women’s half in San Antonio, Texas a week ago with a friend. Good luck with the rest of your training and with the race (I’ll be towards the back:-)).

    1. That is awesome to hear Kim and I hope we are able to meet up. Good luck with your training too!

  5. It is going to be epic, of course! As far as traveling, I’ve traveled to every marathon I’ve run, whereas most of the half marathons and shorter have been here in Colorado. While not opposed to running a marathon here, any goal race will always be at lower altitude. I can always feel the difference. Marathon #10? This fall…Twin Cities Marathon. 🙂

    1. I wish our goal races would collide again (injury free this time). I cannot wait to see you soon Kevin (for real this time LOL)

      1. I am looking forward to it, as well! Maybe our goal races will collide in 2016. Let’s work on that!

  6. I don’t really travel for races, but perhaps one day!

    I’m excited for you to run this race. I can’t wait to hear all about it. I hope everything works out with time getting to go!

  7. It sounds really exciting and sounds like you put a lot of thought into choosing this particular race, both with temperatures and with your wedding schedule. Glad Tim gets to go too!

    I have been to PHX, for a work conference. I was injured and could not walk around much so I didn’t get to sightsee or explore the city, much less run (I went less than week of when my injury occurred). But from what I did see of PHX, it seemed like a nice place. The airport’s nice (lol) and there’s a train that takes you around the city, I liked that. I hope you have fun and I think you’ll do really well!

    I am also a last minute race registrant. I like to make sure everything is set for me to run it, I’m injury free and trained well, etc. Many of my friends have registered for things 9-10 months out and had to “eat” the costs due to scheduling or injury.

  8. You’re incredibly deserving of the mini runcation that you’re going to get! Hopefully you get good weather.

    my first and only marathon was in Nashville… I do not recommend a 10 hour car drive 2 days before your first marathon. oh and train all winter in wisconsin for raceday that was 85* and not a cloud in the sky… twas fun 😉

  9. I’m really excited for you and have heard nothing but good things about this race! You’ve been training smart and I really think you’ll surprise yourself 🙂

  10. Great reasons.! Sounds like a great marathon and I’m sure you’ll do great.!

    I’ve never flown for a race, but I hope to once I’m financially more secure and when it’s easier to travel with my daughter

  11. I’ve never air-traveled for a goal race, and I’m a crappy traveler so not sure it would be the best idea for me! I think it’s great to think flat and fast plus weather. If you’re going for time, you want the odds in your favor!

  12. Wait, it’s only a month away? Sheesh, this year is flying by! Overall, it sounds like a well thought out, strategic race decision. Can’t wait to see how it goes!

  13. Do you know what other marathon is a fast, flat course? Houston! Maybe 2016 will be the year you race with me! And by with me I mean we’re in the same town on the same course, and you wait around for a couple hours for me at the finish line. I’m so happy that Tim will be able to be there, that really makes a big difference.

    1. You know I wanted to do that one! It was too soon though and I could have gutted out a marathon last week but it would have been painful. The only motivation would have been to see you LOL.

  14. You are wise to avoid wedding/marathon. I tried and my wedding was beautiful, I was in decent shape for the honeymoon, but the marathon flunked…I once drove 18 hours to run in OKC where my family lives and I missed my goal time by 4 mins. But all things considered, it was a great marathon race! Best wishes on your marathon next month!! Exciting!

  15. I’ve never traveled by plane for a race, but I have undertaken some pretty arduous train journeys and incurred some delays that have made me want to do more local races and save money in the process! I do love getting to see new places when the travel arrangements run smoothly though.

    It sounds as though Phoenix has infinitely more pros than cons, particularly when it comes to the course profile and not having to run against ridiculously strong winds…I know firsthand how soul-destroying those can be. I’m so happy that you’ll have support as well – that will make the race truly special for you both 🙂

    PS I predict a huuuge PR 😀

  16. My first marathon was Miami! A couple months before I was helping my friend train for NYCM and after saying I would never do a full I went for it, as it was my bday weekend and seemed like a fun way to celebrate. I’ve traveled a lot for races. I think it has its pros and cons. Fun for a mini vaca but can be stressful.

  17. I flew to my one marathon … in Berlin! I think traveling domestically is probably a bit easier, but even that wasn’t so bad. I just wore my compression socks on the plane and watched crap movies to relax.

    I was in PHX in November and really loved it. It’ll be a nice vacation from winter!

  18. sounds awesome! i do ragnar relays and my 4th one is in Phx the weekend before the marathon!! good luck!

  19. Let me add another reason: Phoenix in February! It will be beautiful and you’ll get a little warm sunny break from winter. I love it there–hope you get a little time to enjoy the sites, too.

  20. Wow marathon + wedding planning. That is amazing! Do you know where your honeymoon will be? Hopefully somewhere with awesome places to run!

    1. Thanks Stephanie! Yes, we did put a down payment on the honeymoon but it doesn’t really relate to running. 🙂

  21. You’re smart to have a savings for this! That’s the main reason I don’t travel for races, funds! Good luck with the rest of your training, you will smash it I’m sure!

  22. I think this was a really good choice for you and I am so happy Tim will be going as well! This will be a great opportunity to test your fitness and escape the winter for a bit. Excited for you!!

  23. I have never travelled for a goal race but the Goofy challenge is on my bucket list. I’m glad Tim will be joining you in this adventure, almost a pre-wedding honeymoon. I hope you remain injury free for the wedding!

  24. That’s great that Time can go with you. That will make it a great trip. I have 2 sisters in Phoenix and my youngest son, daughter-in-law, and 3 grandkids live in the Tucson area so I visit them several times a year. I live in San Antonio. I have traveled to Houston, Austin, Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, and San Francisco for marathons. I hope to run NYC this year and eventually qualify for Boston as a 60+ runner.

    1. I used to live in Del Rio, Texas (about 150 miles from San Antonio!). I hope you are able to qualify, that would be great. Best of luck 🙂

  25. Last Spring I flew to Moab Utah to run the Canylonlands Half, aka, my ream race, and it was everything I hoped it could possibly be and more!

    Holy cow, I didn’t realize your race was so soon! Those sound like excellent reasons to choose Phoenix. I’ve thought before about what I would want if I ever ran a marathon, and a semi-flat course and cool temps are top of the list!

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