Sunday, February 18, 2007

Julie's First Marathon: The "Lost Dutchman" Feb 18, 2007

Julie ran her first marathon today! What a beautiful day. Slight overcast and early morning temperatures of 40 degrees warming up to about 65 by noon.

When she mentioned it a few weeks ago I was surprised. She has really been ramping up her running this past few months and did very well in the PF Chang 1/2 marathon in January but I knew her legs were hurting. She was so uncomfortable that it did not occur to me that she would want to do the marathon but she did and I was very happy to go with her as her support crew ... and while I was there I ended up running a 10K. It is quite an impressive event that the city of Apache Junction puts on every year. A full and half marathon, a 10K, an 8K and a 2 mile run. Lots of music and food as well. All in a beautiful park nestled against the scenic Superstition mountains.

Julie got up at 3AM and I got up at 3:30AM to be able to make it to the marathon start. I dropped Julie off at the buses and they brought her six miles into the desert where they had 30 camp fires waiting to let the runners warm up while they were stretching prior to the race start. So Julie started at 7AM while I went and raced the 10K starting at 8AM. After my race I picked up my camera and went to mile 23 ... an absolutely brutal mile marker in any marathon but they had an especially nasty hill right at mile 23 that runner after runner who went by me struggled mightly to get up.

I ended taking a handful of pictures that are attached. They don't do the place justice in terms of stark beauty but two of my favority mountains in the area are "Superstition Mountain" that I have climbed a few times and one shows "4 Peaks" in the distance. I've been near to the 4 Peaks but not climbed them yet. They go up to 8,000 feet and overlook the biggest reservoir in central Arizona "Roosevelt Lake" put in by "Teddy" Roosevelt over a century ago.
The Superstition Mountain area has quite a bit of legend associated with it going back 150+ years where prospectors found gold, were killed, but the gold was rediscovered decades later only to have the miner take the secret to his grave. People still go looking for the old mines and / or hiding places for the gold.

Friday, February 02, 2007

26 mile PF Chang Marathon Jan 14, 2007

29 degrees at start time in downtown Phoenix!

What a way to start the day at 7AM in downtown Phoenix! Julie and I were entered in the PF Chang 1/2 marathon and full marathon races. Fortunately it was clear skies and no wind.

I think there were about 10,000 people entered in the marathon and about 26,000 entered in the 1/2 marathon ... quite a few folks. Julie ran well and finished in 1:56 and I did pretty good as well running the full distance in a little under 3:32.

The 3:32 time was actually good enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2008 as a 50 year old ... so I felt pretty good about that. I ended up taking a pretty good fall at the 19 mile mark running through old town scottsdale zig zagging back and forth through 90 degree turns. One particular 90 degree bend went from black top to cobblestone and I don't know whether I slipt or tripped but I went down flat on my face. Fortunately, it was cobbelstone and instead of road rash I ended up skidding on my stomach and race number and the tucking and rolling as other runners went by me. As I was tucking and rolling the crowd (yes it was packed intersection) that was previously cheering went silent as they watched me fall and then gasped as I rolled. As I was rolling I was thinking boy that is a pretty cool sound effect ... but then all I could think about was getting up and running again.

I was so proud of Julie. She has run a few of these 1/2 marathons now and runs a pretty aggressive race. There are a few trails near our house and she has been steadily increasing the distances ... and she seems to really enjoy the running and is looking very graceful as she runs. Go Julie!