Still Feeling that Post-Race High

Hello friends! Thank you all SO MUCH for all of your incredible pre-race inspiration! I had all of your mantras and motivating words running through my head throughout the Phoenix marathon on Saturday, and they helped me all the way to the finish! I’m so happy to report that I ran a PR with a time of 3:31, and qualified for Boston for 2017 (hoping that the cutoff will be no more than 4 minutes next year!). I have a lot more to say about the race in the next post, but for now I’ll share some photo highlights of our trip to Arizona!

IMG_2772Finish line photo with our half and full marathon medals! I am so grateful to have such a wonderful, supportive running buddy :)

Our weekend in this southwest state was one to remember. We stayed at ranch called Saguaro Lake Ranch (Mesa, AZ), which was surrounded by the Tonto national forest (forest as in millions of cacti!). The marathon start and finish were located in Mesa, despite it being called “The Phoenix Marathon”! We loved this little remote and rustic camp, which included some beautiful grounds for exploring, horses, stables, and a great central lodge with delicious breakfast each morning. If you’re in the Mesa, AZ area- I recommend that you check out this area! After the race, Saguaro Lake Ranch offered a great little oasis for relaxation!

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Views from the ranch:

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Mark looking at the massive surrounding saguaro cacti!

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Views down the road from the ranch, including Saguaro Lake:

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To cap of the trip, we went for a drive up to Usery Mountain Region Park, which is where the marathon started. We were welcomed by this incredible, almost cliche but real, wild west sunset:

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Now it’s back to reality, but I am happy to have time to rest, regroup, and reflect on the race and training before I take on the next goal. Stay tuned for the full Phoenix marathon recap! 

How was your weekend? Any races/great runs/other fun plans?

Have you been to AZ? Favorite part?

Where did you last PR? I’d love to hear your stories!

What’s your next race or personal fitness goal?

 

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99 thoughts on “Still Feeling that Post-Race High

  1. I lived outside of Phoenix for 23 years. Arizona is a beautiful state. So glad you got to enjoy it. I would defiantly recommend going to check out northern Arizona if you ever have a chance. Sedona and Flagstaff are amazing. Flagstaff is like a whole other climate. About a 30 degree difference in temps and you are up about 8000ft above sea level. Lots of great places to shop, eat, and hike. Then while you are there, the Grand Canyon is only about 100 miles out. Everyone should see it. It’s like nothing you have ever seen before. Great job on you marathon! Totally understand still being on a high. I ran my first half two weeks ago (in Austin, TX) and I’m still excited about it!

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    1. Thanks for your comment! I love flagstaff and Sedona!! I’ve been over there twice- the grand canyon is obviously amazing too!! Had such a great time hiking it a few years ago. Congrats on the Austin half!! It’s on my bucket list– do you recommend it?!

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      1. Honestly no I don’t! LOL I would recommend 3M which is like two weeks earlier. The only reason I don’t recommend it, is because it is a super challenging route. LOTS of hills! 3M is flat and has a mild down hill grade the whole time. If you are going to do Austin, just make sure to get in a lot of hill repeats!

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        1. Thanks so much for the info– you’re not the only one who hasn’t recommended the race! Just curious about what other runners think. I’ll have to look into 3M, thank you!!

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  2. Wow! What an awesome accomplishment to get a BQ! Great run! I was in Phoenix about four years ago for a friends wedding. I wasn’t a runner at the time, so I’d love to go back and do more active things like some trail running and hiking. Your pics are absolutely gorgeous!!!

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  3. AMAZING!! Congrats on the PR! I’m hoping to run a BQ at the end of this year, but i don’t have an “A” race chosen and it might be a last minute decision. Last places I PR’d were Indianapolis (half marathon) and Chicago (full), guess my legs like the midwest! Those ranch pictures are incredible!!

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  4. How was your weekend? Any races/great runs/other fun plans?

    I did the Chili Bowl 5K Classic, my first race of the year. 900 people and you got to sample chili after the race.

    Next up is St. Malachi 5-Miler which will see 5000 people dressed up for St. Patrick’s Day on the streets of Cleveland.

    Have you been to AZ? Favorite part?

    Never been.

    Where did you last PR? I’d love to hear your stories!

    I already PR’ed since my last race in 2015. Shaved another 30 seconds off my time. Been a long, slow process since knee surgery and still feeling pain when I run.
    What’s your next race or personal fitness goal?

    Next race is Malachi followed by the Hermes 10-miler in April. My goal is to someday be running 10min/mi again.

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  5. Wow! Very nicely done and congrats on the PR and BQ! I look forward to the recap but you’ve earned your rest. Take your time and enjoy the after-effects.

    I used to think those “typical” western sunset pictures or paintings were artistic but now that I live in NM I know better. It really looks like that those are real colors and they are that vivid!

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  6. Wow. These pics are so beautiful! I haven’t been back to Arizona for years. My grandparents used to live there and I visited them a couple of times. It is really gorgeous!

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  7. Congrats on the PR and on qualifying for Boston 2017! I have family in Phoenix, ans I love it, so that race is definitely on my list. Possibly for 2018… Arizona is such a unique kind of beautiful. I think everyone from the Northeast should visit at least once.

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  8. loved this post well done on your race and the PR the photos look stunning, what a great place to race and visit, look forward to reading more.

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  9. Great run Jane! I am really excited for you! I’ve never been to AZ but the warmth sounds lovely right now. My last PR was at my first ever 5k race a couple months ago. The great thing about a new distance is the automatic PR ;-) I can’t wait to read the race report

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    1. Awesome! I followed a plan that was developed by my fabulous coaches Julie and Lisa (http://www.runfartherandfaster.com/). They developed a plan that worked well for me, and we were able to modify over the training cycle as necessary. I highly recommend working with a coach, particularly Julie and Lisa, I believe they are essentially what helped me reach my goals. Stay tuned for another post on methods for improving marathon time/thoughts on my last training cycle! And in the mean time, let me know if you have any further questions. Good luck!!

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  10. Congratulations on an incredible race and PR…amazing, you must be thrilled with the way everything went. I lived in Tucson, AZ for quite a while – Paula is from Arizona. My first ever marathon was also in Tucson in 2012,when we went back to visit. We need to go again because Paula has to get her Half! My favorite place in the state is probably Sedona. Congrats again, super excited for you!

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  11. Congrats on the PR and BQ and probably the prettiest race pictures ever! With the exception of a helicopter trip to Grand Canyon I’ve never visited Arizona, but I want to now!!!

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  12. Jane! Incredible! Congratulations on such a fast / remarkable / inspiring time! You are bad a$$. Words of wisdom to those of us trying to get faster and faster? What made the difference in your training to help with your speed this time around? Any secrets? ;) xoxo, Yael (Beth’s friend)

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    1. Hey girl, thanks so much! You’re an inspiration as well! Thanks for your question. I think that I am going to write a post on this, but for now I would say that the things that really helped me in this training cycle/race are: 1) Working with coaches (I worked with Julie and Lisa of: http://www.runfartherandfaster.com/) that developed a plan that was right for me and my schedule. We made several modifications along the way, and they were also a great source of inspiration and information on all things running. I would highly recommend working with a coach to help push you to that next level! 2) Staying focused on my goal and putting in the miles, and making time for stretching and other exercises. Also sleeping more! After my coaches developed a plan, I pretty much stuck to it without much variation. Some modifications were made if I needed an extra day to rest or tweak the long run mileage on a weekend. But overall, I’d say that I strictly followed the plan which had me running a max of 55ish miles for several weeks in a row. 3) I cut back on alcohol in general and focused a bit more on nutrition. I still had fun, but I enjoyed this healthier lifestyle even though it was a bit of a change for me! I think I am going to continue on that path. And lastly, 4) This is related to working with coaches, but having a race day pacing plan and strategy really helped me meet my race goals. My coaches developed a pacing plan for Phoenix which I followed until the last several miles as I somewhat succumbed to the heat. I trusted their plan, and will follow similar guidelines for my next race.

      That’s a lot of information, but let me know if you have any questions! I could talk about running and marathons for days :) Looking forward to seeing how your next race goes!

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  13. Congratulations on your new PR and a BQ!!! Your pictures are, as always, beautiful! I was born in AZ and lived there until I was 10 – I had forgotten just how unbelievably beautiful the sunsets are there.

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      1. My dad is still there, but we haven’t been there in years since the long flight with our little girls scares me :) But I can’t wait until they are a little older to bring them out. It is such a beautiful state and so very different than here in MA.

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        1. It is SO different from MA- Mark and I kept saying that to each other as we explored the area. Not only the weather but the landscape is so dissimilar- but so beautiful. I don’t blame you for waiting a bit and avoiding those flights for now– they were longer than we expected! Especially the red eye on Sunday night! :)

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