Archives for half marathon recap

Phoenix Half Marathon Recap

This recap is going to be short and sweet – well my version of short and sweet! Because to tell you the truth, the actual race itself was a big ole blur, and I have another race coming up in 2.5 days! I only got a little over 5 hours of sleep the night before the race, and due to the very early start and bus departure time, I needed to wake up at 3:30 a.m. Yes. 3:30. Sometimes Mr. Zucchini Runner and I go to bed at 2:00 a.m., so this early wake-up was rough. Also, some of you may recall from last year’s full marathon, that my alarm never went off and I woke up at 6:03 a.m., when the race had already started. Needless to say, I took extra precautions this year by setting THREE alarm clocks.



As you can imagine, Mr. Zucchini Runner was thrilled about this. 🙂 But it turned out I didn’t need them! I am permanently scarred for life from my last experience, which prompted me to wake up at 1:30 a.m., 2:37 a.m. and then finally seconds before alarm #1 went off at 3:30 a.m.

I was out the door and on my way to the race within 45 minutes, when suddenly I ran into this traffic jam miles from the shuttle bus parking area.



Luckily it passed, and before I knew it I was at the half marathon start line, looking at this site with tears in my eyes. Tears for the memories it stirred up from last year when I was running the full, all alone for the first 14 miles, due to my super late start. I had missed some of the best parts of running a race — the people, the camaraderie and the energy from hundreds of energized bodies anxiously waiting to start their race. I pushed back the tears, smiled and then looked at the friends all around me… so grateful.


I was anything but alone this year! Look at all these beautiful, smiling faces! So happy for our running group Run Eat Tweet AZ. I’ve met so many cool people in the last year. 🙂


Left to right: Me, Jenny (Runny Legs), Nic (Cave Creek Nic), Brian (brigallop), (Shirley Run Conquer Celebrate), Jen (Pretty Little Grub), Kaella (Kaella on the Run), Jeremy (Confessions of an Amateur Athlete), Melissa (issamosely) and Sarah (Running like the Winded)

Fellow Run Eat Tweet AZ CRO and founder, Jeremy and I snagged one last pic before we crossed under the starting arch! I was showing off my brand new Orange Mud handheld water bottle. This was my first time using it and I’m happy to report it worked great! Thanks for the recommendation Jeremy!


Once the race started, Jeremy and I stuck together for about the first 7 miles. My goal was to go out easy for the first half and then pick it up slightly for the last half. I didn’t want to push really hard, because of my other half marathon this coming Saturday and wanted to use this race as more of a training run. Looking at my splits, I was able to stick to that pretty well.


I wasn’t super consistent, but considering this was my first 13.1 miles on road since my 26.2 LAST YEAR… I’m not going to be hard on myself. I’m actually quite impressed with how quickly I’m getting my speed back! I’ve also been using a heart rate monitor to ensure I’m not doing too much, too soon. I have a tendency to push myself really hard and not even realize it! (A huge thanks to the book 80/20 Running by Matt Fitzgerald, recommended by Liz at BitchinRunner!) Below is the extent of my training for this coming Saturday’s half, so there won’t be any PR’s, but I’m on my way there slowly!

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 3.26.58 PM


As you can see, I finished with a time of 1:51:59 for my Phoenix Half Marathon training run. 🙂 I finished nice and strong and tried SO SO hard not to make my race face (otherwise known as “The Face” in my house) at the finish – I did not succeed and therefore, no race finishing pics. I finish strong during my training runs too but you can see I pushed extra hard since I had the clock counting down in front of me.

After the race I met back up with Jeremy, who was not far behind. We chatted a bit, got our picture taken and went to check out the post-race area.


We were actually both freezing, so decided to change into warm, dry clothes then met back up to cheer on all our friends running the full marathon. It was SO much fun waiting on the sidelines, cheering ALL the runners on. Then when we’d see someone we knew the cheering turned into freak out screaming!! So proud of every single runner, but it’s always extra special when you know them!


Carlee (CarleeMcDot), Amy (superhuman athlete), Michelle and Nate (michrun4 and sagerman), Brian (PavementRunner), Amy (GoFastMommy), Rosario (Chayo_Run), Michael (PointOneMiles), and Smitha (RunningWithSDMom)

Until next year Phoenix Marathon! Looking forward to the fun and miles already! (Maybe for 2016 I will register more than one week before too!)





Women’s Half Marathon Recap

This race was a dream come true for me. Which is funny because I bought a shirt at the race expo on Friday that has a cool definition of a dreamer on the back.

To show grace and courage. To embrace the challenge and welcome new beginnings. Putting yourself out there. Doing it scared.
I will run through the fear to feel the joy.

I’m wearing this shirt RIGHT NOW!


For this race, I did things a little different than I have in the past. I watched my Garmin like a hawk. Every quarter mile split, I checked in to make sure I was on pace. This enabled me to break the race into 53 small bites, versus one large chunk. It was a risk and an experiment, but it proved to be successful in the end.

Another thing I did? I told everyone who asked, my goal finish time. I NEVER do that. Ever. I don’t like that kind of pressure typically and in the past it has proven fatal to reaching my goal.

Somewhere during the course of my training this time, I told myself to reach for the stars not to worry about failure. If there is ONE thing that being a Beachbody Coach has taught me, its not to be afraid of failure. Something not easy for this Type A personality gal.

The worst that could happen? I’d blow up (metaphorically of course, not physically – THAT would be bad). The best that could happen? I’d meet or even exceed my goal, realizing what I’m capable of achieving.

Count me IN.

I got my standard 6 hours of sleep the night before the race. With a 7 a.m. start time, it wasn’t a ridiculously early start!


I drank Shakeology before the race too. This was a total test, as I have only done this once before when there was a 3.5 hour lapse in between the shake and the run, today was less than 2 hours. I kept it simple with water, banana, homemade almond butter and Chocolate Vegan Shakeology.


The sunrise was amazing and I managed to snag this pic in the car ride to the start.


All lined up and ready to go from corral 1! I met up with Kristin from Cook and Run with Kristin and Kellie, who I met for the first time in person today! I also ran into my friend Dana just before lining up! It was so cool knowing so many awesome runners on the course. 🙂


We were all talking about how it was odd they did’t have a 1:40 or 1:35 pacer group, just 1:30 and 1:45 – huge gap! We all wanted to finish around 1:40, so planned to just have our own group. 🙂

It ended up that this gal Rachel and I ran together for more than half the race. She put up with me posing for every photo opp and quickly stopping at every water station. She was in agreement on the 1:40 pacer convo at the start line, so sticking together as long as we could made sense. It was really nice to have a buddy! I found out her name, but that was about it. We just ran silently next to each other, which was perfect for me.


Ok, here is a slightly more normal picture…


By mile 5 I had thoughts creeping in that had me thinking I might have picked a lofty goal. But I squashed them out and just kept positive. I stopped at every water station along the course and went as quickly as I could! One cup even went straight down my cleavage. #waterstationfail I managed to pull it together though. 😉

At the mile 7 aid station, we had just climbed and descended a short, steep hill; I was still feeling good but knew I would need some energy for the last 3-4 miles. I pulled out my Ziploc baggie filled with ENERGYbits and swallowed as many as I could, in probably the LEAST graceful way I could think of. I dumped them into the palm of my hand, stuck out my tongue and pressed it to my palm. Grabbed a cup of water and swallowed. Repeat. Toss the bag and remaining bits. I didn’t want to lose time at the aid stations!

By the time we reached mile 7.5 I saw my family again, which is always a great energy boost!


Feelin’ pretty good.


I noticed a guy on the sidelines cheering us on (or maybe someone behind us), but he was wearing a Ragnar Trail shirt! AH! I had to point at his shirt and say, “AWESOME! RAGNAR TRAIL!” 🙂


After mile 8, things started to get a little harder. Rachel was fading a bit, as I could hear it in her breathing. I asked if she was good, and she said yes. But she was starting to fall back. 🙁 I didn’t want to lose my momentum or opportunity to keep pacing those still on the 1:40 goal behind me — I knew they were close. She was AMAZING to run with and we kept pushing each other, so it was an awesome experience!

When I turned the corner to head into mile 9, it was another uphill, only this time it was a gradual incline; so not as steep as the first hill. My right piriformis/SI joint area started to really hurt all of a sudden. I tried to focus on my form and landing lightly.

As I was descending that hill, I remembered back to 2 years ago when I was running this same race and there was a woman and her child standing there with a sign that said, “Pain is temporary, pride is forever”. It was the first time I had seen that running mantra and I remember it having a huge impact on me. I pretended the lady was standing there today.

I turned the corner into mile 10 and saw the next water station ahead. I grabbed a cup and speed walked through. I knew the steepest hill was yet to come! As I turned the corner to start the climb, I imagined I was climbing a mountain and not a freeway on ramp. I also envisioned only using 3/4 of my power, trying to keep some left for the finish! I think it helped, because before I knew it I was at the top and descending the other side.


Mr. Zucchini Runner, patiently waiting at the finish for me. No words for this man. He’s amazing. ♥

One more long uphill remained, and it was the one that really tackled me the previous 2 times I ran this course. I tried to stay positive and ignore the pain in my hip joint area. It helped that on one of my exhales I launched my gum out of my mouth and onto the freeway. I was all alone and laughed to myself, before thinking about heading back to pick it up. The thought of potentially chewing gravel really dissuaded me though.  😉

The rest of the course looped back onto itself, so I was passing the other runners. I must have received about a dozen positive cheers from those ladies. It was heartwarming and kept me going! I was able to muster a “thanks” each time, or a nod and a wave… but I felt bad I never eked out a “you too”. It was taking all my energy just to keep up my pace. I had one last water stop at mile 12, so I walked slightly slower while taking 3 big gulps and whispered to myself, “Ok, here we go”. I saw a clock, did the math, and knew I would meet the goal of 1:40, and possibly even a little under.


I was able to just keep pushing at the same rate I had been and didn’t really need to push HARDER, thank goodness. It sure felt hard at this point anyway! As always, I believe in pushing as hard as I can once I’m close enough to see the finish. I saw the clock said 1:39:56 as I was passing under it. Could. Not. Believe it. Tears started to come and then a brief moment of hyperventilation. Soooooo, I GOT A GRIP. haha


My final time was actually 1:39:04! I finished 34th out of 2,097 finishers and I got 3rd in my division!




I didn’t even KNOW THAT until hours after I finished the race, ate brunch out with my parents and came home!

I’m totally bummed I missed getting the award in person! 🙁 But, as a friend said, now I know I’m fast enough to hang around for awards! 🙂


As I said before, this race was awesome for many reasons, one was for the PR obviously. And the other was for all the amazing women I got to chat with after the race!! This is Kellie, who I was standing next to in the start corral! We have connected through social media and were on the lookout for each other come race day! Her hubby wanted to be in the pic too, see him standing on the lawn? 🙂 hehe Kidding. That was totally a coincidence!

And yes, I am shameless in taking the free stuff. All the treats were good at this race!! 😀


When I was rounding the corner to the finish, I heard someone yell at the top of their lungs, “GO CORINE!!!!!! WOOOOO!!” I thought, “Awesome! I have no idea who that is, but I LIKE it!” Turns out, it was my buddy Missy, the Sugar Coated Athlete! She’s the best. She comes and cheers on all the runner peeps. Runners are awesome.

Like this runner, Kristin. We met in Santa Monica at the Chi Running clinic this February. We immediately got along and have a ton in common. You should definitely check out her Facebook page. That is her hubby Evan, he’s pretty awesome too. Mr. Zucchini Runner and him get along great!


Lastly, my friend Dana ran this race too (we got a professional pic, which I don’t have yet). Dana is a totally tough chick. She was fighting off a bad cold and STILL got out there and kicked some major booty! Major props to her!

My parents were in town for this race, and were kind enough to sport some of the new Zucchini Runner gear. 🙂


Ohhhhhh yeahhhhhhh…


My parents are leaving town early this week, so we had to squeeze in one final meal out together! What better time than an after race reward of my favorite pancakes?!

Go big AND go home? :-/ I ate the omelette and one of the giant pancakes. SO. GOOD. Glorious last meal.


My love and I with happy, full bellies.

Notice my shirt? 😉



Afterwards, I tried to get a little icing in. But the daytime temps are still reaching 80° F here, so the water wasn’t THAT cold and therefore probably not as effective as it will be in December and January!


I saw this poor guy floating on his side on my way out…


But I had a sneaking suspicion he was faking it, so I stuck my finger in to poke save him.


More ice on that pesky plantar fasciitis and some compression.


Followed up by a Vega Sport recovery bar. Mmmmmm… earthy.


One thing I know Women’s Running won’t ever disappoint on? The medals. That’s some serious bling.


I think the combination of my mental lessons over the past few races and my strength training with FOCUS T25 this summer, I was able to reach and surpass my goal today. It is a GREAT feeling knowing that I put in the hard work consistently, without over training, and got the results I was shooting for. (I have one week left of T25 and will be posting a review shortly! It was GREAT at strengthening my core, hip flexors, quads and glutes.)

Now for a fun little twist to the dream theme from above.

I had a dream last night that I took 3rd place — it wasn’t clear if it was 3rd overall or 3rd in my division, either way I thought it was far fetched and blew it off as merely a good omen. I didn’t tell anyone about it until brunch, and we all kind of laughed it off. I told them I felt it was just my subconscious’ way of saying I was ready for this race… but maybe it was my subconscious way of making it happen. 🙂

Never stop dreaming, you never know what you can achieve. 🙂