"Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best." - Theodore I. Rubin

Monday, January 17, 2011

What is a dream if it doesn’t come true…?

My goodness, where do I start? I don’t want to write a long novel about yesterday’s race, so I will try to simply write about the most meaningful stuff ☺

First of all, I did NOT specifically train for this marathon at all! After NYC I did NO major hard workouts. The only hard efforts I did were local races here in AZ and the XTERRA half marathon world champs in Hawaii in early December. This route helped me stay a bit distracted, so to speak and not freak out about racing another marathon. My swimming and biking has been pretty high in volume considering I had not been in the pool or on Mr. Specialized since July! Starting a new job in December, getting a 4th dog and training for 3 sports kept my mind off any pressures that may have been there, had I not been as occupied!

Goal for this race: WIN, no.matter.what! Therefore, I knew since I had not done any races at a super fast speed, I could not go and try to run 5:50 miles in a marathon! I made a race plan in my head the day before: race the first half marathon as relaxed as possible and try to not over-think any split..goal was around 6 minute pace. I hit the half in 1:18:58 and my friend told me the second place woman was only about 12 seconds back. “Well, time to press a little bit” I thought. I ran 5:55’s for a little bit and then hovered around 6’s again. I knew I wanted to really push running up Indian School Rd. It can be a super tough part of the course..the road is a false flat, windy and the sun is right in your eyes! I pressed harder through here to maintain pace and gradually extended my lead. My fueling was great for this race as well. I only had 2.5 Vanilla Bean GU gels and water. I actually missed my bottle at the 15.6 mile marker but didn't turn around to get it...and I still was fine. No stomach problems or side cramps. Woo hoo! Before the race I ate toast with butter and honey and 2 packs of GU Chomps. OMG they sent me the new Peach Tea flavor and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them! sooo yummy..and they have 2x caffeine :)

I have not remained relentlessly positive in a marathon like I was yesterday, maybe ever! I stayed calm, believed in myself and ran the smartest race I could. My mom and I LOVE the motto “Keep Calm and Carry On” (she has it framed in her house)…there was a woman on the course with a poster with the same saying and I smiled when I saw it, pointed to her and yelled “I love your sign!” (I think it was meant to be for me to see it early in the race! ;) ) I looked at my splits online and I negative split the second half by one second! I ran pretty much the EXACT same splits! Crazy~ 1:18:58-1:18:57…so awesome ☺

My friend Steve was on his bike and continued to tell me what kind of lead I had. Without his cheering I don't think I would've enjoyed those last 10 miles as much. Thanks so much Steve! You are the best! ☺ Also, the lead female cyclists were INCREDIBLE!! One woman, Leslie, was riding her bike up ahead of me and telling spectators on the sidelines that I was a local girl and what my name was!! Oh my gosh she was just so awesome for doing that. I'll definitely be sending her a card in the mail, along with the other women, to thank them for all that they did to make my race even more special! As I ran south on Hayden I smiled from the inside out, knowing all I needed to do was not fall on my face and I was going to win the race. I made the turn onto University, hit the 25th mile marker and then it felt like an eternity before I made the turn toward the stadium. I saw the yellow banners on the barricades, all the people cheering and standing on Packard Dr. and I started sprinting like a madwoman! My last quarter mile was at 5:02 pace LOL ☺

I crossed the line and the emotion I had was pure happiness. I gave hugs to family and friends, did interviews for the news channels and made my way out of the finish chute. At the awards ceremony I got to say a few things and told everyone that my win was for everyone in Tempe, my favorite city in the whole state! I’ve dreamed about what it would be like to experience this post-race feeling and here I am doing it, three years after my first ever marathon here. I am on cloud nine! ☺ Friends called me yesterday and last night when they saw me on the news as well, and that really capped off the already super special day. My sister’s 21st birthday was yesterday…a 100% perfect day would have happened if she was at the finish line to give me a hug….12 months from now I’ll make sure she’s in Houston ☺

My family out driving, running and riding bikes on the course, my friends on the sidelines and biking on the course and everyone who took pictures for me, congratulated me and celebrated with me, I cannot THANK YOU enough!! It feels so darn good to accomplish something I’ve wanted for so long for ARIZONA! Woo hoo baby!

Here is another link to the article from the Arizona Republic paper today. There are more awesome pictures in the actual paper as well. Cannot wait to frame it and keep it on my wall for added motivation. I used to envision not only winning the race but being on the front of the sports page (cheesy I know ;) )…and when I saw it this morning I grinned while standing in the gas station reading it ☺

Pics: From the race, from friends and also photographers from the Republic. I’ll add more from my camera after I upload them.

Quote: “Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them”- 
John Updike


  1. Way to go sweetie your awesome and a true inspiration for all those women out there. Keep up the good work. Love you, Julie

  2. Congratulations on your first marathon win!

  3. You look incredibly happy! You did it- congratulations!

  4. Reading this makes me tear up :) I'm beyond happy for you Sally.. what a fabulous Journey you have ahead of you. Congrats!!!!!!

  5. CONGRATS Sally, I am stoked for you!!!

  6. thank you SOOOO much everyone! you guys really keep me going alllll the time :) I hope you all have a fantastic week! :)

  7. Awesome! I remember reading your blog of how you were so down on yourself after your disappointing performance during the NYC Marathon last year. This more than makes up for it. Redemption! Congrats!

  8. Amazing! Sally! Amazing! You inspire! Look out Houston!- Drea

  9. How exciting!!! Congratulations!

  10. thank you so much everyone! :) you are all so sweet!

  11. Great race and great race report! Thanks for joining us on Pure Fit Radio this week! Best of luck the rest of the year!