Grand Canyon Marathon, and shoot for a big marathon PR at the Desert Classic. Didn't quite work out, but that's alright.
At the beginning of January, I decided to drop down to the half marathon distance due to some foot issues I was having. That was a bitter sweet decision for me because I really wanted to run the marathon, but I knew I'd be able to rock the half. Things were going really well, and then the Saturday before the race, I got sick. Fever, body aches, cough. It pretty much lasted all week. I didn't run the entire week, (I also took most of the week before off to rest my foot), but by Friday, I was feeling ok, and thought I'd still try for a PR.
My plan was to start out at about a 6:40 pace, pick it up to about a 6:30 by mile 5, and then run a fast 5k to finish it off. I was proud of myself for not going out too fast, and was able to hit the 6:40 mark pretty comfortably. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go any faster at mile 5. I was able to hold the pace until about mile 8 or 9, but by then, I didn't have much strength left. My pace ended up around 7:00 for those last several miles.
I finished with a time of 1:30:17. Not bad for being sick all week. And I was able to win my age group and take 8th place overall. Cool!
This race was really cool for other reasons too. My favorite cross country runner (who has run several races with me) was there for his 2nd half marathon, I saw a ton of people I know (dailymile friends, blogging friends, real life friends). I also got to run an extra 5 miles by filling in for an injured runner on a friend's marathon relay team. I ran these miles really easy since, you know, I just ran 13.1 miles. We still ended coming in first in our category, so I got two first place medals on the day. This was really a fun day. There will be other opportunities for PRs.