PF Chang’s Half Marathon ’12 – PR!

Well, I finally listened to my coach and stuck to my own race  strategy.  I kept repeating to myself at the start: Don’t be the rabbit, don’t be the rabbit, don’t be the rabbit.   My coach said to one of my other teammates: “Elliot will go out too hard and blow up.” I wanted to prove him worng.  I started pretty conservatively. It turns out his words were just what I needed to have one of my most well-executed run races and a new personal best in the half marathon distance.

First off, I saw my girl at the expo.


There were new courses for both the full and half marathon this year.

The start of the half course was very convenient for me because it was only a five minute drive from my house. I woke up at 6:30AM for a 7:30AM start!  I made it to Mill and 3rd before 7, stretched ate a banana/peanut butter, and got my game face on.

I saw Kevin and Dean at the start of the ride. I decided to start with them… towards the back of Corral 1.

Miles 1-3. I held back. I chatted with runners around me. I studied the course beforehand and repeatedly told myself to hold back until I crossed the bridge on McClintock.  6:49 avg pace.

Miles 4-10k. There was a gradual incline for the first 10 miles. I increased my pace and began to pass a lot of people.  I looked up the road and spotted people with Ironman tattoos. I picked them off.  I looked for the next Ironman tattoo… dropped them like hot potatoes.  6:38 avg pace.

Miles 6.2-10.  I knew that once I hit mile 10, it was all downhill back into Tempe.  I made an extra push, not allowing my heart rate to drop. I increased the pace. This is where I saw lots people start to fade.  I enjoyed this new looped course… there was lots of crowd support and scenery wasn’t too bad. 6:34 avg pace.

Miles 11-13. I ran with a chick the rest of the way in. I saw her in the distance at mile 10 and finally caught her at mile 11.  We both picked up the pace and helped each other out.  6:06 avg pace.

Finishing stretch.  It was my strongest finish ever. I passed a few more people as I made the final turn on Packard Drive.  This may have been my most well-executed race yet. I am no longer a rabbit, but a finisher!  I set a new PR of 1:26!

I hung out with friends after the race.

Teaching my buddies some UFC moves. Picture by Chad C.

I enjoyed Moose Drool with some teammates at night! It was a great way to kick off 2012.

Up next: Ragnar Ultra!

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Categories: Race Report, Races


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3 Comments on “PF Chang’s Half Marathon ’12 – PR!”

  1. January 19, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    1:26 is a sick time — well done! I too suffer from that adrenaline-packed first 10k, though sometimes it works (1:37 PR in Cincinnati and later Pomona, CA) and at others I die (1:48 in Connecticut).

    Good luck running long legs at the Ragnar Relay.

    • January 19, 2012 at 9:50 am #

      Thanks Dan. You have an awesome blog. Like you, I use racing as a great excuse to travel!


  1. Boston Marathon 2012 – A Record Breakin’ Scorchah | Elliot Kawaoka - April 20, 2012

    […] P.F. Chang’s Marathon.  Boston training started early in 2012 with my key training races being P.F. Chang’s half marathon, Ragnar Relay Ultra, and the Desert Classic Duathlon.  Training went very well. I stayed […]

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