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Jacksonville, FL, United States
In Life as well as in running the secret is Pace.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hilsdale Harbor Invitational Half Marathon

It’s Sunday afternoon… and I don’t feel like I’ve put in a solid weekend of training. Lately by noon on Sundays I have been a quivering heap of tired, sunburned flesh…

I have a whole bunch of races in the coming weeks and months… I feel like I should have done more.

Saturday I had gone down to St Augustine and helped the bike club set up a crit course… after seeing the course I was glad to have not signed up… turn 1 was a double dogleg… yikes.

After getting set up… I only had about 3 hours to train before I had to get back to parenting… I used my time pretty wisely by doing a 50 mile bike and 4 mile run at close to race pace for my upcoming ½ Ironman…

Sunday morning had brought quite a momentous occasion. Went on a 30 mile ride with my two best friends… had a good time giving each other heck… and riding and running our mouths…

So… back to early Sunday afternoon… part of me wants to lie on the couch and watch the Vuelta and/or football… but that little voice tells me that I had yet to earn my rest.

So… I decide to do a ½ Marathon… in the afternoon Florida heat

A few clicks on and I had a route… I live on Hilsdale Harbor Ct where the race will start and finish… and thus the race is named

at 1630 I leave some instructions for my daughter (to get dinner started) and tell her that I’ll see her in 2 hours.

That is my carrot… my goal… my competition… 2 hours… for 13.1 miles

Before I start running I ride my bike out and drop water and Gatorade off at strategic intervals. With this done… and with it a warm-up of sorts.. I set out on my quest.

I’m a horrible 1st mile runner… I think I manage a 9:15 or so… great… In the hole already. Miles 2, 3, and 4 are all under 9 but my stomach hurts… I’d eaten a sandwich an hour and a half before I started running… bad idea.

The next 3 miles are all just under goal pace… right around 9:06 each… stomach feels no better… I take a gel at around mile 6 and a salt tablet… the gel helps the energy level and the salt keeps me from exploding with the fish sandwich in my gut.

Mile 8 I slip… I stop to pick up a bottle… then monkey around with a way to try and carry it… and I record my first mile over goal pace… 9:18
I manage to rebound with a 9:07 on mile 9 but the wheels are coming off. Mile 10… stomach is killing me… really think that if I could throw up the ½ bottle of Gatorade I’d had over the last 1.5 miles that I’ll feel better… the 9:56 split is a bitter pill… I see my goal slipping away… I’m pissed… but I am doing all I can to hold it all together.. and all in…

I don’t quit tho… I keep fighting… and running… I stop at a water fountain… splash my face… and basically run this mile like it is the only mile I have to run… when I turn in a 9:37, even tho it’s way off pace I am proud to have reversed the downward spiral of the previous mile and HTFU.

My pride was short lived however… mile 12 involved a couple of major intersections and uneven running surfaces… I let that get in my head and posted the only double digit mile pace of the day… 10 even.

Last mile… I had long since given up on 2 hours… but.. I looked at my watch… just to see what my finishing time might be… quick calculations told me that if I ran 1.1 at an 8:15 pace… I could still do it…

After a few seconds of debate with myself I decided to just run as hard as I could… as long as I could… when I had the pace up to around 8mpm.. I realize that I am not going to die… on the contrary… running fast feels kinda good… so I keep going… all the way back to my house… I know it’s going to be close… I drive… drive… fluid, fists pumping… around the last corner… even with my driveway… I hit the stop button…. Look down and see…


1 comment:

B.o.B. said...

GO YOU! Great run. Congrats!!!!