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

Monday, December 28, 2009

Just a sucka with no self esteem...

“The more you sufferThe more it shows you really care Right? Yeah!”

-The Offspring

Woke up this morning…

Swung my legs off the side of the bed… as I fished around for my flip-flops at the side of the bed I could feel the pain in my calves… Decide… no run today

First few steps around the end of the bed… hamstrings tight… definitely not running today.

Sit down at my computer to check my email really quick… getting up is unpleasant… quads sore…. I’ll just ride the trainer tonight… no run… I’ll work thru lunch and leave early.

Get ready for work… grab my gym bag “just in case” as I head out the door.

Glance out the window a couple of times this morning… sunny…

Look out again around noon… looks nice but I’m too busy shirking… uh I mean working…

1215 I go outside and get my gym bag.

“Now I know, I should say no, but It's kind of hard when she's ready to go”

1230 I’m running… but just an easy 3 mile jog nothing more…

1240 decide to run the *middle* 3 miles at marathon pace

“I may be dumb, but I'm not a dweeb I'm just a sucker with no self esteem”

Trainer later... watching the 1992 Giro.... I don't know who's gonna win so don't tell me.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jacksonville Marathon - a lot of road….

This was to be my 5th attempt at the Jacksonville Marathon.

It had been my first, and most painful athletic achievement, a 4:44 in 1997. What I considered to be my best endurance sport achievement of a 3:58 in 1998… a day when I cruised for 20 miles then kicked for the final 6…

I’d toed the line a couple of other times… more recently… times when, because of being undertrained and/or overweight, my finish time had started with a 5…

But 2009 was to be different… I’d run almost 1500 miles so far in 2009… and the 20th of December had been circled very early in the year as my A race….

Long runs were in the books… I’d not run them as fast, or as well as my training plan had mapped out for me but… I had done almost every one of them on Sunday afternoons after riding for a couple of hours on Sunday morning.

The weather was near perfect at 40F and windy… my weight was down 13 or so pounds since my last marathon… and even a few less than back in 1998.

All that taken into account, I had come up with a plan… I decided to run the first mile with the 3:45 pace group… then slip away up the road and try to hold them off. Apart from that, my plan was to run… not think… not about pace… or miles completed… or miles to go… just run mile by mile until the finish.

Towards that end I lined up pretty close to the 3:45 pacer… and proceed to run the first mile with the pacer just off my left shoulder. I could hear him talking with a few of the runners in his group… I then picked up my pace just a bit until I could no longer hear them.

Things were going great… just according to plan but… I had to pee…. I ran a couple of miles… putting time into the group. Then on mile 5 I spot a tree to hide behind and stop. When I emerge and rejoin the race… guess who is just off my left shoulder… 3:45 guy… I had gained, then thrown away, a minute…

It took a few miles but I finally got far enough from the 3:45 group to where I could not hear them anymore… but I had picked up a companion. We had leapfrogged each other a few times and eventually struck up a conversation… her name was Dawn, she’s a kindergarten teacher from North Georgia and she was nailing 8:30s every mile. We talked little but for the next 14 or so miles reeled in a few dozen runners and I don’t think anyone passed us.

My JFR plan was working quite well… passed mile 20 without really thinking about it… Mile 21 brought the pain, however, and it took a good deal of focus to stay with Dawn. I hung on thorough mile 22 as well. I didn’t want to hold her back… and holding on hurt too much so I put everything I had into mile 23…. I got a half step on her and tried to hold it… In my mind I was running a 8:05… while in reality I was simply working really hard and maintaining pace. Just past the 23 marker, Dawn passed me and pulled away for good.

I can’t say I fell apart in the last 3 miles… my pace slipped by 30 seconds per mile… but I was fighting the 500 lb gorilla that jumps on your back in the final miles of a marathon. I knew that I had a PR in the bag… I just wanted to be finished… but… I had one more goal that pushed me along. I’d not clocked a 9+minute mile all day… even the pee break mile had been an 8:58.

Mile 25 was a 8:59… I told myself that mile 26 would be faster and I would run the table on this mofo with all sub 9s. I used every fiber of my being to move myself along that mile but to no avail. My Timex showed me 9:06.

The disappointment was short-lived, however, as I entered the stadium and headed for the finish line.

I hit the line at 3:43:17 and change with a chip time of 3:42:57

I was really too tired to think at the finish… Just gathered my stuff up and went home.

But today looking back… I mean… what a day… what a d@mm day!

I left it all out there on the road… and that’s a lot of road….



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Race Report Outback 1/2 Marathon


My daughter and I get up early on Thanksgiving and run.

The race is the Outback Distance Classic. Masey does the 6k and I do the ½ Marathon.

The night before the race I went out… wine with dinner.. then somehow I found myself sitting in a bar drinking Crown Royal well past midnight… embracing my inner John Young no doubt…

I had a goal… 13 sub 8s… but without any pressure of actually trying to run at any precise pace. The weather this year was a near perfect 50F. Being that we dressed appropriately we huddled close together and shivered while waiting for the race to start.

Once the gun went off we quickly settled into our own races. I could still see Masey just off to my right… and whipped my head around when I saw her heel get kicked in the mass of runners…. She quickly regained her balance and was on her way without incident. Soon thereafter she was lost in the crowd… and at the 1 mile mark the 6k and ½ runners parted ways.

I missed the 1 mile marker which was fine… I didn’t want to know… I heard someone around me comment about 7:30… I felt good… and just wanted to run blissfully unaware of my pace for a while.

During the second mile I passed a lone runner wearing a shirt that said “I’m running with the rockstar on chemo” as I passed I almost commented on the fact that he had lost his star… a couple of minutes later I was happy to have remained silent since… he may have lost this person to cancer… sometimes being shy and reserved keeps me from being recognized as an idiot.

I ran the next few miles with a couple that obviously run a lot… and run together a lot…

I used their conversation as a distraction tho… yet kinda wished I had some music.

I had been taking splits with my Timex but not looking at them. At mile 4 I peeked. It was a 7:35. I was shocked. I thought to myself and may have even said out loud “I’m running out of my mind”. What I know now but did not know then is that mile 4 was the slowest I’d run so far.

With that thought in mind I tried to run the next few miles at a steady pace… but I was beginning to notice that more people passed me than I passed…. But the splits kept coming in at 7:4x so not much to complain about.

By mile 9 I could feel myself slipping… whereas the first few miles had been smooth and seemingly effortless speed I was now turning my legs over by force of will and still slowing down… even if by only 5 or 10 seconds per mile.

Miles 11-13 were all above 8… but only just…

As I rounded the final corner my daughter was waiting there for me… big smile, high five, then a glance at the clock… 1:41:37 is what it read in the distance… I smiled when I knew that I could close the distance and finish under 1:42 gun time…

All in all a good day. A 5 minute or so PR… Masey was happy and we each took 2 naps later in the day.


14:48 (miles 1&2)