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

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

26.2 for Cindy

On Tuesday of last week… I stared to get the idea that I might want to do this race…

On Thursday my participation was confirmed. By 5PM on Friday I had a race number in my hand.

So, I thought… now what?

I’d wanted to do the race because some of my friends were doing it… it goes through my old neighborhood… and I could always use another long run in preparation for RATS.

As I sifted through my race packet… All of the breast cancer awareness stuff… It all made me think of my friend Cindy.

She and I have been friends since kindergarten… I think everyone had that girl in their class in school that told everyone what to do… like Lucy in Peanuts… well that’s Cindy. As a grown up she’s well… much the same way J… but with a heart as big as Texas. She battled breast cancer a few years ago… and is fighting health issues again.

So I had this idea… That I’d run the race in her honor…. It sounded kinda cheesy to me at first… me… doing something that I love to do… for me… then dedicating my effort to someone… but then I thought again. Sometimes just the simple act of telling someone that you are thinking about them… and what they are going through… is important… sometimes it’s really all we can do.

So I asked Cindy what she thought… and she thought it a capital idea.

With that in mind… as I got dressed Sunday morning I wrote her name… on my forearm… and on my calf.

Now My initial idea about this race was to take it as a lark… just jogging it, I thought… after the 50 miler the weekend before would be sufficient….

I met my friend Mark… and the rest of our FLDIC team at the start… for a couple of pictures. After the pictures mark and I walked over to the start.

He asked me… “So what’s your plan?”

I almost always have a plan. Truth is I didn’t… I said “I don’t know” then thought of Cindy… and honoring her fight with one of my own…. And finished up by saying “I’m going to run it”

Mark asked for clarification… and I told him that I was just going to run… no mind to time… pace… distance… just run the course.

We found someone to snap a quick picture of us then we were off…

I ran the first mile or so with Mark… pace didn’t matter since we were packed into a herd of a few thousand people utilizing the same on ramp .2 miles into the course. The temperature when I parked my car had been 37F… by the time I dropped my arm warmers (home made from an old pair of tights I found in the goodwill box) at mile 2 it had already warmed up a bunch…

Somewhere in mile 2 I passed the 5:30 pace group. In mile 3 I passed the 5:15 and 5:00 groups. The course reaches the beach at about mile 5 and by then I had caught the 4:30 group. Once on the beach… I had a better line of sight… and I could see another group ahead… the 4:15s. Ironically I had chased them on this same stretch of beach last year after going off course… and there they were again. It took a couple of miles… but I caught and passed them… about the time I reached my old neighborhood.

From there… I really had no other goal in mind.. just my 3 letter… one word mantra… run.

A few miles later I caught a group of girls… and I could kinda hear their conversation… they were worried about their finishing times being recorded correctly. I kinda politely butted in and tried to quell their fears… telling them how the finish was laid out with separate finishing chutes for the half and full… etc. They explained to me the finish was not their issue… they were worried because they went off course… and accidentally crossed the 7 mile timing mat on the ½ marathon course…. At that I started laughing… and they started getting mad…. At least until I explained that I had done the exact same thing the year before.

On my way out to the turnaround I caught a few old friends… and chatted a bit… Before I knew it I crossed the ½ way point… the clock read 2:05 not too bad.

The day was lovely… just that first hint of spring after what has been, for us Floridians, a cold winter. By mile 15 I was burning up in the FLDIC black short sleeve tech shirt I’d been issued… so off it came… at mile 16… I dumped it in my old neighborhood.

Running down 1st Street in Neptune beach on a sunny day definitely put a big smile on my face. Not too many places in the world I rather have been. I could, however, hear some warning bells going off.

The heat was beginning to get to me a bit. I could tell that my haphazard approach to this race, while refreshing and loose, hadn’t put enough emphasis on hydration.

I never really “hit a wall” so to speak but I did slow a bit over the last 10 miles… took in a bunch of fluids… a couple of Gels. Also I never let go of my mantra… and the fight I’d set out to honor… to simply run.

At mile 23 the 4:15 pacers caught me… with but one pace in tow. I tried to stay with them but their walk/run did not fit with my plans.

I finished… pretty well spent… right at 4:15 chip time.

Although I was finished running I was not yet finished with my daily mileage. I had to walk about 1.3 miles to Mark’s house. On the way I stopped at the beer tent and picked up a couple of 16oz Buds… By the time I got to Mark’s I had a nice buzz.

A damm fine day!

Below are some splits I took on my Timex.. yet never looked at… I’m normally pretty consistent… looks like I was all over the place this time.



Shelley said...

Great finish!

Lesser is More said...

Way to just run it, while still supporting your cause...not bad for just another training day!

Anonymous said...


it's all about pace said...