Sunday, March 18, 2007

Gotta quit counting down!

29 days to go...
I am freaking myself out with this countdown.
But I can't help myself.

Today we ran the New Bedford Half Marathon.
Against my better judgment, I agreed to run this. I had 16 miles for my long run today and the plan was I'd do a 1 mile warm up and a two mile cooldown with the 13.1 miles in the middle. And, they supposedly served chowder and fish sandwiches at the finish.

We picked up our friend Josh.
I had warned him he would have to wait.
Of course, being the social bug that he is, he could have waited for HOURS and had the time of his life chatting it up with all his runner friends that were going to be there. In fact, they don't have to be friends, perfect strangers will do! I also told him he had better be saving some chowder and sandwiches for me!

So, I knew we were in trouble when I got out of the car, stared two blocks UP HILL to get to the school to register, and had to deal with HEADWIND on the way there.

We registered, got t-shirts, and all that. I went back to the car, got all my gear together and put on my jacket and number and all manner of running accoutrements...and did a 1.93 mile warm up. I found the flattest out and back route I could find, through a residential section which was sheltered from the wind.

Then it was time. My first race since Big Sur in April 2006.
The course is a BIG LOOP and there is a span of a few miles in the middle that hugs the coastline - which is flat but usually windy.

Let me just say this.
3 miles of headwind.
2 miles of side wind.
2 miles of tail wind.
3 miles of side wind.
3.71 miles of headwind.

3.71 miles?
No idea where the extra miles came from but the measured course is 13.1 miles when you run the tangents. And since I don't run the tangents, I ran a total of 13.71 miles.

In the last 3 miles, this largish sort of woman in purple and I kept going back and forth. I knew I had to hang on and I could surge at the end. Joseph met me around .5 miles to go. I shouted, "Where's the damn finish?" and he mumbled something but I couldn't hear it because the woman I was passing (in gray) pointed ahead and shouted "Straight to the police car, turn right, and it's downhill." All I could think of was, "Lady, if you can shout that loud with enough mental acuity to give me directions, you didn't run this race hard enough."

And sure enough, the purple lady surged ahead. I thought to myself, "No way you are beating me into the finish, lady, I got a sprinter inside me..." And at the cop car, I took a right in an all out sprint for the final .3 miles to the finish. The purple lady was toast, to say the least.

So yes... there is competition at the back - not to be the first, but not to be the last!

The chowder was so so, the fish patties were excellent; I had two! And sure enough, there was Josh, planted on a bench inside the school, chatting it up with new found running friends, eating a fish sandwich, motioning for Joseph to get him another... he totally cracks me up!

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, I will never run this race again. Never.
Too much WIND!

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Blogger Chris Hughes said...

> the measured course is 13.1 miles
> when you run the tangents.

Actually that is not technically true. A certified course is at least the stated distance when run via the shortest possible path. Generally the measurement includes adding 1% to the measured distance as a "short course prevention Factor". The certification generally requires several measurements of the course with the shortest measurement being selected and corrected to the appropriate distance.

OK I've gone nerd techy on ya. Sorry..

>The purple lady was toast, to say the least.

Excellent! Nice Race.


12:12 PM  

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