Friday, February 13, 2009

Winter Beach Run 09

Winter Beach Run 09

It had been a while since I had felt the thrill of an actual race.
My buddy Michael offer to pick me up and I was more than thrilled to accept.

The company in arriving at one of these things makes it all worth the effort.

Mike and I discuss goals as usual and as usual he is operating at a very different plane than I.

The race is an interium race or a training run for my ultimate goal of the Donna Hicken 13.1 in one more week.

Goal is to finish. No matter what finish.

Perhaps Mike missed this in the pre game show analysis, I thought Terry Bradshaw really capsulized it very nicely with a few of his comment, or he didn't actually hear the commentary I was giving in the car. But when he said something about a warm up run, I could not have been more shocked than if he asked if we could run naked.

Warm up run.....yes that is called the beginning of the race, Mile 1..the run is Miles 2-8, the cool down is 9 & 10.

But being charitable but cautious I headed down the beach and walked with him a bit to get away form the crowd. Ultimately he did his run and I headed back to the start line thinking this could be mileage I might need later.

Well after the warmup Mike found me among all the Lillipusians and a little pre game "go get em" was exchanged. It was comforting to know he was there, it builds some inner strength to not go it alone.

Now for the Race...Mind set is to do as many sub 10s as I could and still do some walking in between the miles.
Even with 2 walks in the first three miles I posted sub 10s. Mile 4 was a logistical disaster; 12 pace. A Gel pac, and a walk then a water station and my mile time was lost. Mile 5 was back in the 10 range. Crossed the 5mile finish and set my mind to the task ahead.

Finish I must, Mile 6 was strong still in the 10:50 range. Saw Mike at 6.8 going the other way. He was running indifferently and I knew his goal was probably out of his reach. He offered a supportive wave and a gel, but he didn’t have that look in his eye. I check my watch and did the math. The numbers were not right. No Joy.

My body pulled me back from wherever my mind was. The 7 mile mark was just ahead and there was my focus. I passed a few and fewer passed me. My herd was thinly spread and made up of novices, old bull, some grinders and one 260 lbs clyesdale. The strong runners were 5 to 10 minutes ahead and gone from my thought was the self pity of once being one of them. I must finish.

The turn was just ahead and after 5 miles of running into the wind, the thought of it being at my back was a mental gel pack. As I made this turn, I screamed for the first mate to hoost up the mail sail and let’s get her back to port quick. After about a half mile, I realized the wind doesn’t really blow 260 pounds one way or the other.

Ok then let’s play some other mental games. Miles 7 & 8 had been in the 10:50 range. Get to the water station. Walk 15 seconds every half mile.

It all seemed to work. I caught several people and finished strong. I had a half mile duel with a cute bunny where she held off my first two attempts to pass by throttling up, but the third was too much as I just extended my stride and kept the effort the same. Quickly she fell away.

My finishing Miles were nine at 10:44 and ten at 10:33. Finish strong is like hitting a great golf shot, it just make you want to come back.

But a funny thing happening on the way to the finish line, I was reeling in this old bull with about 300 yds to go. I thought one more would be a great finish. At about 100yds, I pulled alongside. I could not have shocked him more had I yelled BOO. And he gave it a kick, and what a KICK. He looked like a young calf on a brisk spring morning. Now I had plenty in the tank to pass with as I had been saving for the bunny thinking we were about to race to the finish. I just couldn’t do it. It gave me such a thrill to watch him move like that. (See grin below). The finish line photographer caught it all and gave me a smile and mouthed a “thanks”. I’m sure he liked the shot too.

I hope one day to still have that kind of spirit. Here's to the calf in us all.
Long Live the BULL

Time: 1:46:45
Distance: 10 miles
Pace: 10:40
Men: 202 out of 215
Total: 295 out of 343
Goal: achieved

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