Monday, February 18, 2008

Going the extra mile(s) :)

Congrats to all of those who raced the National Breast Cancer Marathon and ½ Marathon! It was awesome to see so many people out on the course racing, training, volunteering or cheering.

I always try very hard to do what my coach tells me. I figure he is putting a specific training schedule out there for a reason and that is what I am paying for.

So my plan was to run with Kellie Smirnoff, one of our clients, for the first 18-20 miles as my weekly long run. Kellie is an INCREDIBLY talented runner and had a great train up going into the race. Her goal was to beat her previous PR of 3:20 and shoot for a 3:12 as a stretch goal. I was nervous but with luck I figured I could hold that pace.

Race day brought the hottest weather we have had in months. It was really warm at the start (65-70 degrees) and the announcers were warning against going too hard as the conditions were not conducive for fast times. Add in a strong 10-15mph headwind from miles 17-23 and it was going to be a tough day to reach your anticipated goals.

We started at the front which is a place I normally don’t start in a running race. A big security guard eyed me (I think I stood out :)) and knew immediately that I was not supposed to be there and had me take a few giant steps back. I was completely fine with that as I definitely did NOT belong alongside the Kenyans :)

After a good luck handshake from Tim Deegan, Donna’s husband, we were off. The course was FANTASTIC and running over JTB was amazing (ok, not so much the 2nd time :)). We were lead through familiar streets and miles that we have run 100’s of times before.

Running a major race in your own home town was really cool. It was awesome to hear numerous friends shouting encouraging words. The 1st few miles were a bit too fast (“throw the ball syndrome”) then we settled into a pace, cruised along and took in as much fluids as possible. I think I actually ate and drank more during this race than I ever have. The cyclists call it grazing and I was going to get my fill of this all you can eat catered training run.

At mile 20 Kellie said thanks and she would finish it out strong.

I am not sure what exactly made me decide to continue but I knew I couldn’t short this. This race is about Breast Cancer and a quest for a cure and we recently had this touch our family in a very personal way; so on to 26.2.

Kellie finished as strong as she started and hit her stretch goal with a 3:12:34 (7th woman and 26th finisher overall) despite the winds and the heat. CONGRATS!!! I was really happy to have completed my 1st ever marathon (without a swim and bike prior) in 3:12:40. YES I got beat by a girl, actually a few of them, and I am fine with that :)

Unfortunately I am still waiting to be included in the results. Hopefully they will correct it and if I ever decide to run a marathon again, it will be in Boston :)

Congrats to the Velocity and Hammerhead team members that raced in the full and half marathon. Especially Eric, JC (3:04 and the 6th woman overall), Susan, and Pete whose longest run this year, prior to the marathon, was 3 miles and he rode 60 miles the day before. Dude, what where you thinking?

Speaking of what are you thinking, James Sweeney smacked the ½ with a time of 1:30 and change. The crazy part is he rode 112 the day before. This guy is going to surprise a BUNCH of people in Arizona. Congrats man!!

I used Recover Gear ( shorts after the race and I am AMAZED at the difference. I put them on and walked down to the beach with C-bone to build sand castles. No Francis, I did not go all body builder style! I had surf shorts on over them :)

Today I am still walking a little funny but not nearly as sore as I usually am. This stuff really works.

Saswata, Tony and I are off to Tucson to train for a week in the hills and get used to riding in the desert. Look for more on the Tucson trip as well as the Lindner Capital results in another entry.

In conclusion, the entire day including the volunteers, the crowds and the course was all truly inspiring. It was great to see so many people and friends turn out for a great cause. It was absolutely worth going the extra mile(s) :)

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