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Monday, February 7, 2011

13.1 miles running with 20,000 people is way cool

Very humbling day for me. I was not over confident in what the day was to bring. I was excited and in awe of everything going on.
First I would like to say sorry to the people from blog land that I wanted to meet. It wasn't in the cards for me due to my still sick son. In fact as I type this I am waiting for his doctors office to open to make his appointment.

I have not run over 11 miles (ever) and I knew there was going to be some mental games from 10-13.1 for me. I also know my passion for achievement and desire to endure. My threshold is high and I can grind anything out.
The first thing I noticed having not run a road race in so many years was, things don't change. You go out hard and if you don't check yourself you'll just crack and never recover.
I kind of hurt myself when I had signed up for this race. I had only run 8 miles 2x and with the thought of adding 5+ miles to that, I placed myself in a deeper coral than I needed to be. I signed up for a 2:20 finish time. Considering where I finished it doesn't seem like it would be such an issue, but it was.

The first 3 plus miles was a huge challenge to find slots and gaps to dart through to get where I needed to be and settle in. The race splits show 3 mile split at 9:28, where my Garmin shows differently in the 8's. But really who cares at this point I knew right away this was going to be a problem. Getting through at a reasonable pace and then trying to keep anxiety down with a reasonable heart rate.

At about the 4 mile mark I seemed to get in a flow. Just in the last couple of weeks I had been hitting consistent 9 and below miles for 5 plus mile runs. As it turns out I did average 9:27 mpm. And mentally I was hoping for 9:31. But as I was out there and running and seen where I was consistently pacing at 8:51 to 9:10 I thought I would smash what I thought I would do.

The weather was overcast and cool, but not cold. I think for me, other than some dense fog, perfect run weather.
I saw Patrick on his way back in at what should have been about 11 mile marker. He was just about 30 seconds or less behind the 1:40 pace group. I was stoked for him, knowing where he was hoping to finish.
Ironically it was just about that same point when I got there that both my feet where really trying to start a fire in my shoes.
It was a long slight incline and I watched so many people cracking and dropping off on that section. For me, other than some hot feet I knew what was there, I have ran it,  road it, knew it.
However I had never been in pain up it.
I spent the next full mile fidgeting with my toes and trying different run strides and steps to ease the pain. I finally had to pull my shoes off and see the socks all bunched up. The problem was my socks had hardly shifted if at all.
I KNEW AT THAT POINT they were all just a series of blisters and I needed to man up, do a gut check and get the "F" back on my way.
Wasn't It just 30 minutes ago that you were going to crack 2:00 hours? Now how are you  going to act. Go get this thing done and then lick your wounds.

I pounded out the last two miles, even conjuring up a sprint finish for the last 200 yards. I was happy to be done, and now have a better idea of what to expect in the future. This is no 5k,10k or even a 10k after a swim and a bike. This is 13.1 miles at an ongoing race pace. All run.

Total time 2:07 minutes total miles 13.18 and all kinds of lessons learned. Congrats to those that hit there BQ, yeah Chris k.
Awesome job by Patrick, I knew where he was shooting to be and he blasted it, great job brother. As far as the rest of you, I look forward to your race report.
So some fails and some wins here. I did manage to pace my neighbors nephew through the race. He is 27 and had only ran 10 miles once at 2:05. I kept him in step the whole race, made him drink when necessary and kept him gelled at the right distance.When I had to stop to check my feet I urged him to keep going as steady as possible. He thanked me and did so and finished at 2:06 for 13.18 miles. He was appreciative and elated, thanked me for the motivation and the fuel. .

Now I have a true goal time to beat and I can't wait to tick minutes off as the time goes by and races get under my belt.
I'm still a hockey player in runners clothing but I'm getting there :-).

Both my feet ended up having blister issues. Both the balls and big toes plus my outer bases of pinky toes. That might have occurred when I tried to change my stride ?
My quads are a little toast and my right knee is a little swollen, but not bad for a guy 1/2 year ago hadn't ran at all. I'll be back at it tomorrow, targeting a couple shorter races and maybe even another fairly close 1/2 mary. Thanks for all the well wishes, I tried to hold up my end.


  1. Bummed I didn't see you when you saw me...I think you did awesome man - your feet where on fire and you kept going. And we've already talked new socks. Can't ask for much more...

  2. Great first half! Really nice job guttin git out and being strong at the end.

  3. Congratulations! Great job on your first half! Blistered feet are miserable. Way to gut it out and finish strong. You're worlds from where you started as a runner, and you've got all kinds of experience to draw from on your next half.

    13.1 racing is a strain on bodies that've never done that before. Give yours a little break and maybe spend a little more time on the bike and a little less on the feet for a bit.

  4. Wow - Congrats! How awesome is that - your first half! Thats more than I have done! As much as I hate running, I'd like to do a half just to see what my time is.
    Great results! I'm jealous!!

  5. plan the work then work the plan. equals great results. well done !

  6. Nice work!!!!
    way to pound out those last couple of miles including a sprint at the end!!



  7. You manned up. Luckily, I didn't have any blisters cuz that can be debilitating. Thanks for the shout out too. Sorry we missed you Saturday. Next year!

  8. Wow, congratulations on your first half and your first over 11 mile run! Whoo hoo! ::high fives::

  9. Congrats! You did awesome! And I've gotten that burning feet thing... it's hard to mentally overcome, but you pushed through!

  10. CONGRATS. That is an awesome effort with blisters and all. You should be so totally proud of yourself. I can't wait till the day I say I have run 21.1km. WELL DONE

  11. I meant to say this sooner; Congrats on your finishing your first half!

    That is a great time and you are only gonna get faster :)