Friday, March 23, 2007

Race Report - New Bedford Half Marathon

I got up on race morning and looked out the window... it looked cloudy and windy! I checked the temperature...32 degrees! This was going to be fun!

We headed to Kate's parents house to drop off our two youngest children. It was going to be to cold for them to stand around waiting for the start. The route went right past her parent’s street and they would be able to see me there.
We headed down to the start at about 10:30 and we met up with a friend who was also running. We tried to warm up a little before they announced runners to the start. They corralled all 1816 of us into the starting area, everyone was jumping up and down trying to keep warm while the Miss.New Bedford sang the National Anthem and the Mayor said a few words about our fine city! Let go already I’m getting cold again! A quick wave and we were off!

The pace was a little quicker than I had planned for. I was thinking 9 minute miles would be a good start for me. They had pace counters at every mile, so when I reached the first mile and heard 7:58, 7:59…8:00 I thought crap…I better slow down. Mile two and three was about the same… 16:03, 24:00. I was trying to slow it down a little, but running in such a large pack carries you along. Then I hit the first of two hills. The first major hill on Hathaway road was the only hill that I was a little worried about. It was long with a significant grade and I hadn’t fully warmed up yet. The top of the hill was mile 4…32:20! It must have been the pack of runners that carried me up that hill.

The next 6 or 7 miles were relatively flat and I was able to get into a comfortable pace… thankfully. My whole family was waiting for me at mile 6, it was great to see them all standing there cheering me on.

We headed down Rockdale Avenue towards Rodney French Boulevard, along the beaches. This is where the wind really started to pick up. Gusts of wind would come and push you sideways, you had to just put your head down and push through it. I had a guy that kept using me to block the wind for him, I would move to the side to let him pass and he would follow…it was funny!

Did I mention I forgot my IPod… well I did and I definitely could have used a little distraction at this point. The crowds of cheering people were gone, most likely the cold was keeping them away. I was now approaching the 12 mile marker, the breaking point, the final big hill! This mammoth hill had reduced many runners to a slow walk while others could only manage to crawl in a desperate effort to complete their own personal journey… just kidding It wasn’t that bad!

The streets were lined with people again cheering you up the final hill. Runners who had finished already were on the way back “to rub it in”… I mean to give us support. Just one mile to go to the finish, you can do it! The music was getting louder now and I could hear the announcer reading off names as they crossed the finish line. I rounded the final corner and saw the finish. I could see my wife and son waiting at the finish… they were smiling! After I crossed the finish, volunteers where waiting to take my chip and pass out finishers metals… My first one!

My official time was 1:49:11.

I did learn a few things during this race.

1. I “can” handle a faster pace on race day.
2. Water running down your neck while trying to drink at a water stop in 32 degree weather is cold!
3. Puffy yellow jackets in the wind acts like a sail. (Not in a good way)
4. When you feel the urge to P before a race…do it! It doesn’t go away!

5. Have more confidence in my abilities.

Mooseman Here I Come!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pre-Race Report: New Bedford Half Marathon

It was cold, it was windy!

I finished 862 to of 1816 finishers. My official time was 1:49:11.

Full Race report to follow... with pictures thanks Kate!

Monday, March 12, 2007

New Bedford Half Marathon just days away!

I completed my last long run (13 miles) before the New Bedford Half Marathon on Sunday the 18th. I ran about half the actual course and then headed to the park to finish some loops. I wanted to run along the water and hit some of the hills so I would know what to expect on race day. It felt great and my knee did fine, but I could have used another water stop. I hate running with anything in my hands so I parked my car on the route so I could stop about half way and take in some water and a gel. It was a warm day about 47 degrees and the park was full of walkers and kids on bikes. I had to run in the street most of the time, but it was great to just be outside on a nice day.
For the rest of this week I plan on taking it easy. I have a few short 3-4 mile runs planned and two rest days before Sunday’s race.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

2007 Schedule

I have my 2007 schedule finally worked out... for now!

30th Annual New Bedford Half Marathon
The SimplyStu Worldwide Triathlon II
Mooseman International Distance
Bridgton Four On The Fourth
Bayside YMCA Sprint Triathlon
Firmman Half Ironman

My first race this year is the New Bedford Half Marathon on March 18th. This will be my first half marathon and I can't wait to do it. My training has been going well, except for a chest cold last week that had me coughing up techno-colored sludge. I'm back on rack with my training now.
I entered my family in the The SimplyStu Worldwide Triathlon II on March 24th, 25th. I thought this would be a great way to introduce my children to the sport I enjoy so much. When I completed my first triathlon last year two of my three children were there to cheer me on and see me cross the finish line. I was so happy to be able to share that experience with them. When I finished, my son turned to me and said “That was awesome, when can I do that!
I was looking for a race to test myself with early in the season. I know I wasn't going to be ready for a half ironman this early, so I thought I would try a quarter distance. I entered the Mooseman International Distance on June 2.
My wife and I take the kids on vacation in Maine for two weeks in July. We have done this now for the past 15 years. Wow... that's a long time! Last year was the first time I noticed that the town we stay in has a local road race, The Bridgton Four On The Fourth. I'll enter this year!
The Bayside YMCA Triathlon was my first triathlon last year. I had an awesome time and it was a great event. My wife was unable to make it so I wanted to do it again so she could be there. The Bayside YMCA Triathlon will be in August
I wanted to end my season with a big race... big for me. I entered the Firmman Half Ironman in September. This will be my longest distance race, nervous about being ready for it. If I find a good training plan and stick to it, I'll be fine. It's all about having fun right!
Wish my luck!