Monday, September 21, 2015

2015 Newport Liberty Half Marathon Race Report

This was my 10th Newport Liberty HM, 2005-2015. Funny, I never planned to run the same race 10yrs in a row, but hey, there it is. I have placed inside the top 10 at this race 7 times.We have our ups and downs, don't we? Sometimes, the competition gets tougher, ready or not. Anyway, the weather yesterday was fairly ideal, cloudy and 72 degrees F. While it kept us cool, the wind was too strong, it definitely put a slow down on things between miles 6-10.
Shortly after the start: Far left, Steve Mennitt takes an early lead, 3 different styles of GSTC singlets on display.
 Today's splits 5:50, 5:39, 5:41, 5:36, 5:34, 5:36, 5:41, 5:51, 5:55, 6:02, 6:07, 6:01, 6:33 last 1.1 miles (5:57pace). Battling Sciatic nerve pain was a factor, time to see the Chiropractor. Maybe I haven't thrown myself into hard enough workouts yet this year. I am trying to avoid having excuses. I would prefer proper execution of a solid race strategy. Anyway, read on. Check here for Full results.
At least 7 GSTC men in this photo, we all were somewhere around 25-30th position here at about 1.75miles. Anthony Harris is looking at You!
My reaction: This didn't feel so great. Knowing I had pushed too hard too soon and was over my threshold into the wind in the middle of Liberty State Park, but let's talk about where I was in the field early versus the end. I was easily somewhere back around 30th before we had made it to 1 mile. Noticing that I had taken off too quickly, I corrected my pace within the first minute of the race. From there I was running along with a well formed pack of teammates and competitors, probably somewhere between 12-15 at times. Everyone in this clump seemed fairly content to keep it tight for the first 3.5miles...
That's when I had had enough of the little tea party. I swung a turn wide allowing me out from behind 7-8 guys and I started to move to the front. I made a push from there until we were near the 5mile mark. I felt surprisingly comfortable with the first three miles. By the 9th mile I might have been in roughly 14th or15th position, but I was clearly a pretender, fading back to 19th by races end. All in all, it was good battling with some great runners.
I proved to myself the following, I'm not at my all time best and I can't run at that pace right now. Which, is admittedly frustrating. But at least I have a better idea of where I am working from. Truth be told, I wasn't ready to race a HM. There has been little in my training this year to lead me into this.  But, I've had worse efforts and worse endings for sure.
I was impressed with the effort I saw out there today from so many people. The teamwork I witnessed and took part in was great! I still dislike the course itself, and if they change the championship race location ever, it won't break my heart. I could happily close the book on a race I have run 10 times.
Somehow, from here, I will find a way to make training happen each day until The Club National XC Championship in December. It shouldn't be impossible, I've got inspiring teammates around me!
Finishing in 1:16:05, glad this one came to its end.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Living a Runner's Dream

People remark to me when they learn I am "A Runner", that they "hate running", "couldn't run down the street", "would only run to catch the bus", etc.  Or sometimes, they ask simply, "Why do you do it?"
I find the why a more interesting thing to respond to, it is open-ended. Perhaps they actually want to gain some insight. 
 I'm going to cut to it now. Nevermind specific race goals for the year, nevermind why I started. Let me tell you why I won't stop.
 I am living the dream: Every time I get going, even when the weather sucks and I am alone wishing I had a buddy out there with me, I am at least 51% glad that I made the effort.  The pain comes with the territory, and there are far more painful things than running injuries and pushing yourself to the limit over and over again. Every step is worth everything I get back from it. I see things that most people won't see, I continue to meet exceptional people because we run. Goals always seem just around the corner, adventures are in every direction. I have been doing this for almost 20yrs, I've run enough miles to encircle the earth and then some.  I can look back on it so far and realize I have accomplished a lot for myself and with teammates, on my terms, in my own time, on my level. Why Would I ever stop?

My team, the distance runners at least, we roll deep.

Now I ask You, "Why do you NOT run?"
That's enough, chew on it...and get your ass out the door, the world probably needs you to run all over it.