Monday, March 19, 2012

New Bedford Half Marathon

finishing up...this and all photos by Krissy  Kozlosky

The Skinny
5.37 pace
43rd overall; 6th for CMS
1 5.30
2 5.30
3 5.46
4 5.48
5 5.28
6 5.31
7 5.20
8 5.31
9 5.51
10 5.31
11 5.38
12 5.42
13.1 6.21

The Report
Around midday on Saturday, I started to get mentally right for this race.  For most of the week, I had been running uninspired due to fatigue, both mind and body.  Work was been stressful and coming off my high mileage total the week before left me a little drained.  But by Saturday, the excitement of a race trumped all other factors.

I was motivated by all the cars on 140S.  Various running bumper stickers made it a dead giveaway that we were all headed to the same place for the same reason: to push ourselves to the limit.  We were a band of brothers, in all different makes and models, headed down to the whaling city for a common cause: run 13.1 as fast as possible. 

I met up with some CMS mates prerace and before long it was time to head out for a warmup.  Joe Shairs, Jim Pawlicki, and one or two others headed out together for about two miles.  There was no doubt as to what to wear: shorts and singlet, no more no less.

I ran the first mile w/ teammate Dave Dunham.  I thought we were going pretty conservatively, but the split came up in the high 5.20s.  I was a little surprised by this b/c it felt so easy.  The only thing telling me it might be a little quick was the copious beads of sweat forming at my brow.

I ran a smart tactical race for the first 10K.  I tucked it when the wind flared up and I did not expend any extra energy surging or putting on moves.  I found that tucking in one of the bigger guys allowed the pace to feel very easy, even though the splits were staying consistent.  I ran miles 2-4 with teammate Jason Porter, and two legends: Norm Larsen and Robert Cipriano.

When we got up on top of the hill and got some relief from the wind, I picked up the pace slightly.  I started passing people and seeing the Level Renner video crew at mile 5 definitely motivated me.  I hit 5 miles in 28.01.  I started running w/ a guy named Matt and we were clicking off those middle miles, and that’s where some of my fastest splits of the day were produced.

In the late middle miles I started thinking that a PR was possible (72.46), and that excited me.  I kept the gas on but our group got strung out a bit and I was in a bit of a no man’s land.  I would pass a guy every once in a while and remember making a big surge by the seashore to try to get next to someone that might help block the wind just a little bit.  That success was moderate at best.

Back in 2005, I got my 10 mile PR here w/ a 55:17.  This year I came through in 55:44 and thought that I might still be able to eclipse my half marathon best.  Why?  Because I have been doing more miles and should be stronger.

At 11 I was in pretty good shape.  Some blisters had cropped up on my big toes, but I actually thought: “Good, this will take my mind off the real discomfort burning in the upper legs.”  Through 11, I was thinking that I felt pretty good having just 2 miles left.

Mile 12 was the killer.  That hill didn’t seem to end this year.  I didn’t look at my watch to get a split.  I knew there wasn’t much I could do in terms of increasing the pace.  I was spent and just needed to conquer that hill so I could change gears once crested.  I was pumping my arms, hoping they could get me up the thing.  When I finally made the turn after the McDonald’s, I looked at my watch and it read 72.01.  Damn, I thought, no PR.  But then I thought, I don’t know where I am on the team and if I’m 5th man (turned out to be 6th), I better haul ass b/c every second counts in these GPS races.  I missed the marker for 13 (was there one?).  I finished in 73.26 on my watch (73.27 officially).

It was good to catch up with teammates both before and after the race.  Jim Pawlicki, Al Bernier, Greg Hammett, Joe Shairs: them there are just good people.  Listening to Nate Jenkins tell a motley allotment of stories from his adventures in running made the cooldown pass without too much discomfort.  Still can’t believe George Adams was able to hurdle that sawhorse—twice! 

Capped the event off by heading to the press conference where I met up with two of the main cogs in the Level Renner wheel: Eric Narcisi and Joe Navas.  These dudes just brought it out there.  They accumulated tons of race footage (video) and also conducted a healthy portion of post race interviews with Olympians, past Boston Marathon champions, and the winners of today race (Ruben Sanca, Geoff Smith, Matt Pelletier, and Hilary Dionne, respectively). 

What a day.  And to cap it all off, I came home to hang out with the most important three girls in my life.  Happy Birthday KJ!

1 comment:

Muddy Puddin' said...

Awesome report! You look like a monster....shredded like lettuce in some of those pics man! Great race.

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