Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Bedford Half Marathon

While we all wait with bated breath for the second installment of the US Nationals Race report from Amber, I figured I could at least keep everyone updated as we run some races. This past Sunday we ran the New Bedford Half Marathon which is the first part of the New England Gran Prix Series which showcases most of the fast runners in New England. This also marked the first race of the year that we did not race for acidotic Racing which does not compete, yet, in road races, and instead ran for the Gate City Striders, our original running club before we got sucked down the rabbit's hole of snowshoeing and trail racing. We continue to race for them at all New Hampshire and New England race series and do so mainly because of the quality of the people on the team. It is comprised of a great diverse group of people who seem truly just love to get out and run.
 Each of the last three years we've run this race we've made a weekend of it, going down and visiting my grandfather then heading out with my parents to a great dinner and some relaxation before the Sunday race. This year was no exception. We were lucky to get a nice hotel with a pool and hot tub and only a few miles from the start of the race, and which served a full breakfast. We found, using my mother's IPad, an excellent Portuguese restaraunt, Antonio's, for dinner. The place was so packed there was over an hour wait for a table, but we opted the bar as it had the same menus and was closer to the beer. I stayed pretty conservative with a fish sandwich but my father tried this amazing stew with shrimp, Bacalhau(salted cod), and various types of meats. I don't think he went a bite without saying how amazing it was. The rest of the night was topped off with lounging at the top tub and watching some movies in the room.
 We arose early the next morning, leisurely checking out the breakfast buffet. Over a period of forty minutes or so, I managed to eat: 2 breakfast sandwiches, a belgian waffle, a plate of eggs with sausage, a yogurt, 2 cups of coffee and sampled Amber's oatmeal when she wasn't looking. Definitely not the typical pre-race meal, but I figured that I had several hours to digest(the race didn't start until 11) so I would be fine. It wouldn't be until we arrived and saw the huge lines for the bathroom that I started to re-consider my thought process.
    Around ten we met up with Amber's parents and give her father his new Brooks' Green Silence that I picked up for him.  These shoes are as light as my racing flats but are made up of primarily recycled products, which is pretty amazing. We got our bibs, determined a place to meet after the race and warmed-up. Another aR and GCS racer, Rich Lavers, joined up with me for a short warm-up before we got called to the start line.
   With everyone ready to go, we wished each other good luck and went to our respective parts of the start line. With these New England Grand Prix series' races, I usually don't finish in the top 100 and therefore seeded myself where I thought I wouldn't be trampled by the hordes of CMS and BAA runners. After a brief introduction the gun went off as did the runners. Within 30 seconds, I was probably behind 150 or so runners, all of whom were running faster than I do for a 5k no less a half marathon. Then it occurred to me, that so was I. I passed the first mile in 5:30 which is my typical 5k first mile. Interesting, I wondered how long I could keep that up. Well, apparently about four miles. I then slowed to nearly a 5:55 pace to come through the five mile mark at 28:21(1:39 faster than my fastest 5 miler). I got passed by a runner that I thought I shouldn't have so picked the pace back up. The wind seemed to always be at my face but I think that actually helped because it forced me to pick up the pace to bridge gaps between runners to get some shelter from the wind. It was definitely a wake up call to see that I could run this pace with only a little more effort than I had at Half at the Hampton but was going 20 seconds per mile faster. It helped that this also corresponded nicely with a slight downhill that helped bring me through the ten mile mark in 57 minutes(again an unofficial PR).
  The last three miles were slow due to a)fatigue, b) my apparent inability to tie a shoelace that will remain tied, and c) a hill that elsewhere wouldn't even be mentioned but at New Bedford it is a HILL. However, I still finished with a time of 1:15:16 which was over a 3 minute PR and yet only netted me a 78th place finish. Yikes! Fast race.
  I am definitely happy with that time, but would have liked to have gotten in a long bike ride the day before to have tried to run it on tired legs in preparation for Ironman. Like Amber did. Amber biked for four hours on Saturday only to throw down a 1:26 on Sunday. She is looking strong for the upcoming season, which starts on April 10th for us down in Galveston, TX. More to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment