2000Km-1243 mile club


Gig's race report (finally) (Read 280 times)


    PART I Four days before the innaugural Rehoboth Beach Marathon, the organizers sent out some information, which included the statement “The Rehoboth weather in November can be interesting,” and went on to say that forecasts had highs in the mid-40s. Interestingly, it didn’t quite get there. About a half hour before the start, it was 27 degrees. Brrr. I thought about running with my sweatpants, but took them off at around 6:55 (post time: 7:00). I resolved to run with my hoodie, though. At around 7:01 we still hadn’t started, and I decided to see how I felt about shedding the hoodie. It was cold but tolerable, which is exactly where I’d wanted it to be. The pics aren’t the best because I’m hijacking the proofs from a website that wants $45 from me. I’ll just admire the low rez proofs, thank you. (Let me know if you’d like ordering info.) Here’s the start, looking at the corral of shivering runners, and from the other side looking at the frosted boardwalk. The third is just a gratuitous photo of the scenery to the right. I love the beach in the Winter. Technically, it’s the Fall, but this is the first race I’ve ever run where I couldn’t find at least one nut without a shirt, so it counts. Smile The boardwalk is a nice run because it’s an even one mile, but today, we started near the middle. So, half a mile along, and then into Cape Henlopen State Park briefly. Mile 2 was at the first turnaround. About a quarter mile before that were stationed some volunteers steering us in the right direction, cheering us on, and playing, loudly, YMCA by the Village People. I think they thought they were being helpful. Wink I managed to replace catchy 70s anthem with a medley of Moby, but soon after the 2-mile turnaround, I approached the Y again. I picked up my pace. (The folks there were very nice, but why the Y?!) Mile 4 had us passing the Rehoboth Beach Visitor Center, with a throng of supporters and some more water. I skipped water this time. So far, the race was entirely on roads. Being a regular visitor to the area, I knew this was about to change. Just past Mile 5, we hit a pressed gravel trail that would last for close to four miles. Also around this point, my left calf started to hurt. It felt really, really tight. The center of the pain was high in my ankle. I thought it might be an Achilles tendon (which is much lower on the leg, I have since learned). After an easy first mile of right around nine minutes, I had since been running right around an 8:15 pace. I knew I wouldn’t sustain this the entire race, so this seemed like a good time to ease off for a while. I slowed to between 8:45 and 9:00.

      PART II The race organizers promised water and Gatorade at around every two miles, and so far they were dead on. So at 5.5, I took out my first packet of Gu to warm it up in my hand. It got plenty warm, because the water wasn’t there at Mile 6; it was at Mile 7. No worries, though. Gu and water at Mile 7, and then at Mile 8, I made the tough decision to stop and stretch my left calf. 20 seconds or so of that with no benefit, and I decided to tough it out the rest of the race. I resolved to take it easy for a bit more. At around 8.5, the gravel ended, and we were on the road again. I knew this stretch well, which presented a decision. It’s going to be a new development, but not much building has happened yet, I suppose because of the real estate market. The result is a nice wide road with a sidewalk island in the middle. The road is soft, and the sidewalk is hard, but the sidewalk is also high, and gives an empowering sensation; a bit of a mental boost. With my leg still hurting, I opted for the softer road. Around the same time, I also decided to use the three Advil I had in my back pocket. At Mile 9, I popped the pills and downed them with Gatorade. SIDE NOTE: I have this thing I do at water stops. I take the cup, spill out some so that the cup is only half full, pinch the top of the cup, and then roll it in toward the center and beyond. It’s like having a sippy cup that I can carry with me and drink slowly over a quarter mile or so. Mile 10 was along a canal, but I didn’t really notice it because I was thinking about my left leg too much. Part way into this mile, though, I crossed a bridge that I knew my DW and DD would be at later on. Around here, I also met a fellow from Bethesda, Maryland. We kept the same pace for almost seven miles. At Mile 12, we went back into Cape Henlopen State Park, this time from the North entrance. At the halfway point, many runners checked out, and their partners checked in for the second half of the marathon relay event. My Bethesda pal and I, however, were in it to the end. It was around this point that I also noticed that the pain in my calf had gone away. Cape Henlopen played a role in our national defense for many years. Here’s an observation tower built during WWII. We ran by the tower twice as we wound through the park. Part of the path was the beginning of the American Discovery Trail, which ends at Point Reyes National Seashore in San Francisco. (I suppose there are some Californians who would say that the trail ends in Delaware. Wink)

        PART III Delaware is flat, and this marathon was no exception, except that a gradual ascent began shortly after 13.1 and lasted, and lasted, for close to a mile. It wasn’t completely constant, and it certainly wasn’t steep. In truth, once I got used to the idea of going up, it really didn’t bother me. And in the end, there was a reward; one of the best vistas in the park. Here’s an image grabbed from the Internet that I think is taken from the same spot. Bethesda apparently decided that the second half was going to be faster than the first half because he took off at around Mile 16. I had run out of chit chat, so that was fine with me. I was gearing up for the highlight of the race, which turned out to come a mile early, at Mile 17. At the water stop, I opted for Gatorade. (That wasn’t the highlight.) As I rounded the next bend, my wife, Janice, and my little girl, Sofia, were standing, waving, and cheering me on. Okay, truth be told, Sofia barely got out of the car in time for me to be able to see her at all. Did I mention that it was cold? On my way back to the boardwalk, hurting less and now emboldened at seeing my family, I picked up the pace again, Miles 18 to 26 were all done at an 8:30 pace or better. Back along the gravel trails; past the Welcome Center again. I was enjoying every bit of it, thanking every volunteer and telling them “You guys ROCK”--especially the kids who were out there. When I hit the boardwalk, my Garmin told me that I had 0.2 to go. I knew, however, that it was closer to 0.4. I had known for a few miles that I would probably be a bit off, so I wasn’t surprised. I also had a lot of gas left; I was doing better than an eight minute pace for the last mile, and I didn’t think I’d need to slow down before crossing the finish line. I was wrong about that, but barely. I finished with a time of 3:46:34, missing the 8:30 pace by a bit, but happy that I ran strong and ranthrough the pain in my calf (which had slightly returned by the end of the race, but not so that it affected the race). My mother was the first person I saw, then my father, then Janice and Sofia. I wanted to go straight to them, but had to surrender my chip first, and then get a shiny metal blanket and a hug from another rockin’ volunteer. (Mom in the black coat. Volunteer in the yellow.) Nice big medal Big grin After that, I went to my family even though I knew something was terribly amiss. Out of the corner of my eye, I didn’t see something that should have been there. Janice asked me “Where’s your hoodie?” Not how I felt, or if I needed anything. She knows me well enough to know exactly what I needed--my hoodie. I asked volunteers, combed the boardwalk and the vicinity, but no luck. Finally, I had Janice drive me the half mile to the running store that organized the race. I asked around, and eventually found somebody who called somebody who knew where somebody had deposited some bags. We left the store and entered the tent outside. Across a throng of tired but happy people, I glimpsed the bright blue of the bag that held my sweatpants and, most importantly, my… “Hoodieeee!” I called out as I briskly navigated through the crowds. I picked up the bag, held it close to my heart, and quickly left the tent having realized that I must seem silly to those who don’t have a hoodie like mine. I got to the car, took off my sweaty shirts (short sleeve over long sleeve--stylish), put on the new race technical shirt and then my hoodie. All was right in the world, so we went to breakfast. The End PART IV: The Postscript Remember the part about my calf hurting? Here’s what it looked like a few hours after the race. The bruises are gone, but it still smarts, especially if I haven’t used the muscles for a while. It feels best when I run. Wink
          Wow Gig, great RR!! That's worth waiting for Wink Great pace, great finishing time (only in my dreams)! Did you find out what was wrong with your calf? Nice pics to illustrate your running story. Did I miss part III? So what's so great about that hoodie of yours? The material? Sentimental value? And what's next?

          I go running in the early morning, before my brain figures out what I'm up to.

          Run the day, or the day runs you.

          Actions determine state of mind - Aristotle


            Wow Gig...fast race. You gotta be proud. Over 1000 miles this year...a great marathon...your hoodie back. Can it get any better? Nice RR Think I will go out for a 6 mile run this morning with my dog
            Run like you are on fire! 5K goal 24:00 or less (PR 24:34) 10K goal 50:00 or less (PR 52:45) HM goal 1:55:00 or less (PR 2:03:02) Marathon Goal...Less than my PR (PR 4:33:23)

              Wow Gig, great RR!! That's worth waiting for Wink Great pace, great finishing time (only in my dreams)! Did you find out what was wrong with your calf? Nice pics to illustrate your running story. Did I miss part III? So what's so great about that hoodie of yours? The material? Sentimental value? And what's next?
              The hoodie is just warm and comfortable. It's pretty new, actually, but it was love at first donning. It's got my karate school's logo on it, and DW and DD both have one, too. Part III was the first Part IV. I've made the edit above. Next. Rest the calf, maybe even all week, but at least until Tuesday. Then, I have a 15K on December 14. DW said she's going to nominate me for the Annapolis Striders most improved runner of the year award. MTA: Crabby, I thought I'd be able to catch you and cross the 2,000K finish line with you. Probably not, but I'll still get there before the end of the year.