Friday, July 22, 2011

Gimme Five: Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5 Miler (7/21/11)

Race: Sugar Bowl 5 Miler

Location: South Boston, MA

Distance: 5 Miles

Goal Time: 37:30

Actual Time: 37:25 (1st, Clydesdales)

As we turned off of Day and onto the Harborwalk Path around 3.5 miles, I could only think of Third World’s song:

“It was 96 degrees in the shade!”

Thankfully, there was an L Street Volunteer with a hose spraying. Everybody was moving into the left lane to run through the spray.

I had told Sanjay that I was going to try to put in a 35 minute race. In a perfect world, with reasonable temperatures, that would have happened. Today was not such a day. At 4:00 it had been 101°F Downtown and 98°F at the airport! While it had probably cooled down to chilly 95 by 6:30 race time, it was still HOT!!!

I managed to keep myself in control and on target for the first 2 miles. The pancake flat course against the Harbor had me easily stamping out 7 minute miles. At the turn around at P Street (roughly 2.0646 miles according to L Street’s map), I heard 14:20 something. Perfect!

Then, I turned around. Ahhhh! I had had a tail wind. Now, I was running directly into a HOT land breeze. Unnngh!

Immediately the mixture of heat and wind threw off my dream of 35 minutes. But, I regrouped and committed myself to 7:30 miles the rest of the way. While I did not achieve that – especially the mile between 2.5 and the turn off at 3.47 – I did keep myself stamping along without the undulating peaks and valleys. (Over the past year, I have become a far more consistent runner).

While my last mile was only a 7:30, only one or two people passed me and I was largely able to stay with the group with whom I had run through the 3.47 mile water hose. I started to get the buttered scallops taste in my mouth, but still fought through it. Sanjay (who is both with Somerville and L Street) stood at the last turn cheering me on for the last 50 yards. I pulled in with a 5 Mile PR and brought home some hardware!

Blood, Sweat and Beers: Summer Steamer (7/10/11)

Kevin, Marc, Ann, Mauricio, Me, Dan (w/ Clydesdale Trophy)

Race: Summer Steamer

Location: Somerville, MA

Distance: 4.13 Miles

Goal Time: 28:55

Actual Time: 28:52 (2nd, Clydesdales)

I told Dan, “Without John here, you and I are the biggest candidates for the Clydesdales.” I don’t think he actually believed me. But, when he held the trophy two hours later, he definitely did.

With the demise of Khoury’s and the safety changes to the Thursday Night Run course, the Steamer is even more special. It is now the only time we run the old, or “classic,” 4.13 Mile Course.

So, with traffic control we stood outside the now derelict Khoury’s Spa in the sweltering heat awaiting the gun. It was between 85 and 90 by 10:00am. (They don’t call it the Steamer for nothing!)

Dan and I ran out at a great clip. At mile one, we were around 6:30 and 13:00 at mile two. This is when I realized two things: 1) We could still see Erin Wyner (we were probably going too fast); and, 2) Saturday’s Belgian beer blast at Felix’s was not exactly the best pre-race meal.

I tried to fight it to the top of Lowell Street and the crest of Medford (where, the course gets considerably easier). But at the turn onto Medford, I knew I was kidding myself. “Yep,” I said, “I’m done! Go for it Dan.”

“Al right,” he said. And I watched him slowly disappear in front of me as I packed in the last mile in 8 minutes or so.

I finished with a Khoury’s PR and 2nd in the Clydesdales and fully ready to replace all the Belgian beer I’d lost in the run.