Monday, May 7, 2012

"You Hit a Parked Police Car?": Inside and Outside Providence (5/6/12)

Pre Race - Kate, Korynn, Dan, Ann and me (with a great view of the port-a-potties)

Race:      Providence Marathon
Location: Providence, RI
Goal Time:  3:10:00
Actual Time: 3:14:09

This August will make it 25 years I have lived in Boston and oddly I know very little of Providence.  Outside of Rocky Point Amusement Park (which I found out closed) and two trips to see the Pawsox play at McCoy Stadium, all of my knowledge of Providence amounts to Alec Baldwin quotes. This did not deter me from staking my hopes of a Boston Qualifier upon the Ocean State's biggest marathon.

On Christmas Day, I ran 15.5 miles and signed up for the Providence Marathon.  And since then its been a long and winding trip.

By Saturday I was giddy with excitement.  The oddities and innities of Providence (the 8 year old cheerleader championships, Magic: the Gathering convention, Nancy's Fancies, Melvin the Marathon Monkey and delicious Tuscan Soul Food at Sienna with a slip to the bar to watch the Fastest 2 minutes in sport) were enough to calm the jumpy nerves brought on by either the excitement or the loads of caffeine.

Sunday morning in fact, I was not nervous.  I merely wanted to get the damn race started.  A small SRR collective began congregating near the start of the start pack.  First Todd and I then Matt and Jen, finally Korynn, Dan, Ann and Karen.

Once the gun went off, I stuck to my gameplan and Joe O'Leary's advice.  Dan ran off at about the time I was looking to do the marathon in.  But I managed to reel myself in and keep it under control with a 7:45 first mile and a 7:38 second mile. From the third mile until 10 I was able to keep myself in control both up and down the hills - never straying too far from the 7:15 range.

Mile 10 was a little fast (6:58) as I was bit pumped up seeing the SRR gang (Anthony, Marc, Seth, Jim, Paul V.  and the Morins) at the SRR Elite Water stop.  But I regained control for 11-15 - included a poorly executed double high-five with Brian C.

15 is where the reality that I was actually running a MARATHON set in.  First, I was no longer just running with my legs - it was time to for the mind to play an important role.  Mental training is something I'm going to have to work way harder on next time. I assume there is a book called "Zen and the Art of Marathons" that I'll probably buy.  (This book actually helped my basketball.) The second issue was one of my foam nipple guards had fallen off and I now had one bloody nipple.  (The one that stayed on worked like a charm.

I stayed strong and was able to kick the fears until 19 when a guy started commenting that he was amazed anyone with such a "large frame" could run this fast this far.  (Thanks guy, 19 isn't in the period where one starts to question his abilities at all!) Fortunately I had another thing to worry about.  Coming down the hill would be the SRR Elite Water Stop again.  I knew I had to keep myself in control and not get amped like I had at 10.  I had to stay in the 7:15 range.  I managed it well - got some high fives in and was soon passing the 20 mile marker and Sarah Wright cheering from her bike.

Just before the big hill at 21, The Tingers (with Harrison, "YES!") and Nicole were running from their car to come cheer.

The long not so steep hill from 20.5 to around 22 was a bit of a concern of mine.  But, I would like to send a random thanks to Tony DeCarlo for this one.  Thanks to his random Spotify playlist from Saturday morning I kept myself going with visions of BBD, "Bobby B, Ralph T, Johnny G and the whole NE crew":

Mr. Telephone Man there's something wrong with my line,
when ever I dial my baby's number I get a click everytime!

As I finished the long hill and prepared for the last little snotty hill that ended around the 23 mark, I really thought I had 3:10:00 and a Boston Qualifier in hand.

At the top of 23, I knew I didn't.  The next 3 miles were high snowmen - 8:30-8:50s.  The last one I only kept running in fear of Dan McGinty catching up.

I finished up with 3 hours 14 minutes and 9 seconds - I probably could have broken 3:14 with a better sprint past Shark Tank and Bolt who were cheering at the end -  but, meh.  31 and a half minute Personal Record from my 2010 Bay State Marathon.  I ran 26 good miles (including 23 GREAT ones).  Rationally I had a great race and am happy.  Yet, the reptilian brain is still disappointed with not qualifying for Boston.

Alas, Improvement in sport is about being never satiated.  



Todd and Matt both BQed (3:03 and 3:07, respectively)
Korynn had a one minute PR.
Shark Tank PRed the half marathon
Ann and Karen both pulled off good races to complete the much coveted Boston-Providence double!
The new ultra-marathoner, Kate Daniel, pulled off the amazing PR - late to the start, got off course for 6 minutes and still PRed by over 15 minutes!

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