Friday, October 17, 2014

3 Days of Columbus: BAA Half Marathon (10/11 - 10/13/14)

2014 BAA Distance Medley medals - 5k, 10k, Half and Medley

Race: BAA Half Marathon
Location: Boston, MA
Goal Time: 1:27:20
Actual Time: 1:28:59

The last time I ran a "distance medley" was in same place White Stadium.  Of course that was 22 years ago, a relay and the distance were track distances.  Mark ran the 1200m; I think Donavin ran the 400 and Benjamin ran the 800. (I could be wrong; it's entirely possible I forgot the salient details of a minor race at the Boston City Championships back when George Bush Sr was still President.)  I finished the race with a 1600m.  It was one of the best runs of my life.  I managed to get us into second place.  I remember trying futilely to close that last 100m on South Boston High School. (In retrospect, with some knowledge of game theory, it would have been better to run easy for that last few and accept 2nd place to save myself since I had to run the 2 mile the next day and the mile the day after that.  Maybe I would not have been so tired at the end of the mile and dropped to third?)

Well, the BAA distance medley was not a relay and the distances were longer.  They were also over a longer period of time.  April was the BAA 5k and June held the BAA 10k.  Columbus Day weekend finished with the Half Marathon. The half marathon starts right next to where I practiced high school football.  It runs along the golf course and out of the park and onto the 203 bridge that goes over Forest Hills.  At the base of the bridge is the mile one marker.  I hit it at 6:30.  While this is a little quick, I figured it was okay since it was downhill, but then I heard Mark Duggan - and his Irish accent - behind me: "Well, that was too f---ing fast." indeed. For me, the next five miles continued at that too fast pace.  But - once again- they were downhill.  So while my plan had been to speed up each mile, I just kind of kept the even too fast pace.  So that by mile 5, I plan had caught up with my speed...

The Medley was a big target for me this year.  It was the first year with age group prizes and I really felt that I could get into the top 3.  After the 5k in April, this was confirmed.  My 18:59 had put me into second place in my age group.

Around mile 3
Photo by Thomas Cole
Age group or not, the turn around at mile 5 of the half marathon offered me an opportunity.  At the start Matt had told me to line up with Megan.  I had not wanted to push my way to the front.  So I figured I'd catch up with her on the road.  The turn around was the first time I saw her.  And then as I pushed harder (now going back uphill from Fenway back to JP and Roxbury) I was slowly pulling Megan back.  I wasn't speeding up but somewhere in my head I thought that was okay because I had banked time in those first five miles.  So every downhill I would close the gap with Megan to about 20 yards.  And every uphill, she'd open it back up again.  But each time I closed it by a little more and she opened it by a little less.  By the time I had made it to the 10 mile turn around: a) I had put myself in perfect position to catch Megan, and b) at 1:07 flat, I was at the perfect spot, if I could run the last 5k at 6:30/mile, I would achieve my goal.

I had been less prepared for the 10k than I had the 5k.  It showed.  My 40:40 dropped me from 2nd in my age group to fourth.  That meant I had to beat one of two names on a page Jamie Hull or Zach Mills in the half, if I planned to crawl back into the top three.

Mile 11.5, the last time I saw Megan (212)
Photo by Tom Cole
There would be no clawing my way back this time in the distance medley.  22 years ago I had made an exciting charge trying to catch Chucky from Southie High.  Today, my piriformis just made the rolling hills back to the Shadduck and the uphill back toward the zoo just painful.  Then when we entered the zoo - I got a side stitch.  As we weaved through the walking paths of the zoo (but unlike Miamiman - didn't see a single animal) I felt knew 1:27 and then 1:28 were slipping away from me - as fast as Megan was.  The only thing that kept me running was the desire to beat two people I didn't know - Zach Mills and Jamie Hull.  Finally we left the zoo and through Playstead to turn toward White Stadium - home of virtually every track meet and football game in my high school career.  On the path from the zoo to the stadium, my mom and Aunt Judy and Uncle Larry were cheering for me and other Somerville runners.  This brief second in the park really pumped me up a bit and I was able to gather myself for the last quarter mile.  I came in right under 1:29: 1:28:59.  It is my 3rd fastest half marathon ever and might have put me in good with the medley.

Looking at the results later, I had beat both Hull and Mills.  AND I beat Mills by enough that should have put me into third in my age-group for the medley.  Alas.  Two elite masters runners who didn't sign up for the medley per se did run all three events.  So those two took first and second - I took 5th. bummer.


Liz and John Hadcock both won their age groups.
John won his age group in the Medley!

SRR Teams -
Mens' Open (of which I was the lead scorer) - 3rd
Mens' Masters (of which I was also the lead scorer) - 3rd
Womens' Open - 3rd

Also on the Weekend

Saturday - New Bedford Whaling Museum

For my mom's birthday we headed South to New Bedford -
There be Whales, Captain

I think the North Star is that away

Urvi aboard the Lagoda

Even Urvi has to watch her head aboard

Sunday - Canucksgiving!

Thanks to the awesome spread from Amy and Maple Leaf Joe Lauer

Beauty, eh?

Joe carving the Turkey

Monday - Tufts 10K and MiT Museum

Liz K.



Polaroids, Polaroids everywhere and not a drop to drink

Urvi in the Kinetic Sculpture

Cheers to a great weekend...

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