Sunday, October 14, 2012

Commitment = Improvement?

Once upon a time, in my teenage years, my father sat me down to have a little talk with me about commitment and finishing things. Starting something with the intention not to commit to finishing it was something that rubbed my father the wrong way.  I can understand that, mostly.  I am quite certain there was another message in there, or maybe that wasn't the message, in any event I walked away with "Start as you mean to go on." rattling around in my head for over 30 years.  Gosh, I'm old.

At the end of the Newport 1/2 Marathon:

Medals, hey I earned them!
When I ran the Providence 1/2 marathon in May I was satisfied with having bested my last 1/2 marathon time by over 1 hour (finish time 2:17). Training and focus pays off!  While training for the Providence 1/2 marathon I craved a bigger goal, a marathon.  Part of training for a marathon is getting in long runs.  I thought it would be appropriate to find one or more races a month corresponding with my mileage.  Somehow, and I'm not sure how it transpired, I happened upon the Jamestown, RI half marathon in July and that worked with my mileage charts.  What I also noticed was it was part of the "United Healthcare Triple Crown"  I have wanted to do another race series, I enjoyed Off Rhode Racing's 4th Season Trail races immensely.  Digging into the website a little more I discovered I had already run leg 1 in May, in Providence, this was leg 2 and leg 3 was Newport in October.  Well there is a fine how do you do!  These miles work in with my long runs and are part of a series.  I signed up.

Sweet, eh?  

I reported on Jamestown back in July.  It was a good race.  I didn't run it as fast as I had wanted to (2:21), but hey you'll have that.  I've logged two 20 mile runs under my shoes and the Newport 1/2 worked out perfect for my taper period.  Woot!  Saturday there was a special pasta dinner for the 245 of us who participated in all three races, I totally spaced on it and didn't go.  Oh yeah, I never did report back on the calming the overactive mind session I attended on Saturday, another time, I'll recap.  In any event, I went into Newport Sat afternoon to pick up my bib and the goodie bag. Holy cow, it was down at the yachting center, so no parking.  Had I actually been thinking in a focused manner, I would have parked at that first lot and walked the 1/2 mile down to the yachting center and not drove around like the unfocused space case I've become.  To say it was chaotic in Newport would be kind.  Who knew Newport is still hopping in October, plus there was a seafood festival.  Grrrr...  Wonder why packet pick up wasn't at the hotel as it has been for other races... well not my decision to make, right.  Oh and my bib number wasn't there, someone else had 3346... oh well...  I know I've picked up the wrong bib prior so what goes around comes around.  As long as the chip worked, I'm good!

Bummer not a logoed bib.

With the chaos of picking up the race bib ringing in my head I did focus on get up early enough to leave the house by 6:30 a.m. which WOULD get me to the parking area and shuttle busses by 7:15, PLENTY OF TIME.  Well, not so much.  Getting to the parking area took an extra 30 minutes.

Traffic everywhere, the theme for the day, apparently.

I managed to get through the porta potty line and on a bus before 8.  The whole time I'm wondering, if  the bib mix up and the excessively long time to get to the parking area could this be some sort of a bad omen?  One of my fellow Team Lung Love runners is sidelined due to an injury from coaching his kids soccer game.  I want to run MCM!!!  Back to the "Start as you mean to go on."  I kept on keeping on.  I have to get in at least a 12 mile run, and 13.1 was the race length, perfect, no?  After getting dropped off and figuring out where the chute was and being thankful I was NOT in the porta potty lines at the race start, I was in the chute, re-tying my shoes when I noticed everyone was moving. (we've been discussing the lack of focus and scatter brain, right?)  Oh crap, the gun went off.  Oh well, they are walking the start is pretty far away, I need to tie up my shoes and get my Garmin started.  The race is chip timed so it only matters when I cross the mat.

It sprinkles a little at the starting line, feh, whatever, the weather was kind of up in the air anyhow.

Warmer than I expected, but WINDY, so glad I wore long sleeves.

Last night Hubb asked how many people were running the race, I think it was close to 3,000 or maybe over.  There were a lot of freaking people.  I was never running alone that was for sure.  The scenery was beautiful and the other racers were great.  With my delayed start I did need to navigate some walkers and deal with the run/walkers in the first 1/3 of the race.  Usually by the 1/2 point people find their groove and those people who run their hearts out then walk then run again are behind the middle of the pack runners and we can just run along happily.  I walked a few of the water stops, or maybe all of them, again that whole scatterbrain thingy acting up again.  My mind was all over the place as I was running and there were people all over the place.  Look way up ahead in these pics the line of people never seems to stop. It was a perfect tie in to the chaos in my brain.  I never did look behind me but I imagine it was more of the same.  Amazing.  I reminded myself this is why I am participating in races to get used to running around people and dealing with the chaos and trying to stay focused on my goal.  I am much more used to it now!!

Fort Adams loop, windy nice water views.

Water and Wind

More along Ocean Drive, beautiful course.

When I hit mile 10, running amongst all the opulent mansions, I realized that I really could PR!  Leaving work on Friday Jackass and I joked around and I said, "Oh I'm trying for 2:09"  Well I damn near hit it with 2:10.  Which is also 7 minutes off the Providence race results!  Woot!  Commitment = Improvement?  I tried to keep on a good pace for the last three miles.  I managed mostly (see splits).  My chip time may vary a bit from the Garmin time as I did slow down during a few waterstops and I think the Garmin stops, while the chip just keeps on ticking.

Actual race start time was to be 8 a.m.

What I did notice about my splits were how up and down they were.  I need to see if this factored into the terrain?  It does appear I focused for the last three miles, and sort of lost it a bit on the flat level straight away to the finish.





Elevation / Pace - sort of resembles a scattered brain?  Can you see when I finally saw the finish line?  I really sped up!

Beth who completed the United Healthcare Triple Crown series... "Start as you mean to go on."