This is the face of a runner in pain.
This past weekend I participated in the Long Beach City Managers 10 Mile Trophy Run. This road race zig-zags through the streets and along the boardwalk of Long Beach, Long Island.
I probably should have enjoyed the scenic views running alongside the Atlantic Ocean more than I did. Instead, I was focused on not stopping, not slowing down and not letting that guy with no shirt and no hair gain a step on me.
My wife, unborn child and dog were also in attendance and I certainly couldn't let them down!
I had fully anticipated running this race at a casual pace just to get in the miles. Besides, I'd concluded a 54 mile bike ride less than 18 hours prior.
The starting gun went off and as per the norm my brain stopped. I ran the first mile in 6:15 which is more of a 5k pace for me. I pulled back but still clocked a 6:30 and a 6:45 for the subsequent 2 miles... Fool. Fool. Fool.
Finally I settled down into a sustainable pace (that shirtless bald guy still behind me!) but my legs were pretty shot. The remainder of the race would be about holding on.
That "shirtless guy" caught up to me at about mile 6 and as it turns out he's a fine fellow who's run just about every single half marathon on the Eastern Seaboard... Kudos to you, man! He ran a nice strong pace, pulling me along for the next two miles. Unfortunately he had some knee pain and faded at mile 8.
Sometimes some portions of some races just suck. Such was the case in the 9th mile. The heat, the bike ride and the 5am wake up call were all shouting in my head saying "slow down!" Regrettably I listened to them and lost two positions before snapping out of it for the final stretch.
The final kick brought me across the finish line in 1:11:10 (7:07 pace) which was good enough to finish 18th overall and 4th place in my age group - I even got a trophy!
At the finish I bumped into DebbieJRT who is even nicer and more genuine in person than she comes across on her blog... Good luck in Steamboat!
Since we were so close to the beach I brought my brand spankin' new wetsuit! I figured I'd give open water ocean swimming a go post-race. Swimming in the ocean is hard. I must have consumed a half-gallon or more of salty ocean water. What a debacle! It seems I have some hydro-work to do before Tinman.
I've signed myself up for a smallish sprint distance triathlon this coming Sunday. Please pray that I don't drown.
"The sea - this truth must be confessed - has no generosity. No display of manly qualities - courage, hardihood, endurance, faithfulness - has ever been known to touch its irresponsible consciousness of power."