Tough Race in San Deigo
My worse race of the Year
Sunday, August 19th, 2012
The San Diego Half Marathon was tough for me. I am just not running well when it is hot and humid. Even through the marathon started at 7am it was already 73 degrees and the humidity about 77%. By the time we finished it was about 80 degrees. On top of this there is a mile long hill starting about 11.5 miles. The course overall is beautiful and the organization was amazing. Spoke with Neil Finn the race director who has been involved for all 35 years before the start and he is really on top of things. I understand that this was the hottest day ever for this race. Photo: finishing...I can't say I was sprinting in. I didn't know him but number 251 just ahead of me was Alan White age 62.
The day before Catherine and I drove the course and this is what you see looking towards the San Diego Bay and on the other side is the Pacific Ocean. The race begins at the historic Cabrillo National Monument. The sun had just come up when the race started the next morning.
There are some downhills the first five miles (along with some uphills the first two miles). This is between three and four miles on the course. I am not sure what really happen. I just know my legs were feeling heavy starting about six miles, I lost focus, and then I hit the mile long hill at 11.5 miles. Yet the winner, Tesfye Alemayehu runs 1:03:44. Not as fast as what he did in Napa to Sonoma but still...
Here are my crazy splits: 6:52/7:10/6:48 (20:50 at 3 miles) There were about four solid hills and a couple of good downhills. The next mile is mostly downhill and I ran 6:08. Loved this mile. I was feeling so good. I was passing people and thinking that I was going to easily reach my goal. Next mile was 7:07 and then we were in full sun with a little hill 7:27 (41:32 at six miles). It was here my legs really started to feel heavy and I had lost focus. My seven mile split was 7:38, then 7:45, 7:47 and 7:51. My legs were dead and I was not racing any more. My time at 10 miles was 72:33. This was still right at 7:15/mile pace. My goal was still in sight. During mile 11 and when I hit the one mill hill my legs started feeling like Jello. I was even thinking about walking. And it got worse. Mile 11 split was 8:10. Mile 12 was 9:21. Once I got to the top I was able to pick it up just a bit but still my mile 13 split was 8:57. And I finished in 1:40:34. I almost walked across the finish line. I spoke to the PR person for the race afterwards and she told me that this race should be the heart and sole of my challenge. Why, because I didn't walk. If I had, I could have lost at least another another 10 minutes. She is right. When I crossed the finish line I could hardly stand...it was bad!
I changed my shirt, watched some of the runners come in, did some filming with Mike and Catherine, drank a bottle of Gatorade and ate some chips and I started feeling like a person again. I think I have not been getting enough sleep. This is going to change.
Mike got some good footage today for our movie. Catherine got a lot of images. But one thing we talked about is that I need to look carefully at my remaining races. I have 17 races to go and I am only just over five minutes ahead of my 7 minute/mile goal pace now. After 228.5 miles of racing I am averaging 6:59. I am going to need to pick up the pieces and get focused. I really want to reach my goal of finishing my 350 plus mile race challenge (50 races) at under 7 minutes/mile pace.
I really appreciate all the people who are supporting me. Ujena cover model Jodi and a good runner drove down from LA to have lunch with Catherine and I on Saturday. I really want to make my challenge and all this support gives me more reason to do it. I don't want to let you down.
In closing I want to leave you with this image we took on Saturday. This is at about 7.5 miles on the course. This is how beautiful this course is. Even through this is my worse race by time of the year I still want to stay focused that I did run a sub 7 minute 10k, a 7:15 10-miler but then I ran a 28:01 last 5k. I did finished third for 60 plus (maybe second since I can't find any info on the winner of my age group) and 265th out of 8000 runners. Update: I finished second in my age group. Photos by Catherine Cross
Comments and Feedback
Bob, it is crazy that we are still learning after so many races and so many years of racing. Maybe you spent too much of your savings running that 6:08 in the heat, I think that cost you later on. You can definitely hold your sub-7 pace at Indy Nov 3 where it will be cool and flat! You had to have your worst race at some point, just be glad it's done!
Bruce Gilbert 8/20/12 6:20 am
I think everyone in sports has a bad day. You had a bad day. It happens.
Richard Stiller 8/20/12 7:17 am
It is good you are getting all of the longer races out of the way. Bruce is right it will be much cooler moving forward. It was great to see you guys Saturday:)
Jodi Labossiere 8/20/12 7:21 am
I think your doing great even with that time you beat my half time by 10 minutes :) Like everyone else said everyone has a bad day its going to happen exsepcially when you race every weekend. I have had a couple really bad runs this year and exspect to have a few more.
Steven Richardson 8/29/12 6:13 am
Bill Rodgers Is so Inspiring
We spent last Saturday morning with Bill in Falmouth
Thursday, August 16th, 2012
There were four exciting highlights on our trip to Boston last weekend. (Photo: running the interviewing Bill Rodgers on Saturday in Falmouth was so exciting.) First was my training run with Roger Wright on Thursday (August 9) in Boston. We did a four mile training run along the Charles River. Roger has an amazing story. Before he found running he weighed 318 pounds. He could not run more than ten yards. Eleven months later he had dropped his weight down to 163 pounds and he ran the Boston Marathon.
Roger has run three Boston Marathons and several others. He is now interested in not just finishing road races but he wants to improve on his time. His story is very inspiring and we are glad to have him part of our movie.
Friday morning we met up with Jack Fleming at the B.A.A. offices in Boston. I have to say it was amazing to see everything on display. Jack let me hold the Boston Marathon official cup. It gave me chills. Very few people have held this cup and I felt honored to have it in my hands.
Jack had me sign the official book near the front door. The names among the pages brought back so many good memories I have of the oldest annual marathon in the world. The first race, run in 1897, included only 15 male runners. There is nothing like the Boston Marathon.
Our one hour interview with Jack was one of our best yet. He has so much to say and he says it so well. There are so many exciting stories surrounding the Boston Marathon and other events the B.A.A. sponsors. Our segment on the B.A.A. and the Boston Marathon for our movie is going to be so good.
In one of the many cases is Mutai bib from the 2011 race. This is the race on April 18, 2011 that Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya ran the fastest marathon ever run. He ran 2:03:02.
Next Jack showed us the library. They have a collection of Runner's World magazine dating back to 1971. I first started writing to Jock Semple in 1967. Jock was a key person in the B.A.A. at that time. Jock was the race official that attempted to remove Kathrine Switzer from the race in 1967 when women were not allowed to run the Marathon. The photographs taken of the incident made world headlines. Actually Katherine was not the first women to run the Boston Marathon. The year before Bobbi Gibb ran the race without a number.
Just being in the offices and speaking with Jack I got so inspired. I have not run a marathon in 30 years. I told Michael that my body does not like races over the half marathon. But before we left I asked Jack what he thought about me running next year along with Mike. He thought it was a great idea. So, after I finish this 50 race challenge, Mike and I plan on being on the starting line in Boston next April. My goal would be to run 3:20 or better which should be good enough for five top in my age group.
After visiting with Charlie at the Bill Rodgers Running Center we had lunch. Mike, Catherine, me and Barry really enjoyed Boston. The fish, lobster and Boston Clam Chowder is so good. After lunch we headed to Falmouth. It rained most of the way and it took over three hours to get there. We called it a night. We met Bill Rodgers the next morning for a training run. As we were waiting, Craig Virgin came by and we had a good chat. I had not seen Craig since he came out for National Running Week we sponsored 30 years ago in California. Craig was an amazing world class runner.
Bill and I did a three mile training run (which we filmed) in the rain. After that we sat down for an hour. Bill has so much to share, so many great stories, and so much good information. We are so excited to have Bill part of our movie. The next day, we both ran the Falmouth Road Race. Bill had won the race three times in the past.
Michael and I have wanted to make a running film for years. I am really enjoying working with Mike most every weekend. His vision is happening.
This project is bringing so many people together. My brother Barry lives in Manhattan Kansas and we just have not seen much of each other for 25 years. But A Long Run has brought us together. It is super to have Barry on our crew. Photos by Catherine Cross
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