New Bedford Half Marathon

"To exercise at or near capacity is the best way I know of reaching a true introspective state. If you do it right, it can open all kinds of inner doors." AL OERTER

I awaited for JK to come to pick me up. AD was awake and ready to take out the dog. I knew how much AD wanted to go to the race this morning, although she had a ton of stuff to do for her classes and I understood. It was a bit chilly, but we were ready to go…I said my good bye to AD and got picked up by JK and headed to get two more people…

It was quite different driving to a race than the NYC setup of getting into a subway and heading up to Central Park. It was different. As you head down the highway we saw B that we ran with two weeks ago. We lead to park near the high school and got out and went to registration. There it was like a marathon set up with your name on a list and you had to go find your number and tell the people to get your packet. Interesting huh? We finally got things together and saw Coach Rich, who gave us a few pointers and what not. We headed back to the car to put on our clothes where the weather was testing us to see what we would wear. If I had a singlet, I would have worn it, although I just got the new Alzheimer’s singlet that Bill Rodgers signed.

Nah, we’ll go long sleeved with shorts and we’ll be fine with that. The game plan was to follow JK and pace him. This will be a good test run for the Boston marathon and get him to be comfortable with me next to him. We’ll give it a go. We did a slight warm up of about 1.5 to 2 mile warm up and then headed down to the start. It was a bit crowded, but it was not as large as a NYRR race. oK…ready to rumble. JK and I saw the rest of the crew of guys and we stopped to take a picture. Then we headed up front…as the race sounded to start, I noticed that there was no chip mat on the ground. WHAT? We were a bits a way from the start, but maybe by 10 seconds…ahh gun time. That’s what makes a huge difference in what your final time is, but not by much.

We headed around people, weaving a little bit, but really wanted to test out JK. It was the start and I wanted to get away from the pack of people that surrounded us, so we cautiously dashed in front to get away from the crowds. By mile 3 it was all good and pretty spread out. There were hills coming and going in the first few miles as that made the distance a little longer, but pretty much evened out in the end with a flat course.

The special thing: I got to see the HOYTS LIVE! It was amazing and I took a picture of them. I never got to see the HOYT’s live since I was always in front of them, this time around, it was inspiring. The inspiration that one father has for his son and the amazing inspiration that he brings to many. He really is a competitor. Ironman’s and Marathons, it’s such an amazing feat to bring your son along. TEAM HOYT.

We separated ourselves pretty much along the way with the hills and checking up on JK. We worked well together where we focused a lot and was a little less chatty. It was ok, I needed to make him comfortable and see if I was going out too fast or if he was. I told him at mile 3 that he can lead the 9 miles and I’ll bring him home on the last mile. It was a good combination most of the way through as JK was leading most of the miles. He did well…when we were faltering a little, I took lead and we ran pretty much side by side next to one another. Water stations was a big deal and there were cramming, although I made sure that he was well adequate with water, so most of the stations I grabbed 2 cups. One for me to dose over my head and the other I offered to JK. Most of the time JK refused, then I can get a splash of water in my mouth, but as a pacer, I felt it was good to make sure that who you are pacing doesn’t get crammed into these water stations.

We veered around near the beach areas and brought it home with 4 more miles to go…I tried to keep the encouragement flowing as the tougher miles were rough. I had a whole lot of steam left as I think I had been going at 75%...it felt good though and in the end it’s not always about yourself, it’s teamwork. Dreams are made from other’s and to have another’s person’s goal yours…that’s a more important matter.

We had one more mile to go and we brutally went up the hill that we warmed up on. It was comforting to know that the end was near and know where I was in the end. JK warned me the finish line was a turn back or rather J like course…As we saw Coach Rich, he told us ¼ of a mile down hill and ¼ of a mile to the finish line. I finally let my body go down the hill as JK followed. I told JK to push to the end and finish strong as I went and left him to finish my own race. It was good and the feeling of accomplishment of pacing and feeling good about the pace was comfortable. We made a good team and I told him that the big picture is the Boston Marathon.

This was just warm up…

We made our ways to the end as we chatted it up with B and her parents and then headed on up to Coach Rich. We then went to the school to get some fish sandwiches, fish chowda and ice cream…I had two cups! Oh it was amazing!

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