so close but no PR

February 27, 2014 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

a little while back the bunny started threatening to come down to tampa for the gasparilla distance classic half marathon. she missed last year ~ the bum ~ and it’s kind of our tradition weekend but go figure, right after i finally broke and registered, her doctor pulled her off the run. but race or not, she decided she was still coming down with her buddy steebo and even her husband ~ who i don’t think in all the years i’ve known her has come to visit.

the three of them got into town saturday early afternoon. plan was to take it easy, hit the expo (which i actually worked all morning as well) and dinner then i’d go home early and let them paint the town. sunday night, i’d get to celebrate! but that morning as they got closer and talked more about their plans i decided that yet another gasparilla half was far less important then time with friends i see maybe once or twice a year. count me in on the saturday party ~ at least the first few stops.

my first beer was poured at 3 p.m. ~ just that one. until dinner when i might have had two more. plus what probably equated to a triple shot of patron. and the detour to another bar yielded three ~ or was it four ~ strong ass titos and soda. i let them go from there. whether i cared about run time or not, i had no desire to race completely hungover. i was home and in bed around 10:30 p.m. ~ with a nice little buzz ;).

with a 6 a.m. race start and a short drive then walk off island, i rolled out of bed around 5 a.m. far from my true nature, i hadn’t planned a race outfit. i was lucky to dig out three gels from the bottom of my gym bag. and i could only hope my garmin had enough of a charge to last for 13.1. as race ready as i was going to be i headed out into the nasty humid gross morning~ a little more hungover than i’d hoped ~ made my way downtown and worked my way as far up into the starting corral as i could (couldn’t get further than the 2:15 pace group. blah).

though somehow i’ve PR’d in the gdc in years past, it really isn’t a pr course. it’s flat yes, but a narrow road makes breaking through the first mile crowd tough and a bottleneck bridge adds to the time clock. but a course change this year put us over the slightly wider bridge. and i found ways to hang outside the crowd, even detouring up onto the sidewalk at times to escape. i really didn’t care. i’d resigned myself to the notion that this was merely training run and i was going to do nothing more than run how i felt. but i never want to hit a finish line feeling like i left anything on course.

no doubt the weather was not my ideal. and i think i was sweating vodka. but i felt oddly good. consistent might be the right word. i simply found a rhythm and stayed with it. i’d catch the mile marker clocks and couldn’t help but calculate a little but i hadn’t looked at my garmin. not even once. so i wasn’t even sure how far past gun i’d crossed the start. though i knew i was likely on pace to run a sub-2 (really the only acceptable to me anymore) i had no idea how far sub.

when i hit the final mile i reached for an extra push and surprisingly found it. and when the clock caught my eye i was actually surprised. again, with no idea how far in i’d started, i had no idea where i actually was but i resisted the slight temptation to look at my garmin until i had crossed the finish and was dumbfounded to see i had run a 1:55:43 ~ 33 seconds short of a PR.

being my own worst critic and hugely self-competitive, i can’t deny i was a little mad at myself. two seconds faster per mile. one less walk through a water station. a night minus patron. any might have yielded a PR. but given i had no intention of even coming close to what i ran, i’m happy (enough) with it. and there’s no doubt that the good times with great friends far outweighs the importance of race pace.

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the best of times

5k pr ~ 24:23
10k pr ~ 52:49
half marathon pr ~ 1:55:10
marathon pr ~ 4:10:41
half ironman pr ~ 5:57:50
50k pr ~ 5:33:23
50-mile pr ~ 11:32:39

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