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Hungry Heart: GUEST POST: The Last Race of 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

GUEST POST: The Last Race of 2011

Hi everyone! Erin and I have talked since I finished the NYC Marathon about the possibility of me being a guest blogger on EHH and recapping the marathon. A day turned into a week that turned into a month and before I knew it we were on our way down to Delaware for the Seashore Half Marathon and some outlet shopping this weekend. Where did the time go?! It seems that this past month has gone by faster than ever, helped in no small part by my unending love for everything Christmas; from carols that start on November 1st to lightning deal after lightning deal on Amazon, I have had the a Christmas fever for weeks!

But enough about Christmas. This blog is about the Seashore Half Marathon and perhaps a few events to recap the weekend (I'd post the link to the website, but it appears to be broken today, so here's a link to the results instead.)

For those that don't know, I am Erin's doting husband who does his best to make up for my vocal shortcomings I say is singing and annoying habits by habitually hounding her for any little thing I can do to make her smile when she is sad or laugh when she is mad. Of course, my attempts at getting her to turn those frowns upside-down usually result is a grimace of a frustrating smile that usually ends with her telling me to go for a run and get rid of my energy. This appears to have worked quite well this year; to date, I have 2003.7 miles logged in 2011 that does not include the hours I have spent on the elliptical or the 60-day session of Insanity during my Boston training earlier this spring. 2011 has been a great year for running and the Seashore Half ended the racing year on a high note for me.

Erin's Aunt Pam (AP) and Uncle Mike (UM) live in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and we do not get to see them as much as we would like throughout the year. Last year when deciding what marathon's were out there to run  I stumbled across the Seashore Half and Full and Erin and I decided it would be a great opportunity to visit AP and UM. Once that was decided, it was easy to do some Christmas-time tax-free shopping at the outlets! All that was left was to run the race.
2010 Seashore Half medal
I was slightly disappointed with my race last year and was anxious to head back down to see AP and UM and redeem myself. For those runners and fans out there, I am sure you can share in my one complaint about this race: the start time. The general rule of thumb... okay, there are countless "rules of thumb" out there, but follow me for this one. The general rule of thumb most races follow is to start earlier in the morning during the summer to beat the heat and later in the day in the late fall and winter to get as much heat from the day as possible. The Seashore breaks this unwritten rule starting at 7 AM on what has been historically a cold December morning so runners can run alongside the beach with the sun coming up. Of course, overcast skies don't really let you see the sun coming up, do they?!
Where's the sun?
Fortunately for those of us running and for the spectators that were out there (thanks Erin! thanks Erin's family!) it was a toasty 43 degrees at start time this Saturday - a veritable heatwave from the 28 degrees that we ran in last year and 21 degrees the year before! There was more wind this year which would usually put me into pre-race panic-mode trying to strategize exactly how I would race into the wind and pick out who I would pace behind to break the wind for me and how it would affect my splits and what clothes I would wear and... you get the picture. Since NYC I have been pretty relaxed with my training though: no track workouts, lower mileage weeks (around 35 mpw instead of the 60+ I was putting in before NYC), no real tempo workouts. I was just logging miles - I am already registered for Boston in April, I have the times needed to register for NYC if I decide to run it again next fall.

The Seashore Half was in the background for this weekend; the trip down was to visit AP and UM first, get some Dogfish time second, do some shopping third, and somewhere in their fit in a half marathon. Mission successful. I did a half-hearted warm-up that consisted of a mile and a half jog, some half-hearted dynamic stretching, and waiting in line for one of the 8 porta-potties for the 1500+ runners taking part in the half and full marathon (really race director, 8?!). I changed into my marathon flats and got my "good lucks" from Erin and EHH's mom and off I went to the start. Before I knew it the race was off and I settled in for the next 13.1 miles to enjoy a gray December morning wearing a bright orange singlet and white running hat.
The orange really stands out on gray mornings!
The race seemed to go by pretty quickly and before I knew it I was passing Erin's family at mile 8 and 10 (trail turnaround at mile 9). In to the finish with what I thought was a 4th place finish that turned into a 3rd place finish* and a new half marathon PR! For the first time I finished a half marathon with a time that started "1:18" - a 1:18:56 to be precise!
Tough to find a good finishing photo without a heel strike

A new PR with the early start, cold wind, patient pacing behind runners to break the wind, no sun, cooler than ideal temperatures and low mileage going in to the race?! What could I have ran if it was warmer and I raced harder earlier on? (probably a slower time because I would have gone out too fast, but I can dream until the 2012 racing season starts!). Of course, there is only proper one way to celebrate a new half-marathon PR in Rehoboth Beach, and that is at Dogfish Head with good company!
Try the Chic-Choc (Chicory Stout with a shot of Chocolate vodka)
I am not sure has time for a blog post in the morning before work - I started earlier than she normally does and am now finding myself running late for work! EHH is planning on letting me do another post in a couple weeks recapping my 2011 racing season (full of PR's!) so this will hopefully not be the last you see of me! ...let's hope the 2011 recap post materializes unlike the NYC recap. Have a great day everyone, I hope you liked the guest post - and thank you to EHH for always supporting me (PR or no PR).

How did you spend your weekend?

*Lesson to be learned: don't run with someone else's racing bib or you might get DQ'd; it's a big deal if something happens and race directors, along with the USATF, tend to frown upon it.




2 Comments:

At December 12, 2011 at 8:30 AM , Blogger Kate said...

Loved loved loved this post! I would like to see more of this guest Blogger in 2012! Awesome job, Jerry, you truly are a speedfreak! :)

 
At December 12, 2011 at 6:26 PM , Blogger EHHMom said...

I have to say, you captured the weekend perfectly!
It was fun to watch and cheer a winner, I feel so smug as we yell for you and other people are well...still waiting for their runners :). Here's to some more milestones and PR's in 2012.

 

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