2011 Rochester Half Marathon

Dave and I after the race.

I love the Rochester Marathon.  I’ve run the annually half or the full since 2006.  My half marathon PR was set there in 2009.  Since 2009 I had started to believe that my performance was a fluke and would never be bested nor even repeated.  I was wrong (I think my tally is twice that I’ve been wrong…ever).

The best race photo ever taken of me.

Earlier this year I raced a half marathon against my friend Dave.  His only stated goal for the race was to beat me and I could not allow that to happen.  Due to his lack of racing experience and my superior ability in all things, particularly distance running, I passed him and demoralized him by pinching his ass as I flew past him.  But since I am so superior I felt it necessary to extend an olive branch.  I offered to pace him for this race.  Truth be told I thought he could do extremely well and I wanted to see that happen (because I’m such a nice caring kind of guy).  Dave accepted my gracious offer and so we raced together.  I set the pace and he followed close by.

I always try to run the first two miles of a half marathon at a relaxed effort.  This was no different except that I kept worrying about Dave.  He kept up just fine and was just as relaxed as I was.   During the first mile we chatted with a friend for a while.  We were both shocked when we ran about a 6:50 for the first mile.  Our stated goal was about 7:00.   I was excited to see this number because we were very comfortable at that pace which meant we likely could beat our goals for the day.

The race continued the way I always run half marathons.  After two miles I picked up the pace slightly but stayed a little conservative.  As the 6.5 mile mark approached things would turn serious.   We hit that mark feeling extremely well but I was nervous to turn up the pace.  We started seeing some great splits on our watches.  Though I was starting to feel a little fatigued I wasn’t worried.  It was going great!

At mile 10 I saw 1:05:XX on my watch.   I didn’t see what the XX was but I thought “I can run a 20 minute 5k right now, I can do even better than that, I can PR!”.  And at that point I left Dave behind as I really turned up the heat going after a PR.  Things got really tough but I kept thinking back to my blog post that was fresh in my mind about “giving up the good and going for the great.”  I decided to give it my all.

As I rounded the corner at the back of the stadium I could see the finish clock.  I watched it flip to 1:25 and I knew I had missed a PR but I gave it everything I had left and finished with 1:25:09.  I was thrilled.  Sure, a PR would have been so very sweet but just proving to myself that I still had some speed even after what I considered to be a terrible season of training meant the world to me.  I hadn’t even trained for this race!  It was not a goal race!

Dave finished a couple of minutes behind me with a 1:27 earning a huge PR for himself.  The race was nearly perfect.  My only complaint was a kid that kept blocking my path.  It seemed to be intentional and I wanted to punch the punk in the back of the head.  I even raised my fist (but only to signal my frustration to Dave).  Perfect weather, great friends,

Running makes water taste SO GOOD (and gratuitous narcissism...damn that's a good lookin' man!).










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