October 10, 2010

Staten Island Half Marathon 2010 race report

Haven't been blogging too much lately, have I? It's lost its appeal, really; feels like all I want to do here is bitch about how life sucks. My thoughts these last three weeks have been fairly dark and I'm trying not to bring that here. Before I get to the race report, a quick update on other parts of my life:

1) Running - not too hot. Got a 10-miler done 3 weeks ago that I almost cut short, but perservered and overall it wasn't bad. I was happy enough with that one. But since then, nada. One or two very short runs and that's it. Hell of a taper, eh?

2) Motorcycling - if all turns out as planned, I'll be selling Roxie tomorrow morning for just about what I could get for her if I sold via ebay motors. Selling as-is and they buyer knows he'll have to put some coin into her to get her ready for functional city riding. I'm grieved about this, but have my reasons. It is time to let her go, as my riding needs and wants have changed. I'll keep an eye out for my next bike, as with prices depressed right now, the money I'm getting for Roxie would be a great downpayment. I am, for the record, looking more at Ultras than anything else.

3) Grieving for dad - it comes and goes. Dad never lived HERE, so life seems pretty normal day-to-day, but sometimes it just hits hard. Like at the end of today's race, for instance. I know Dad would have been so proud that I finished it at all.

4) Health - I'm on IVs and am in week 3. Will probably have to do a week 4 as I've somehow contracted a cold on top of things. Friday's PFTs are promising, but it is taking more and more albuterol just to let me breath. The PICC placement this time was awful. I didn't feel much pain, of course, because lidocaine (or whatever the hell they use) is a wonderful thing. But after four failed attempts in my left arm, they had to move to the right and that should have been like buttah, but instead had its own problems. I'm not waiting on a port anymore. As soon as I'm off the PICC, I'm getting my doc to schedule a port procedure.

5) Work - back to teaching, getting some small jobs here and there. Picking up. I hope its a real trend and not just a burp in the steady stream of nothingness.

6) Renovation: ongoing. I actually like my contractor and his crews. I feel like I've made the right decision with him and that the money spent on this is well invested.

So. How did the Staten Island Half Marathon of 2010 go for me? Well, I'm not only on IVs for lung infection, but I also have a cold; I nearly skipped this. But I've done it every year since 2005, so I didn't want to miss it. I'm glad I got out there. But between the poor last three weeks of training and muscles cramping up due to salt loss, it got pretty hairy in the last three miles. I was running pretty consistent 12:30 miles through mile 7. Mile 8 has the big hill, so was a lot slower, but I expected that. Mile 9 and 10 were back to 12:30 or thereabout. But 11 through 13 were difficult and slow. I'd aimed for a 2:45 overall, just based on being untrained, and almost hit that mark, with an official time of 2:46:52. The weird thing is, this is one second faster than last year's race! All of the other data are similar, too, including splits, temperature, humidity, weather, my place in the pack by percent, and my Age Graded percentage. Creepy.

Some observations;

I have no problem striking up a conversation with people, but I fail to ask their names. Too bad; at least one of the ladies I chatted with before the race was single. Another lady had just had her first child in April and this was her very first race. :) I'm sure she did well, as she runs 8:15 miles in practice.

Knowing the route helped keep it from being insurmountably long. No wrong turns this time. I could expect certain landmarks and knew the rough distances between them. The flat out-and-back portion wasn't nearly as long as I remember (miles 5.5 through 7.5). The big hill was.

Kudos to the city for resurfacing the streets! Almost the entire route was on freshly laid asphalt and my knees, ankles, and hips appreciate it!

Fantastic volunteer support - plenty of water tables (more than usual, I think) and plenty of portapotty stations.

And kudos to NYRR for finally ordering enough fucking bagels! For the first time in at least the last three years, I actually got a bagel and an apple. I know that should be no big deal, but when you are as far at the back of the pack as I am, it's depressing enough that they're rolling up the finish line before you arrive, but to find that the order or rationing of the bagels wasn't enough to supply the back of the pack with the end of race food and Gatorade that everyone else enjoys is just aggravating. But this time was different. I am grateful!

I took a year off from running to attempt to reboot, but I'm exactly where I was. EXACTLY. And I drew so little joy from today's run. I'm thinking about shelving any racing longer than 10K altogether. Finishing used to be its own reward when it was my first few big runs; but after 21 half marathons, that really doesn't apply anymore. I am so tired of fighting my lungs for control of my running. I am tired of ending up with hands on knees, coughing my lungs out, every 10 minutes or so. I'm tired of drawing concerned attention from volunteers, medical personnel, cops, and other runners. I don't know what I'm going to do from here.

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