Monday, July 5, 2010

Firecracker 4 Miler - Race Report

I didn't know anything about this race until Chris at work mentioned it to me on Thursday. This run is an annual event done each year on the 4th and this year the money was going to support the "Tom Smith Fight to Cure Paralysis". Tom was a student here at Pingree who I had the pleasure to teach in his sophomore year. To say that Tom does things at full speed is an understatement. He was the tragic victim of two different accidents that both left him paralyzed. Both accidents occurred while Tom was playing hockey. He recovered from the first accident, was cleared to play hockey, and was paralyzed a second time.

To read more about his courageous quest feel free to check out his site below.

I had been planning a swim in Stiles Pond as it has become my usual training routine on Sunday mornings, but this race seemed like the best thing to do as I enter my taper week in preparation for the "Old Colony" Olympic Triathlon this Sunday.

My race prep is starting to become routine and as such, it helps calm the nerves. Lots of fluids up to an hour before the race along with my usual home-made whey-fruit smoothie and a piece of toast and peanut butter. Giving that hour with no liquids helps my bladder prepare with trips (always 3) to the restroom before the race.

In my usual fashion, I arrived quite early, more than an hour before the race. With no transition area to set-up, I merely had to register and then get ready. I saw two very familiar faces right away. Both Stu Greeley from Team Comp and Jim Logan from Salem were there as well. It helps to chat a bit before a race to help calm the nerves.

Sam and Stan were also there to cheer on Jackie. The boys told me where they would be during the race, so it made it real nice to know I would have some cheering to look forward to as I neared the finish line.

I got a chance to talk with Tom Smith and his mom prior to the race. I had heard from other Pingree people that they would be there, but it looked like I was the only one. I wasn't really doing it for Pingree, but it would have been nice if more people were there from the school. There wasn't much publicity about it, as I stated, I only heard from Chris in passing on Thursday. If he had not said anything, I am sure I would have missed it.

Well the race itself went very well. I started near the back on the right side and off we went. I was SO happy they had a person at every mile marker yelling out times. I had my own watch, but having someone there made a big difference. There was only one water stop, well before the half way point so I am was so glad I brought my own waist belt as well.

I made great time finishing the race in 56:22. The time for me was huge because it put me in UNDER 15 min miles, at a pace of 14:05. That included my fastest mile in mile 4 which included the big hill that leads into Vinnin Square up 1A.

It probably helped having Stan, Sam, and Jackie there to cheer me on. Just as I crested the hill I could see them waving and hear Sam yelling. It really kept me strong until the end.

When I was around mile 2 I recalled something I heard watching a Ironman prep video. The presenters were saying to try and always stay within your own pace and not try and catch people too early in a race. The result if you do try and catch others, is often they pass you at the end when you have nothing left.

Well I followed that regarding two women who I kept passing and they kept passing me. I stopped chasing them and let them go, and by the end of the race, I was able to pass them and hold them off at the finish.

Little victories, that's what it's all about. And more often than not, those victories don't involve other people, just the goals you set for yourself.

The 4 mile race was a great prep for the upcoming tri I had on July 11th. It would be my first attempt at an Olympic distance race with a 1 mile swim, 24 mile bike, and 6.2 mile run. I have never ran that distance, let alone do it after a swim and bike.

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