Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Chai Lifetime Half-Marathon - and New PR!

'Twas the Superhero Half, the 18th Half Marathon of my career, where I dressed up as SuperJew, possibly partook in a Guinness record breaking Most Superheroes in One Place attempt and slaughtered my PR by 1:04 (in addition to the 4 minutes I shaved off my PR at last year's SI Half). A quick fly, er, rundown:

Mile 1: I bolted with the lead pack and started chasing rabbits. Interestingly, I was immediately surrounded by very few superheroes, because high-speed runners would take the run more seriously. The only non-normal part of my outfit was my cape, and it was tolerable to wear and kept some sun off. I cleared it in 7:22.
Mile 2: I kept chasing rabbits, picking off superheroes left and right, and finished it in 6:51. Whoa, I thought to myself, this is a bit fast. But I was feeling good, REAL good, and there was no reason for me to rein myself in too much.
Mile 3: into a lovely, winding park, holding it steady, passing no one, not getting passed. 7:19
Mile 4: Same as above. Slowed down a bit because I wasn't chasing rabbits. How interesting that I need rabbits for that extra push. 7:51.
MIle 5: Out of the park and up a fairly steep hill, which had nothing on the SI Half hill, the Garrett Mountain HIll or any other hills I've come across that kept me from a consistent performance. I got up and over nicely and smoothly and ran right into a well-placed water stop. 7:31.
Mile 6: I started fumbling with my cape and started thinking perhaps I should get rid of it. While looking for a secure area where I might drop it and return for it on my 2nd loop, I heard a woman on the side say to her friends, "That's cape #4." Oh? I'm cape #4? Where's cape #3? I'll go find him. So I spent the mile chasing him down and scorched through it in 6:53. Whoa.
Mile 7: I burned myself up pretty good on the last mile and faltered a bit. Coupled with the rising sun and an expanse where I was fully exposed, I lost some steam and finished in 8:33. I was dissatisfied, but still staring at a PR past the halfway point of the race.
Mile 8: Back in the shade, and a new strategy. When exposed to the sun, I would dial it back a bit, when in the shade, I would fire the rockets. I did 7.9 miles in the first hour. Tying my personal best set at my SI 1/2 race last year. A couple of guys on bikes spotted my outfit and started the theme song - of Rocky, not Superman. I chided them for their grievous error. 7:49.
Mile 9: Back in the park, so serene. Got passed my a few runners, but held it steady. Slight bumps were a bit more painful now, but I charged over them. Exiting the park would prove if I'd PR or not, because the sun and the hill would hit at the same time. At this point, I can't remember exact times, but my remainder miles were all in the 8:02-8:15 range.
Mile 10:Hill, over, nice. Sun, out, easy does it. Shade, run hard.
Mile 11: I passed the group who commented on the cape. I said, "Which number cape am I?" They said, "Oh, we lost track! But thanks for remembering!"
Mile 12: I peeked at my watch. I was going to make PR, by about a minute. Ohboyohboyohboy!
Mile 13: Back in the starting grounds. I hear a group of people say, "Ready? Here he comes! Okay, now! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's SuperJew!" Ahahahaha! And as I turn the bend with .05 miles I left, I get one more "SuperJew" cheer and...
13.1 across the finish line at 1:42:11. My new PR.

Awesome race, awesome course, awesome fun, awesome strategy, planning, hydration and confidence. I did this one RIGHT. You could say I did it super, um, superly, um, really well.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

My Thirderly Running Report

Running Goals for 2012:
1) Run 600 miles.
Status: 184 so far, 81 more than I've ever run at this point in the season. I am uninjured and my legs are fresh.
2) 20:30 5k.
Status: Get my crack at it on 5/6 at the Nutley Chamber of Commerce 5k.
3) Sub-1:43:00 1/2 Marathon.
Status: Missed it by 18 seconds at the JRunners unsanctioned half. Next crack: 5/20 at the Superhero 1/2 in Morristown.
4) Sub-4:00 Marathon.
Status: 1st crack: NYC Marathon. 2nd crack: Brooklyn Marathon two weeks after.
5) Ultra.
Status: trying to convince my wife that a) I'm still normal, b) I'll survive the ordeal, and c) I can do it.
6) - overcrowded, too expensive, too distant NYRR races + more small, cheap, local races = less overall races, more overall training miles.
Status: Ooh yeah, and it's refreshing.