Race Report Running for the Bay
This blog begins in the middle of the story but I suppose that is
Basically where I am at this stage of my life is a point where I
am searching for the best health and fitness possible. I imagine
many people have got to this point way ahead of me and others never
After 47 years of not really looking after myself to well I came
to a point where "Things have got to change!" I was 35
pounds overweight at that stage. Here I am two and a half years
later at 49 years of age.
My condition has greatly improved but I am still not where I want
to be. Still hovering in the barely overweight zone. I have fought
my way into the BMI normal zone a couple of times but have troubles
After many years of monitoring my diet and exercise I have come to
a point where I know exactly what the problem is.
At the beginning of this journey I guessed that exercise was the
problem. Now I know the the Standard American Diet (SAD Diet) is 95%
of the problem.
Like most of the rest of the population I am tempted and lately I
have failed to stay on the path that I have proven works.
Plant based whole foods i.e No Packaged food, No Manufactured
Food, No Meat, No Oil, No added Salt. By carefully monitoring my
diet and running performance I have found strictly following a
Plant-Based Whole Foods Diet is the ONLY thing that moves me into and
keeps me at a normal and healthy body weight and allows me to run faster.
Getting back on track…….Back to the Race Report
The week before I had been suffering some with a bruised right
Metatarsal or maybe it is fractured, I don’t know. I have had this
problem about a year ago and it lingered for a long time, but
eventually went away. Also food cravings got the best of me and I
managed to talk myself in to eating too many much fat and processed
If a week of sneaking poor food into my diet wasn’t bad enough, I
managed to have Chick-Fil-A for lunch and a huge amount of pasta with
ground beef pasta sauce the evening before the race.
What was I thinking? I am not one to miss sleep before a race but
I believe the late, huge, fatty dinner is what caused me to wake
after 3 hours and not be able to get back to sleep.
I read somewhere that if you can’t sleep that laying in the
horizontal position is better than nothing so I laid there for
another 3 1/2 hours tossing and turning until time to get up.
All night long I kept thinking this is going to be ugly but if I
am ever going to be able to punch through to the next level then I am
going to have to learn to deal with suffering.
By punching through to the next level I mean attaining the level
of fitness necessary to run a decent Marathon and then ultimately an
UltraMarathon. I have decent times all the way up to Half Marathon
distance but above that……..things get real UGLY.
It looks like today will be my chance to test my ability to
persevere. I have been here before. Arriving at the starting line in
less than perfect health.
It makes me think about what racing is all about to me. It is
about many things to me.
One of those things is making sure that you show up and giving it
your best given your condition on that day. I try not to be
singularly focused on always breaking time goals as I know that can’t
At 49 I will soon arrive at a place where no more PR’s (Personal
Record’s) will come, if I am not already there!
Another thing that racing is about to me is holding myself
accountable for my current state of health. Most of my overall
health I have found is up to me.
In my mind my overall health is dependent on Five Factors
This week my diet has been poor
My Body Weight has crept up to 196 about 5 pounds more than
yesterday. Mainly Water retention from eating too much Salt and Fat,
I am guessing
This weeks training has been sub par. I did get four days in but
only one day running as I am feeling a Metatarsal problem coming on.
Three days on the bike but the rides were only a hour each as the
days are getting shorter,
Sleep………well 3 hours the night before a Half Marathon is not
going to do it.
Unforeseen Circumstances: I have several problems in the area,
Infected knee from chigger bite, a week of a chest cough (First cold
in 2 1/2 years), and a 2 day headache.
That is what is wrong but here is what is right, temperature is in
the upper 40′s. For me that is Perfect!!
I have strikes in all five categories but I am going to do it
anyway because I need this, it makes me feel alive. I guess I am one
of those people that are addicted to running. There is something
about waking up real early and doing something that is very
Crossing a time zone means I get to wake up even earlier. Race
director said to get to the race by 6 AM which is 5 AM for me in the
central time zone. Giving myself plenty of time for the hour and a
half drive and getting my stuff together meant waking up at 2 AM and
leaving at 3 AM. I find that I can always find something to do if I
arrive a half our to an hour early, but if I arrive late I don’t
enjoy the time as well. Driving through the night I was able to see a
crescent moon rise and it was over on its side. Really spooky
looking and Halloween is right around the corner.
I start to think again about my passion for running and again
realize that consistent running makes regular life easy. Personally I
have gone from a time at the age of 47 when running to the mail box
and back (about 1/2 mile) shot my average heart rate up to about 160
BPM and was only moving along at a 13 min/mile pace.
These days I can run for 13 miles at 160 BPM and under a 8
min/mile pace with 7:41 min/mile for 13.1 being my best.
And more important when cruising along at a jog speed of 11
min/mile my heart rate only gets to about 115 BPM average. 2 1/2
years ago I could get to 115 BPM by just walking. So today jogging is
like walking was 2 1/2 years ago. That has got to be good for you.
I have seen the benefit first hand and believe that I am hooked for
life. I guess we can wait and see.
OK so I go for my standard 1 mile warmup run. I have been doing
this ever since one day 1 1/2 years ago when I didn’t warm up I
pulled a muscle in my lower back at the aggressive start when
everyone is finding their place.
Warmup went well maybe all will be OK.
Then before you know it off go the 50K racers, followed a minute
later by the Full Marathon runners, then my race the Half Marathon,
followed by 10K and 5K runners.
They have something for everyone here.
For the first couple of miles I felt pretty well except I noticed
I was was running slower than normal. I wondered if it was because I
was mixed in with Full Marathon runners that were throttled back,
pacing slow in order to make it the full 26.2
Whatever reason I was running slow. I tried to kick it up a notch
but it just wasn’t happening. After about 3-4 miles I knew this
wasn’t going to be a PR day.
But what the heck I thought at least I will get a good training
run out of it. I found myself amongst two guys doing the Jeff
Galloway Run Walk method. Chatted with them a bit and again wondered
if it really works.
Run a little faster than normal then walk for a bit. Then run then
walk etc. These guys are convinced and one of them looked a little
older than me and said he had completed 65 marathons.
He has got to know more that I as I have only made it through 3
and each was a complete disaster in its own way, another story.
At about 6 miles I began feeling a bit rough and people began
passing me. Usually I am the one doing the passing at this point of
the race, not today.
Well the next thing I had to look forward to was the turn around
at least then it might not be as crowded as the Full Marathoners
I was ready to turn around and so I kept looking for the sign.
Finally it came and I was happy that I was on my way back.
A little after the turn one of the Full Marathon Run/Walk guys
passed me, I was surprised and at first wondered if I had been the
one who took a wrong turn.
After talking with a few other runners we determined that this was
if fact the half coarse and sent the Full Marathon guy back.
After looping around a bit in Eastpoint I was back on the bridge
again. It was a bit lonely and there were only a few runners in site
with a few others still passing me.
I was in the 9′s now 9 something min/mile. I think to myself
this is really bad as I am usually in the 7′s. At this point there is
no way I am going to finish in the 7′s and actually the 8′s are in
With about 5 miles to go I manage to dig deep and pull my pace
into the 7′s. I think to myself this feels good as I begin picking
runners off. Even though this race has been a disaster it would be
nice to at least finish strong.
Unfortunately after a few miles of near 8:00 min/mile pace I was
fading. So I hung on to 8:30 min/mile. It seemed that I wasn’t
really gaining on anyone now and couldn’t hear anyone behind me.
I have got to hang on and then maybe I can pull the pace down near
the finish. Well that didn’t really work either as at a little over
a mile from the finish here comes that big bridge again.
Being a fairly big guy a 6 foot and being slightly overweight this
is were the small thin people destroy me and wonder if there are any
I am not looking back and never have looked back during any race. I
will just have to give it my best, it will be over soon. With the
finish line near I think it will be real disappointing if I get
passed here today.
I am a 7:50 min/mile runner running in an 8:50 min/mile group. I
should be able to hang on. I passed one more runner about 1/4 mile
out and then gained on the next one and that was enough for me.
I had calculated in my head that I should easily break 2 hours but
this will be my second slowest Half Marathon ever out of about 10
total. As a round the final turn I see the clock.
Oh No this can’t be happening I got to dig deep and I went though
in under 2 hours. Later I realized that the clock was set for the
50K ultra runners and I had an extra 2 minutes.
So it was really 1:57 something. Not great but for this day, I
will take it!!
When I stopped my two tender spots that had been bothering pretty
much the whole way started screaming at me. So I kept moving for
about 10 or 15 minutes around the finish area.
I was afraid that if I stopped that I would not be able to make it
back to the Van.
I figured I would hang around for the awards. So I did, one award
per age group, it was a very peculiar race. Heavily advertised all
over the country but being in the middle of no where in Apalachicola
didn’t help them and I think only about 400 showed up for all 5
With all the money spent in advertising I wouldn’t be surprised if
there was some BP oil spill money in here somewhere.
It was about like last year, stop and pour your own water at
places. They did have plastic bottles which was an improvement.
After last year I knew to be prepared and carried my own water.
Very few volunteers ,like last year, and this year they promised
to pay the volunteers and then after the race did not pay them. That
is just not right.
For the money this has got to be the biggest ripoff of any race in
the country. Full was $95 and the Half was $85. For those prices I’d do
what I am doing in a couple weeks.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah baby with a band every mile, plenty of
volunteers, 30,000 fun loving people instead of 400, tons of food,
awesome finish ceremony and a technical t-shirt.
This race had a couple volunteers, a lonely road, mushy bananas
cut into 1/8′s, one award per age group that you get to go and get
from the DJ/Race Director/not paying my volunteers…..Guy!
For what this race was it should have cost about $35 bucks.
None of this explains my poor performance though, that was all me.
To makes things worst last year I managed to have my worst Full
Marathon ever right here as well.
If I was suspicious person?? But I am not. I screwed it up for
myself and actually even though this race is a complete ripoff I can
see myself returning next year.
I have some dragons to slay here!
Video File: 2011 Running for the Bay Half Marathon.avi
Event Date: 10/23/2011