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Just returned from the race. Here's the grisly details......<br><br><b>The Plan</b><br>
Goal was 1:27:30 (6:40 pace) but I was planning to pace a little faster to start (1:25). Two reasons for this:<br>
1) First half of the race is faster (sheltered from weather, 2 downhill miles)<br>
2) I am agressive, and figured I may have a "breakout race" if things went well.<br><br><b>The Weather</b><br>
Forecast called for showers and 15-20 mph winds from the west. The most exposed piece is a North/South out/back right on the edge of the beach. Running up/down the Pacific with a strong westerly wind effectively means headwind in both directions. Oh well, not much you can do about the weather!<br><br><b>The Start</b><br>
Stomach felt bad (have been dealing with flu last few days) but managed a pitstop before getting to the start, which left me feeling OK. Did a half hearted warmup with a few strides and got in line about 2 rows back. It's a big race (6,000 runners) and there's a 5K that starts with it. Lots of people toeing the line that really shouldn't have been up the front, but had a clean start and it cleared out very fast.<br><br><b>Miles 1-5</b><br>
These are the steady miles. 2.5 heading East (tailwind) 2.5 heading West. A couple rollers but flat overall. Aggressive plan was for 6:32 average.<br>
Started fast (6:18 pace), eased a little but kept pretty quick. Got thru 2 miles in 12:56 (6:28 pace) feeling good. Mile 3 was 6:32 (turned back into the wind), Mile 4 6:33, and Mile 5 6:34 as we started the downhill section. And still no rain! Time at 5 was 32:50 (6:34 pace)<br><br><b>Miles 6 & 7</b><br>
There are a couple downhill miles from about 4.6 to 6.6 so this was the time to make some time! Hit the first down very fast (5:50 pace) but as it levelled off went thru Mile 6 at 6:20 (a little slower than my optimistic 6:15 plan). As the course got closer to the beach, the wind picked up and as we were heading West it slowed me as much as the hill sped me up. Mile 7 was 6:38. Legs felt fine but stomach was not feeling good and I considered a pitstop, but decided to push thru it. Time at 7 was 45:48 (6:33 pace) and I'd covered the 10k only 15 seconds off my PR.<br><br><b>Miles 7-10</b><br>
This is the portion that runs South down the Great Highway. It was windy but seemed to be a little bit of a NW vs a pure W so it wasn't too bad. I'd hoped to hold a 6:37 pace but that wasn't happening; 8 was 6:42, 9 was 6:44 and 10 was 6:45. I'd eased a little hoping to stop my guts churning and it did the trick. Mile 10 was the turnaround and I hit 10 at 1:05:59 (6:36 pace)<br><br><b>Miles 11 & 12</b><br>
These were always going to be the deciding miles, and as I turned I felt the wind. Wow - alot stronger than it felt heading out! And after 1/2 mile the rain finally came. Cold, wet and windy, 10 miles into a race running pretty much on the edge of my ability.... Not fun and I knew it was going to be a tough slog home. Mile 11 was OK at 6:49 but mile 12 was bad; wind was picking up and I was hurting - 7:05 (ouch!). Crossed 12 at 1:19:53 (6:39 pace)<br><br><b>Last Mile</b><br>
I knew that 1:27:30 was there if I could get back to 6:45 ish pace. 1/2 mile was slogging thru the wind and then we turned East, which meant tailwind. But it also meant uphill. Kicked for the first 1/2 mile and got down to 6:47ish, turned up the hill and loved the fact that the wind dropped but the hill hurt. My stomach muscles all went to pieces and I thought I was going to throw up (or worse...). Held low 6:50s up the hill and kicked again as it levelled for the finish. For the last 400 yards I could see the clock... 1:27:10, 1:27:11..... It's gonna be close.... Now I'm flying, passing a couple surprised people and I cross the line at 1:27:25! It felt so good to stop.<br><br>
I didn't throwup but it was very close - Another 100 yards and it would have been ugly. The line of porta-potties at the finish was the best sight ever!<br><br><b>The Conclusion</b><br>
I am very happy with meeting my primary goal. That 3 miles back up the coast was really tough, and probably cost me about a minute. This was a big intermediate race for me in my bigger goal for a possible sub 3 hour marathon in May. I need to run a 1:25 half before I even try for a sub 3 full. This was a 2:31 PR improvement, and leaves me in a nice place for the next half sometime before May when I hope to take off the next 2:30.<br><br>
Now it's time for a well deserved boatload of beer and junk food as I watch Brady choke and see the underdogs win the Superbowl!
 

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"The line of porta-potties at the finish was the best sight ever!"<br><br>
-- Now that's a line that illustrates what a tough race this was. Way to gut it out! (whew!)
 

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Great racing, Alan!! You stuck it out and stayed tough. Enjoy the superbowl <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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<span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Terrific race Alan,</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I think you could have run faster too, even with conditions the way they were this morning, but that’s a discussion for another time. Your gut feeling that you were probably in better than 1:27:30 shape proved to be true. I did my run at the same time the race was going on and there was no wind here in San Jose. I thought you might get a break, but I guess that was hoping for too much with so much of the race being right next to the bay. The rain isn’t so tough to deal with if it’s not coming down too hard, but when you combine it with wind it can be pretty brutal.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">In any case this had to be a real confidence builder. You beat your goal under trying conditions and came away knowing that you have a faster race in you.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Well done!</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Jim</span></span><br><br>
 

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"Embrace the Puke!" Very nice race effort Alan. Congrats on a fine time and good luck with lowering that time and a sub 3. Enjoyed your report.
 

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Alan, congratulations on the PR. I agree that on another day (without the wind and stomach woes), you can shave even more time off. Way to hang tough and finish strong.
 

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Alan - congrats! Really great job and effort on a tough day both weather-wise and battling stomach issues.<br><br>
I've gotten a taste of that part of the city via Bay to Breakers - when the weather is acting up like it was today, it sure ain't optimal for running, and then having to finish uphill by doubling back into GGP like you have to.
 

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That was a gutsy run, Alan. Congrats on hitting your goal on a not so optimal day. I agree that it felt good to stop today ... but it was still (in a strange way) pretty fun <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
hup
 

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Way to go Alan--just like you predicted, right? <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> I bet you feel great right now...especially as the Patriots just lost the Super Bowl. <img alt="sad2.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/sad2.gif">
 

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Great job Alan,<br>
Those conditions sounded ultra tough inside and out.<br>
Congrats on the PR and I'll bet there's another in the bank.<br>
great report too<br>
jjj
 

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Alan - congrats on the nice PR!
 

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Congrats Alan on a great run! You're amazing!<br><br>
I hope you placed the right bets on the Superbowl <img alt="cool.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/cool.gif">.
 
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