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I'll tell you, I absolutely love these gatherings and this one was just incredible. A huge shout out to Basil (John) (brwf) for his kindness, generosity and tolerance! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> Just one of the greatest unselfish human beings I've ever met. I can't say enough about the guy. Seemed like he worked a bit too hard on our account and I remember I kept hoping he'd have more fun! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> And a big thanks to Snooze and TJ for allowing us to hang out. I think that really made the weekend and really brought us all closer. It made it feel like I was hanging out with a great bunch of old friends. I feel like I left a part of myself out there.<br><br>
Ok, before I get too sentimental, onto the actual race report. I was a little concerned that the weather would be too nice, too warm. Well, the running gods decided to see to it that it wasn't. To put it bluntly, it was a shitty day. I can't swear to it, but I'm pretty sure while watching the Weather Channel, they said, "Expect shitty weather on Sunday and beautiful weather the rest of the year." Again, I won't swear to it. I do know that they called for "abundant" sunshine on Monday. Not mostly sunny or sunny skies, but abundant sunshine.<br><br>
So, I meet up with Liam at 6 a.m., or a couple minutes after. We were staying at the same luxury resort. Our walk to the start was maybe 3/4 of a mile. Pretty much a perfect location. But the wind and rain made it a bit more miserable than it needed to be. I commented that I was glad it already was raining because the weather might get it out of its system and improve by the time the race started. Yeah, right! <img alt="roll_eyes.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/roll_eyes.gif"><br><br>
We got to the start and looked for the Kick tent, but the others had decided not to put it up due to the wind, which made sense. There were 20-25 mph winds with 40 mph gusts. The rain was kinda blowing sideways and it was about 50*F. We met up with another runner, Elizabeth, who happened to be shooting for the same pace as Liam and I. So we all took care of various prerace business, changing shoes, gear check, etc. and get to the starting line with 5 minutes til the gun.<br><br>
I didn't know what to expect out of myself or my legs. I had posted before that I could run anything between 3:30 and 5:00, and I wasn't lying. In November, I ran Philly in 4:17 and some bollocks in a very disappointing time. The 3:30 part was way, way out of reach, but I just kind of rounded down. 3:39 was my ultimate pie-in-the-sky goal. I was going to be happy with anything under 4 hours.<br><br>
So (finally) onto the race. As we started, I was already soaked, but I didn't feel too bad. The three of us chugged along nicely and my legs felt very, very good and my breathing very comfortable. Add to that the huge bonus of some terrific company and the weather wasn't even an issue. Then again, we were running with the wind at this point. We clipped along the first 3 miles thusly:<br><br>
Mile 1 - 8:38<br>
Mile 2 - 8:24<br>
Mile 3 - 8:25<br><br>
Somewhere just after this, Elizabeth had to head to the port-o-let and told us to continue on. Liam said we'd try to reign in the pace since we were already ahead of schedule. Well, we weren't quite able to. Along with losing Elizabeth, I must've lost my sense of sight because I missed the next mile marker. Anyway, Liam and I steamed along, dodging puddles, high-fiving kids who were spectating in the park and having a great time, all the while puttin in some extremely consistent splits. I've gotta say, despite the horrible weather, these were some of the most pleasant miles I've ever ran and I can only attribute that to the company. Thanks, Liam and Elizabeth.<br><br>
Mile 4 & 5 - 16:52 (8:26 average)<br>
Mile 6 - 8:20<br>
Mile 7 - 8:25<br>
Mile 8 - 8:24<br>
Mile 9 - 8:52 (We were running into some big wind, plus Liam stopped to tie his shoe <img alt="roll_eyes.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/roll_eyes.gif"><img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">)<br>
Mile 10 - 8:09<br><br>
Sadly, this is where I had to go on without Liam. He had some tightening of the hammy or quad, can't recall which, and said he was going to slow down and cut me loose. I really, really thought my race was going to turn bad after this because it had been so enjoyable up to that point. Continuing on in the foul weather alone seemed like it would break me.<br><br>
And again, after losing part of the group, I seemed to be unable to locate mile markers. Actually, they had blown away and, for some time, I was unaware that the miles were spray-painted on the ground and didn't know where I was from mile 10 through 13. According to the chip time, I hit the 12-mile mark in 1:41:01, an 8:26 pace. I asked a lady I was passing if she had seen any markers and she told me they had blown away and that they were marked on the ground. She also told me that we had just passed mile 13, which I was glad to hear.<br><br>
At this point, we had been running on the Pacific Coast Highway next with the Pacific Ocean off to the side. We kinda ran out and then back. I can't remember which mile it was, I think around 15 or 16, we turned back again and ran along a run/walk/bike path right on the beach. I was really wanted to get to mile 18 because that often is where I begin to fall apart. Anyway, some splits along this point:<br><br>
Mile 15 - 8:32<br>
Mile 16 - 8:22<br>
Mile 17 - 8:36<br>
Mile 18 & 19 - 17:14 (8:37 avg)<br><br>
We were running into the wind at this point. One cool thing was that it was a narrow path (which itselft wasn't cool) but I got to see the leader run right by me on his way back. And yes, from mile 10 to about 24, we ran out and back and out and back again, each time moving closer to the ocean. Seemed like they really crammed a lot of miles into a small space. I didn't really care for that, though you got to see other runners passing by. But mentally, I thought it seemed tough to keep having to think you've gotta keep going back and forth<br><br>
Also during this point of the race, I was passing everyone. I started to wonder if that was a bad thing and that I was running myself right into a breakdown. I just told myself everyone else is slowing down and just to keep it up.<br><br>
Just before mile 20, like about 20 yards before it, we had the final turnaround on that part of the course. Now I had the wind at my back and I still was feeling pretty good. I told myself I wanted to pick up the pace, which had been slowing.<br><br>
Mile 20 - 8:29 (This was still into the wind)<br>
Mile 21 - 8:23<br>
Mile 22 - 8:40 (Yep, starting to tire)<br>
Mile 23 - 8:50 (Oh yea, I'm taking everything my legs can muster)<br>
Mile 24 - 9:00 (My only 9-minute mile <img alt="sad.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/sad.gif">. Might've been some slight grades involved)<br>
Mile 25 - 8:16<br><br>
During miles 21-25, I really buckled down mentally. I was passing so many people and I mean just really picking them off. I had one guy at the finish tell me after I passed him he tried to keep up and said that I looked strong. Funny thing was, I had just read on of the latest issues of Running Times on the plane and there was a section about passing people and strategy. I was acually thinking about it. I remember a guy passed my on a hill and, according to the story, I shouldn't just charge back, rather with til the top and pass him back while he's recovering. I did exactly that and never saw the guy again. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> Another strategy was when you pass someone, do it in a way that tells them they will stay passed, which would usually break them. Now, I wasn't trying to break anyone, but I thought of that when I passed people. I didn't just eek by them, but went by and put some distance between us before cruising again. It just gave my feeble little brain something to think about.<br><br>
But passing all these folks made me wonder if I was going too fast. Every mile after about 22, I told myself, "Well, that mile didn't break me and mile 23 isn't going to either." Same thing with mile 24. After getting through 23, I knew I was fine for 24. And then I remember say to myself that mile 25 wasn't going to break me either and mile 26 sure as hell wasn't.<br><br>
Well, the course still had a trick or two up its sleeve. After the 8:16 mile 25 with the wind at my back and going downhill a bit, we turned around again into the worst wind yet. And we still had to go back up the hill to the street. But at this point, nothing was stopping me. I knew it was going to be a close call for a PR, so I knew it was simply time to man up and push it. And push it I did.<br><br>
I got back up to the street and the marathoners were reunited with the half-marathoners for the last about 3/4 mile to the finish. Other than it becoming really crowded all of a sudden, we were rejoined with folks who were finishing up 2:30 - 2:45 half marathons, and a lot of them were walking sometimes several people abreast. Here I am trying to PR and I've got to weave around people who are Rockette-ing to the freakin' finish line. Not only that, I remember thinking, these people are gonna eff up my finish photo! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
Well, weird course organization aside, I managed a heck of a kick and hauled some serious ass to the finish line. When I crossed, I knew I had my PR and had just ran one hell of a race. I celebrated at the finish line like Mark Gastineau after a sack. I mean, I went berserk, shouting and carrying on. I've never done that after a race.<br><br>
Finish: 3:42:52, a PR of 2:02. Not only had I earned my cool-ass medal, but I did in convincingly. I couldn't have been happier, or colder, or wetter.
 

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<b>Voo</b> - awesome report - great PR! I read that Running Times article too...great to see it put into action with great results.<br><br>
p.s. you fast
 

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You pushed it. You pushed it real good! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
Seriously, great race and great report. Congrats on the new PR!!!!! 3:30 is within your reach. You know that, right?
 

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Ohio represent!<br><br>
I dunno how you did it, because 40-50s with wind and rain seems more difficult than our Ohio winter weather. And I'm glad to got to enjoy some sunshine, aside from the race.<br><br>
Way to go, Voodoo. Congrats on a wicked PR!
 

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Great running with you my friend, wish I could have hung around longer - <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
And we both forgot to mention the 3 mile warm down walk to Oggi's <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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Excellent job! I'm impressed at the times you can run with a few extra pounds of muscle on you compared to me, not to mention how frequently you do it. And on a windy day no less - I'll take cold, rain, snow, hills and heat over wind just about any day, and I'm half as wide as you are!<br><br>
I read the article in Running Times as well and just having something like that to think about is a distraction from thinking "Holy hell, I'm tired! When is this going to end? Why do I do this shit to myself? What do normal people do on the weekend?!"<br><br>
Your time would have been even better if you didn't have to stop and wait for Liam to tie his shoe...maybe he should invest in lace locks or velcro straps for his shoes!! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
Congratulations on your PR...sub 3:40 ain't too far away!
 

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VOODOO KICKED ASS!!!!<br><br>
Great read!!!! Keep inspiring us dude!!!!
 

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great run my friend.<br><br>
but more importantly....it was better to be with you to celebrate.<br><br>
You are one fit cave man.
 

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Voo - you taught that course a lesson! Congrats on <b>well earned</b> PR!<br><br>
BTW - your forgot the part about how your true inspiration for the day came when I yelled hello to you and Liam ~ mile 8...
 

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<b>Voo</b>, awesome race report! Great time in those harsh conditions, way to pull off a PR on a tough day!!!
 

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You're an awesome dude, <b>Voo</b> - great effort, great RR, and great PR. Way to both kick some serious ass and party hard down in SoCal <img alt="icon_salut.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/icon_salut.gif">
 

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<b>voo</b>, you raced so well. I'm really happy for you for running such a good race and grabbing a PR while you were at it, in all that wind especially!!! You constantly inspire me. THank you.
 

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<b>Voodoo</b>: So the wind was blowing the mile markers away and you PR'd! Nice!!!!<br><br>
Congrats on a hard won PR.
 

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incredible job, Voodoo. You did awesome!!!!!!! Congrats on a PR, especially in that weather. I love passing people at the end of the races, it really makes me feel strong. I will try to remember your strategies <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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Great job <b>Voodoo</b> - sounds like you persevered despite the difficult conditions. This has to make up for your disappointment in Philly.
 
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