Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Before I Knew What 'BQ' Was

This is kind of a random post.  I don't know if it has a purpose. 

So, I got four emails today from Sport Photo with an offer at 25% and 50% off some old races.  A few of the races I think they had the wrong person for so I just deleted the email.  But, one of the races was for the 2011 Melbourne & Beaches Music Marathon.  This was the 2nd marathon that I had done.  I signed up for it shortly after completing the Palm Beaches Marathon race the previous December.  I signed up for it because I was still on a runner's high and wanted to get in another race before it got too hot.  I had no goal other than to finish the race.  I just wanted to do another one.  OK.  That's kind of a lie.  My goal was under 4 hours.  But, I finished the Palm Beaches Marathon in 3:50:01 so I figured it was totally doable.

This is my recollection of what happened.  Daniel and I got to Melbourne the night before the race, did the usual packet pickup, hotel check-in, and find something to eat.  We ate a bar that had pizza which was fine with me.  After eating we decided to hang out and walk around a bit.  Ended up at another small bar for a beer or two (for Daniel) and then headed back to the hotel.  The hotel we were at wasn't very nice, but it was on the run course.  So, Daniel was able to come out and see me twice as I ran by. 

Almost all straight-aways (very few turns) and totally flat except for the two bridges that you have to go over twice each.

I honestly don't remember that well.  I do remember getting to try an orange for the first time on a course.  Awesomeness.  When there are oranges on the course I will 99% take one now.  All the aid stations seemed to be well stocked with water and nutrition of varying sorts

This is no a big race so there are not very many spectators at all.

The year I did it the weather was awesome.  Overcast with a very list mist the entire race.  You can't plan for this stuff!  And, it was in February so the weather was already a little cooler.

Pretty good for such a small race.  I would go to say that it was better than some of the bigger races that I've been to.  Lots of food vendors.  I remember getting a banana, cookies, and pizza.  I of course ate all of it... cookies and pizza first.  For drinks they had the standard water, Gatorade, as well as Muscle Milk.               

How did I do?  3:39:10

I beat my previous time by 10 min and 51 sec!  And, ended up taking 3rd place in my a/g.  This race was back in the days placing never even crossed my mind.  I didn't know I had 3rd place until I looked at the results when I got home.  I ended up having to email the race director to have my award sent to me.

Daniel wasn't expecting me for another 10 minutes so I was wondering around for a while.  Now he makes sure to get to a race finish about 20 minutes before my expected finish time, just in case  :). 

A day or so later I was talking to someone about the race and they mentioned that they think I may  have qualified for Boston.  I was like "What?  What is Boston?"  I looked up the race and the qualification requirements and I had indeed qualified.  This was the last year that of the older qualifying times and still allowed the additional 59 seconds, but the first year that they were implementing the rule of the faster runners getting to register earlier and are allowed in, regardless if you qualified.  My qualifying time then was 3:40.  So, I had qualified, but I would be in the last wave and there was no guarantee that there would be any slots left for me when I did get to register.  I decided that I did want to go to Boston and that I wanted to try for a faster time so I could register earlier.  This took me on the path of signing up for the Santa Rosa Marathon in California, which still holds my PR marathon time of 3:29:54, and then the LeHigh Valley Marathon in Pennsylvania.

Oddly enough or not, I sometimes miss those days when I did a race just to do it.  No goal in mind other than to finish and maybe beat my previous time.  I would be lying though if I said I didn't enjoy tackling the challenges of competing to place or qualifying for a specific race.  Se la vie, right?           

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