“Running a marathon takes balls, other sports just play with them”.
I created an aggressive (for me) 2022 running schedule to make up for lost races in 2020 and 2021. Not trying to recapture those miles but wanted to get back to running races in multiple locations and get this running tourist thing going again.
Targeted a monthly half marathon for the first 5 months of 2022 with the intent to get better mentally and physically with each passing race. The full goal is to run as fast as possible when I get to Atlantic City for the 2022 Atlantic City Rock N Roll Half Marathon. I have never been to Atlantic City and thought it would be a great place to visit, run and take a shot at a personal record. I still need to put in the training work for the PR to occur but the flat course there is enticing for me. A bonus is the opportunity to see my friend, Lauren Apgar while in town. 😊
The 2022 Treasure Coast Half Marathon is a local race for me in Stuart, Florida. The race location is only a quick 30-minute drive down the Florida Turnpike and I thought this would be a great race to test myself and see a new city in the process.
The EXPO was held in a local middle school gymnasium and had several interesting vendors selling gear. My focus for the EXPO was to pick up my race packet and then get a sneak peek at the course I would be running the following day. Got my customary photo op at the EXPO and tried a few of the energy drinks the vendors made available to runners. Did not spend a lot of time at the EXPO since I was interested in getting a view of the bridge, I would have to cross during the half marathon. There are multiple bridges in Stuart, but I was happy to discover the bridge half marathoners had to cross was not one of the steep one. Left with the knowledge this bridge crossing and location would not be as diabolical as what I experienced during the 2022 Florida Marathon in Melbourne.
Went to bed early with the knowledge I would face a challenging course but one that was manageable with good effort.
Drove back to Stuart at 5 am the next morning to ensure I got parking and could warm up before the 6:15 am race start time. There was plenty of parking near the start/finish line and I made my way over to the race village to get prepared for the race. Got some stretching in and made one last bathroom stop before heading to the start line.
This was not a large race so there were no corral assignments for the runners. I settled into the middle of the half marathon pack to ensure there was separation between myself and the other runners.
We were still bunched tight, so I decided to hold back a bit, so I did not get caught up in traffic and possibly bump into anyone.
Surprisingly, I clocked 9:18 for Mile 1 and felt good doing it considering the amount of traffic I had to avoid. Miles 1 – 4 all were run with a 9 out front (9:18, 9:38, 9:39, 9:45). Mile 5 is where we crossed over the bridge for the first time, and I still clocked a 10:52 which is not bad for me with a bridge ascent. Miles 5 – 8 all were run with a 10 out front (10:52, 10:46, 10:37, 10:41).
The temperature at race time was 74 degrees and it got progressively warmer as the race unfolded. What’s my point? Happy you asked!
My race pace, strategy, and energy all took a hit once the temperatures climbed into the mid-80s. You could say I fell off a cliff or hit the wall after Mile 8. You pick the race metaphor and it applied after Mile 8.
Most of the course was run in direct sunlight and the higher the temperatures got the more the sun beamed down. I am happy with my efforts during the latter part of the race because I was able to bear down and keep moving forward. My pace slowed but I was making positive progress towards the finish line and found an extra gear to cross the finish line with a smile on my face. This was not my fastest half marathon but that was not the point of signing up for this race. My January, February, and March races are laying the foundation for my April and May races. I have a hard time making myself run fast on my solo training runs so decided to leverage races as my long runs and help me get faster in the process.
My next race is the Winter Park 10k on March 12, 2022. I set a 10k PR last year and look to repeat this feat in 2022. The speed I generate in the 10k will allow me to gauge my fitness levels for the 2022 Nashville Rock N Roll Half Marathon in April and the 2022 Atlantic City Rock N Roll Half Marathon in May. I will use the summer months to build mental and physical fitness to launch into the next running season in October.
Still got goals and races to conquer!
What goals do you have to accomplish in 2022?
“My doctor told me that running could add years to my life. I think he was right. I feel ten years older already”.