Thursday, November 01, 2007

RR - Rhode Island

Race Report
Breakers Marathon
Newport, RI
Sat, Oct 20/07
Marathon #291 – State # 48 (2nd loop)

As I play catch-up on my race/trip reports the good news is that the reports will be shorter!

After I returned from Ecuador we were very busy. The Sports Manager had flown to Portland, OR to visit Jason and Ami while I was in Ecuador. We met at the airport in Denver and returned home to close up the house, pack the car and head back to FL for the winter. We drove through TX for a family reunion in Fort Worth and finally arrived in FL on Oct 16. We unpacked and started to settle in. I had an appointment with a podiatrist in Sarasota on Thu to get a second/better opinion on the foot injury? I did an easy 5-mile run before going to the Doc to test the foot? And I did get a better opinion. He told me that I could continue to run the busy marathon schedule I had planned as long as I could stand the pain!
The worst case scenario was that I might rupture the tendon which would mean surgery and 9 months of healing – or I could take 6 to 9 months off and let the foot heal before running again? He thought the risk of rupture was small if I didn’t push the foot during the races. He gave me a shot of cortisone in the foot and wished me luck!

My next marathon was scheduled for two days later – the Breakers Marathon in Newport, RI. Many of you will recall that I tried to run this marathon last year and had to drop out after 1 mile because of severe pain in my right leg. That pain was diagnosed as DVT a few days later and I have never managed to regain my ‘marathon shape’ since suffering that problem? I was disappointed in not finishing that race because I needed that marathon/state to complete a goal to run all 50 States a 2nd time. Thus I immediately registered to run the marathon again in 2008! My plan was to be fully recovered, healthy and kick ass during the fall marathon season in 2008! Well, here it was – one year later and time to go to Plan B? Just try to walk/run/finish the race so I could scratch the state off my list! I should be finished my 2nd loop by now! I am determined to finish this goal in 2007!

So I flew into Providence, RI on Sat and arrived after dark in a pouring rain storm. The weather was so bad I got lost driving to Newport and arrived around 9 pm – ate a late pasta dinner and went to bed and listened to it rain buckets all night. This sure was looking like a pleasant event? I had to rise early to find registration and pick up my race packet. The race director found a bigger/richer sponsor this year and changed the course so there were about 600 runners for the new marathon. It started at the Newport Yacht Club in downtown Newport. The finish line was at Easton’s Beach, about 1 mile away so I parked at the start line to pick up my race packet. Luckily the rain stopped around 7 am but the temps were higher than forecast – 64 F at the 8 am start but never rose above 66 F!

The registration and organization were good at the start and we started off at 8 am. The 1st Half of the course wound through downtown Newport, along Ocean Dr and past the famous mansions on Bellevue Ave. The foot felt pretty good after the cortisone shot so I hoped to average a 10 min/mile pace for the first 20 miles and then I expected the last 10K to get ugly! I had only run one 5-mile run since the last marathon and had not had time to do any cross training. The blister on my big toe had healed and I had worn the new orthotics for the past few weeks so I wasn’t expecting any further problems with blisters?

I passed 5 miles in 48:26 and the mansions at 11 miles in 1:47:27 to reach the Half at Easton’s Beach in 2:07:27. I was doing well – I had at least beaten the winners to the finish line and I still felt OK? The 2nd half followed the old marathon course through suburbs in east Newport. When I passed mile 15 in 2:28:19 I could tell that I had developed another/new blister on the same big toe! Damn – I still had a long way to go! I reached mile 20 in 3:20:33. I had achieved my 1st goal and realized my fears were starting to happen. My legs were already tired, the blister was starting to hurt – the last 10 K was going to be ugly! I struggled until mile 24 (4:05:12) and at that point decided that I needed to again suck it up, ignore the pain and get the ordeal/misery over with. I needed to finish under 4:30 to have any chance of making it back to my hotel in time for a shower before going to the airport. I managed to get the pace back down to a blazing 10:15 for the final 2 miles and crossed the finish line in 4:28:31.

I was happy with my time – I was happy that the foot (other than the blister) hadn’t hurt much – but I was not happy that my legs were in such pathetic shape and got so wasted the last 10K! I need to change that! And I definitely was not happy with the race organization at the finish line! There were supposed to be buses to shuttle runners back to the start line/parking every 10 minutes. It took 30 minutes to get back to my car and by the time I got back to the hotel they had locked me out of the room and checked me out! I had to towel off the sweat in the car and dress without a shower. I felt sorry for any passengers sitting next to me on the plane!

But most importantly I was happy that I had finally finished this marathon/state for the 2nd time and now I only have two more states to go to finish my goal. I run the 49th state this coming weekend in Huntington, WV. I managed to run 40 training miles in the past two weeks in the hope/expectation that those miles will strengthen and improve the condition of my legs. I also switched the orthotics to a different set of shoes and haven’t had any problems with blisters during the training runs. I am hoping that I can run a 10 min pace for an entire marathon?

Stay tuned!

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