Monday, February 07, 2011

RR - Melbourne Music Marathon

Race Report

Sun, Feb 6/11
Melbourne & Beaches Music Marathon
Melbourne, FL
3:57:56 – 2 AG
Marathon #342

I would like to forget this race and not write a report. But in a few years when I am suffering from Alzheimer’s this may be the only memory I have of this race?

As race day approached I was again faced with the dilemma of “what to expect”? The past few weeks – and especially last week – I had been experiencing a lot of symptoms characteristic of that nasty disease UC (Ulcerative Colitis) – stomach cramps and diarrhea being the main ones! I was developing a theory - I am at the tail end of the cycle/period for my treatment. My next infusion of Remicade (every 8 weeks) is this week and I believe that the UC is flaring up more frequently and intermittently during the final few weeks of the cycle? I am anxious to see what happens after I receive the next infusion and if the symptoms regress quickly. If so I may have to discuss a shorter treatment cycle with my doctor. Unfortunately Medicare and the Insurance Company may not agree since treatments cost more than $10K each!

As I was getting ready to leave for Melbourne on Sat morning I received an email from a friend and fellow Country Club member, KG Nystrom, from Sweden. He was leaving his winter home in St. Augustine, FL to run the race also. We agreed to meet at the expo. We met at the expo- registered at the last moment ($120) and picked up our race packets. We agreed to meet for pasta dinner. My hotel was located close to the start/finish line so I decided to drive the course while exploring Melbourne. The course is a half-marathon loop that starts at the corner of Hwys 1 and 192. It runs north on Hwy 1 on the west side of the Indian River to the Eau Gallie Causeway (Hwy 518). It crosses a BAB (Bad Ass Bridge) over the Indian River and turns south on Riverside Dr along the east side of the Indian River back to Hwy 192. It then crosses back over the Indian River via the Melbourne Causeway and another BAB. The 2nd loop follows the same route (Oh Goody - we get to climb those BABs twice!) and then finishes in Historic Downtown Melbourne.

I joined KG for a nice pasta dinner where we updated our stats and ‘war’ stories. After retiring early I was up throughout the night suffering from diarrhea. It continued right up the start of the race when I was forced to find an alley a few minutes before the start. It was not looking good health-wise?

It was a balmy 66 F at the 7am start. Fortunately it was overcast with a light drizzle that made it feel cooler and the temps actually dropped during the race (61 F at the finish). I joined 1200 runners – 400 in the Marathon and 800 in the Half. I decided to run smart and slow and was a bit surprised when I passed Mile 1 in 8:31. My energy level felt OK but I was having difficulty breathing so I slowed the pace by 10 secs/mile and quickly settled into an 8:40 pace. I climbed the 1st BAB at Mile 6 in 52:15 and a split of 8:48. My breathing finally settled down and I continued to hold that pace until I reached the Half in 1:55:15 and a split of 9:02. I counted a total of 11 live bands (e.g. ‘Music’ Marathon) along the course. There were distance markers every mile and water about every 1 ½ miles. One lane was coned off for runners and police and volunteers controlled every major intersection so the race was well organized and managed.

I felt OK energy-wise but my legs felt sluggish and I was finding it difficult to run a 9 min pace? I knew right then that the 2nd Half/Loop would not be as fast and my target was to finish under 3:55! I continued to hold the 9-min pace through the 2nd climb over the BAB on the Eau Gallie Causeway at Mile 18 in 2:33:15 and a split of 8:59.

However when I reached Mile 20 in 2:58:05 and a split of 9:37 I had to adjust my goals. My energy level still felt OK but my legs could no longer hold a 9-min pace? I calculated that a 10-min pace would still get me across the finish line under 4 hrs. I didn’t think the ‘wheels were falling off’ but I just couldn’t see the point in trying to push the pace back down to 9 min/mile and accepting the level of pain necessary to hold that pace so I let my body dictate the pace – as long as I stayed under 10-min/mile. I made the final climb over the BAB on the Melbourne Causeway at Mile 24 in 3:37:04 and a split of 9:53 (my slowest split of the race). I knew that sub-4 hrs was in the bag but nevertheless it was still difficult carrying that bag through the final 2 miles to cross the finish line in 3:57:56!

I walked back to the car for the camera to take the mandatory finish line photo and checked the results. I finished 2nd AG and the winner had trounced me by 20 minutes! I was glad that I had eased off in the final 10K and not forced myself to accept a lot of pain and hurt to gain a few more minutes.

My legs felt pretty tired and sore at the end of the race in spite of the slow pace? I am looking forward to my infusion/treatment this week for the UC in hopes that I will see and feel a significant improvement in my health and capability to run a faster pace? I am also glad that I have stretched the intervals between my future races to 2 to 3 weeks so I will have more time to rest and add some intensive speed workouts to my training program. I want to key on a few upcoming races – the 1st one being in two weeks. If I don’t see improvement and continue to suffer the same problems and slow times I may have to cancel a few scheduled races?

I feel like a guinea pig? Each week – each day - seems to be a test of what I can do – or can’t do while suffering and receiving treatment for this nasty disease. I have asked doctors and many friends who suffer from this disease but nobody else seems to push their body through the extremes (and number of races) that I am demanding from my body? I guess I am just going to have to learn and adapt as I go along?

Stay tuned!


country clubs on long island said...

It's great to hold different events at a country club as this will help boost profits. Events held at a country club are not just for ordinary parties. These are sometimes product launchings or cocktails sponsored by big corporations and firms.

cristy Snellgroves said...

What races do you have coming up? I am still waiting to join you on a race trip!!