January 22, 2006
I'm not Rappaport
This morning I ran a half-marathon in Naples (about 2.5 hours south of here). It was the third time I've run this race, and I've never run it well. I'll get to the details in a bit, but I kind of blew up, thought a lot about dropping out, finished in 1:32:09, which was 2nd in my age group and 22nd overall (but who cares). First in my age group was a very very good runner by the name of Rappaport. Since neither of us are from Naples the award-givers had no idea what either of us looked like, and I got to say "I'm not Jennifer" a couple-three times when they they tried to give me her first-place plaque. It didn't occur to me until later that I could've said "I'm not Rappaport" but I don't know if anyone would have gotten it.
bad/good/ analysis/excuse-making follows:
bad: I went out too fast - 6:30 for the first mile. Unless I have someone pacing me, I do this every fucking time.
bad: because I went out too fast, a lot of people passed me - some because I let them (I was slowing down on purpose), and some because I was just slowing down. I think 6 or 7 women passed me all race long. When this happens I never know whether to let them go or try to stay with them. I also get demoralized.
bad: round about 6 miles or so my legs just didn't want to go. I thought about making the last half of the race a marathon-pace run, whatta cop out.
bad: it was 66F and 96% RH at the start, 68 and 93% at the end. And sunny. Put all that together and it felt too hot.
good: there was a very cute pug hanging out before the race, and afterward.
um: I don't remember much about miles 8 - 10 except I'd made some kind of deal with myself about quitting or slowing down or doing something at 8, no 9 (I've forgotten that too). Suddenly the next mile marker said 10 and it was like a cosmic present.
bad: blister on the sole of my foot starting around 7 or 8 miles.
good: a couple of my idols were running, and I beat both of them even though I was having a bad day. It's not that I want to beat them as people. But it makes me feel better to know that even if I'm having a bad day I'm still able to run faster than some people I idolize. Nope, that doesn't sound right either. Guess the reader will just have to figure out what I mean, or decide I'm an ass.
um: my friend Al and I started driving at 3:30 this morning to get to the race. In order to do that I had to get up at 2am and drink coffee and what have you before driving 25 miles to Al's house. I am not a hothouse flower, but it was a little weird racing on little sleep and a different biological schedule.
good: at about 10.5 I came upon a very encouraging guy who said "deep breaths. cleansing breaths." I muttered something about having gone out too fast and then began taking deeper (though probably not too cleansing) breaths. A minute or two later a girl appeared (I could hear Encouraging Guy encouraging her) and though I pulled away a bit, I wasn't at all sure I could keep ahead of her. At 11 miles I got my typical half-marathon-late-wind and resolved that if nothing else I would not let her catch me. At least that worked out.
good: I never thought I'd do anything in the age group at this race, because it's a money race and all the Russian women from Gainesville swoop down for the cash, leaving the age-group awards for the extremely fast non-Russian non-Gainesville women. But many of the extremely fast non-Russian non-Gainesville women decided to do something else today, so I got lucky.
bad: this race was at the end of a very light (50-something) training week. I should have been faster than 1:32.
good, sort of: For the last 2 years my half-marathon PR has stood at 1:38. I never in my life thought that a crash-n-burn would be a 1:32.
Posted by joe positive at January 22, 2006 3:34 PM
Wow that sounds like a rough race. Although I'd be so pleased with your time, so it's all relative.
I like your last 'good":
For the last 2 years my half-marathon PR has stood at 1:38. I never in my life thought that a crash-n-burn would be a 1:32.
That's awesome progress, no doubt.
Posted by: christine at January 22, 2006 6:17 PM
Yeah, what christine said. I'm a 1:40 half type, so you're idol foder for someone like me :)
Posted by: sian at January 22, 2006 6:20 PM
Congrats on having progressed to the point where you can run a 1:32 on an off day!!
Posted by: Alison at January 22, 2006 8:15 PM
You did good today, just awesome. I go out too fast all the time too, but thats because I figure I'm going to slow down anyway so why not take a few mins off in the first miles. Your first few miles sound like mine today. Here is something to make you feel better 15K 1:28:24.(my race today)
Posted by: DawnB at January 22, 2006 8:23 PM
Congrats, that is awesome. Do you know where the results for this race are posted?
Posted by: Dawn at January 22, 2006 9:12 PM
Good or bad, I think you did awesome. I don't think I could ever dream of having a half time of less than 2 hours. You rock!
Despite our difference in speed. I have to laugh as I too often mess up by going out too fast. I get caught up in the crowd and the rush only to find myself winded. Thankfully I don't let being passed get me down as I'm getting pretty used to it.
Posted by: Dawn (aka Pink Lady) at January 23, 2006 2:07 AM
Good grief, there sure are alot of "Dawns" on running blogs!
Posted by: Dawn at January 23, 2006 5:27 PM
I AM Rapaport! Jennifer Rapaport, that is, but I certainly can appreciate the other spelling of my last name since that is how they spell it for the play...and in fact, practically no one spells it right anyhow since there are so many variations. I heard about your blog entry at a track workout tonight in Boston (it's a very small world, isn't it?) and I immediately raced home to read it. I have been telling everyone that it was 74 degrees versus your 68(the temperature in my Dad's car read that at the race conclusion) but if you felt it was warm, and you live in Florida, I am sticking with my 70+ line. I am not in the best racing shape right now...I usually focus on running and racing in the summers and do mostly cross-training in the winter as I hate the cold, but I felt I would try for a 6:10 pace for the half...and I went out in 6:10 and it just felt too hard for the weather and humidity so I slowed it down slightly, then more than slightly later in the race. Overall, it was a good effort but not a good time, but that's OK for this early in the season. I met several folks from the St. Petersburg area after the race...maybe you were one of them...I can't remember all the names. Anyhow, I included my email address because my Dad lives in Naples and has plenty of room for guests. If you decide to run next year, please email me and you can stay with him for a night or two. It would be great as I usually just run the race solo while everyone else golfs. I am the only runner in my family. Best in your running and I will now be checking your blog occasionally. I enjoyed your entry on the half. This was my favorite line: "bad: I went out too fast - 6:30 for the first mile. Unless I have someone pacing me, I do this every fucking time"...Yup...it takes a lot of effort, a LOT to hold back. ---Jennifer
Posted by: Jennifer at January 31, 2006 9:27 PM