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Florence Half Marathon

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Florence Half Marathon

Post by EugeneRunner on Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:15 am

I'm back after a lengthy absence. I hadn't been running well since my third foot surgery and just really busy for a while. Then the forums were down for a while and I think I missed when they came back. Still no real excuse for not checking in and supporting everyone.

After a series of mediocre races and injuring my foot, I thought about skipping this half marathon even though I was already signed up. I'm quite glad I went through with it!

The Florence Half Marathon was an inaugural race, but was heavily publicized and put on by an experienced group. That is Florence Oregon, not Florence Italy, but still a beautiful course along the ocean. The weather was absolutely perfect. Sunny, no wind, cool at the start, but warming up to tank top weather for the post race festivities.

The short version of the race report is 2 runners quickly jumped out in front, with me settling into my pace in third a little ways back. I ran conservatively early and then eased up to the leaders. Once I moved to the front only one of the other guys went with me. He was significantly younger, was running effortlessly up on his toes, and seemed to be just playing with me. He just ran along behind me, but ran so quietly it was hard to tell if he was still there. I got a little gap on him going up a steep hill at 5 miles but he stayed within easy striking distance. He was still close at a U turn at 8 miles and I was fairly certain he would beat me easily once he really started to run.

I came up with a plan to cruise until the 10 mile mark, and then try to surprise him by making a big move. I though I might be able to take advantage of him letting me have a bit of a lead. I didn't look back to see where he was, but at 10 miles I cranked it up as much as I dared. I was shocked to run mile 11 in 5:30 and I was still feeling pretty good. I kept pushing through the final hills, sneaking a quick peak back to see my chaser was long gone.

Final result was first overall in 1:15:53. My final 5K was 17:10, which would have been a very good run for me by itself.

It seems odd now, 5 years after my MI and stent, that I can run an entire half marathon and not think once about my heart. For those first couple years every little odd little feeling in my chest or shoulders or teeth (where my heart attack symptoms were) would freak me out. With even the slightest exertion my thoughts were concentrated on if there were signs of trouble in my heart, and if I was pushing harder than was safe. Maybe I've gone too far the other way now, and there should be a happy middle ground where I'm enjoying life but still considering the level of risk and holding back a bit more.

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Re: Florence Half Marathon

Post by jerseyguy on Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:34 pm

EugeneRunner wrote:  Maybe I've gone too far the other way now, and there should be a happy middle ground where I'm enjoying life but still considering the level of risk and holding back a bit more.

First things first.  I need to see a photo of your feet because I swear you must have wings on them.  1:15 half marathon...that's just plain crazy.  Congratulations!
All joking aside, your comments are timely.  I am approaching the 3rd anniversary of my so called "widow maker."  For me, I seem to have a very low intensity anxiety that frequently resides right below the surface.  I think this is natural.  After all, atherosclerotic heart disease is insidious by nature.  This doesn't prevent me from doing the things I want to do.
My conflict seems to be finding my potential.  I completed the Lehigh Valley Marathon a couple of weeks ago.  This was my 5th marathon since my heart attack.  The weather was in the upper 70's and sticky at the start.  Conditions I have never run a marathon in before.  It was a lackluster and exhausting endeavor.  It was memorable for a couple of reasons, but mostly because it was the first time that a run has brought me to my knees. It did set me to thinking why I need to pursue a PR every time I run a race and why can't I find that happy middle ground you are talking about.  For me I guess I am just not there yet.

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Re: Florence Half Marathon

Post by RoadKillBill on Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:07 am

Nice to see you back on the forum. Unbelievable race performance. Well done! I'd like to see your chaser's race report Shocked

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Re: Florence Half Marathon

Post by Dave Tuttle on Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:10 pm

I am in awe!!! An MI and Stent and still you run SO well!

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Re: Florence Half Marathon

Post by EugeneRunner on Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:54 pm

As punishment for winning this race, I got a free entry into another half marathon in December. And I got a free entry into this last one because I won a half marathon in July. So it looks like I'll be continuing to focus on half marathons for awhile!

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Re: Florence Half Marathon

Post by EugeneRunner on Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:44 pm

On December 17th I ran the half marathon I got a free entry for by winning the previous one. I was unable to extend my half marathon winning streak to 3 in a row, as I never felt good and ended up 2nd overall. I had spent most of the previous 2 weeks on the road, including getting stranded overnight at LAX, only getting home the night before the race.

Unfortunately an ice storm forced a last minute change to the race route, which caused the course to be substantially short - maybe around 12.4-12.5 miles for the winner and I, and about 12.2 for everyone behind us (nothing like changing the course in the middle of a race!). I'll just call it a solid workout. Now just trying to get back to consistent training to gear up for 2017.

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Re: Florence Half Marathon

Post by twal on Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:34 pm

Great job. I remain jealous of you.

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Re: Florence Half Marathon

Post by Gary E on Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:54 am

I find it amazing that you can still run so well despite getting older. It seems to me that I lose 30 sec/mile every year. How do you do that?
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Re: Florence Half Marathon

Post by jerseyguy on Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:27 am

Sounds like a memorable race with a good outcome none the less.  Like everyone else, I am envious.  Great job!

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