|Finishing the Crystal Coast Half Marathon|
My favorite race of 2012 was my first race of the year, the Crystal Coast Half Marathon on February 25th. I've ran the Crystal Coast Half marathon every year and finished second, fourth, second, and fourth in the previous four years before 2012. The race was on week 11 of my 18 week Pfitzinger plan for the 116th Boston Marathon. The weather was great minus the wind. I'm used to doing long runs, tempos, bridge intervals, easy runs, and race in my hometown in windy conditions so it didn't bother me as much as the other runners. I actually used the wind to my advantage. I took the lead for good after six miles and pulled away from the field. I finally won the Crystal Coast Half Marathon in 1:21:09! My friend and fellow local, Heidi Tucker, won the women's race. The race set record numbers with a total of 628 runners; 396 finished the half marathon and 232 finished the 5K.
|At 30K in Newton in 2:04:09|
The 116th Boston Marathon was the toughest race I ran this year and the toughest of my life. It was harder than last year's epic USATF 10K trail championship race that felt more like mountain navigating than a race. I say Boston was harder because of the record heat. There is no shade on the course and "a breeze felt like a blast from a hair dryer". The weather was such a concern that the Boston Athletic Association even offered a deferment option. If you didn't want to race in the heat you didn't have to and you would have guaranteed entry into the 2013 Boston Marathon. I considered the deferment option but chose to run and to run it as best as I could. My goal in better conditions was to break my 2:54:26 PR that I set at Boston in 2011. I felt like I was in 2:50-2:52 shape. The BAA did a great job of having plenty of water and Gatorade on course along with misting stations, fire hoses, and big tents that sprayed water from the top down onto you. Those felt amazing! The crowd support in the heat was amazing as usual. Nothing beats the crowd support Boston has for the entire 26.2 miles course. Even though I drank more water and Gatorade during the race than I ever have on any other run in my life I still had to stop and walk some aid stations and drink full cups of each because I stopped sweating around 22 miles. I ended up finishing in 3:04:09, 703 overall out of 21,554 and 661 out of males, and 515 out of males 18-34 years old. It was 90 degrees when I finished with a road temperature of 102 degrees. It was my the slowest marathon I've ever ran but I still beat the 3:05:00 qualifying time even in the intense heat. Upon arriving back in North Carolina I ended up in the emergency room and needed three IVs.
First Time Races
|Finishing the Habitat Home Run 10K|
I ran five first time races in 2012 that I had not previously done before. The first was the Habitat Home Run 10K on March 17th. The race was on week 14 of my 18 week training plan for Boston. The weather conditions were not ideal for a fast time. It was 100% humidity and thick fog at the start of the race. The course was flat but had a lot of turns. After running the first mile in 6:00 I picked up the pace to 5:49 and 5:53 for the next two miles. I started pulling away from the field once I sped up. I kept the faster pace for the remaining of the race and won the race in a new personal record of 36:41. Marathon training does wonderful things for my times in shorter races. I usually pr in shorter races while in marathon training even when I'm not rested or tapered for those races. It was my second race of 2012 and my second win.
The second first time race of the year was the Run2Give 5K Road Race on August 25th. It came on week 1 of a 12 week marathon plan for the Marshall University Marathon on November 11. I ran the race with my good friend Katherine Stephenson. It was her wedding day and she wanted to run before her wedding that evening. I chose to pace her. It was a good race organized by a high school runner at West Carteret. We only had one problem during the race. The fireman blocked us from staying on Front Street and sent us up Live Oak Street where we ended up on Hwy 70 in live traffic. Big mistake on his part! Katherine and I made the decision to go down Gordon Street to get back on Front Street. Since we added on half a mile we also decided to turn around where my Garmin said was 1.55 miles and run back the same way we came. Even with the confusion of running the wrong course, I ended up pacing Katherine to a 19:12. She won the women's race and we tied for 2nd overall. The race had 102 runners finish the 5K and it still raised money for Martha's Mission Cupboard, the local emergency food pantry.
|Winning City of Oaks Relay Team|
|Jarrod and Me with the ECU flag on the John Marshall statue|
Finally, my fifth first time race of 2012 was the Resolution Run 5K on Front Street in Beaufort on December 29th. I had not done any speed-work or tempos since before the Marshall University Marathon. In the weeks since the marathon I was gradually building my weekly mileage back to up to over 40 miles a week. The forecast all week was calling for heavy rain for the race. Once I arrived at the race I decide to go ahead and do it. It was a steady, heavy rain and the air temperature was in the low 50s. It was a very small race because of the bad weather. I went out a little too fast but settled in and stayed consistent on my splits. I finished third overall in 18:16. There were 2 guys way ahead of me and I think they went sub 17 minutes. It was my first race since turning 30 years old.
Beach Run Series
|38:10 Beach Run 10K PR|
The Beach Runs are a points system and you have to do 4 of the first 6 races to qualify for overall and age group awards. If you do all six then your best four count. The seventh race is a fun run or tiebreaker if needed. They are from April through August. Races start at 6:30pm on a falling or low tide so the sand is usually packed in pretty well for running. I've done the 10K the last seven years and won the overall championship in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
|Jamie, Me, and Justus|
My girlfriend Jamie participated in the Beach Run Series for the second consecutive year. She did the mile this year after she did the 5K last year. She did great in the mile and ran some personal records in the sand. She ended up winning the Overall Mile Championship.
The Final Beach Run of the year was to honor Billy Stanley. His wife and kids were there and were presented with signed cards, banners, and shirts from all those that knew Billy. It was a great turnout. Anne, Heidi, and I all ran the 5K since there was only a 1 mile and 5K available It had been awhile since the three of us had done the same race.
- 2,534.9 miles run
- Total Running Time: 315:57:30 or 13 days and 3 hours
- Ran 12 Races
- Won 6 races: Crystal Coast Half Marathon, Habitat Home Run 10K, and 4 Beach Run 10Ks
- 2 New Personal Records: 36:41 10K at the Habitat Home Run 10K and 29:04 8K at the Twin Bridges 8K Road Race on October 6, 2012