2012 Beach Running Championships

A small field of 165 participants lined up under the floodlights by the Pier in Cocoa Beach on Sunday morning ready to race across the sand.  It was a pretty amazing sight, and worth getting up at 4:24 am to drive an hour over to the coast to run with them.

I like small running fields like this because you get the chance to talk to other runners and spy a familiar face or two in the crowd.  The RD had set up coffee, donuts, bagels, bananas, water and Gatorade for the pre-race get together and advised that water and sports drink would be availabe every other mile.

The sand was packed tight due to low tide, the beach wasn’t practically deserted as the count down started.  3…2..1 and we were off.  The runners quickly seperated into little clumps by pace.  For me, this was 1/2 marathon number 5 for the year.  With 7 more to go over the next nine weeks, I had to pace myself and couldn’t push… well, not too hard.

The sun started to inch up over the Atlantic turning the water purple and the sand gray.  Simply amazing.  The wind was at our backs and the race was incredible.  I was out and back in an hour and fifty minutes.  One of the women runners, a 20-something up from Ft. Lauderdale run barefoot in 1:23.  Watching her muscled form shift under her suit was reason enough for anyone to start running.  This woman was in shape, and looked amazing.  The men runner’s were no slouches either, these guys were serious about three things.  Being fit, having fun, and enjoying the company of like minded individuals.

They’ll have this run again next year, and I’ll try to be a little faster.  The awards were conch shells, and I wanted one!

Next up, I’m trying to decide if I want to do a 1/2 for Halloween down in Miami.  The medal is two zombies, and I kind of want it.  Do I drive 3 hours to run two then drive back?  Maybe I do.  Then run another 1/2 on Sunday for the Florida Halloween Half a thon.  Man, lined up like that, this runner sounds like he’s nucking futs.  Promise not to stop when I say when.

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What are goals for?

My Disney Wine and Dine

Finished in under 2 hours. Goal: 1:30

At the beginning of each year I take a few moments to reflect over what I’ve done the past twelve months, and what I hope do to in the upcoming twelve.  All the greatest success experts say this is a really good practice, and it’s a fairly drawn out process for me.  First I list everything I’d like to do.  It’s broad and general and all encompassing.

Next, I break each down into little bitty steps and write down an action plan to get to that goal.  All good so far, right.  Except this year, 2012, I may have bit off more than I can chew.  Goal wise that is.

It’s 2012, so being the great and wise smart ass that I sometimes am, I published on my Facebook page a goal to do 12 marathons, 12 Half Marathon’s and 12 5K races.  Oh yeah, I’d also complete and publish 12 books on Kindle.

Guess how many marathon’s they have in Florida in a given year?

I was thinking I could run 1 marathon each month, and add a couple of Half’s every so often, and then a 5K to boot.  No problem, right?

Nah!  It gets too hot to run after April in Florida.  And then the rest of the country gets hot.  So if I wanted to knock out 12 full 26.2 mile marathon’s complete with medals, I was going to have to travel.

So I focused on the Half’s.  And now we roll into the last 4 months of 2012.  Here are the standings:

1 Marathon

8 5K’s

4 Half Marathons.

Yikes.  I have to run 24 races in 16 weeks!

Luckily, I’ve been training in the heat.  After all, Florida is practically underwater with high temps and humidity in the 99% range.  It’s hot.  How hot?  Damn hot, real hot.

And there is the trip to LA.  Over Labor Day weekend, I’m running a 10K on Saturday (Awesome 80’s) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, then down the 405 to Disneyland for the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon on Sunday after which I hope to recover with some friends, or at least a six pack and a hot tub, and then it’s off to the Labor Day Marathon in Huntington Beach on Monday morning.

Here’s the thing.  I know it’s going to hurt.  So since you know it’s going to hurt, anything after that is just easy, right?  Plus, I’m not racing, I’m running.  Apparently there’s a difference.  The next guy who says it to me though, I’m going to kick in the balls.  It’s a freaking marathon!  Who cares if it’s racing or running it.

So how does one go about preparing to do all that running?

Turns out, the best way to train for running long distance is LSD.  Lot’s and lots of LSD.

Long Slow Distance; what else could I mean?

And water.  Lots of water.  And salt.  And the right kind of food.  And did I mention a lot of running.

The best way to get the body ready for all those miles is to put some miles under you.

When people ask how I got started, or how I get inspired or how I deal with stress at work, or missing my children when they are with their mother, the answer is always the same.  Hit the road Jack.  I put some tunes on my Ipod Shuffle and take off.  Heart broken?  Run it out.  Depressed?  180 footstrikes baby.  Had a great day at work and the weather is perfect?  How about a slow steady nine mile jaunt?

Hallucinations optional.