Monday, October 17, 2011

Newport Half Marathon

On Sunday I ran the Newport Amica Half Marathon. What a glorious day! And what a spectacular course!

We started at 8am at Easton's Beach as the sun just poked over a bank of low cloud that had obscured it at sunrise. Just after mile 2 we were at the southern end of Newport Harbor and the course carried on past Ida Lewis and Newport Yacht Clubs before taking a detour down to Brenton Cove at Fort Adams for another splendid view of the harbor. At mile 6 we passed Castle Hill and were treated with breathtaking views across Narragansett Bay to Point Judith. The next 3 or 4 miles snaked along Ocean Drive, surely one of the most magnificent ocean roads in the country. Then it was up Bellevue Avenue past all the Newport mansions and down the back roads through Salve Regina University before a most welcome downhill jog down Memorial Boulevard to the finish back at Easton's Beach. Wow!

The course was wonderful. My performance... not so wonderful, mainly because I hadn't properly trained for this event. My first half marathon in 2007 was only about a month after I ran the London Marathon so 13.1 miles was a piece of cake after doing over 26+ miles so recently. Then when I did two half marathons in the spring of last year I had religiously followed a half-marathon training program doing long runs of successively 8,10,12,14 miles on alternate weeks prior to the first half-marathon.

This summer my training was a bit more sporadic and a lot more random, partly because I let sailing interfere with running. If I did a hard 3-day Laser regatta at the weekend I didn't feel up to a long training run only a few days later... and then the next week I had the same excuse... and the next week... and so on. I did complete a 12 mile and a 13 mile run during the summer but I fear that any training effect from those runs has long worn off by now. Then I only did a few short runs during our recent 3-week trip to Europe (see terrible warning about old dudes avoiding over-exertion on sailing holidays.) I have done one 10-mile run since that vacation (and a few shorter ones.) I feared it wouldn't be enough for me to run yesterday's half marathon at anything near the pace of any of my other efforts... and I was right.

Things were going good for the first 8 or 9 miles. I was relaxed and running a slightly slower pace than my last half-marathon. But mile 9 was hard... and mile 10 was even tougher. Then I totally lost it. I just couldn't run more than 2 or 3 minutes at a time, and I must have walked as much as I ran during the last 3 miles.

Oh well. I guess it just proves that the recommended training programs really do work. As Sam Chapin might have said RUNNERS TRAIN.

This morning I have a few aches and pains and was feeling a bit sorry for myself until I read this story about a 100-year-old guy who finished a marathon in Toronto yesterday. Yikes!


O Docker said...

After riding bikes for years, I hadn't been doing much of anything for the past five years or so, so I decided to get something going a few months ago by doing distance walks.

I'm up to doing 8-10 miles a day, but when I try running, it's not fun. The moral for old coots like us is to not stop. I think the older you get, the quicker you lose conditioning, and the harder it is to get it back.

Now, where did I leave my keys?

Tillerman said...

Exactly. I think a young guy could probably do a 10 mile training run and then be fine to do a half marathon at a reasonable pace a couple of weeks later. Not so much when you are older.

And I think the same applies to Laser sailing, as I discovered last year when I tried to do the Laser Masters Worlds without much training in the preceding months.

Your keys are in the key drawer.

JP said...

And the 100 yo marathon man only started running 11 years ago aged 89.

He puts his key to good health down to ginger curry and tea.

... and he's a Londoner!

Tillerman said...

Yeah, he looks like he could be a cockney.

Sam Chapin said...

Did someone say biking is better conditioning than running for Laser sailing.

Tillerman said...

Someone may have said that.

But someone else said veteran long distance runners have reduced cancer risk. That same someone else said, "RUN if you can. Walk if you can’t. Ride a bike if you must..... Laser sailors will hike longer, work the waves better, sail happier."

I wonder who that someone else was?

Sam Chapin said...

Well, I am trying to run (?) again. I can walk as fast. Bike once a week. Glenn Bourke plugs biking. I will have a real opinion in a couple of years.

Tillerman said...

Yes, a lot of the top Laser sailors do believe in biking. I do bike occasionally but I find running more satisfying for some reason. For us old guys I think it's just best to do what we enjoy.

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