The La Salle Bank Columbus Distance Classic: The Moth Report

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  • #5062

    Where to begin… in many ways this race felt like the end of one chapter of my running life and the start of another. This was my 1st half [raced] since last year’s “Distance Classic” where I ran 1:44:50 [unofficially and 1:47:56 gun time]. This being the 3rd annual John Bingham sponsored event. In the inaugural race I ran 2:12 and change, and today [or yesterday] I ran my fastest half since ‘95 when I was just a mere pup of 38. The last half I’d actually peaked for was the ’04 Columbus Marathon Relay, which I completed in 1:39:49. That performance convinced me that I was ready to begin my assault on my ’07 BQ. And while my time today doesn’t appear much improved on that race I’m a much stronger runner in the Fall than the Spring.

    I wasn’t in peak condition or peaking for this race [aiming for the FlyingPig, May 7th] my training has gone very well the last 5 weeks. This being the 1st race I’ve entered since last Fall’s Columbus Marathon I wasn’t sure how’d react but heading into the event I was more excited than nervous about my chances. I pretty much stuck to my training schedule this week, except that I took Friday off. My key workout for this week was 1x7Miles @ LT pace. I figured the race would be an ample substitute. I also wanted to get in a total 20 miles today, although outside of my 2 mile warm up I was going to play the cool down my ear. Ok, so what about the race?! Read on…

    It was in the low 40’s with a stiff 13mph westerly wind that greeted me as I headed out the door – shorts, singlet and Adidas shades. I was also trying out a new racing shoe, the Avia-Lites. Wore them in my 10 miler on Wednesday and they felt great. Arriving at the start I did a series of strides and after stretching headed toward the large mass of runners when I hear “Mike”. I turn and there was Nancy from school. She’s a graphic designer where I work and has been running “off-n-on” for years. We chatted, joked and then it was back to business. Before securing a starting position I popped an “E-Cap” and squeezed my way toward the “7 minute per mile” sign. Looked around to make sure I was where I belonged [sizing up the troops] and began replaying my game plan.

    The start was uneventful, crossing the mat in 14 seconds. There was a rather steep pitch about a ¼ mile down the road. I kept telling myself to “chill out” and not get too revved. Another friend zoomed past right at the crest saying “you’ve just been past by a fat guy”. I said to myself, “We’ll see who does the passing at the end”. By the ½ mile mark I was running comfortably and by mile 1 knew I was in for a good day. That the very hectic week that caused my legs to feel like lead earlier wouldn’t impact my race to large degree.

    01 7:31

    Not having a pre-race pace I was shooting for, instead going by effort, I wasn’t surprised by my early splits heading up Neil Ave toward the OSU campus. This is a favorite section of mine used for the Columbus Marathon [in reverse] except today we were running slightly uphill. I felt good and tried to relax as much as possible. Dropped another “E-Cap”.

    02 7:21

    03 7:22

    04 7:24

    At this point was the “turn around” where we did a lap around “the shoe”, the Ohio State stadium and where I caught a glimpse of the “good runners“ . That was encouraging. We encounter another small pitch that affected me more than I would have liked.

    05 7:42 [37:22]

    We make a hard right turn and are now traveling south on High Street in the heart of campus. Haven’t done this in many years since they altered the marathon course. I tried to use the downhill to my advantage. Another “E-Cap”.

    06 7:18

    Ok, maybe to little too excited but I didn’t feel stressed or my breathing labored. The 7 mile marker was right in front of my old apartment. Still feeling good, half way home…

    07 7:22

    Another small pitch as we cross Nationwide Blvd in the Arena District. Nice crowd support here as everyone from the starting line has come over. Coming off the hill I try to accelerate and test my hamstrings for any tightness [feel nothing]. At the bottom we swing left and head East. Gulp another “E-Cap”.

    08 7:30

    At this point I know I’m having a good race and tell myself not to “screw up”, so I begin to throttle back a little, realizing that I’m able to handle this pace but not sure if I’ll be able to maintain the sustained effort. The course takes us right to the far edge of the campus where I work. We take a hard right on Washington Ave and pass the Columbus College of Art and Design I attended years ago.

    09 7:38

    We rejoin the marathon course as we head back toward the heart of downtown, the slight downhill feels good. On Third Street we travel south toward German Village. A few people are out cheering us along. Still holding it together but I’m feeling the brick paved streets a bit too much come through in my new shoes.

    10 7:27 [1:14:39]

    Not sure what happened at this point but the effort has my body protesting. Another “E-Cap”

    11 7:44

    We bank a right turn on High Street and head back toward downtown and the finish. The course is slightly uphill and I feel myself slipping away. This mile [and the last] is where my lack of racing hurt me. I just wasn’t able to react quickly enough to remain focused and maintain my effort. Or it could be that that was all I had and my body was telling me “enough, we need a break dude!”. Actually I think the later was true as I felt nauseous after the race [sucking down two slices of pizza didn’t help] and was completely depleted for the rest of the day. I felt much worse than I did after the marathon last year! Both feet were killing me [metatarsal bones very sore] and my hamstrings were “gone”.

    12 7:47

    At last I was able to pull it together enough for a good finish. No heroics just a steady drive toward the finish, all the while peeing over my shoulder making sure no one was gaining on me. I hear my name announced, I’m home at last.

    13.1 8:17

    1:38:26 chip time

    1:38:40 gun time

    After downing the pizza and Gatorade I head back on the course [in reverse] to get in those extra 5 miles and check on the progress of my friends. Found Syd [math processor at school] at the 11 ½ mile point and jogged back with him. Then waited at the finish for Nancy. After our “high five” I hoofed it back home following the tail end of the walkers finishing up. I held up my finisher’s medal and told them they had a nice trophy waiting. Hopefully that offered some encouragement.

    My finish time projects to a 3:27 marathon. Not that I think I’ll do that at the “FlyingPig“ but I believe this bodes well for my overall goal of running “around 3:20” in the Fall. I finished 216 overall [2695 finishers] and 16th of 155 in my age group.

    I would be remiss if I didn’t thank to my family, friends and everyone on-line who has supported my efforts. Without you this wouldn’t be possible.


    “The competition is not the enemy, they are your witness”.

  • #20320

    Good mile by mile description Mike!

    What the heck are the e-caps?


  • #20321

    Thanks Scott. E-Caps are suppliments that help with muscle cramping. Began using them last year and they work for me.

  • #20322

    sounds like you had a great race… so when did you pass the “fat guy”… with those splits I figure it had to have happened…


  • #20323

    The so-called “fat guy” actually was very good runner 10-15 years ago. He ran 2:49 for the marathon back then. He’s very involved with TNT now and I see him pacing other runners quite often. He pasted me in the 1st half mile and I never saw him again till the “turn around” after I did my lap around “the Shoe”. I saw another good runner at that point ahead of me and he finished in 1:20. I just looked up Jim’s time and he ran 2:32. It was a large race and there were a few people I noticed in the results I never saw pass me.

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