2017-06-05 12:25 PM
this was the BQ race that almost didn’t happen for me.
After having back and leg issues and walking the last 3 miles in 57 minutes atBoston, i entered Bayshore hoping to get a BQ for 2018…
i had headed to Boston feeling very fit – would have targeted 7:30-pace on a cool day… but the weather and my back had other plans.
After two rounds of oral steroids – opting against an injection - my back felt great and i was having minimal issues with my leg paresthesia.
Got in a 2-hour run and a 2-hour 40-minute run….and felt like I was ready for another marathon.
But then I was having severe allergy issues the week before the race, with just an incredible amount of sinus congestion. Even had a bit of a cough from the throat drainage, and didn’t know if i was going to make the trip.
Went out Thursday afternoon and ran a couple of miles on the track, just to see how my legs felt and how my breathing went; legs felt great, breathing was okay, not great but okay… but 7:45 and 7:50 miles felt really easy.
Woke up Friday morning a little bit less congested so headed to the airport…
Flew into Grand Rapids, got my rental and drove up to TC. Had a hotel within walking distance of the race HQ. very small expo, with the only exhibitors being other regional races and a booth selling race gear. Decided to drive the course, and I’m glad I did, as it’s really pretty and it was nice to see from a car perspective.
Woke up before my alarm went off in a coughing fit…WTF?! and was clearing bright green stuff from my throat and nose.
Spent 20 minutes with the saline spray and gargling warm salt water, trying to get things clear. Finally felt like i could take a deep breath without coughing….started drinking my carb and caffeine drink… not feeling totally confident… but still thinking I could run 8-minute miles for a long time, even if I wasn’t feeling 100%
Race day dawned reasonably cool – low 50’s and partly cloudy.
Got to the start in plenty of time to stash my post-race clothes bag and get a tiny bit of warm up done.
Positioned myself right behind the 8-minute pace sign.
race started (didn’t hear any gun or horn) right on time at 7:15.
Executed my pacing plan to near perfection. My first two 5-miles splits were 39:21 and 39:17…can’t ask for much better than that on a rolling course. hit the half in 1:43:03 feeling great.
The ‘long time’ that I could hold 8-minute pace turned out to be 22 miles – I felt like I could have held the pace longer if I had really wanted to, but it was getting warmer and I knew I had a comfortable BQ time.
As Murakami says, “…suffering is optional.”
Sun was out in full after about 17 miles, and it got a bit warmer as the sun rose higher so I slowed down a bit and drank a bit more at the fluid stations.
After 22, I just relaxed and cruised in…slowed down ~30 seconds per mile for 23 and 24 and was at 9-minutes for 25 and 26… and jogged in with a BQ-7:07!
Can’t say enough nice things about this race.
Loved the course: Very gently rolling with some flat sections and phenomenal views of the East Arm of the Grand Traverse Bay. The lake is visible for 90%+ of the race.
There were some small sections where the pavement on the two-lane road was a little rough and you had to pay attention to your foot placement, but for the most part it was a great running surface – several shades of asphalt and no concrete.
The last ~150 meters is on the track at the high school in front of a small grandstand.
It’s a nice size, 1700+ starters, so it’s not crowded – other than the first mile – but you’re never out there on the road by yourself.
Plenty of aid stations and volunteers. My only quibble with the whole day was the inconsistent mix of Gatorade… sometimes it was strong but at a couple of stations it was just very pale green water
Traverse City is a nice little town too. Plenty of good options for food and beverages in town and up on the peninsula too.
Had beers and great fish tacos at the Seven Monks Taproom.
2017-06-05 12:33 PM
Great job Wally!
Glad that you were able to fight through the allergy stuff to keep the streak going.
2017-06-05 2:13 PM
Congrats! BQ in the bag is sweet!
It is a magical course......everyone I know who has run it, including me, has earned a BQ there. I'm glad it worked out for you!
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