I like to do the Long Island half marathon for several reasons: it’s a good way to get a hard workout in a great environment, it’s a great place to hold an event, and I’ve been doing it for years so it’s become a part of my schedule.

Coming off the long weekend in Boston, I was using this race to get a good tempo run in after a busy week. I also needed to be in work that afternoon so it felt like a normal weekday and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the post-race party. With overcast skies and some windy conditions, rain was in the forecast but you didn’t know when it would start. Gina went too and with the course changing for the first time in years, she would actually be able to see me go by at 3 different points (depending on how fast she got there).

I lined up loose and ready to hit a good pace. One woman with headphones lined up right in the front and was kindly told by race officials she didn’t belong there to move a bit back – so she stood behind me!. My plan was to latch on to someone. I actually drafted behind 3 guys about 6 feet tall for the first 6 miles. The pace was good (6 min.per) and comfortable. I focused on how I felt the whole time: breathing, legs, steady arm swing, no wandering of the mind. Despite the “scenic course” changes, the lack of crowd made it just like running on the deserted stretch of the Wantagh Parkway. But it was different and several turns made it interesting. The group fell apart as two guys slowed and it was just me now being DRAFTED BY the lone 6 footer. I set me target to 2 guys up ahead to keep my mind of the trailer. Caught one at 8, the other at 9-10. It was here I made a move.

Whenever I felt the wind to the back, I pushed it, hitting a few 5:40′s and finally had no one near me by 12 after a mile into the wind at the same pace. I knew I was in the top 10 but now I ran alone. I saw my nearest target but he had a good gap that wasn’t worth the chance to close (and I had a pinch flat on my foot). I finished in 1:17 and 7th overall out of 2000+ runners. I earned 2nd in the age group. Not bad at all for a “quickie”. Gina managed to see me go by twice and got a workout in herself (she later did bike spinning since it wasn’t enough!).

Unfortunately a half-hour later it started to rain and really got cool so we left to beat any traffic. I biked to/from work but by the end of what turned out to be a nice mild day I was ready to chill. I now have three weeks of building up to my longest week before the Ironman, which includes the Montauk ride in two weeks. Be smart. As long as I got my coach keeping me in check, I’ll be alright.

I am scheduled next week for a body composition test at St. Luke’s Clinic thanks to Steven Doleckey, who I worked with at JEPT. It should be a fun experience and I’ll post the results.

Thanks to my race sponsor (I’m not to reveal it, lets just say “Mom” for now) who gets the finishers’ patch, top ten award, and other expo goodies.

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