We again traveled up with the group that I run with called "The Big 4". It was the 10th anniversary of their annual trip in which they charter a bus and stay at a hotel outside of Boston. We left Saturday AM (a BIG thanks to Mom and Jim and Carolyn and Mike for watching the kids) and we hit the expo in Boston by 3:00 or so. The expo at Boston is always a madhouse but it's one of those things you just HAVE to check out every square foot of. We got our numbers and made the rounds, grabbed a bite to eat and headed back to the bus to check in at the hotel, an incredible Double Tree Inn & Suites. Sunday morning a large group of us visited Calvary Chapel for an awesome service and then we kicked back and relaxed all day. Saturday night we had reservations for 50 at Bertucci's and we had a great pasta meal.
Monday AM we departed at 6:30 to head to Hopkinton. We're blessed to have a friend of a friend that actually lives in Hopkinton and is gracious enough to let us crash his place while we wait...no sitting around in a wet field at Athletes Village! It was awesome, they're incredible people. Got my pre-race oatmeal and chatted with everyone while I got geared up physically and mentally for the race. I hadn't trained nearly as hard as I had in the past, but I put a good solid training effort in and was feeling that I was gaining fitness as training progress..plus I was injury free after 900 miles of training from January 1 2010 to April 18, 2010. I decided not to set a goal time, but just to go out by feel and run my own race. The weather was great, low 40's at the start and low 50's at the finish, only down side was a stiff cross wind. Started out in shorts, singlet, visor, arm warmers and cotton gloves. By mile 15 I was heating up and tossed the arm warmers to our cheering section at mile 17. My splits were super consistent as I got going and I was working a little harder than I wanted but I decided to go with it. The first 10 miles I was getting passed like I had bricks on my feet!! It was a good mental struggle though, because around mile 12 or 13 things started to change. People started to slow down and come back to me. What an incredible feeling in a race....between the big SMILE I was wearing as the people cheered me on and catching all these people it just lifted you up. As I hit half way, I saw my split and realized I was on pace for 2:46 or so. I ran great through the hills, but was starting to feel some muscle pain as I went down the back side of Heartbreak Hill. I had a Trakkers teamie spotting at mile 23 (Thanks Jamie, it was nice to "meet" you there) which gave me the boost I needed to get to mile 25 and gut the last mile out. Crossed the finish line in 2:47:01 for a new personal record and nearly 9 minutes faster than I've ever run that course!
Turned out that Lauren had a GREAT day as well. She wasn't confident in her training, but I'd never bet against her in a long race like this, she was again the model of consistency and actually ran the 2nd half (hillier half) 1:30 faster than the first!! She didn't train as hard as I've seen her train before, but still crushed it.....about 13 minutes faster than her first attempt there in 2006.
Group shot in Hopkinton before the race:
Lauren and I at the expo after we picked our numbers up:
I'm an engineer, so I like to look at numbers. Here's how my race broke down....
|Chris Garges, bib 1481|
|2:47:01||Finish time||1:24:21||2nd half|
|0:19:46||AVG 5k time|
In other news, a couple of weeks ago the Trakkers Pro tri team and the K-Swiss/Trek Pro tri team challenged each other at Rev3 Knoxville. It comes down to this: $5,000 to the best team performance in the Olympic race on May 9th. It's gotten some good press and brought a whole new level of fun and competition to triathlon. Tonight K-Swiss/Trek teammates will be discussing the challenge live, check it out HERE One of the K-Swiss/Trek team members is Andrew Yoder, a local PA kid (19 years old) that has really kicked some butt in his limited time as a profession, besting many top pros on the bike and holding his own on the run.
So then Trakkers and Saucony decide to further up the ante and offer $500 in Saucony gift certificates for an age group challenge between Team Trakkers, Dynamo Multisport and Terrier Tri who are the largest groups which are signed up to race. Top 3 men, Top 3 ladies add up the times, low net wins. I won't be in Knoxville, but I'm excited to see what they come up with for Quassy in June!
Next up is the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon which I'll be pacing the 1:40 group (if I can walk by then, no wait I need to be able to run by then)!