The Baton Rouge Beach Half-Marathon would be my 29th
and my final race of 2008. To think, no swimming or
biking to precede the run? I surely was gonna smoke
this race... or not. :)
I've been officially back 'in-training' for a week
now for next year's 70.3s, and on a broader scope
the 140.6 full courses close to the end of next
year. My tri coach frowned on it, but I strayed a
bit from my training and ran my last race of the
year on Saturday morning, the Baton Rouge beach
half-marathon. He made me set some goals for the
race, which if you know me, I was more than happy to
- Goal 1 would be to run the entire race without
stopping and walking.
- Goal 2 would be to break 2 hours.
- Goal 3 would be to not have any gastric funhouse
Well I ended up meeting two of my goals. Since goal
2 and 3 depended on each other I bet you can guess
which ones I wasn't able to meet. :)
I started out with a brisk 8:45 pace keeping my
heart-rate in check at 125 bpm. Since I was going to
treat this as a training race to some extent I never
wanted to break the 135bpm threshold throughout the
race. That never was a problem. The weather was a
bit cold to start the race at around 45 degrees but
it warmed up quickly as I reached the first mile
marker. I really need to re-calibrate my watch
because it's still off by around 60 feet. It may not
seem like much but that 60 feet adds up to half a
mile or more over a long run. The course meandered
through the neighborhoods that surround the campus
of L.S.U. before turning back and heading around
Death Valley (Tiger Stadium) and onto the L.S.U.
campus. I was very familiar with most of the course
because I trained for my marathon in January on much
of the same route.
I felt good and maintained my pace and most
importantly I wasn't experiencing any gastric
discomfort... That is until I hit the 5th mile...
Oh the lovely mile 5! It doesn't matter if I am
training or racing, mile 5 always seems to be the
breaking point where i either am able to pass the
threshold of gastic distress and continue on with no
problems, or I have 'the emergency'. I passed a
perfectly good, unoccupied, port-o-joy at mile 4 and
continued on towards my goal of sub-2 hours. Mile 5
came and the first twinges of gastric discomfort
took hold. I was franticly looking for a port-o-joy
around each corner as I skirted the lakes on
sorority and fraternity row. No joy. I was in 45
second emergency mode when I neared the land bridge,
and no-mans land as far as I was concerned. At least
around franternity row there were bushes. :) I had
one final hope, as my 45 second countdown timer was
reaching the critical point, of a Methodist church
that I noticed had a few cars in the parking lot. I
left the course and ran for the church which was
probably the fastest I ran all day. Thank the Lord
that the door was unlocked! I entered the building
and was hopping around like Forrest Gump after
drinking the sodas in the White House. I saw a nice
lady that was setting up some tables for what I
assumed was a Christmas party and asked her if I
could use her bathroom. She saw I was in distress,
smiled and pointed the way to restroom. Ever see the
movie Dumb and Dumber? You remember the scene with
Jeff Daniels? :)
So I emerged from the bathroom after 20 minutes,
thanked the kind lady, and ran back out onto the
course. So goal 2 and 3 were officially done.
I had to stop again at a port-o-joy around mile 10
for some more of the gastric funhouse and then
finished the race in just under 2:25.00. Oh well. 1
outta 3 goals would have to do.
So that's it for this year. It's been one of the
most amazing years of my life and I've enjoyed
sharing it with you guys. I'm concentrating on only
a handful of "A" races next year with most of them
being long course tris. I've got some pretty lofty
goals to meet and with a ton of training I know that
I will have no problems meeting them.
Keep on truckin'!
Best of luck on YOUR life journey!
May you reach all your goals and achieve all your dreams!