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Unofficial results have been posted on the falmouth road race website. It has my time as 57:23. I had my time as 56:46. It took me about 30 seconds to get to the starting line so I’m assuming that’s the difference.

In talking with a few people after the race, it sounds like the results haven’t been adjusted (yet) for chip time.

Honestly, I don’t know why I care. I’m psyched with my time. As far as I’m concerned I ran a 56:46 – a 3:30 PR.

Late last night I decided that a 7-mile race was enough for today. I’m scrapping the idea of running finish –> start before the race. I’ll run a 2-mile warmup and then whatever I can as a cooldown.

I was worrying too much about clothes, what to bring, what to wear, what to eat – it was really starting to overwhelm me and become more of a hassle than it was worth.

I’ve been awake for an hour – partially due to 120oz of water yesterday, but mostly due to the Falmouth Road Race.

My head hurts.

My legs feel like wood.

My stomach is in an uproar.

All I want to do is go back to bed and sleep until noon.

I have to keep reminding myself how much I love this race and what a great training run it will be.

The truth is, I’m nervous.  I get nervous before every race and have no logical explanation for it.  I know that I’m not going to win.  I know that I won’t have any trouble finishing.  I know that my pace will be somewhere between 7:50 and 9:10 depending on weather and crowd, and I know that by tonight I’ll be thinking about how I could have done better.

If this was any other Sunday – if I was meeting Keith and Rick in a few minutes – I’d be planning to run anywhere from 12-16 miles this morning, and distance wouldn’t be a factor.

When it comes to a race, distance is all I can think about.

I’m visuallizing the first crowded uphill mile, the hill to Nobska, the rolling hills afterwards.

I’m thinking about Surf Drive and how it’s always longer than I think it should be.

I can picture the Marina and passing the 6-mile mark, where for the first time my parents won’t be there to cheer me on.

I’m reminding myself how long that last mile really is and how it’s two hills instead of one big one.

I can see that finish line, with the huge American flag.

After the finish line, I start my long, crowded walk around the block to the water and food area.

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OK, for some reason, I feel better now.  When I started writing this post, I was a wreck.  Now, I can’t wait to get out the door and get over to Falmouth.

Big day tomorrow – the Falmouth Road Race!

I have my number. My clothes are laid out. I’m on my 80th ounce of water w/ plans for another 40 before the day is done.

For the day, my diet has consisted of:

  1. a piece of coffee cake for breakfast
  2. a bowl of pasta (no sauce) for lunch
    1. 1/2 of a cold cheeseburger
  3. a huge ice cream sundae from Chad’s (probably not recommended the day before a race, but today was a special Dad & Keely day)

My dinner plans for tonight are the rest of the pasta and some rice (with more water).

At this point, I still plan to run 14 miles tomorrow. I’ll leave the house around 6:30am and drive to the finish line. From there, I’ll take a leisurely jog to the starting line. If all goes according to plan, I’ll reach the starting line around 8:30 and do some stretching and lite jogging before we are pushed into our starting corrals @ 9:45.

I’m debating what I should bring for a change of clothes. The weather forecast is perfect for tomorrow – dry air, a high of 75. Originally, I planned on bringing a full change of clothes. Now, I’m thinking about only bringing a dry shirt and a pair of socks. I suppose I’ll play it by ear and see what the morning brings.

I’ve been blowing my nose every 45 seconds.

My head weighs a ton.

Every joint hurts.

I took yesterday off from running, and plan to take today off, too.

At some point, I need to fight the traffic over to Falmouth and pick up my number for the race.

I don’t care if I need to crawl to the starting line.  I will be standing there @ 10am this Sunday.

A couple years ago, it was very easy to see improvement – a 7-minute PR in the Osterville Road Race was a definite milestone in my progression as a runner.

Now, I’m finding it harder to see improvement.  As a matter of fact, my speed has plateaued, in some cases it’s decreased.

So, I’m looking for improvement in other areas of my running:

Improved Area #1 – Longer Runs and more mileage
In the past, my long run was 5 miles.  I gradually worked up to 7 miles, and had three routes that I’d run – a 3-mile, a 5-mile and a 7-mile.  Now, a regular run will be 7 miles, and long runs are between 12 and 15.  Physical fatigue is rarely an issue.  Mental fatigue generally occurs before physical @ this point.  My weekly average mileage has increased from 15-25 to 40-50.

Improved Area #2 – Rest Days
I wrote about this last week.  Accepting  rest days into my training has been a significant mental breakthrough.

Improved Area #3 – A better diet
I still eat a lot of garbage, but I’m definitely more aware of what I’m putting into my body and how it will impact my running.  I have a long way to go with maintaining a better diet, but running has improved how I look at food.

Improved Area #4 – Better Pacing
Laps @ the track have helped get a better understanding of pacing.  I used to hit the road and run everything @ the same pace – whatever I could manage that day.  Now, I enjoy mixing up paces – warmups @ 9:00, tempo @ 8:00 … etc.  I used to hear other runners talk about pace and wonder how in the hell they could figure that out.  Now, I know.

I ended up cutting the workout a little short this morning.  My plan was to run 4 1-mile repeats @ 5K pace with a 15 minute warmup and cooldown.

I was only able to tough out 3 1-mile repeats (7:22, 7:18, 7:16) along with the warmup/cooldown.   A deep breath was a near impossibility.  it’s 2 hours later and I’m still struggling to get a full breath.

God, I can’t wait for the Fall.

Five years ago – August 2001 – I ran my first Falmouth Road Race.  I finished in just under 63:00, and it was the most fun I’ve ever had in a race. I’m lining up for my fourth one on Sunday, August 13.

The Falmouth Road Race is tough … 8000 people slogging over rolling hills and through humid August air … 7 jam-packed miles … a 10am start.  I’ve seen people throw up.  I’ve seen a runner pass out.  Each time I’ve reached the finish line, I say “never again,” then April comes and I’m sending in my application hoping to get a number.

I can remember nearly every detail of my 3 previous FRRs.  From the intense butterflies I felt in my stomach as a first-timer sitting alone on the bus to the taste of the strawberry-banana popsicle after the race last year, I treasure all of my Falmouth memories.
In 2002 I cried at the starting line.  I was standing next to two guys wearing matching shirts.   These guys had never run Falmouth.  They had been at a party the night before.  They admitted to drinking too much and weren’t sure how they were going to do.  The party was in honor of a friend – the friend was pictured on the front of their shirts.  They told me their friend loved running Falmouth.  He was killed on 9/11.  They were running for him.

That year, I was running for myself.

I had surgery the preceding January.  At the time, I considered it a routine process.  My doctor had removed a mole from my ankle that turned out to be melanoma. This follow-up surgery was to remove a larger patch of skin as well as lymph nodes for further tests. The surgery was painful, inconvenient and has left me with a nasty scar – the nerve endings still tingle.  The surgery was successful.  The cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes.  The rest of the skin was clean.

I took a few months off from running while my leg healed, but I was determined to run Falmouth that year.  I didn’t train as hard as I should have.  Work was starting to consume me.  I couldn’t leave my troubles at the office.  I was coming home stressed out.  I was getting sick to my stomach driving in each morning.    I was traveling too much, and I was gaining weight.  In order to relax, I was drinking 1-3 beers each night.  I didn’t like the person that I was becoming, but I didn’t know what to do about it.

Then I lined up at the Falmouth Road Race, and I listened to the story the friends shared with me.  That’s when the tears came.  I did my best to control them, but I knew that things needed to change for me.  I had a wake up call that morning.

I’d love to report that miracles happened during the next few weeks and my life became perfect, but it didn’t work out that way.  Some good things happened, though.  Within a month,  I had a new, less-stressful job.  I was still traveling, but for the most part, I was doing what I wanted to do. Six months later, we found out that Michelle was pregnant.   I missed the 2003 Falmouth Road Race, but later that Fall, we welcomed Colin Glenn Fravel into our world.   That winter, Michelle and I decided to get back in shape (it’s amazing what a pregnancy can do to a husband).  We both went on diets and lost over 100 pounds combined.

I skipped the 2004 race – I was still getting back in shape – but lined up last year.  All the memories of my first two Falmouth’s came rushing back.  The Nobska Lighthouse hill was a lot steeper than I remembered, but the Rocky theme song sounded better than ever. I didn’t see any running lobsters last year, but I did run with a frog for a little while.

Today, I’m counting down the days until this year’s race.  I don’t care about a PR, as a matter of fact, I plan to run the course twice – from the finish to the starting line, and then the actual race.   My goal is to enjoy the morning.  I’ll be high-fiving the kids along the course.  I’ll be looking for friends through the hills.  I’ll be hugging Caitlin and Keely at the six-mile mark.  I’ll be thinking about that morning in 2002 when reality slapped me on the side of my head.

After reviewing the hourly forecasts through tonight, I’ve decided to make this another rest day.  The next four days look much better – more conducive to the type of  training that I have in mind.

If I was running a summer, or even September, marathon, I could make a case for running in 90 degree weather.  But since the Cape Cod Marathon is @ the end of October, the chances are much better that I’ll be running in 50-60 degree temps.

Back to the track tomorrow!

It’s 6am.  80 degrees. 83% humidity.

The forecast for the day is near record temperatures – mid 90s and continued humidity.
It’s Wednesday.  I should be looking forward to a track workout tonight, but I have concerns about the weather.  Yesterday, I made up my mind to skip the track workout, run 45-60 minutes on my own this morning, and then head to the track Thursday for speed work.

Ultimately, that’s what I’ll do, I just have no idea when I’ll get my 45-60 minutes in today.