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Subaru Distance Classic Race Review

November 28, 2011

The Subaru Distance Classic in Jacksonville FL marked the first time Dan and I have raced together. Having someone else to run side-by-side with was an incredible booster, especially when it is someone you look up to.

And then somewhere along the delusional mile 11, I couldn’t stand Dan’s positive attitude anymore and I yelled out “stop talking to me” as I put both of my earbuds back in my ears.

This is what Sibling TRIvalry is all about.

Post race parking lot snapshot.

Up until mile 9 I was feeling great, then it all started to become a struggle. I was low on calories and at that point my stomach wasn’t interested in taking in any GU’s or other oddly textured substances.

For breakfast I had my typical peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a banana, and a Gatorade Prime. Dan pointed out that I greatly under-pb’d my sandwich and recommended putting at least 3 Tbs on. I guess that was my first mistake. Also the Gatorade Prime tasted exceptionally sugary that morning so I only drank half: my second mistake. Next time I may mix it with water or find an alternative because I can’t stomach the syrupy taste. Dan and I did take mix in some Chia seeds in our water before we left the house, which I like to think helped counteract my other nutrition mistakes.

Hey, and what do we say about trying new foods on race day. WRONG! So why did I chose to eat Shot blocks instead of GU’s during the race? Oh I don’t know. I love Shot Blocks and while they are definitely not new to me, I usually don’t intake them while I am running. While I was chewing and chewing trying to get one block down, I was missing the slip ‘n slide of the GUs.

My goal for the race was to beat my last personal record of 1:51 (roughly a 8:28 minute mile). I set an ambitious goal of hitting 1:45 which is roughly a 8:01 pace. Dan made a great attempt at keeping us on track for that time, unfortunately I started to fade and started to get frustrated at my lack of energy.

Dan and I were testing the theory that racing is about 10% physical and 90% mental. Our week leading up to the race, we did so many things that aren’t recommended for training: eating poorly (pizza, burgers and beer…yum!), I ran about 6 miles the whole week while Dan topped out at 2 miles, we stayed up late, and to top it all off we decided we would run in brand new sneakers! So, for the poor training, a 1:45 was really ambitious. (If you want to gauge your race time, here is a helpful calculator.)

Anyway, this course was f-l-a-t. Welcome to Florida, I guess! There may have been a two foot elevation gain throughout the whole race. The route was very residential and to my surprise, never made it into town. I think the race coordinators also did a good job at making sure the whole route would be in shade which was a major benefit towards the end of the race when the temperature was starting to rise. It was also great to have race clocks at each mile marker to help gauge pace.

As we turned the corner to the finish line I knew that my time was going to be close. There was no way that I accept a later time than my Bellingham Bay time (with the winds and hills of that race), so I hit the gas and sprinted losing Dan in the process (there goes our photo op!).Speaking of photos, while we haven’t found race day photos yet online, I am sure my finishing line photo has me looking like I am about to puke. Sure to bring some laughs.

This course definitely wasn’t my favorite, but wasn’t boring. The race packets were a little disappointing with mostly just advertisements. They did give out tech race shirts and this one actually fit me…although the neon orange color is only safe for the eyes at night or on a construction site. Kudos for the great finisher medals though!

And another example of what Sibling TRIvalry is all about:
Dan and I have decided to sign up for another half marathon (OUC Half Marathon) next Saturday. Of course, the Key West Tri is not completely off the table. More to come!

The Kowal running crew.

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