Ideas, photos, routes, and how I fare doing all sorts of workouts. Riding, swimming, biking, etc. Dave Masterson's workout blog.

Archive for the tag “Palm beach marathon”

2017 Palm Beaches Marathon

The 13th running of our hometown race was memorable. The new ownership does things right, the financial hindrances of the past are gone. This race and its accompanying weekend of events are a stock on the rise.

The Bill Bone 5k on Friday night was a fun race. The event was larger than last year, and the fireworks were a very big hit! Having large local sponsors and a presence from so many businesses in our community was important. Our Palm Beach Roadrunner tent was a gathering spot for locals to leave gear and have a beer afterward. We even met two girls that signed up for our club the next day ~ and returned to hang out and cheer in our tent for Sunday’s races!

The pacer’s dinner was good from the food side, but bumpy otherwise. Brio restaurant claimed there was no reservation but I had confirmed with their folks just hours before via their call to me. They claimed the reservation was for 12 people at their Boca Raton location, 35 miles south. We sorted that out and were seated. Rachel did a good meeting at the dinner, it was helpful to the new pacers in the group. Everyone had their signs and new singlets, that was all well organized. Our plan was to eat and walk down to the festival area and start line for the second night of fireworks. Our service in the restaurant was slower than normal, and we sat and heard the fireworks as we ate our food 😦

Sunday morning was early for me. I arrived at 4 am to help set up our PBRR club tent and get ready for the beer sales our nonprofit would administer and benefit from. Our group gathered a few minutes after 5:20 for the photo at the Start line, then we had a few minutes to get ready before the delayed start.

PB pacers 17

The day was nice weather for those doing the half marathon, the temperature was 67 at the start. The decision to push pacers back by 10 minutes was a wise move. The second half was very warm, in direct sun, and temps were rising. The course had plenty of aid stations and they were in good spots, but unless athletes trained in regular daylight with long runs, they would not be performing at a high level.

My group was mostly half marathoners, with two exceptions. I had Lisa, David, James,  Dave, Julie, Morgan, Mai-Vi, Katherine, Reinhardt (from Austria), Haim (from Staten Island but born in Israel), “Du” and Sabrina as half marathoners that I spoke to before we began. There were others nearby, but they had music earphones and weren’t communicating with me. There were two ladies that started with me as full marathoners, Maria Gisela and Emily. I took time in the corral to explain the route, that we would have water before going to Palm Beach and on the bridge coming back but none on the island. I touched on the course, shoe tying, how to jog through the water stations, and what we look to do for even pacing. I explained the first two miles are sometimes slower because of the start of so many runners looking to be all at different speeds. I liked leaving the start area with so many people clustered around me!

We got out in the open quickly and mile #1 included a small rise to get on the bridge to Palm Beach. The group was fine, coming off the bridge one man kicked the curb and fell, someone next to him helped him up and caught back with our group in a quarter mile. It was still dark, but that was perfect to run directly in front of the Flagler Museum mansion, decorated for Christmas and all lit up in white. We passed onto the Lake Trail, rumored to be susceptible to flooding, but all dry and newly paved. Our group liked the views back at West Palm Beach, all lit and enjoying the first bits of a sunrise. Running on Palm Beach was touted as special for this year’s race, I know people in my group enjoyed the quick 1.75-mile tour of this exclusive zip code!

On the other side of the bridge, our run club staffed the wacky water station. Named “Winter in Florida,” it poked fun at stereotypical touristy garb and people who overdress in 69-degree weather. We were on pace as a group, easily zipping over the second and final small hill/bridge on the course. My group was good at the slightly below 9 min pace, I explained that if they went with me to the 12.8-mile mark, they would be trusted with a quarter mile on their own to finish. If they could keep the pace alone for a loop around a high school track, they’d beat 2 hours for their race.

The course wound through the small downtown area of West Palm Beach. not much crowd support here, as it’s mostly businesses. I spoke with and to the group, relaying run stories, funny marathon signs each and any of us had seen, etc. The breeze was coming from the north, so when we turned back onto Flagler Drive and along the Intracoastal Waterway at Mile 5, it felt good. We kept pace up through Northwood neighborhood, we saw the race leaders for the half and full marathons led by a motorcycle and truck with time clock. My son’s former XC and track teammate, Sammy Luttier, ended the day winning the marathon in 2:33. By 22 minutes. In his second 26.2 race. Big WOW!

Our group went north to the turnaround point at the FP&L powerplant. The loop through the parking lot at the Manatee Point curve was probably set up incorrectly, as the runners had to cross over each other’s paths twice, almost like a “Hot Wheels” crash ’em up derby track. Routing the runners into the park first would avoid that next year. The gal Emily disappeared out of our group, I didn’t see her for the rest of the day. Maria Gisela was breathing heavy and sweating hard, I reminded everyone to hydrate well even if they didn’t feel like it.

We ran south along the same road, now adjacent to the many runners at slower paces. I know many in the local community, so the out-of-towners in my group were surprised with all of the shout-outs to and from myself. At Mile 10 we were very close, prob within 6 seconds of perfect time. I reminded and encouraged everyone that they could on any given weekday run next to a friend at a 9-minute mile for a 5k. That’s all we had left! I did more of that type of encouraging and positive talk along with a dose of humor to keep people comfortable and focused on the remaining 28 minutes. Now we were running back to the Start/Finish area. They could see the tall buildings and a crane near where they’d finish. I think that helped some of them realize they were on their way to a good finish.

Maria Gisela faded and I didn’t see her after between mile 11-12. Now we had more spectators and were back among more populated water stops, so it was more fun for the runners. As we approached the start area, which we had to pass again one more time for the halfers, music and crowd support increased. They were right on for the 1:57 – something finish, and I pointed out where we split off for the half marathon turnaround. Many thanked me and made the u-turn for the finish. I was alone heading towards my run club’s water station again, I looked back and couldn’t see a single blue (full distance) marathon bib behind me. This was a first…

I ran to the 13.1 mat and clocked in at 1:57:18, three seconds off perfect timing. The next 7 miles were spent passing people running with music that didn’t respond to me talking to them. I stopped briefly into a porta potty for a quick pee break. I held my pace sign near my head to shade me from some of the sunlight. I chatted with water station folks and the sparse amount of spectators on the back half of the course. I had two relay runners pass me. Once I got to Lake Worth, I came up next to Amanda, an ultra runner using today’s race as a long run for something else she has coming up. She ran with me for two miles then worked hard to keep me in sight. Once I headed north, the sun was now behind me, thankfully. I didn’t use sunscreen or wear glasses for this one, silly to think my visor would do it all.

The last miles were a solo run through the well-shaded El Cid, Sunset Park, and the south WPB neighborhoods. It was a good decision to make the course finish in this manner. I ran the last mile with a guy named Jacques. He was struggling and I convinced him to finish strong with me. The final 3/4 of a mile was back on sunny Flagler drive. When we got within 600 yards of the finish, I encouraged him to go for the line if he had any energy left – he thanked me and picked up his pace.

I finished alone, but less than 60 seconds back was Amanda, the ultra runner. She kept me in sight (except around corners in the neighborhoods and thanked me for suggesting that she come with me. She was happy she didn’t quit or relegate herself to a walk/run mixture. Here she is!

I had to work more than I thought in the heat. I had all of my usual nutrition and salt pills. I attribute some of it to being alone for so many of the latter miles.

There were many people at the PBRR tent, Maureen, Julie and Andrea stayed to watch many of the final finishers come back. We offered them extra beer and a nice shaded place to sit. It was a good day for the Roadrunners!


Palm Beach Marathon 2016 long group run

26.22 mi. Our substitute run for the canceled Palm Beach Marathon went well! We had 13 runners attend, many completing the half course. A few broke off from before the half course to find their stashed water and to continue on ~ completing 17 miles.

There weren’t many people out at 5:15 am when I arrived. Thankfully Starbucks employees allowed me to use the restroom. I parked on Clematis St and left 9 small water bottles on the hood of my car in a Publix bag. My plan was we would run right by these at mile 9-ish, I’d have some to drink and some to share.
I went to the traditional Start/Finish Line of the Palm Beach Marathon.


No other runners arrived at 5:30am as I advised. All I heard the changeable message board flash and blink its recurring text. No cars, no breeze, it was very still. I had a forecast of a SSE wind, but nothing yet. I heard voices and at ten to six, I saw some runners. I met “Team Sweden” plus Adam Schiff, Set Kaufman and two others I didn’t know. I went over the printed maps I had made, informing everyone that the course was marked in a special way with temporary white spray paint arrows at every turn. We took a few pictures, and moments after 6am, we started the run. As a group, we ran together for the first 3/4 of a mile. Ulrike, Steve, Hamed and a few others went ahead at a faster clip. We went up Flagler Drive, making a detour for the seemingly neverending north bridge construction. At just before 3 miles, we saw Pete Willis’ Podium Performance water stop. They had

enough drinks and fruit slices for double our group’s size. The course heads north up to 58th Street, then south back down to 36th St again. We found the first group at the stop, they went ahead again for the next 3 miles until we came back to the same stop as we would have in the marathon. Then we ran the trickiest part of the course, following the painted arrows zig-zagging through the Northwood area of homes.

I commented that by runner experience, this was the best pace group I’d ever been with. Dave Garfield, Gary Walk, Adam Schiff, Seth Kaufman, Dave’s daughter, Mary Monks, we had plenty of race day knowledge. This made for some good stories, many were centered around Palm Beach Marathons in the past. We spoke about what could occur next year, when the race comes back under new ownership and race management.

We ran south on Dixie Highway, making it back into downtown West Palm Beach and among the buildings. When we got to Clematis Street, we discovered the bag full of water bottles near my car were gone. It was light out, that must have been a welcome sight and treat for whoever took them.

Our slower paced group continued south. Past Okeechobee Blvd and into the nicer neighborhoods south of downtown. Past PBA College, into El Cid all while following the painted markings on the street.

At 11 miles, I lost my escort. That’s where the course splits and the half marathoners head back to the Meyer Amphitheatre area. Ulrike, Steven and Hamed broke away a mile earlier. They took a different route along the Intracoastal to match up with water they had stashed along the way. I had done the same the night before while marking the course, but my water stops were on the real course, hidden in bushes.

Southern Blvd and Flagler Drive was closed for construction. For cars, this would be a problem, for solo runners – easy! This is the first place I had water left for myself and whoever was along with me. There’s a short turn into a neighborhood to burn a few hundred meters, I do that and don’t see anyone, runners or homeowners. I see at mile 13 or so that I have kept myself at about a 2-hour running time. I know I should go faster on the back half, so I come up with this:

I’m pacing the Miami Marathon in January as a 3:50 runner. I will work to get myself back to the finish line in time for that – as if I had a group to pace on today’s run.

Almost, because I did stop my watch to scurry in the bushes and find my hidden waters, plus I did a porta potty break in Lake Worth on the way back north. It is a good route along Flagler, it’s breezy from the Southeast. I come around the canal into the College Park area, where I have more water. I am using gels and salt pills for this run. I didn’t eat all of the gels, but I was accurate having salt pills approximately every 4 miles. And I kept water with me. I put too much water out, not knowing I’d be alone for the back half of the run. It was ok, but not a good route for scenery. IN the race, there would be aid stations and other runners. This is not an ideal solo training route, however!I make it over to Federal Highway and head as far south as the route goes. Once I get to 2nd St, I snap a “proof” picture to show I’ve made it to the furthest point south on the course. It’s also a water hide spot. I use this mini break to remove my run shoes and stretch my toes. The Skechers Go Run Ride 5 are constricting to me, even with the triathlon laces. I’ll have to revert back to the wonderfully comfortable Go Run Ride 4s or try a new shoe for the next race.

I now head north, knowing each step will take me closer and also in the correct direction. I stop at a home under construction for a bathroom break near Harvard St and the Intracoastal. I end up checking my buzzing phone, it’s a text from Nina Krauder who just drove up from a long night at Art Basel in Miami. She thinks she may have seen me running in Lake Worth a few minutes ago.

She did.

Once around the canal and back on Flagler Drive, I feel my muscles tightening and feet becoming uncomfortable. I hit the same water stops again and cross back into WPB. Past the Southern Blvd torn-up construction zone, onto Greenway Rd and the well-known Mile 24 water stop spot. Then I’m on familiar ground, I head north on Flagler Blvd towards the Okeechobee bridge. In my head, I wonder if anyone will be waiting for me at the finish. Maybe some of the runners that did the half got breakfast and will return to see me?

This doesn’t end up being the case. I round the last curve of the downtown waterfront and towards the breezy and still silent Meyer Amphitheater. There’s no one out, I run in and finish with 3:49:27 – a good time for pacing. I see Kimmie Meissner and her friends starting a 6-mile run. they said they wanted to come out earlier with our group but got crossed up on that plan. I’m sore and walking slowly back to my car. I do get a couple to take my photo near the finish, holding a printed copy of the route map I started with and hid in the shrubs near the street. I walked down to Run & Roll but they didn’t open for another 35 minutes. I couldn’t wait for that – so I drove home.

I’m glad I went through with it and completed the whole course. Years from today I’ll be very glad I ran when I didn’t need to run, and didn’t stop when I wanted to hang with the group at halfway.

Here’s the route I ran on Garmin Connect website…

That’s 13 Palm Beach Marathons in a row. And 12 medals.












What would have been

5mi. Ordinarily, today would have been an easy effort of six 800m repeats at marathon pace. This year, we will not have a Palm Beach Marathon, it will hopefully pick back up next December. Money, sponsors, etc. have melted the current situation down to a 5k race Friday night.

Today we ran a familiar workout. The still, calm air and clouds hovering above made it a very warm morning for this run. My  first 800m was 3:13 slow, my first 400m was 1:32. I improved as I chased Seth and Atilla to a 2:56 800m and a 1:21 400m.

1 mile warmup

800m w/200m recovery
400m w/200m recovery
200m w/200m recovery
1000m w/200m recovery
800m w/200m recovery
400m w/200m recovery
200m w/200m recovery
1000m w/200m recovery

1 mile cooldown

I have to pickup my workout intensity if I want to race well at A1-A in 2.5 months!

Before the race most leave behind

5mi. It’s as if most of our local people aren’t running the full of half Palm Beach Marathon. They are shying away due to the heat or they have another event in the weeks to fllow. Gary and Dave are doing the half, most others were not concerned about the race. I hoped to go slower than a regular track workout – the rain during the warmup and near the end made sure of that. Paul was back calling the workout distances after getting a valve repaired in his heart two weeks ago in NY. So there were no lapses in conversation as we ran warmup and cooldown!

1 mile warmup jog

400m w/200m recovery
600m w/200m recovery
1000m w/200m recovery
500m w/200m recovery
500m w/200m recovery
1000m w/200m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
200m w/100m recovery
100m strider then 200m

1 mi cool down

Palm Beach Marathon and Run Fest 2013

My first adventure for Palm Beach Marathon 2013 was to work at the Pacer Booth.  Whoever had been there before us must have put our box full of goodies behind the counter and under a drape sheet because we didn’t know was there. We scrambled to find some pens and printer paper to allow folks to sign up with all the different pace groups.  There were plenty of visitors in the first 2 hours of the show.  Myself, Jeff Gad and Skye Bakker worked the booth 10-noon.  It was apparent early on that my 4 hour pace group was going to have plenty of runners!  I was the only local person in our booth and in the immediate area – so I found myself giving plenty of directions to the start and finish line, as well as instructions as to where people should park the next morning for the race. I picked up my “10 year Streaker” jacket, I thought it would be embroidered not a heat transfer thingy. There are only 30 people that have done all 10 races, but only 3 including myself that have done all of the full marathons.

dave masterson pacer dinner

The pacer dinner went well at Carrabas.  Thank you for having run singlets available instead of shirts with sleeves.  We waited for almost 1 hour before being seated, so Tom wisely used this time to host the pacer meeting.  A witty waiter, good food and good laughs during the meal for everyone!

dave masterson bill rogers marathon I arrived at the race morning ready to go at about 5:20 AM.  It’s nice to be able to use the regular “VIP bathrooms” near the start line as a pacer.  My son was with me in the morning, he was running his first half marathon.  We stopped to get a good picture with Bill Rodgers and then I went into the corral a bit before 6:00 AM.  I saw many of the other pacers grouped together, they had just come from taking a group photo at the start line.  (I’m not sure how I missed that one?)  Before the race began, I spent a little bit of time explain to my folks how to drink while we’re on the run, how to properly have their shoes tied, and the importance of using a visor or sunglasses on such a warm day.  I had a really large group, most of which were half marathoners looking to finish in less than 2 hours.  For the last two months I had recruited several people to run in my group as a result of setting up a training group for first-time half marathon runners.  My local and friends for the half marathon were Ashley, Scott, Elizabeth, and Brett.  I also had an older gentleman whose name was “Moose Man” on his bib!  He had made several attempts to break 4 hrs in a marathon.  His last attempt had him less than 10 seconds over his goal, so he was very anxious to do well today.

The race started 18 minutes late.  That meant we were now running in daylight.  It wasn’t too hot at the start but I told each runner to cherish the time in the shade and relatively cool weather.  I knew it would warm up significantly later in the morning.  Our first mile was completed in 09:39.  I told our group that the first few miles would be slower than 9:10 pace due to the skinny streets and crowded conditions.  Our second and third mile was a little faster but not yet at 9:10 pace.  I had Andrea and her 4 hr 10 minute group run up near me one time, but we were making good progress heading north.  My group went through the first two water stations very nicely.  I was doing most of the talking with several others running very close to me also participating in the conversation.  Miles three, four, five were done at our proper pace.  When we reached mile marker six we were right on schedule for the 2 hr half/4 hr full.  Then next 2 miles led us back to the start line area and  it started to get noticeably warmer. “Moose Man” was sweating plenty, I asked him how he felt and he said OK. Another memorable full marathon runner in my group was Orlando. Orlando was a runner from New York City that used to live in Miami.  He is a chef at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle steak restaurant and was one of my strongest runners.  He moved to the front of the group and was talking with me for miles 5-16.  Other notable runners were Eugene from Norway and Greta from nearby Wellington Florida.

Once we passed the Start/Finish line area, the roads became wider and we had more room to run our correct pace through mile seven and mile eight.  That was good for everyone, there were many cheering people, music and the race announcer stoking the spectators.  He knows me – so he gave us a good shout out, our group responded with some cheers right back at him.  We ran along Flagler Drive hitting our correct time of 9:10 pace for miles 9 and 10.  The turnaround for the half marathon runners was at mile 11.  I prepared them long in advance as to how they could keep their pace for the final 2 miles.  I encourage them to meet up afterwards and tell me how they finished, each runner had a “free beer ticket” attached to their bib. I suggested that as many of us meet at World of Beer afterwards to catch up and review the race. Only the local friends that started with me came to this meet-up and told me their finishing times.  Ashley got 1:58:00; Brett.1:43:00; Elizabeth got 2:14; Scott the 1:57. Brett left our group at around mile 8 and ran clear to her new PR because she felt so good!

Excerpts from their Facebook posts –




dave masterson marathon palm beach 2013

pacing palm beach marathon dave masterson

Once the group split, I had maybe 8-10 people trailing me. Only Orlando would run next to me and talk, the rest would run behind me and close enough to hear our chatter and my advice. I encouraged everyone to take fluids at each station, even if they didn’t feel thirsty. We ran together for the next 3 – 4 miles in this manner. Greta worked her way to the front and talked with Orlando and I. At mile 13, my watch and pace band numbers were perfect – I stepped on the piece of tape (which was not at the same place as the MILE 13 sign) at my split, announcing to the group that we are in perfect time, we now have to do this same performance once more to get the goal time. I gave Orlando one of my Power Gels because he said he forgot his and we hadn’t reached the free ones given out on the course. My group kept going south at pace, they were happy and mostly confident.

As we left the waterfront and ran through the neighborhoods of Lake Worth, we lost the breeze. We had small bits of shady tree-lined streets, but now it was sunny and hot. Each water stop would have a person or two drink up and walk through the water stop or fall off the pace. This happened until mile 15. At that point only Eugene, Greta and Orlando were with me. pacing palm beach dave mastersonEugene fell back but assured me he was still capable of keeping the pace. Greta disappeared at mile 16 drink stop, Orlando about a half mile past that, thanking me and saying he’ll see me later in the day. Eugene ran strong although slightly behind me. We saw the race leaders and knowing our pace, I was surprised there weren’t many runners ahead of us on this out-and-back route. The heat was playing into the performance of many athletes.  Notable locals I expected to see were nowhere among the leaders. I saw Steve’s 3:25 group, no Jessica and the 3:35ers, then Jeff and the 3:45 people, but I think he only had one runner left with him.

I encouraged others at water stops and on the road to join me for a 4 hr finish. This wasn’t working, in hot conditions, especially for out of town athletes, once people break – they are broken. Eugene ran slightly ahead of me for a few blocks, then would drift back, then finally near mile 19 he faded. I was now alone, trying to encourage others to run with me as I passed them. I kept my pace, stopping to get two water cups at each station instead of just my usual one cup full. I knew the heat was really dragging down people’s performances, but historically, 6-7 or the past 10 PB marathons have finished in the 80s. It’s what happens here. I was on pace according to the watch and pace band at 19. At 20, I was 15 seconds behind, maybe that was due to  the walk thru the water stop. Mile 21 I was back within 4 seconds of goal time.

solo pacer dave masterson
At Mile 22 I dashed into the bushes for a quick pee break, I was now 21 seconds slower than pace. But just like at mile 13, I saw white tape markers with “22 miles” on them in the street and the sign for MILE 22 in a spot several meters further, so I figured I was close enough to my 9:10 pace that it was good. This really didn’t strike me until I spoke with Steve Chin following the race. He mentioned some of the miles in the “twenties” were long and some were short. I did not have a GPS watch, just a timer, so I went with what the course markings (tape and sign placement) said. At 23 I was still behind, now by 30 seconds, but I didn’t feel as if my running was slowing at all. I was running alone, not encountering too many people to pass. No runners passed me or my group after mile 15. Right after Mile 23 and until after the Mile 24 sign, I was back within 8 seconds of goal. It began to rain hard. I saw clouds ahead near the Finish line area, but didn’t think I’d get caught in a downpour!  Only a girl that I passed and an older guy were in this rain somewhat near me. I asked him to run with me, his name was John and my guess would be he was in his late 50s. He said this was his 360th marathon and he was slowing down rapidly, he would go in himself. I saw the 7 hour pacer and the “poop wagon” bus behind him, he walked solo down the middle of Flagler drive with plenty of race course ahead of him. Mile 24 and 25 were completed on a good pace, at 25 I was only 12 seconds shy of the pace bracelet goal time.

The rain stopped as I ran alone up Federal Hwy/US-1 among the shade of trees. No fan support here, just a realization that you’re almost done. I ran next to a girl approaching First Baptist Church, a significant local landmark because it’s very close to the final turn and last ¾ mile of the course. She tried to stay at my pace but stopped at the final water stop to drink, pour water over her head, and stretch a cramping calf muscle. I ran around Phillips Point and towards the finish area, which you can clearly see from Flagler Drive along the waterway. More spectators clapped and asked where my group was. Just before mile 26, I saw the Palm Beach Road Runners tent and friends that had finished their half marathon and were celebrating with drinks and music. I ran alongside the barricade area and gave at least a dozen “high fives” to my friends. At mile 26 I was ahead of the pace, but I really didn’t noticeably increase my speed for the last mile. I could have slowed and timed my arrival as the only runner close to the finish line, but for today it would have looked ridiculously obvious. My time watch at the finish read 3:59:04, the race clock had me at 3:58:58.

dave masterson pacingI’m not sure how crucial that “30 seconds” is when conditions were rough for the average runner. Either way, I ran solo for the last 7-8 miles. I easily could have arranged to stand near my friends just past mile 26 and pop over the finish line extremely close to 3:59:30. I don’t know how I was erratic in the last few miles – hopping behind pace and then getting to the finish ahead of schedule? It seemed as if my effort and pace were consistent throughout the day.

dave masterson world of beerWorld of Beer afterwards – fantastic post race scene with great friends and many laughs! We stayed until my friends Rouba and Olivier came. They flew from Paris to Miami last night and drove up to meet me this morning! So many people stayed after the race and had their free beer and a few more.  We went to Duffy’s Sports Bar for lunch afterwards, a chicken salad and several large glasses of water were my choice. I enjoy this race each year because more of our local people participate. This year I was happy to see our “Eat Sleep Run” crew finish well. What they don’t realize is how they’ll now sign up for more events, look for better times, they have been bitten by the runner bug!rouba olivier fossat dave masterson

Two grand?

4 mi. Post PB Marathon, all talk was of the race, the photos, the World of Beer afterparty, and how everyone is welcoming a break in the action for the holidays. Paul was there early, walking the track before any of us arrived. John, Perry, Dave G., Mike, Erica, Lanae, Adrienne, Randy and Robert were ready. Paul began with a familiar set, one that Erica was confident she could guess it’s finish. Surprise, no one saw the 2000m 5 lap dash in the middle! For the ten + years I’ve been running the track workout, never have we been assigned an interval like that. It was good! I ran it mostly with Dave G., finishing a mile in 6:29, speeding up in my last lap to run in with Erica at a faster pace than that. The rest of the workout was in still and humid conditions. I didn’t run the cooldown, back to the new home and a ride for John to school. With that 2000m interval, I think the wraps are off for some more odd length runs. No one minded, I think some preferred it would happen on a different week when everyone hadn’t just raced a long one!

1 mile warmup jog.

800m w/200m recovery
400m w/200m recovery
200m w/200m recovery
2000m  w/200m recovery
200m w/200m recovery
400m w/200m recovery
800m w/200m recovery

The marathon was run well this year, folks liked the course, it has finally come to where it belongs!

Palm Beach Marathon 2012

Palm Beach MarathonI was a pacer for the 3:45 group. As a follow up of that effort, I sent a report to the pace group organizer. This is that report… with some more details added to make it relevant even if you’re not a pace runner!

The Saturday night pre-race dinner was a nice event, getting to meet the others in town for the event and talk as a group. I recommended Carrabba’s Italian Restaurant. I received a pacer shirt from Tom after the meal – who knew I’d be donning a Ladies Small shirt and it would actually fit? Jessica met me at the pacer dinner and came out afterwards to a surprise 50th birthday party. Yes it was fun, yes I did have some drinks, no we didn’t stay out too late!
On Sunday morning I arrived on site and took care of gear check and rest room breaks early. I met with a few of the pacers just before 6am near the start line, which was in a new location from prior years. We were alone at the start area except for the Achilles pushcart teams and their support cyclists. We posed for a quick group picture once most in our yellow-clad team arrived. The race began under clear skies, temp approx 72 degrees, 10-12 mph breeze from the E-NE. Waiting for the race to begin, I collected folks that had signed up at the expo for my pace time (3:45/8:35 pace) and others who would by choice tag along for the even pacing for as long as they’d like. I spoke with our group, covering some basics at first. I discussed where the course split for half and full marathoners, how we looked to stay at the even pace the whole way, not to put all faith in the Garmin/GPS devices, how to tie our shoes so as not to suffer a “flat tire” (untied lace) mid-race, gels and the need to drink before you get thirsty. I answered some questions from the runners and the parents of an autistic runner who was competing in his first marathon. ( He ran ahead early and puckered at mile 12) The race began on time at 6:30am. I made sure our group knew that we would be using the first mile to stay together and not get caught up in the surge of adrenaline that a race start can bring. My old timex watch does not have a good split lap feature, I chose not to fester with it for fear of losing the more crucial overall race time I’d be relying on along with my pace band. I kept a fairly good mental note of my over/under splits for most of the miles. Mile #1 was completed in 8:29. The road was wide and we chose to stay on the inside of all curves, not giving any extra steps to the course or the 26.2 distance. This was explained to the group when we came upon the first curve on Flagler Drive heading north. Miles 2 & 3 had us still 4 seconds faster than the band I had, good but we needed to edge off some. The turnaround that put us with the wind and heading back south was before mile 4. Miles 4-7 were right on schedule with the pace band. We passed the start area, enjoyed the fan, music and announcer support and continued south on Flagler Dr. along the Intracoastal Waterway. I kept reminding my group to drink at the stops and gave several that were interested my tips on how to pass thru a waterstop, drink and not break pace. This was well appreciated by full marathoners Brigid, Barry, Katie, Perry, Chris (a runner from Dublin Ireland!) and Jesse, an Ironman triathlete going for a PR in the full. Susan and Brenda were my two notable half marathoners, among others that tagged in with the group but had earphones so they didn’t chat much. Miles 7-10 were 3-5 sec over the pace band’s time. At Mile 10 we sent the half marathoners off to their 5k run home, not before reminding them to email jim@marathonpacing.com with comments and experiences from their time with a pacer. The remaining group of full marathoners was approx 7 runners, with some joining in and one gal falling off pace at mile 12. My miles 11 & 12 saw my pace slow to 12 sec off at the time clocks. Not a worry, I encouraged the group and told them at each mile that we were on our desired pace and within an acceptable range of +/- for what we were doing. The course changed from water view to residential at mile 11 thru to after mile 13. At Mile 13 we were still 10 sec off (slower) than desired 3:44:30 pace, very good. There was no timing mat for 13.1 split or notation on the course that we had gone half way. One girl’s GPS watch said we were at half way even before we hit the 13 mile mark! This was my evidence to the group that we cannot rely on the GPS for the pacing – they saw firsthand and understood. We passed over Lake Ave and saw the Lake Worth Bridge and Bryant Park. This is the site of a popular local triathlon, so chatter among our group centered on triathlons, Jesse’s two Ironman finishes and the differences between triathletes and pure runners. Very entertaining! More importantly, all this talk was distracting the group as we made it into the mid-teen miles. My splits were now right back on time for miles 14-17. These miles were in residential areas with small crowd support, but an out-and-back course allowed us to see the leaders and two faster pace groups (Good going, Jonathan and Michael!) I told my group to take periodic “inventory” of how they felt and if they wanted, bring it up so we could discuss it and perhaps remedy the situation. I spoke about drafting other runners, shoe technology (Brigid ran in her Vibram 5-toed shoes) how to help unseat leg cramps and different stride styles. It was neat to offer things for the runners to think about now that they were quieting down and focusing on their pace. Brigid fell off pace in between mile 14-15. Barry was fading back at mile 16. Two others that joined in with me later chose to go ahead after mile 15 – so they did. Chris and Jesse stayed with me until mile 17 heading back north, Jesse slowed to walk through a water stop and wasn’t ready to keep our pace once he had drank fluids, Chris said he was cramping in the hip or side area and was going to drop back. I encouraged each runner to do their best to keep me in sight and if they felt better to rejoin me. I ran alone only for 1/2 mile – then I came up on a girl that was fading off her pace for the 3:35 group, she ran with me for a mile and a half but then slowed off pace. My miles 18, 19, 20, 21 were ran alone at a pace that had me 12-15 sec slower than goal, I was passing folks and encouraging them to hook onto the 8:35 pace if they wanted. One very sweaty man kept pace with me for a long straightaway, but then stopped at a water station and never caught up. Miles 21-23 were back along the water with much of the same, people fading ahead, seeing me and the 3:45 sign, trying to stay on, but faltering back. Mile 23 and 24 were slow, I stopped at a porta-potty and emerged quickly but found myself now 23 seconds slower than my pace band required. I covered mile 25 and caught back up to pace while running alone, a slight stop for traffic that wouldn’t listen to a police officer at Southern Boulevard included! In the final mile between 25-26, I saw Perry, a friend and fellow full marathon streak holder for Palm Beach Marathon ahead. He had sprung ahead of the group earlier and was now working hard to get home. He ran with me for 1/2 a mile, out onto Flagler Blvd for the last stretch. He slowed off pace in the final 3/4 mile, but then pressed up hard to finish below the 3:45 mark. Perry breathes heavy when he exerts, so I heard him coming in the final straightway. I was only 30 ft ahead of him coming in the final 1/4 mile of the now shaded and well-populated Flagler Drive. He worked to catch up and as the photos show, we crossed the line with him “high-fiving” me at the finish. This is exactly what we look to do out there while pacing.  My Timex rang in at 3:44:24, my official race time was 3:44:21.
Once done, I waited in the finish area for Chris and Jesse, my last two group runners. I found Jonathan and  Michael in the medals area and collected their signs. I waited for Shannon (3:55) but didn’t see her so I greeted and gave the three signs to Andrea who came in at 4 hrs. I finished 11th in my age group and had a very good time at the World of Beer afterparty. It was a great Sunday for our local race.wob

It wasn’t zippy but it counts.

4 mi  No cooldown today, my right ankle, injured, treated, iced often, doesn’t need much more on my first track play back. Very good to see many people for the first time in two months. This is what I slowly followed for intervals…

1 mi warmup.
300m w/100m recovery 
300m w/100m recovery 
300m w/100m recovery 
400m w/200m recovery 
500m w/100m recovery 
500m w/100m recovery 
500m w/100m recovery 
500m w/100m recovery 
500m w/200m recovery 
300m w/100m recovery 
300m w/100m recovery 
300m w/100m recovery  

Time to get back to work

Get back to training

The truth exposed

In November, I heard the concerns and comments. “Dave, you need some meat on those bones…” “You’re losing too much weight!”  Now, after I’ve parted with my “skinny down 8 lbs” look and with it – much of my sharpness in cycling and swimming, it’s time to go back into regular training.  I had run the Palm Beach Marathon Festival, A1A Marathon and afterwards found I was giving myself a long break from any type of serious training. It shows! I have gained back all the weight that six workouts a week deliver vs the three I dabble with now. I have not a hint of ab muscle showing, thanks to less care regarding my diet, less training and a recent week in Australia’s beer country!

Shake it off, the clock is ticking. I will be in better shape for Boston and the summer full of local triathlons, runs, and the Keys 50 in May!

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