I recruited Herb Carroll for Sound Shore. I came across him on CoolRunning threads. He was really committed to running, newly-discovered for him, and lived in Westchester. So I got him for the Club. He became a pretty active member, always trying to upgrade what folks were doing. I very much wanted to be part of the Reach-the-Beach team, but was left off. Sound Shore’s team was purely based on first-come/first-serve (with the provisio that each member had to be willing to do the work needed to run her best in the race), and Herb was left off although he would have been one of our stronger runners. (This was true in 2006 and 2007, but the team has since included non-SSRMCers.)

Herb helped me out considerably when we found ourselves at the end of slow-moving port-a-san lines just before the Manhattan HM in January 2007, and he kindly took my bag so I at least could get to the start before the horn (he was several minutes late). He worked really hard for the 2007 NYC Marathon, but blew up. I recall this because posted on the Club’s website an item “NYC Marathon disaster.” He ran 3:29:39 (after going out in 1:34:21), which was a shock to me as well.

    I promised myself to take a break after this race. I actually have no choice at this point because this has left me spent. Even more than last year’s marathon of 3:18. I wish I could have ended it on a better note. The months of training and diligence would have been made sweeter with at least a BQ, but I know I’ve gotten myself to a better place and I know I don’t need the race to prove it. Now I’m going to spend my time running for enjoyment. I need to get back to the roots. I need to remember why I fell in love with this sport in the first place. I’m looking forward to this. I’ll think about my competitive come back around the end of January. And I’m already planning a comeback in nyc for next year.

I followed him during the race, and wrote to him, “I knew you were in trouble from your splits. I wish I knew how to make every race flow the way that some do, and especially not to get too pumped up. I’ve been running a lot longer than you have, and I haven’t figured that out.”

Herb was a casualty of the SSRMC blow-up that led to my leaving the Club, the result of a dispute as to what the Club’s direction was to be. While I ended up with Warren Street, Herb’s been running unattached. As he did for this year’s marathon.

I mention all of this because this morning I saw that Herb had posted a follow-up to his “Marathon disaster” post, and it’s quite another story. Herb reminds me of Robert, i.e., someone who’s not super-fast but who just loves to run and run and run. And run. While I was on Facebook I’d see Herb putting up these long runs at fast paces. He was primed.

But he also got smart. So that follow-up showed him to have run 3:14 and change (a BQ). He writes, “lessons learned. I got my BQ with 3:14:54. This time I did everything right.” More important, take a look at how evenly things went:

  • 5 Kilometers, Pace/mile: 00:07:16.33
  • 10 Kilometers, Pace/mile: 00:07:17.03
  • 15 Kilometers, Pace/mile: 00:07:18.84
  • 20 Kilometers, Pace/mile: 00:07:20.22
  • Half-Marathon, Time: 01:36:15.00, Pace/mile: 00:07:20.83
  • 25 Kilometers, Pace/mile: 00:07:22.62
  • 30 Kilometers, Pace/mile: 00:07:22.06
  • 35 Kilometers, Pace/mile: 00:07:23.35
  • 40 Kilometers, Pace/mile: 00:07:25.75
  • Finish: Time: 03:14:54.00, Pace/mile: 00:07:26.33

QED

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