Thursday, April 5, 2018

Volte's 2018 Road to Boston: Derek Bailey

The history.  The venue.  And what Derek Bailey says is an “epic adventure of getting there with friends”.

All of it – including “many good eats” – keeps bringing Derek back to the Boston Marathon.

In less than two weeks, for the sixth time in his running history, he’ll start in Hopkinton for road racing’s most prestigious route to Boylston Street.

This time, it’s all about the hashtag.

No, not #PortOCanMan.

But rather, #PRorER.

“2:59:08 or bust,” he says.  ’Right on Hereford, left on Boylston, medal and medical’ is the progression he’s looking for.

Bailey aims for the finish line at the 2018 The Woodlands Half Marathon.
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)
And then, if that happens, Bailey may be as long gone from the area as former Patriots bench-warming quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

As he said, though, “We’ll see.”

The preparation hasn’t been textbook, Derek admits.

“I typically self-coach myself,” he shared.  “I started following a high mileage program that got my friend Chris a 2:46 marathon PR.

“Midway through I realized it was only training me to run a lot of miles slowly, never letting me tap what I feel is my full potential.”

And then there’s been a nagging injury.

“I was also battling some lower ab/right hip issues and I then solicited some outside coaching advice to help me make the most of what I considered to be a losing situation, “ Derek said.

“Above all, I feel pretty good – still somewhat hurt – but I think I have isolated the hip issue to utilizing the wrong shoe and I’m going all out.”

Somebody better warn the Wellesley girls that Derek won’t even glance in their direction this year.

“The fact that my two fastest half marathons ever were done in the last four months leads me to believe I can PR in Boston.”

Bailey actually re-qualified for this year’s Boston Marathon a year ago in Beantown with a time that was only good by about 10 seconds.

“In mid-year 2017, I decided to join my Volte friends for the Tunnel Light Marathon outside of Seattle,” he said.  “I chose it for two reasons – 1.) Sandra Tezino and Laura Godfrey recommended it and said it was fast and 2.) Leanne Rosser – Volte’s friendliest “Running Bully” as she calls herself (editor added) – convinced me it would be fun with all of the Volte people going.”

The peer pressure paid off.  Bailey beat his minimum time by almost six minutes, allowing him to get in Boston for 2018.

Yet the 3:04:39 almost didn’t come together as it did.

“The tunnel – expectedly – messed up my GPS at the beginning and at one point my watch was reading over a mile ahead of the course mile markers (indicating I would have to make up a lot of distance),” he said. 

Mix in the smoke in the air from recent forest fires and the fact that he entered the race a bit banged up, Bailey gave serious thought to dialing it back.

“I strongly considered a 26.2-mile jog for a medal at the end or even waiting on Tammy Grado – one of my favorite people to pace in a race – to run the rest of it with, whom later in the race went on to get her first BQ,” he added.

No such thought, though, coming up for Boston.

Remember, #PRorER.

“If I’m running it, I’m racing it, regardless of what I say,” he said with a chuckle.  “I’m just after some adventure with my running friends.”

And many of those helped him get ready for this year’s effort.

Drawing on his faith in Jesus Christ and the love of his wife Christy and their two boys who he says “has supported me through my endeavors”, the supporting cast that roll at the bottom of Derek’s movie are long.

The pep talks, when needed, he says, come from Kate Looney, “a rival and the older sister I never had”.

Carrie Hyde, Juliee Sparks, Grado, Michelle McGill, Jen Smith, John Trocko and Becca Holt, Bill Dwyer, Ronnie Delzer, Chris Weir and “the countless other friends in Volte and team Zero Dark Thirty” also get Academy Award nominations.

As he looks ahead to the rest of an athletic 2018, he shares, though, that training through injuries is - in general - not the best choice.

“I am planning on going to the doctor and getting my ab/hip injury addressed,” Derek said, noting that he hopes it was the shoe issue he alluded to earlier. 

“I have signed up for the California Intenational Marathon in December; however, I’m going to let the prognosis from the doctor guide me in anything else I do.”

He says if he’s healthy – and the shoe was the culprit – that another triathlon or even an Ironman may be in order.

Bailey’s bottom line, though, is, “If it’s not fun, (let’s) go find something that is.”

Volte founder Bill Dwyer believes that’s the least of Derek’s worries.

“Derek is very enthusiastic about running and triathlon and is usually one of the first to step up and help,” he said.  “He is just as happy to help someone achieve a goal as when he achieves one himself.”

Perhaps we’ll see more #PRorER’s in the future as there’s only one #PortOCanMan.

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