Sunday, May 21, 2017

5/21/17 Capital City Marathon


Another year at my big home town race.  I have organized the pace team again and am proud of the great runners I have assembled.  Less confident of my own abilities, I will pace the first half at 4:30 and try to hold on, but have Todd to meet me halfway and take over if I falter.  Pacer meeting the day before.  Photo op with Jeff Galloway before the start.  All of my pacers show up and will do their parts to perfection.

















Bright sun and comfortable at the start.  It is really going to warm up later in the race.  Just before the start, Tammy takes a picture of me and Dan and also Tami who I am just meeting.  She ran her first marathon in 4:40 and hopes to beat that today.  Lets see how long she can stay with me.






Start - So glad the stress of getting everything ready is over.  Got my GPS connected and it did not time out before the gun, so I will have accurate time on my wrist.  10:17/mile gets us in on time.  I plan to go out a little faster than that.

One of the pleasures of this race is the sighting of so many friends whether in the race, volunteering or spectating.  Bill at mile 1, Terra at mile 2, Rachel and Craig at mile 10.  The second half pacer transport honking to us on their way out.

Mile 3 - Priest Point Park overpass.  Picture of me and my pack of runners.  Claudia is in there and sent me the picture.  She will go on ahead and run well today. Tami is with us.  Next to me are Vicki and Emillie who I met at the Blooms to Brews.  Great to run with them again.



















Mile 5 - Warming up.  First splash of water on my head.  Averaging 10:07/mile which has us with over a minute in the bank.  No need to go any faster.  Aid stations every even mile marker.

Mile 12.5 - Its been uneventful.  Getting warmer.  Holding a steady pace.  Now I meet Todd and we run together.  Great to have someone new, who has the energy to talk. Down to sea level then up the steep hill by Woodard Bay.

Mile 15 - Long straight road back to town.  Feeling the heat and I am tiring.  Have to work a bit to hold pace.  Long stretch in the hot sun.  I can feel the heat radiating off the road.  Not communicating much with what is left of my pack.

Mile 18 - Still on pace but having serious doubts.  No pains, just too hot to run.  Did I mention how this is the first warm day all season.  I am not used to the temperature.  And it is mile 18.  But now it is just 2+3+3 miles to the end.  Hope I can hold on.

Mile 21 - Rogue aid station I grab a delightful slice of orange and Todd slips away ahead of me.  I just do not feel like surging to catch up.  Still we are ahead of schedule, so I keep running and the distance between us is close, just gradually getting longer.

Mile 22.5 - Up Eastside Hill.  Walk breaks.  Todd out of reach.  So glad that he is here to complete the mission.  Tami with him.  I pull out my PR pin and pop my balloon in shame.  Singlet comes off and I feel so much cooler with just one shirt on.  The difference in comfort gives me a boost and I keep trudging up the hill.

Mile 23.5 - Top of the hill, I catch up to a guy and I say that if we push we might beat 4:30.  He says that ship has sailed, it will not happen.  I hit a bad patch and slow again.  I know the next aid station is close, but I see spectators with a table and a water bottle and I beg water from them.  A woman digs out a cup and gets me some water which is really appreciated.  Keep working on my attitude and try to encourage others, despite being down with my own performance.

Mile 24.5 - The beer station, I take a very small cup as usual and like always it is so cold and refreshing.

Mile 25 - Catch up to Matt Ferrel, who paced the first half at 4:15 then slowed even more than me.  Misery loves company and we "run" the last mile together. 

Mile 26.2 - Finished!  Not emotional and not very satisfied with my time.  At about mile 20 I realized that I had not seen any runner in need of medical aid (often I do at this event) and I did not want to be the first one.  So maybe I could have run faster/harder at the end, but maybe I would have gotten heat stroke and not finished at all.  Today was hardly the time to push myself to my limits, so I will accept my result.

Find Jody who ran the half. Find Tami, meet her family and give her the PR pin!

So curious about my pace team.  I find Angela who did great.  We are talking but all I can do is admire the slice of watermelon she is holding.  I almost take it from her, but decide I should go get my own post race food.  Watermelon, orange slices, pizza and water.  Back to the finish line to see 4:45 and 5:00 pacers come in as well as Emillie and Vicki.  Then over to the beer tent for my free beer and I sit with Dan who I started the race with.

Gather up the pacer gear and call it a day.  Looking forward to next year!!


4:36:14
172nd of 300
Race#417
Marathon or ultra# 154
Capital City Marathon#14

Sunday, April 30, 2017

4/30/17 Tacoma City Marathon

My 9th time here.  A few course changes.  Fewer old Maniac friends.  I have been thinking that this might be my last time here.  Packet pickup is a hassle, so early to get to the start, high price unless you register very early which I did, now it is the same weekend as Capitol Peak.  CP is now 50 miles or 25K so not the marathon or 50K that I prefer, but still the trails I love.  Jody was doing her own running on Saturday and now I will be gone on Sunday so it is almost a lost weekend for us.  But I am here now, I might as well enjoy it.

Except it is so darn cold again.  Bus drops me off just before 6AM so I have an hour to shiver in the cold and wind.  Got to find a place out of the wind.  Some runners are huddling just behind the port-o-potties, yuck.  I venture off to a building.  There are two other running hobos there next to the dumpster, across the broken glass, scrounging for some place to sit.  I find a small but sturdy plastic cart on its side and can sit on it with back support on the wall.  Pretend to chase away other shelter seekers, I tell them that this area is for elite athletes only.  Hunkered down and shivering despite the hat, light jacket and long pants.  Feel sorry for those in shorts and short sleeves.  It can't be that cold but I feel like it is zapping my energy.

6:30 head over to the main area and find the Rogue Wave.  We wait till the last minute to drop our gear bags, then find a patch of rising sun to stand in.  Just before the start a bald eagle lands on the ground, not far at all from some people.  And it stays there as our race starts.

Start - RW and I head out together.  We have a plan to keep it just under 10 minute miles and hope to not slow too much, ending under 4:30.  Fun to be at the same level as her and it has been a year since we have run together!  Out of the airport and left instead of the out and back to the right.  First of many course changes.  Maybe I should have studied the map a little better, but I doubt we will take a wrong turn.  So many volunteers to direct the way.

Mile 2 - Beautiful but windy morning on the Narrows Bridge.  Strong side winds.  By the time we are 2/3rd of the way across we are both ready to be done with it.  Now the long uphill and the first aid station not until mile 4.  From here on the aid will be closer together and I will be fine without carrying water.

Mile 10 - Tour of North Tacoma. Nice quiet neighborhoods mostly.  Hills but keeping the average pace at about 9:42/mile.  This is the fastest I have gone out in a marathon in ages.  Hope I can hold it.  Hip and groin feel pulled on.  Hope it does not get worse.  Meanwhile it is sunny and cool, but very comfortable for running.

Mile 13.1 - 2:07 something on the clock.  I can do a 2:20 second half and still beat 4:30 easy.  RW needs a quick break, but there is a short line.  I keep walking, then run a slow pace.  I could wait for her, but I don't know how long she will be, plus I fear that I may get real tired and slow at any point, just to see her go on ahead. 

Mile 14.5 - A little surprised when she calls to me on the steepest part of the uphill before Point Defiance Park.  Great time to walk and let her catch up.  Now we enter the park and some confusion as we are told to go right, but here comes speedy Robert Bondurant towards us from the left.  Oh he is 5 miles ahead of us and finishing the long loop that overlaps for a short distance.  Soon we are directed left and onto 5 mile drive, after some constructions side route, grass and mud.

Mile 17 - Going counter clock wise through the park (different from previous years) means the long twisting hill.  Pace is slowing.  Approaching the famous Blues Brothers aid station.  Suddenly I feel a little dizzy and it is not easy to run.  Somewhat scared, I walk it into the aid station.  Take off my sunglasses and focus on overcoming the situation.  It passes very quickly and I am soon back on pace.

Mile 18 - Ravens calling.  Now just like on the bridge, this is a spectacular place to run, but I am ready to move on.  Out of the park it will be a mostly straight shot along Ruston Way to the end and it will be nice when we hit mile 20.

Mile 20 - Nice to be here.  Legs are tired but no pains.  Upper legs and hip have not gotten any worse.  New course goes left then onto the very start of the Point Ruston walkway.  Wide curving path.  A little breeze in my face at times and some warm pockets of air, but not bad at all.  Three miles right along the water on a pleasant morning.  People and dogs out walking, but not so crowded.

Mile 21 - RW has her music in and picks up the pace some.  I do not try to keep up.  I have a nice slow groove going, with very short walk breaks and just don't feel a need to push it.

Mile 22 - I do catch a young guy and he says yes when I guess that this is his first marathon.  He is in good spirits and I don't chat him up too much.  But we run step in step for about a mile before I pull ahead.

Mile 23 - Super Sabrina sighting.  Alone, spectating, like she has been banished from the event.  My 4:30 buddy from Blooms to Brews.  We will run together soon I hope.  Now the big hump on Ruston Way.  I run the whole thing and only slow at the water station at the bottom.

Mile 25 - 4:13 on the clock ensures a sub 4:30 finish.  No desire to push it.  I am running, just slowly.  Plenty of runners around, we are getting excited for the finish.  Grinding metal sound as we are next to a slow moving train.  So slow that I am running faster than it.  Up and over the tracks and the final stretch.

Mile 26 - Oh darn it, one more hill.  Up and around to the final turn and pick it up for a nice looking finish.

Mile 26.2 - Immediate recovery is much better than at Blooms to Brews where I worked so hard at the end.  Happy enough with my time.  And the event was really great as always.  Really tempting to come back again next year.  I should at least do an even ten times here.

4:25:26
151st of 298
Race#416 Marathon or Ultra#153 Tacoma City Marathon#9
***** 




Monday, April 24, 2017

4/22/17 Traveler 5.5K

When the snow starts to melt in the Olympics an image appears of the Traveler, and maybe his dog.




The best view is from Alderbrook in Union, so the town puts on a Traveler Days weekend.  Last year there was a 5K that I missed.  But today I am here for the very rare 5.5K event.  I am guessing that last year the course was a little long and to be fair, they have called it 5.5K for this year.  Registered and got my number and goody bag last night.  Family friend Shannon was there to help and will be out on the course today.  Registering in person was cheaper than through the website.  With the fees saved, I could not resist paying an extra $12 for the shirt. Pre shirt it was $39, pricey for a short race.  But chip timed, great swag bag including a poncho, and proceeds to Kirk and Friends charity and the local Fire Department.




Start time at 11AM?  Yes it is.  At the Alderbrook clubhouse.  And about 4 miles from our cabin on the Hood Canal.  The location was a big draw for me. I have run on these roads before but not very often.   So I sleep in, have a nice breakfast and leave home after 10AM.  I thought about running to the start but the 500 foot hill would probably not be a great way to warm up. 


Volunteer directs me to a parking spot, right between the start/finish and the community fair.  Local groups with booths set up.  I get in a decent warm up.  Too bad it is raining.  Traveler is not out.  Many folks are wearing their new ponchos.  I decide to just get wet.




Start - Assess the competition.  I looked at last years results and am pretty sure I would have been in the top ten.  Mostly walkers, a couple of fast looking kids and a few runner types.  RD gives directions ( I did study the map that was posted online, but there will be lots of turns) and says to look for the signs on the right side of the road with arrows.  A little crowded but I am almost at the front and we soon have the whole road to run on.




Mile 0.10 - Road curves to the right and then up a steep hill.  Guy in a Mariners shirt is already way ahead of everyone else.  Amazing how he gets up that hill and is gone.  I try to count and am in maybe 8th place.  Pass one on the hill but also get passed.

Mile 0.5 - Around and down the hill, out to a short lollipop section.  Wonder why they did not just cut off the lollipop and call it a 5K.  Road has lots of curves.  I try to run the tangents.  Watching a kid ahead of me to see if there are turns ahead.  Some are staying on the right side of the road, but there is no traffic and there will be left turns so I might as well run the shortest route.  Pass one kid and the front woman.

Mile 2 - It has been a long well deserved downhill after more ups.  Feeling good and picking up the pace.  It wavers between 7:35 and 7:55 depending on whether I have just come up or down.  Road does not have potholes, but it is cambered and there are little dips and spots to watch for.  Most steps I am wondering what my feet will do and how they will adjust.  Not smooth running, especially with the little hills.  But this long downhill has been awesome.  Sharp turn and OMG a steep long uphill.  Such a good time spoiler.  Trudge up and I can hear a guy talking to first woman behind me, not struggling like I am.  He passes me on the hill and encourages me.  Then the woman catches up.  I recognize the guy, he was the one giving directions at the start.  Run with first place woman for a bit, trying to not let her get ahead.

Mile 2.5 - Ahead of first place woman, now with the guy who has slowed a bit.  He clearly could be going faster.  It has not clicked in my mind yet that he is the race director and not so interested in a fast finish time.  His focus seems to be on getting me a fast time.  Gaining a little on a 13 year old ahead of us, the RD wants me to make a run for it.  In the mean time, I am just trying to hang on.

Mile 3 - Give the best surge that I have and it is not enough.  Clear that the kid will beat me.  I tell the RD to go for it and pass the kid.  He finally leaves me and goes forward.  I am happy to hold my place and not let the first woman catch me.

3.5 - 3.50 on the GPS, sprint to the end feeling good with the effort and my place.  Walk over to the timing van and get an immediate print out that lists me as 4th overall and first in my division.  It has my pace at 8:02 per mile, but my watch reads 7:49.








My brother in law is here with his food truck, so I go say hi to him and get a plate of truck fries.  Then a few minutes later I see the guy with the Mariners shirt, who went out so fast.  There were two kids ahead of me, plus Jeff the RD.  That is what put me at 4th.  What happened to this guy?  I ask him if he did start with us and go out fast.  Yes and later on he went straight and missed a turn adding about 2 miles to his race.  So sad, he came in after me.  The RD thought that he was finishing in 4th, he did not want to take a prize from the top 3.  When he found out that the super fast guy was not ahead of us, he insists that I take the 3rd place prize.  I do not argue and come home with a nice gift basket from the Cameo shop that included peanut brittle and a port wine chocolate sauce.

The rain has stopped so I stick around for a little while.  Definitely plan to come back next year.


27:24
4th place of 90
Race#415, 5.5K#1
*****




Monday, April 10, 2017

4/9/17 Blooms to Brews Marathon

 


First time here at this 3rd annual event. Jody and I drove to Woodland WA the afternoon before, so I could save 90 minutes of driving in the morning and not pay $20 for day of race packet pick up.  Hotel is nice, but sure does not save us money.  Expo was very small and we were out of there in just a few minutes.  Morning of, I get up in plenty of time and it is an easy less than a mile walk to the start, so Jody can have the car and pick me up at the finish.

Weather is cool and cloudy, not as windy as it had been.  Course is super flat.  Skagit flat.  It is scenic, but does not change much at all.  Farmland and river views.  The tulips are not blooming yet and most of the fields look to me like they are growing crab grass.

Intend to stay with the 4:30 pacer and hopefully pick it up in the second half.  I ran 4:26 at Cupcake with the second half much slower and a solo effort.  This is the largest marathon I have run in some time and will have company just about the whole way.  I intend to give it a good effort.  But since the marathon two weeks ago, my running has been blah with travel interruptions.  Hip discomfort lasted a few days and I am worried that it will flare up some miles into today.  I carry ibuprofen just in case and will walk it in if needed.

Start - Super Pacers are here and I get Super Sabrina as my 4:30 workhorse.  Prayer, National Anthem and then we are off.  Wide road parallel I-5 then over to the warehouses and meat packing plant.  Then the country roads and fields.

Mile 2- Nice little group at 4:30.  One woman will carry her phone in one hand and car keys in the other the whole way, because that is what she did in training.  She and friend from SF are running their first marathon.  Half marathon started ten minutes ago and eventually the front runners pass us.

Mile 5 - Chatting with Sabrina.  It was one year ago that she paced 4:30 at Whidbey and I stayed with her till mile 20, then moved forward for a solid finish.  Same plan today.  Long out and back here.  Surprise Tracy Marshall sighting, going so speedy!  Then Marie pacing 5:00 after we turn around.

Mile 13.1 - Really uneventful run and course.  So flat.  I get to hold the pacer pole while Sabrina takes a break.  Just like at Whidbey.  We reach the half in 2:13:30, so are a little ahead of schedule.

Mile 14 - I decide to ease on ahead a little faster, not knowing that I will regret that a later.  Pick up the pace.  Jody is at an aid station.  I try to untie the jacket around my waist but it is knotted so tight I end up slipping it down my legs to get it off.  It takes so long, that Sabrina almost catches me.  But off I go, a little lighter.

Mile 16 - A 6 mile loop.  Past a heron rookery that Jody also saw and photographed.  Gradually passing people, trying to run just under 10 minute miles.  Feeling good and mile 17 goes by in 9:32.

Mile 20 - Back on the course overlap part.  Run with a mother and daughter who will be at CCM and the Trials Legacy in Oly later this year.  Animal cookies at the aid station do not go well with gatorade that is so concentrated there are solid slushy sugar bits at the bottom.  But my stomach feels ok otherwise.

Mile 21 - Jody again at this part of the loop.  Now out onto a gravel road and it all falls apart.

Mile 23 - Tight and tired legs.  Short walk breaks start up.  The gravel road has big potholes and the wind picks up and is blowing in my face.  Pace has slowed a lot and I start to fear Sabrina.  Mile 23 marker is a tenth longer than the GPS taking away a minute I had in the bank.  I shuffle up to two walkers and complain that it is getting hard.  The woman says "it is a marathon, its supposed to be hard"  I like that line and it encourages me.  On to pavement but still into the wind for a short out and back.

Mile 24 - Now heading with the wind and it is easier but still horrible.  Saw Sabrina on the out and back and she is struggling and tried to hand me the pacer pole.  I declined with fear that I will not make 4:30 now ( I regret not taking it from her).  Discouraging but what can I do.  Just keep at it.  Now the advertised run through the flowers, but really it is on the road past a tulip farm.  A few blooms in the distance, but nothing I would name a race after.

Mile 25 - Passing me is SF woman.  Finishing so strong in her first marathon and now encouraging me.  I do get a bit of energy and am able to keep running.  Sure going to be close to 4:30.  But nothing really hurts.  The hip is doing great so I am thankful.

Mile 26 - 4:27:52 on the watch.  So a 10/mile will just get me in if it is 0.2 to go.  Looks really far.  Try to go faster.  Make the last turn and think I just might make it, but I have to sprint.

Finish - Mile 26.2 - 26.40 on the GPS.  turn off my watch at 4:29:58 but my chip time will come in at 4:29:54.  So I guess that I am all set to pace 4:30 in May :)

Recovery right after the race is tough.  Stomach hurts and I feel like sitting down.  Much harder second half and feeling than at Cupcake two weeks ago.  But there I ran a slower second half and certainly did not sprint like that at the end.  Really happy to have Jody to drive us home.

Nice little event.  But April has been my month to always try a new race, so I may not come back for a while.








4:29:54
109th place of 190
Race#414, marathon or ultra#152
****

Monday, March 27, 2017

3/26/17 Cupcake Fun Run Marathon

My first time here.  Tory has put on this race for a few years now and I am happy to finally be here.  Each year she selects a local family with needs and the race is a fundraiser for them.  This year we will support a family of a young girl with cancer.  In this age of $100 plus entry fees that are going to professional race directors it is so satisfying to have my proceeds go to a worthy cause.  Thank you Tory and Jacqui!  I think I paid $35 plus a small added donation.  And there will be all the cupcakes I can eat at the finish line.

The race starts at the Armar trail head to the Centennial Trail in Arlington/Marysville.  North of Seattle I leave home at 5AM to make sure I find the place and make the 8AM start.  Its not far off the highway and easy to find, I get there in 2 hours and have plenty of time to get ready.  It is going to rain at some point, but not at the start.  I will wear a jacket and hat and even gloves for the first couple of miles, but really it is not bad weather.

Goal is to run my own race today and beat 4:30.  Three of my last 4 marathons I have run with slower folks and enjoyed the company more than running for time.  Nothing wrong with that, but I really should see where I am at physically.

Smaller group than I expected.  There was the Dizzy Daze yesterday and Badger Mountain and the Dash Point Half, but still I expected more people.  There is Scott S, so I don't have to worry about possibly winning.  50K too, with only 3, all women.  A little tempting to upgrade to that so I can be first male, but not worth the five extra miles.  Dan counts 15 runners at the start of the marathon and 50K, so only 12 in the marathon.  The half will start thirty minutes later and be a larger race.

Course is 13.1 miles southish  on the wide paved trail and then turn around.  Very few road crossings and there will be no getting lost or confused.

Start to mile 5 - Tory gets us going and we head onto the trail.  Run with Dan for a bit, then slow a little and stay behind him.  Long very gradual uphill.  I had been expecting flat farmland like at Wooley, so I am surprised at the incline.  It goes on for a long way but is not steep.  Should be nice coming back.  Light rain now, but no wind.  Hummingbird sighting.  Then a Great Blue Heron high up in a snag.  Course goes over a few creeks and also across some wetlands.  Lots of skunk cabbage in bloom.  I should have carried a camera, this is a very scenic route.  Even pacing, trying to keep it just under 10 minutes per mile.  Catch up to Dan, the pass him.  Here is the only road crossing where we have to stop.  Push the button and wait for a walk signal.  5 mile aid station is on the other side of the crossing.  Light rain stops.

Mile 5-13.1 - Reconnect with Dan after the aid station and we run together to the turn around.  Very even pace of about 9:52 per mile.  Nice company and the miles fly by.  Aid station at mile 10 and at about mile 10.5 I realize that I am on the part of the trail that is the course for the 6 hour Invest in Youth run.  So I have been here twice before but not for three years now.  Aid station at the Machias Trail Head and I hope this is the turn around, but we are told to keep going to the stop sign and then come back.  It is another half mile.  My GPS reads 12.9 something, but Dan's is right on.  We touch the stop sign and head back.  A little drizzle but it will stop soon.  2:08 on the watch.  We both know that we will not run that fast on the way back.  I suggest a goal of a 2:20 second half.

Mile 13.1 to mile 21 - Average pace is about 9:53 and I would like to hold that for at least 5 more miles.  Dan starts to struggle though and I leave him behind.  Later when I tire, I will admit to looking back and I will see him at times.  But he will not catch me, though I will only beat him by about two minutes.  In the mean time I peel off some nice miles.  Miles 15,16 and 17 are all sub ten minutes each, with one of them being a blazing 9:44.  Pass a woman who I thought was in the race, but she is just out for a 20 mile training run.  We encourage each other and I slowly move ahead.  Slight uphills now.  Pace is steady but a little slower.  If I can make it to the aid station at a 10/mile average I should be in good shape for a sub 4:30.  Pull in to the aid station with a 9:59 pace.

Mile 21-26.2 - I was quick at filling my water bottle, but then I have to wait a little for the traffic light.  Cross the road and now I am at a 10:02 overall pace.  Not what I wanted but still feeling like I can run and I know that there are gentle downhills soon.  I am able to run slowly for long stretches and I walk just to drink or take a Cliff block.  Right hip is nagging a little.  Twice I have to walk suddenly because something goes wrong in my left hip.  It works itself out with just a few steps.  I calculate that I can do 12/mile and beat 4:30 and that should be no problem.  Run slowly for long segments of 0.7 and 0.5 miles without even looking at my watch.  Forward progress is good and I do not push myself too hard either.  A little fear that Dan or someone else will catch me, but other than that, not much motivation.  Keep plugging away and soon the finish line is in sight.

Mile 26.2 - Very happy with my pacing and endurance, considering I only had one long run of 12.6 miles (the 20K last week) in the past 4 weeks.  Right hip will be a little sore but everything else feels great considering, so I am looking forward to another marathon in two weeks.  Finish time is not that fast, but is something of a confidence booster.

Tory gives me a cool medal and a ribbon for third place male.  She says that two women beat the first man.  Plenty of cupcakes left and they are terrific.   Later, the results on Webscorer and just not right.  The official results have me at 9 minutes faster than I was, plus has a couple of people who probably were half runners mixed in there.  Not a big deal for me, I piece together my results as best I can and it does not matter.  Really nice event that I hope to return to.

4:26:02
5th place of 12?
Race#413
Marathon or Ultra # 151
*****

Saturday, March 18, 2017

3/18/17 Resolution Run 20K

This was not on my schedule, but Jody is running with Nicky this morning and I would like at least 10 miles, to get over 40 for the week.  Easy to go up to Steilacoom for the 9AM start of this small race.  $30 DOR.  Sadly they are not doing baked potatoes this year, but there will be coffee, muffins and bagels indoors after the race.

Rain and more rain.  Going to be a wet one.  Warm enough that I don't need the rain jacket, but I will wear it anyway.  And I don't plan to run fast, just a good tempo and hopefully a negative split.  Look back over my old results and realize that I have never run a 20K before.  I have done the 20 miler here a couple of times so I know the course, but I would have thought that I had done the shorter version at some point.

No warm up, I can ease into the first miles.  Plus it is dumping rain, so I wait inside as long as possible.

Start - Right on time and smooth around the track.  Not much wind at all, but lots of puddles and rain.

Mile 1 - 8:54 - Faster than I expected.  Nice group of soggy runners trying to work around any deep puddles or street creeks, trying to keep our feet dry as long as possible.

Mile 3 - 8:51 average pace.  Ease back just a little.  Gentle uphills.  Feeling good and I like the pace.

Mile 6.25 - Turn around and glad to be heading back.  8:53 average pace.  Start moving faster and gradually passing some people.

Mile 9 - Rain is letting up.  I take the hood off and charge down the hills.  Pass a couple more.  Working harder, but the average pace is only dropping a little.  Not running with anyone, just working to catch people and move along.

Mile 10 - One guy who might be in my age group has been far ahead, but I have been gaining on him.  Put on a burst and do pass him.  But now my legs start to stiffen and it just gets harder to run.  Form is bad and I am worried that he will pass me back.  I should protect my body, relax and cruise in easy, but I have not been passed by anyone in the second half and I don't intend to let that happen now.

Mile 12.5 (20K) - Fairly difficult struggle to the end, but I do finish with a negative split at 8:49 pace overall.  Not as easy as I had hoped and I expected to be a little faster.  Very quiet at the finish line, I cheer a couple of people in, then dry off and get my results.

Hardly a fun racing event, but better than a long solo run.

1:49:31
14th of 34
Race#412
***

Monday, March 13, 2017

3/12/17 Donut Dash 5K

The month of March is not going as planned.  After the DuPont Trail Marathon I was excited to run the Mountain Marathon last week.  But although DuPont went great and I held back some, the day after the race, my right hip felt like I had a pulled muscle.  Not so painful, but something to be wary of.  I rested.  Then I could run but it felt worse after that.  So more days off and on Friday I made the tough decision to not start the Mountain Marathon the next day.  I struggled with maybe running the half, but either way it is such a tough course and I did not want to be miles out there on the trail and then decide for sure that I should not finish.  So I moped around and rested all last weekend.  Gave up on my average of 40 miles a week so far this year.  By Wednesday of this past week though it was feeling much better.  On Friday I ran well and could feel nothing wrong. Too bad we were going up to White Pass for the weekend and I would not be racing.  But yesterday afternoon we decided to come back a night early and a Sunday morning 5K seemed like a great idea.

So it is $35 day of race entry but I do get a T-shirt.  And it is not raining!!  Low expectations for speed since I obviously have not done any fast work lately.  Club Oly race so lots of familiar faces both running and volunteering.  Well organized and the event goes smoothly.  I have raced this one before, but it has been a couple of years.

Two mile warm up and I feel as good as can be expected.  Mike wants me to pace him to 24 minutes.  Who knows?  

Start - Near the front on the wide road.  Go off OK and right into fast running.  Turn and watch out for the rail road tracks on the street.   No problem and off we go on the well marked, staffed and coned course.  AP sighting.

Mile 1 - 7:30 pace.  Now going gradually uphill.  Breathing is harder on me than the legs.  Trying to control my breathe but keep moving at this pace.  Legs feel surprisingly good.  We are on the Capital City Marathon course.  The Donut Dash T-shirt this year is the same color as the pacer balloons from the marathon and I can not help but think about the times I have paced the race at this spot.  Pacing I would be going about 2 and a half minutes per mile slower than this and it would be so much easier.

I am expecting this race to fly by, a 5K is so short.  But I can not see the turn around yet and the first place runners have not come past on their way back.  Then they do, and eventually I reach the turn around.  Try to take water but end up splashing my face more than drinking.

Mile 2 - 7:35 pace and I am so OK with that. Gentle downhill.  Following Grace from Club Oly, but can not catch her.  Running is hard but I feel great about my pace and nothing hurts.  Hold on as best I can, hoping to beat 24 minutes.

Mile 3.1 -  Really happy when I can see the finish line and know that I will make it.  Faster than my last two 5Ks!

I end up third out of ten in my age group and win a little bag with two gels and a blinking safety light.

23:49
36th of 318
Race#411
5K#109
*****