Tuesday, July 22, 2014

7/19/14 Chelanman Half Marathon

This has to be my least favorite race that I keep coming back to.  4th time here.  Hot, unsafe road open to traffic, slanty pavement that will hurt my feet.  $50 pre registered entry fee.  But the age group awards are back.  And it will start earlier than before, beating the real heat and avoiding the crush of Olympic distance triathlete runners. And really, am I going to drive all the way out here to watch friends do triathlons and not jump into a half marathon if it is offered?

Jody is running the 10K and she forgot her watch, so I give her mine.  This helps to take the pressure off.  I picture myself running nice and easy and not caring about time.  Maybe I will finish strong and at least be under 1:50.

We got in last night and the smoke from the wildfires was scary.  Chelan is safe but surrounding towns were hit hard.  I feel a little guilty coming here to have fun when people are losing their homes not far away.

Meet up with the only other Half Fanatic in the race.  HF Pam is really cool.  She started running when she was 62 and seems so happy, showing off her HF gear.  We take a "group" photo.

Very short warm up and then it is time to line up.  The RD tells us to self seed by pace, but no one moves to the front.  I know that I should not be in the very front, but no one wants to step forward.  I suggest that if anyone is going to be faster than 8/mile, they should get in front of me.  I expect to go out about 8-8:30/mile.  One woman joins me and her son who looks about 11, gets in front saying that he plans to do about 6:50/mile. I am skeptical and I hope that I don't run over him.

Start -Smooth enough, but a bunch of people go screaming past me on the downhill, the sharp turn and along the hotel parking area.  Up the hill,  and on to the road.  I am running very fast and I wish that these guys had stepped up closer to the line.  Well, no one slow to pass and soon we are stretching out on the shoulder of the highway.

Mile 1 - Don't know my time, but I suspect it is too fast.  Working way harder than the easy effort I had pictured.  Three dead bats on the side of the road.  Feeling warm already.  Strong head wind. I draft a woman for a while and it really seems to help. Then I get in front of her and tell her that she can draft me if she wants.

Mile 2- Good news is that there are aid stations every mile.  I had planned to carry water, but left my bottle in the hotel and it really is fine without.  I will feel thirsty each mile.  Try to just drink a little, but by mile two I am pouring some water on my head.

Mile 3 - Not going to be a good race.  It is hot and my legs don't feel speedy.  Difficult going.  Wondering why I signed up anyway.

Mile 3.1 - 10K runners turn around.  That kid I was skeptical of is doing great!  He is one of the top 10K runners and will go on to a finish must faster than I could have done.  Hoping that Jody and Haley are having good races.

Mile 3.4 -  Nice downhill.  I can see a long way ahead.  No one in front of me for at least a quarter mile.  I count seven little specs of runners far in the distance, all close together.  Now I see that one of the seven, in a white shirt, has stopped and is off to the side.  Another runner has slowed too.  I think the white shirt person might be injured and dropping out.  She is walking back this way, the other runner has continued on.  It takes a while to get closer, then I see that it is a kid.  The poor girl is crying and the sweat and tears are just so sad.  I stop and ask if she is OK.  She missed the turn for the 10K and is super frustrated and upset.  I have a sudden strong feeling of empathy for her.  I just want things to be OK for her. I stop and tell her that it is OK, try to relax, just head back the way you came and it will all be fine. Best words of encouragement that I can think of.  We walk back together just a little way until she starts running.  She was going so fast and would have had a great 10K race.  She will end up in 79th place of 130, which is pretty awesome for a 12 year old who put in an extra two miles in the race. She was so unhappy, what if this turns into a horrible memory for her and she never races again, and wastes that obvious talent? Later I will learn that she is the sister of the fast boy and that her mother was in the half marathon not far behind me.  The mother saw me try to help her and thanked me later.  In the mean time I turn back around and start running again.  No idea how long that took, but whatever the hit on my finish time it was well worth it.  The first few steps though I am still feeling terrible for the girl.  Probably because of the difficulty I was having in my own race, her tears really affected me.  I start having my own crying fit and it takes a giant spider crossing the road in front of me, to think of Jiaxin, and my race starts to brighten up.

Mile 5 - Around a curve and an older teen boy is coming towards me on the other side of the road.  First place runner?  Wait that is super fast and he is not going so quickly.  I yell that he is really fast, and he says that the missed the 10K turn around!  He seems to be handling it better than the girl.  I don't know how anyone could go that far off course.

Mile 6 - Half mile up hill to the turn around.  Quite a hot slog up the hill.  I better not miss my turn or I might end up in Stehekin.

Mile 7 - Made the turn and heading back.  Downhill is great and on the flat after that I start to feel pretty good.  Catch a woman who is training for a marathon and plans to run 14 miles tomorrow.  We go back and forth a bit, with runners coming at us and lots of bikers on the road.

Mile 8 - With that woman and I ask her about the time.  With a little tricky math I figure that I should finish in 1:51.  Feeling good though and I expect and want to get in just under 1:50.

Mile 12.5 - Nice to not be distracted by a watch.  Hot and tired but no wall.  Give a good effort on the final hill, but the woman passes me.  Zip on down to the finish.

Finish - 1:52:43  Slower than I had thought I was going.  Second half was slower than the first half, but I felt better as it went along.  Nice to win 2nd (out of 5) in my age group.  Haley did great, exceeding her expectations.  Jody had a decent run

Two hours later we watch Bill head out for his half marathon after biking 58 miles and swimming some long distance.  An hour and 45 minutes later I walk back from the finish area and cheer runners on.  I keep walking and make it all the way to the last aid station, about 0.8 miles from the finish.  The aid station has been abandoned.  I pick up 15 cups on the ground, pour some coolish water from the jug and then find some bags of ice in a big container.  It is over 80 degrees at this point and these guys have been at it for more than 6 hours now.  I put chunks of ice on the table and each runner takes some.  Bill comes through and I jog with him most of the way to the finish.

Sunday - Tammy completes her first triathlon and may be hooked on the event.  She does great and has fun. 

23rd of 90
Race#332, Half Marathon#29, Chelanman Half #4

Monday, July 14, 2014

7/12/14 McCleary Run from the Bears 10K

3rd time here, but not since 2008.  Same course.  Supposed to be a hot one, but as I drive into Grays Harbor County, the fog is in and it is cloudy and cool before I warm up.  $5 day of race with the no T-shirt option is wonderful.

Plenty of time to gradually warm up.  I run out from the finish and notice paint on the street corresponding to mileage of some kind.  1.92, 1.86. 1.82, 1.76.  I get in two miles and feel pretty good.  Now where are the people?  The start is a quarter mile from the registration table and everyone is still milling about the table area.  Race begins at 9AM.  It is 8:45 and I am the only one near the start.  It is a small event, but there is also a 5K and a 2 mile walk.  One other runner comes by, then one more.  She asks where the start is.  We wonder what is going on and start back to the table.  Then we see a few people walking up and we go back to the start.  A few minutes later, still only a couple of us here so she and I set out again.  I am relaxed but she seems to be stressing that we are going to miss the race.  8:58AM and 4 more people are walking up the road, looks like more farther back, but no one in a rush.  Ok we will just start a little late.  See my niece's neighbor Mike. Other than him and Shawna, I do not know anybody here.

9:10AM  Start - We are finally gathered at the start and ready to go.  Policeman says that he will lead the way and then patrol the roads but be careful as the roads are open to traffic. I am up at the front and after a dramatic "on your mark....get set...go!" we are off.

Mile 0.2 - Out the side street and onto the main road.  There is a wider shoulder on the right and we will be turning right real soon, so I move to the right side of the road.  The runners ahead of me have stayed to the left and I don't know what is going on behind me.  I feel like I am all alone.  Soon enough we turn right and all of us hug the edge of the road through the main part of town.

Mile 0.5 - Three runners are already well ahead of me, and one other is just ahead.  I gradually catch and pass her.  Running pretty hard, but it is a 10K race.

Mile 1.0 - 7:15. Almost as fast as last week and that was a downhill start.  Worried that I will slow, but not much I can do about it now.  One of the three ahead of me has turned around as he is doing the 5K.  That puts me in third place.  One man and one woman ahead and getting smaller by the minute.

Mile 2 - Right turn with a few spectators and I can not help but look back.  Yikes!  A man and a woman about 100 feet back. 

Mile 3-4.5 - Country road.  Pushing as best I can.  Really trying to focus on my form.  Don't let my mind wander.  There is a guy putting a stool out on the street with a free sign.  It would be funny to sit in the chair real quick.  Stop thinking about this and get back to thinking about running.  Make this an exercise in concentration.  When I focus on form I go faster.  At times I can sense and maybe hear the runners behind me.  I am slowing a bit but not too bad.  I think that they will catch me.  Don't look back, that will only encourage them.  5th place is still good.  But not as good as 3rd.  I will not relent.  Aid station up ahead.

Mile 4.5 - Aid station.  I can not help it, I look back and yikes!  The two runners are a little closer.  Definitely too close for comfort. Warmer now and I pour some water on my head and drink a little.  Make it to the turn and decide to put on a surge around the bend.  I run as fast as I can for a bit, hoping that when my chasers get to the turn after they get their water, they will see that I am farther ahead and hopefully out of reach.  Bit of strategery here and I can only hope that it will work.  Now back to my comfortably hard pace.  No pains, just can't make the legs go any faster.

Mile 5.5 - Onto the road home.  Construction painting here.  1.22. 1.26, 1.32, 1.36, 1.42.....I remember that the finish line is about 1.92 so I know how far I have to go.  Curve in the road, I cross over to take the inside tangent and be on the same side as the finish line.  Bit of a downhill, now overlap where we started, quick look back to see that I am locked into third place and then sprint to the finish.

Finish - Mile 6.2 (6.17 on the GPS)  Average pace of 7:28 is faster than my pace for the 4 miler last week.  Flatter course, but I really did feel better today.  90 seconds slower than I was here 6 years ago, but I am very pleased with my time.  Cheer on the finishers.  Awards only for the top male and female, so I go home empty handed, but happy.

3rd place of 25
Race#331, Bear 10K #3

Monday, July 7, 2014

7/4/14 4 on the 4th - Steailacoom

4th of July tradition that I have not done since 2008.  A week ago I figured that I would slip out of the sleeping Hood Canal house early and be back as people were just getting up.  Then Tammy mentioned wanting to do the race and that she would make Bill do it.  Since the three of us planned to run it, Jody joined in.  Then to my great surprise I learned that Jared and Kay would also join in the fun.  Jared and Kay drove up from Oly and the four "adults" left the Canal at 7AM in plenty of time for the 9AM start.

$12.69 pre-registered price.  Nice weather, a little warm in the sun.  Much larger crowd than I expected.  There is now a 4th of July race in DuPont and Tacoma, but lots of runners here, plus the whole parade and marketplace thing going on.  Bill and I warm up for a good mile and a half and then wait for the start.  Lots of running friends here.  Fun to see Jeff, a graduate of mine, who later discovered that he is really fast.

Start - It is crowded but we move off alright.  Screaming downhill, I try to reign it in a little.  See Bill ahead and keep him a few feet behind me.

Mile 0.5 - Ha, there is Tammy.  She went flying for the first bit.  I pass her and dodge a few people to keep up with Bill.

Mile 1.0 - 7:15 - I was expecting faster, with the downhill and by my effort.  It is only going to slow from here.  I put on a sprint, intending to get even with Bill and run with him.  But I feel like I want to extend the sprint and I get a few steps ahead of him.

Mile 2.0 - 2.1 on the GPS.  The turn around is father along that in the previous years that I have run this.  But perhaps they moved the start up a little too.  With the same little pack.  Reach the turn around and head back.

Mile 3.0 - Bill on my tail.  A little kid putting on spurts and trying to block any of us who try to pass him.  He makes it difficult for me to run the tangents.

Mile 3.5 - I slow on the uphill and Bill passes me.  I knew that he would do that. I picture all his biking giving him better strength up the hills.  I yell something about "not so fast" and put on my own surge.  I get past him, but it was too much for me, I am toast.  I keep trying, but he extends the lead and beats me by about 9 seconds.

Finish - Mile 4.0 - 4.15 on the GPS.  I had hoped and expected to be under a 7:30/mile pace.  Based on the GPS my pace was 7:35/mile.  Based on a 4 mile course, my pace was 7:52/mile.  No aches or pains, and no huge fatigue, just not able to run fast today.  Fun time going back and forth with Bill and I am not sore that he beat me.  Cheer on Jody, Kay and and Jared.

31:24 but I suspect a long course
82nd of 371 
8th of 19 in age group
Race #330 
4 on the Fourth # 9

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fathers Day 5K Olympia

First time event, organized by the Capital Christian Church.  Isaac told me about it, I had not seen it on any race calendars.  The last time I know that I ran a race with Isaac was in 2001.  Day of race registration is a mere $10 and includes a T-shirt.  Since I was not sure I would be able to race this weekend, this is a way better deal that trekking up to Tacoma for StN and paying $40 plus parking.  Chambers Trailhead is close to home and I will get back early for family time.

Out and back on the paved Chehalis Western trail.  Since it is a first time event, put on by a church, I do not have great expectations for organization.  I will just enjoy it as a fun run.  Also I did marathons on the last two weekends, my legs are tired and I have not done speed work in a long time.

I get there plenty early and sign up is easy.  Time for a 2 mile warm up, then change into racing shoes.  They do have things well organized and we start right on time.

Start - It is a small race and a fairly wide trail so I do not line up right in the front.  We go off and I immediately wish that I had started closer to the line.Some people start by walking and others are starting very slowly.  I bump into the guy in front of me who had bumped into the guy in front of him as we come to a sudden stop.  Nothing bad really and soon we are running.  After about 30 seconds of assessing the situation I go to the far left of the course and zoom past a big cluster.  Now room to run and a few guys are already getting quite a bit ahead of me.

Mile 0.5 - Pass a few and now gaining on the second place runner.  I am able to pass him and get into a solid second place.  First place is a young guy (later I will learn that he is 14 years old)  who is out of reach but not gaining much more distance.  My only hope is that he falls apart in the second half.

Mile 1 - Working hard and maintaining second place while number one is the same distance ahead.  Stinging nettles reach out onto the trail and I consider brushing against them to distract myself from the effort of holding this pace.

Mile 1.35 - I can see number one at the turn around.  He stops to drink at the aid station.  He starts again and then turns around to properly cross the line, as directed by the volunteer.  This lets me get a little closer.  When I reach the table I get a quick drink and make sure to cross the line while turning around.  I can see the volunteer's eyes on my feet, keeping us all honest.  Start heading back and I can see that I have a large lead on number three.  Number three is farther back from me, than I am from number 1.

Mile 2 - The first place guy is getting faster now and will clearly win.  I try to count runners heading out but give up with some large packs.  There are bout 60 I estimate.  Some want to high five me and I oblige.  One tells me to "catch that kid", which is exactly the type of thing that I would say to someone in that situation.  Another person tells me that I will get the silver medal.  I like that

Finish - Surprised to see 21:00 on the watch.  Then I see that the mileage on the GPS is only 2.84 miles.  That would still give me a 22 something on an accurate course and I am very happy with that.  I congratulate the winner.  Watch and cheer for the runners coming in.  Great vibe from the volunteers and participants.  No timing or place recording though.  That makes it easy for them.  The website clearly stated that there would be awards for the first male and female and the first family that finishes.  They do have those prizes and those are the only runners that they need to keep track of.  I like this idea for a small event like this.  Maybe they could just have a big clock going so people could see their finish times as they cross the line.  It was a nice event and way to get some speed work in.  Really great to see lots of non serious runners of all ages out there getting excercise and enjoyo=ing the outdoors

2nd of about 60

Monday, June 9, 2014

6/7/14 Green River Marathon

I ran this last year and it was OK but I did not care for the course.  Last year I tried to run fast and had a major meltdown.  That probably affected my attitude about the race.  I decided to come back and just have fun.  I ran hard at NODM six days ago so I expect to have a slow one today.  4:45 sounds about right.

It is still a free race, with plenty of aid stations every 2.5 miles.  It is point to point, so I drive to the finish at Alki Beach in West Seattle, and hope to find a ride to the start.  Last year it was no problem.  This year it takes a little longer, but I do get a lift.

Mostly sunny and it is going to get warm.  Nice enough at the 8:30 start.

Start - Number 8 sharpied onto my arm (why waste money on race bibs?) and soon we are off on the paved trail along the river.  I fall in with Maniac Jay who I had not met before.  We talk most of the way to mile 5, then he gets ahead.

Mile 5-13.1 - Running with Micaela.  We miss our friend Tracy who could not make it today. Running faster than I should.  It started with Jay, and now Micaela, going at a very steady but unwise pace.  I know that I am setting myself up for another epic blow up.  But I feel really good.  No aches and no soreness from the last race.  I  have been a step behind Micaela most of the way and trying to bring myself to go slower.  Now very suddenly she starts walking (before an aid station) and tells me to keep going.  I do continue running but am now able to slow the pace some.  Micaela will finish just a few minutes behind me.

Mile 13.1 - 21 - Setting my own pace.  Warming up but not too hot.  I am pouring some water on my head and I am glad that I have a small hand held bottle.  Remembering where I blew up last year and every step onward I feel happier that this is going better.  Just a long ugly stretch of course and then the nice Alki beach front.  First part of the ugly stretch is a long straight shot on the side of the highway.  I can see an exit sign far ahead and decide to try to go that far with no walk breaks.  I make it, no problem.  I continue running and only walk a bit later when I need to take a gel.  I have walked through the aid stations and walked while taking an S!Cap every 5 miles and gel every 7 miles.  Past Pedro's Tire Shop.  Now wait at a cross walk and then up the steepest hill on the course.  I run most of it and it is not as bad as last year.  The next couple of miles go really well.  Other than the heat, I am doing fine.  Catch early starters Tim and Wendy.  Tim tries to get Wendy to run with me but she does not want to leave her Dad yet.  Next I catch up to Joe and Nikki.  They have their dog and are helping a friend to his first marathon.  I would never pick this as a first marathon, but it is legit and he will get it done.

Mile 21 - 26.2 - Another wait at a crosswalk.  Wendy catches up to me.  She decided to do some running after all.  We are about the same in marathon times recently, but since she took the early start and has been walking with her Dad she is much fresher than I am.  But we run together for a long way.  It is great company and I am surprised that we just talk and I am able to run all the way up the big hill and a good couple of miles without walking.  We do have to stop forever at a traffic light.  So what I expected to be miserable miles to the finish turn out to be most pleasant.  Monte sighting.  I decide to beat last years time of 4:24 and it looks like it will be no problem.  At about 24.5 I decide to walk a bit and she continues on.  It is a beautiful day along the waterfront, lots of people out, but no one gets in the way of our race.  I can see far ahead to the finish and make it without any problems.  So happy to have no pains or super low energy events.  Since I felt good, and had company most of the way, I did not mind the ugly course as much as I had last year.  I actually feel like I could come back and run this one again.  26.19 on the GPS

63rd place of 168
Race#328, marathon or ultra#112, Green River Marathon#2, 100th marathon in Washington State

Monday, June 2, 2014

6/1/14 North Olympic Discovery Marathon

4th time here, but the last time was in 2011.  Course change for this year finally eliminates the big loop in Sequim and starts farther out on the North Olympic Discovery paved trail.  We will start in Blyn, at the tribal community center, then it is an almost straight west route to Port Angeles.  Clouds will burn off early, it will warm up, be very bright and I will get sunburned on my shoulders.

Jody is running the 10K.  We had a fun day yesterday hiking to the Sol Duc Falls and enjoying the famous Sol Duc hot springs.  Jody gets me to the shuttle bus on time for the long ride to Blyn.  Nice indoor waiting area. Chat with Deb and Ginger.  Pose for the Maniac photo.

Start - We start on a road and soon narrow down to the trail.  There are pacers and I decide to stay behind the 4:00 pacer.  I would love to break 4 hours today, but am very unsure of what I can do.  After running conservatively in the last few marathons and ultras, I am going to go for it today.

Mile 0.5 - With Ginger.  Over a bridge and halfway through it starts to bounce up and down.  It does not look like the kind of bridge that would wobble, and it takes me a few steps to realize that it is the bridge and not my legs giving out.  It just gets scary with a huge buckle when I am safe on the other side.

Mile 2 - 4:00 group is getting away so I pick up the pace and leave Ginger behind.  I won't see her again until she finishes 3 minutes behind me.  There is a fairly large group with Josh the 4:00 pacer.  I do not like being in so close, so I hang with them about ten feet back. 

Mile 3 - Hillier than I expected.  Fairly major uphill.  Then a steep down to a creek bed and steeply up.  Josh's strategy is to run an even pace the whole way.  The uphill is so steep that I just can not stay with him.  I have to speed up later to get back even.  He also will not slow at the aid stations and I like to take my time there.  Even when we are just running along at 9:10 pace, it seems fast to me.  I am pretty sure that I am setting myself up for a bad second half.  This pace right now, while doable, seems a little to hard to maintain for 26 miles.

Mile 5-8 Long straight stretch on the road through Sequim.

Mile 9 - Back to farm land.  Lots of sunshine and warm.  Pass a pair of bald eagles perched together in a tree.  Right turn and some wind in our faces.  I suggest to a first time marathoner, Ariel, that she get up closer to the pack and draft us for this section.  Another guy in our pack looks young.  I ask his age, 16, and I compliment him on his smart running for this first marathon.  He is sticking to Josh when I know that he could have gone out faster.

Mile 16 - Still all hanging together in the hot sun.  I know that there are 5 miles of torture ahead and then 5 easy miles.  For the first steep creek bed I charge ahead of the group on the downhill to put a little time in the bank for the immediate uphill.  It is very steep down and hard to run effectively.  I do get ahead but halfway up the hill I am pretty much walking and Josh comes prancing past.  He says that I will catch up to him, but alas I am starting to struggle.

Mile 18 - I have been fighting to catch up to 4:00.  I really have tried.  But tightening legs and a little nausea are slowing me down.  My head is a little fuzzy and I have this fear that if I really push it I could end up on the ground.  There is still far to go.  I remember 2011, falling apart right here as well.  MM1 and MM111 passed me here.  I had given  up on a 4:00 that day, but rallied later and finished in 3:59.  So I should not quit quite yet.  I struggle on.

Mile 20.5 - The final and steepest creek crossing.  After the twisty uphills of miles 18-20, I am really feeling it and I walk much of the uphill out of the creek.  It should get easier from here.

Mile 21- The nice long downhill, but I am too out of it to really enjoy it.  Inner thighs are tight.  I am starting to pass more and more half marathon walkers.  I am taking walk breaks myself but at times I get into a nice slow running groove.  For every marathoner that is passing me, I am passing about ten halfers, so it is not as depressing as it could be.

Mile 23 - Long view along the coast to the finish line.  I pass the 16 year old who is walking.  Leapfrog another guy who started out very fast and is having an epic crash.  Ariel catches up to me.  The hills did her in too but now she has rallied.  As I continue having to take short walk breaks she will finish strong, three minutes ahead of me.  The final miles are a mix of suffering with companions and enjoying the scenery.  Another bald eagle.  I am also working hard, just not moving very fast.

Mile 25 - The 4:10 pacer catches me.  I ask her what took her so long.  I am able to run with her for about a quarter of a mile, then I really need a short break.  I still have hopes of beating 4:10 as I work out the last mile. 

Mile 26.2 - 4:10 slips away, but the crowd at the finish encourages me and I finish in good spirits. 26.12 on the GPS.  I had been careful the whole way to run the tangents.  I wish that I could have been faster but I am OK with this time.  It is my fastest marathon in a year.  Now to rest up, I am registered for the Green River Marathon in 6 days.  I will relax and run a slow one there for sure.

Marathon or ultra#111
Race# 327

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

5/18/14 Capital City Marathon

Pacing 4:45 this year, same as last year.  Should be easy and fun.  I do take the pacing duties seriously and will click off steady 10:50 miles while encouraging those around me.  It makes me a little nervous, but it is a rewarding experience.  This should also serve as a good long run, then I can try to be fast at NODM in two weeks.

Weather is supposed to be showers, but it is dry at the start and sunny.  It will warm up and stay sunny for my whole race.  Hot enough that I will be pouring water on my head from the halfway point on.

6:30AM - get my pacer balloon, greet many friends.  Hometown race and Marathon Maniacs all over the place.  Angela will pace with me and also Carrie.  Fun people, but neither has actually gone sub 4:45 before.  Should be interesting to see what happens.

Start - Before starting I meet a first time marathoner, Mike, who wants to stick with me.  A couple of other first timers are near us as we set off.  Smooth start and we hit pace right away.  13 second differential between chip and gun time.  I will pace for gun time.

Mile 5 - Bright sun, wishing I had sunglasses.  Mike is still with me.  Also first timer Heather and second time marathoner Brittany. 

Mile 8 - Slight course change has us taking the tangent across East Bay Drive.  I see a port-a-potty up ahead and decide that this would be a convenient time to take care of business.  I see Tom duck in there before I get there, so I tease him yelling for him to hurry up.  Carrie had reminded me of the balloon on long string as I went in, but I totally forgot about it on the way out.  The door slams shut and the balloon stays in the outhouse, stripped from my singlet.  I retrieve it and carry it a half mile as I pick up the pace to catch up.  Lisa and Tom retie me and I am good to go.

Mile 10 - Boston Harbor hill.  Angela starts to fall behind.  Nothing I can do about it.

Mile 12 - Volunteer Dan Cole - Same place every year

Mile 15 - Heather is still with us and her family is here to cheer.  Now the long slight up hill on Lemon Road. 

Mile 18 - Just me and Carrie.  We are passing some people but none can stay with us.  The three who started with us are falling behind.  They will all finish in good spirits.  I am running fine, but it is not as easy as it was three hours ago.  Makes me wonder how fast I could go, and I am doubting a sub 4 finish any time soon.  Lance Wineka sighting.

Mile 21 - Heidi Perry sighting.  Thanks to all the great volunteers

Mile 23 - Pass my pal Deb on the long uphill.  She is doing her 4th marathon in 4 weeks and will finish right behind me.  Carrie is struggling.  I have been promising a walk break, but would like to get farther than halfway up this hill.  She thinks that she can not keep up, and pops her balloon so that she will not be recognized as a pacer.

Mile 24 - Catch a first timer named Jay and he is able to stay with me.  Anyone who is running this pace right now should be able to finish ahead of me, since there is the long downhill to the finish.  Carrie catches back up!!  She and I will finish together.  So happy for her.  Now the exciting final two miles.

Mile 25.5 - Hard to judge speed and finish time from here.  Looks like we are a little ahead.  Now it seems like we will finish a full minute ahead.  We walk and jog and walk across the line. 

Mile 26.2 (26.49 on the GPS) - Better to be 45 seconds early than 45 seconds late.  I wait for those who could not quite keep up and it is fun to see them finish.  The weather is still terrific so I stay around the finish area for a while.

So cool that Jody ran the 5 mile race and got an award for third in her age group!!

Great fun day for me and I hope to pace here again.

4:44:22 gun time, 4:44:13 chip time
196th place  of 274
Marathon or ultra#110
Capital City Marathon #11
Capital City Event #14