New course for 2006. Many will complain that it is too hilly, but I rather prefer it. Much more scenic and the hills though constant are not that steep. I have been doing long runs on parts of the course since the new route was announced in December. Goal = maintain an 8:46 pace and PR. Weather = cool but threatening to warm up.
Mile 1 - Race nerves I had been experiencing all week are now gone as I am running relaxed and having fun.
Mile 4 - Say hi to John Flemm and talk neighborhood stuff for about two miles. He is running his 60th marathon and plans this to be his last.
Mile 11 - Slap a high five with volunteer Dan Cole.
Mile 14 - Back to sea level at Woodard Bay. All uphill from here. Bad place for a water stop on this hill, hard to get back to running.
Mile 20 - Starting to tire but still on pace. My GPS watch however has me at 0.2 miles farther than the mile markers. Trusting the watch has put me two minutes behind schedule.
Mile 22 - Here is the dreaded long steep "Eastside" hill. This is not good. Race volunteer tells me to keep my head up. Hadn't noticed how my head was bobbing. A few fans looking on. I struggle up the hill and start staggering a bit. Really not good or a healthy way to be. I make the decision to not risk tumbling or passing out and start walking some. I am in a very bad way, but keep moving ever upward.
Mile 23.5 - The ground is leveling off, but the running is not much easier.
Mile 25 - Cross onto Capitol Way and get ready to head for the downhill finish. Billy runs the last leg with me.
Mile 26.2 - PR by a minute and a half. Seven minutes faster than last year and that on a much hillier course. Some regrets about how the last couple of miles went, but overall a good effort.
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