Sunday, July 29, 2007

7/29/07 San Francisco Marathon

Family vacation with marathon on last day. Planned this one far in advance as a way to see the city and get a race in. Arrived Thursday evening and stayed at the race headquarters hotel, easy walk to the 5:45AM start. Long all day walking and shopping on Friday. Laid low the second half of Saturday while Jody and the boys did more shopping. Great fun family time. Now it is awake in the morning darkness and off to the race. I have a calm attitude with no real expectations for a great finish time. Supposed to be a hilly course. My goal is just to enjoy it but also break four hours if possible. Dark, cool and foggy (this is SF) at the start.

Start - This race is huge!! 4,500 in the marathon but another much larger group in the 1/2 marathon. Two half marathons going on here, one for the first half of the race, the second half marathon will start later, at the midway point of the full marathon, garunteeing a crowded field thoughout. Find my corral and sit on the sidewalk till just before the start.

Mile 1 - Rolling party. Just go with the flow. I can see the 3:50 pace group ahead of me. There is no need to pass them, in fact it would be wise to make sure that I do not pass them, that will be my goal for the first miles, keep them in sight but do not pass.

Mile 3 - Nice and flat along the water. Easy way to start.

Mile 7 - Uphill and onto the Golden Gate Bridge. This is so cool, I have been looking forward to this for almost a year. We are being crowded into one lane of traffic however and are running elbow to elbow. Too crowded, too foggy, too windy, too cold.

Mile 10 - Glad to be off the bridge with more room to run and very comfortable temperature. On track with the 3:50 pace group in sight ahead.

Mile 12 - Running easy up and down some hills, I can not help but catch up with the "Cliff Bar" pacer. Nice pack of twenty or so runners, I settle in.

Mile 16 - Not thinking of the pace, just hanging with the group. Relaxed and easy, this is a fun time through Golden Gate Park.

Mile 20 - Haight/Ashbury and we are looking at some nice downhills. This is a wonderful four hour tour of the city.

Mile 22 - I am tiring now. Pace group is getting ahead of me, but not by much. Maybe 30 feet ahead of me, I could catch them if I really wanted. All of a suden a race official runs in front of me, with a roll of tape, cutting me off from the 3:50 pace group, and he directs me down another road. This is part of the rolling course closures designed to allow some traffic to get through. I will recconect with the others in a few blocks but for now I am in the lead with everyone following me.

Mile 23 - Tiring. Thinking of walking. Going uphill. Lets make a deal, I will run to the top of this rise and see what is ahead after the sharp turn and walk there if needed. Reach the top, turn right and see a just needed, beautiful downhill. Keep running.

Mile 24 - Back to full course, but the pace team is way far ahead. I had lost them when I needed them most. Hells Angels directing traffic. A few short walking breaks

Mile 25 - Baseball stadium. Onto the boardwalk, I have seen this on TV. This is where Barry Bonds hits the home runs into the water. Great distraction.

Mile 26.2 - Hang on the the end. Very pleased with time. There is the family just rolling out of bed. Shower, breakfast and BART to the airport. Great weekend, great race. I would like to run this one again.

995 of 4250

Saturday, July 21, 2007

7/21/07 Lakefair 8K

Remembering last year's hot weather, today is looking much finer though still warm. Jody, Jared (3K) Billy and Tammy. A favorite local race with a good turn out.

Start - Had a good warm up and ready charge out of the gate. Flat and around the lake.

Mile 3 - Mile markers are off and/or my GPS is off. They indicate that I am slowing but I am doing the best I can. Fun to see others at the turn around. Billy is npot far behind.

Mile 4 - Warm now. Still running strong. Watch does not seem right, just focus on running.

Finish - Turn that last corner and I can see the clock up ahead. It looks like I can acheive a PR. What a great feeling. In fact I do turn it on at the end and finish in record time. Awesome. Now wait for the others and then wait forever for the results/awards.

50th of 327

Sunday, July 15, 2007

7/15/07 Tacoma Narrows Bridge Run 5K

I am going to remember this one for a while. What craziness for a 5K.

Race was slapped together with little notice and tied into the grand opening of the new bridge. This was to be a once in a lifetime chance to walk/run across the new span. I signed up a few days before, a little anxious about my first "double" 10k/5k but decided to take it easy. Seems like they are expecting a good turnout, they have asked us to park far away and take a shuttle bus. Billy meets me at home and we ride together with Caleb and Jared.

Traffic on Highway 16. This is race traffic. Wow. Takes forever to get to the parking lot. We end up parking on a side street and having to walk quite a ways. Streams of people walking to the buses. Lines of runners waiting for buses. Thousands of people, most wearing their new bridge run t-shirts. Good thing we left the house good and early, this is amazing and I am not so sure we will make the start. We get on a crowded bus. I have decided that I will just run along with Jared so that we will not get separated. Bus drops us off at a small park, many people waiting for bathrooms, and some of my group need to use one.

It is getting close to race start, but supposedly the start is just on the other side of that small hill. We walk up, then look down at an amazing site. 10,000 people walking and lining up for the race and we are at the very end, although even more people are coming behind us. We can see masses of people far into the distance. I snap a few shots with my cell phone and as we walk and jog to try to get into a better position we realize that this is ridiculous. Where did all these "runners" come from? What a contrast to yesterday!! We keep manuevering up towars the front but the race starts before we can get much closer. Billy and Caleb take off, swerving around everybody but not making very fast progress. Jared and I take the easier route, we are passing lots of people but not working too hard. So glad I am not running this for time.

Mile 1 - Beautiful weather. Seeing lots of familiar faces. Many people walking.

Mile 1.5 - Turn around on the other side of the bridge. Miguel Galena goes flying by off to the side, swerving around all the obstacles. He could have won this thing if he had gotten to the start on time.

Mile 2 - It is hot. Jared is slowing but in good spirits. Thousands of people in front and behind us. My legs feel a little tired from yesterday, glad i am not really racing.

Mile 3.1 - Done. That was absolutely nuts. Find Billy and Caleb. We laugh. They are glad I had my yellow shirt on, so they could find me. Not what we expected. A race like none other.

Chip timing was messed up, so results for us, but it took me about 31minutes to finish. Glad that the boys got to experience the madness. Long trip back to the car and mellow trip home. Give me the Mcleary Bear Run any time over this.

?? of 10,386

Saturday, July 14, 2007

7/14/07 Mcleary Bear Run 10K

Finally, a race on my birthday. Billy, Tammy and Jody there to run and make it special. Tammy made me a personalized number bib that announced it was my big day. Nice small crowd. Looking forward to a fast time. Warm though.

Start - Had to walk a ways from the registration/finish area. Had a good warm up with Bill. Ready to head off fast.

Mile 1 - Downhill start, right turn then flat. Couple of runners in front of me, but not too many. I like these races with long sights ahead at the start so I can still see the front runner.

Mile 3 - Warming up, getting hot. Nice flat course.

Mile 5 - Sure could use some shade, and there is a little. Round the next turn and I am back where I had turned around at my warm up. Not much farther to go and I am on PR pace.

Mile 6.2 - Surge to the finish and click my watch. 44:17. Tied my PR. Tied!! Does that count as a PR or not. Its my birthday so I'll call it a PR. Brunch at the local hole in the wall and Billy and Tammy have presents for me. Nice bright yellow racing singlet. I will wear that tomorrow at the bridge run, my first back to back days racing.

7th place of about 40

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

7/4/07 Steilacoom 4 miler

Make sure I am wearing red, white and blue and hop in the car. My 7th 4 on the fourth. Jody tags along for this one. Going to be hot.

Start - Great turnout. Fly down the hill. No train this year. Try to keep up with with the crazy hat guy.

Mile 2 - I love these out and backs, get to see lots of folks.

Mile 3 - Passing a Lindburg, wow I must be having a good race. Sure is warm.

Mile 4 - There is the finish, I can see my PR click by, oh so close, but really too hot to run at my best. Almost vomit. Recover and wait for Jody. There she is...and she actually does throw up at the finish. Neat, I have never actually done that. Fun times.

60th of 264