Saturday, October 27, 2007

10/27/07 Ghostmuster 5K

My 7th Ghostmuster 5K. Always on the same day as the kids school Halloween party so we always have to rush out ASAP. Quality race put on by Thurston County Parks and Recreation. Small crowd with many slower folks and a good chance for a ribbon. Cold but dry.

Mile 1 - Off like a shot and running at 6:50 pace. Good number of runners all around me. Some turn off to do the 10K route, many are still with me here.

Mile 1.5 - Familiar course. I know eactly where this is going and I am pumping along nicely. Shaping up to be a good run. Both Lindbergs are just behind me, another guy is right on my tail but will not pass me.

Mile 2 - Guy tries to make his move past me but I surge ahead. Such a short race, no need to hold anything back. I will try as hard as I can to not let anyone pass me. I break away from the sticky guy.

Mile 3 - Here is the finish, keep going strong, nobody behind me is going to catch me.

Mile 3.1 - Strong finish and good running for the entire race. Almost vomit. Lindberg brother approaches me and says that I ran great and smart, that really means a lot to me, it is a rare day that I can best him. Tammy is waiting at the finish, she seems concerned about me. Now we wait, but not long for Billy. He has run a good race too. Now things get even more memorable:

Jody should be along soon. Really any time now. Billy and I decide to jog back and see her near the end, we jog a half mile or so. Runners are getting slower. No sign of jody. Fast 10K guys are zooming past, still no sign of my woman. I start to worry a little. She must have gotten hurt and is walking. We jog back to the finish and wait more. Finally we hop in Bill's truck to drive the course in reverse, after checking with the race officials to see if they know anything. About 1.5 miles from the finish there she is chugging along. Took the 10K turn and ran all the way to the 3.1 mile turn around before realizing! She must have really been in the zone. She ran on in and rather enjoyed herself.

8th place of 88 runners
2nd in age group ribbon

Saturday, October 20, 2007

10/20/07 Halloween 10 miler

Back to Millersylvania State Park for the traditional "holiday" race by Bob Green. One of the few 10 milers around, most other runners doing a full marathon or half or 10K or 5K. Best chance for me to actually win a race is to pick a low turn out holiday distance and hope nobody fast shows up. That 10Mile PR has been sitting out there for ten years now and should be breakable, but I am still recovering from recent marathons. Heavy rain and wind.

Start - Saw the early marathoners leave and I feel a little guilty. I am a Marathon Maniac now, shouldn't I be runnning the full distance? I feel like I am missing out on something. Anyway we try to sort out who is running what race. Just a few of us on ten miles. One young guy says that he has never run that far but he looks rather fit.

Mile 1 - out of the park and on to the dangerous roads. The fit guy is well in front of me but he misses the first turn and has to come back, pulling him closer.

Mile 3 - After the 5K turnaround and the 10K turnaround I know that I am in 2nd place overall, not too far behind. I had been running with a youg kid who was doing great on the 10K, I encouraged him and he seemed to be pacing well.

Mile 4 - Rainy and wet. Shoes are soggy and heavy and slowing me down. Legs are not fresh and I am just not quite able to keep PR pace.

Mile 6-10 - Working hard and in good spirits but not an exceptional running day. Very glad that I am not running the full marathon in this weather. Just can not catch the top runner, not even close enough to make it interesting though he was in my sights the whole way. Good to get out and run, happy to have raced. I drive slowly home along the course and encourage the lonely marathoners. Rain has stopped but they look rather soggy. Van Phan is pushing along her 40 something marathon or ultra of the year.

2nd overall of 5 runners

Saturday, October 13, 2007

10/13/07 Glove Run 5K

Six days post Bellingham Marathon. Yellow Marathon Maniac club singlet arrived on Wednesday. So what if it is a 5K, I need to wear it at this race. I always enjoy the glove run. Gloves, loaves of bread and hot cereal. My 6th Glove Run. Usual Steilacoom crowd, nice October weather. Faster runners mostly do the 10K but this is a traditional 5K race for me. Cool and foggy.

Mile 1 - I have started conservatively. Had a good pre-race warm up and the first mile has gone smoothly.

Mile 2 - This sure is shorter than a marathon!! How could this be almost over. Pace is good. I've had a few comments about the shirt, one race volunteer said that I should be able to handle this distance. No duh.

Mile 3.1 - Good stong kick at the end. 6:57 pace overall. Any time I can go sub 7 for a 5K that is good. I end up with a "first in age group" ribbon and am psyched that I could run that fast so soon after B'ham.

9th of 56 runners

Sunday, October 7, 2007

10/7/07 Bellingham Bay Marathon

The whole family drove up to stay with Jody's Dad and watch me knock off marathon number 3 within 3 months, thus gaining entry into the Marathon Maniacs club. I followed the weather report with apprehension and had trouble sleeping the night before the race, listening to the wind and rain lash against the house. So happy to see it dry in the morning.

I arrived early and got preferred parking in the heated garage. The wind was blowing fiercely and had knocked over a whole row of porta-potties. Gusts were at least 30-40 mph. I found a secret bathroom in the office building, and stayed indoors until just before the start.

Start - Two of the main maniacs were there and I introduced myself.

Mile 1 - Running right into the wind. This is fairly comical. I feel great but I suspect that the wind will zap my energy.

Mile 3 - Cool boardwalk over the water, furious winds directly in my face. Having a fun time though and not stressing about it.

Mile 7 - That was a seriously steep uphill back there, but a few persons have mentioned that the real steep one is yet to come. Lots of 1/2 marathon runners with us as both races started at the same time. This neighborhood is sort of boring and I swear we are running in circles.

Mile 10 - The California street hill. Super steep but short, then on to a gravel and dirt trail. I had thought it would be a paved trail, but this is OK. Except for all of the downed leaves and small branches. Some escape from the wind.

Mile 14 - Out and back on the trail. Some very steep parts that I was not expecting. Hey guys, I am not a trail runner yet. One of the downs and ups could have easily had a bridge over it.

Mile 15 - Pass a maniac heading out still. That will be me soon, wearing that silly shirt.

Mile 19 - Back on the roads and wind. Slowing down and running alone.

Mile 22 - Trudging along and spacing out I am shocked back to reality as a transformer blows up directly above my head. I thought it was a gunshot at first and I sure managed to run faster for a little way. Shared a moment of increduality with some spectators just down the road.

Mile 23 - Turn down to the water and back onto that boardwalk. This time strong tail winds pushing me to the finish.......

Mile 24 - Except that we have to go right past the finish and run a little two mile loop, ensuring that the last mile will be back into the head wind. Caleb, Jared, Connie and Jody are there to cheer for me.

Mile 25 - Meet a nice guy from somewhere in the south, we keep trading places and encouraging each other. Pigtails scoots on past.

Mile 26.2 - There is the family and there is the end. Rain held off. Wind is getting worse. I need to get inside. Finish time was not so hot, but I can blame it on the weather and the unexpected steep hills. A difficult but rewarding day. This was the inagural race and part of me wants to say I ran it every year, but mostly I do not feel a need to come back. Time will tell.

108th of 379 runners