Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tacoma City Marathon 5/10/08

Funny how things change in a year. Last year I was dissapointed when I heard about this race. Not that I did not want to run it, just not happy with the date being one week before Capitol City. A year ago I thought that no one could run both races, that would be crazy. Surely you would lose about 30 minutes on the second race and it would be pure misery. But then I did hear about some folks who did both, and some even ran faster on week two. A few were qualifying for the Marathon Maniacs club. I took a closer look at that club, met a few members and planned out the easiest way to get in, 3 marathons in 3 months, which seemed quite possible. That went great and it has been off to the races ever since. I have so much fun at races and am doing so many, so what if I take a hit in finishing time once in a while? It is not like I am racing to win. I will just do my best and let the chip time be what it may. Cloudy, nice temperature, no wind, who could ask for anything more?
Start - Always fearful that I am going to oversleep and miss the start but it has not happened yet. Arrive in plenty of time. Cheer on some of the early starters. See some friends. Watch the introduction of the pacers who arrive by limo. That was funny and classy at the same time. Met my pacer Steve. I am going to run with the 3:45 group which would give me an unrealistic PR by 6 minutes. But that pace is still slower that I have started the last few races, and I am still a beliver in putting some time in the bank for the inevitable crash.
Mile 2 - We have gone out faster than I thought we would, but Steve is in control now and pace has slowed down some. I am not feeling that good though. A little sluggish, feeling my legs and not really enjoying running. That is odd. I even think about just dropping out and walking back to my car. Very unusual for mile 2!!
Mile 3 - Wright Park - Always heard about it, had never seen it.
Mile 4 - Stadium High School - Always heard about it, had never seen it.
Mile 5 - Sea level - Ruston Way - Have driven and run along here a few times. Staying right with the pace group. We have put some time in the bank for the hills to come.
Mile 7 - Still not feeling so good. This should be the easiest and best part of the race where I am running comfortably, but it seems a little fast for my legs today and my stomache aches just a bit. Others in the group are talking a lot. I am hearing war stories (from Iraq), all about jet engines and radar, and arborculture. Sometimes they try to get me in the conversation but I am not that interested. I prefer short exchanges, then focus on the running. Most people get real silent later in the race and that is when I like a little conversation as a diversion. I hope that I do not bug people who are focussing on running, I am trying to be sensitive to that.
Mile 8 - Through the tunnel. I try my loon call but can not get it out properly. Big hill a coming. We maintain effort, thus slowing down, but get to the top in good shape. Someone asks if my Maniac tattoo is real. Excellent, I was hoping for that, but of course tell her the truth.
Mile 12 - In Point Defiance Park on the 5 mile drive. Long long gradual uphill. Have I really run this twice before at all out pace at the Sound to Narrows Race. I forgot how brutal that course is and now I am doing it as the middle third of a marathon.
Mile 13 -Feeling the best I have all day. Right with Pacer Steve and about 10 of us in a nice pack. I am sure that they will leave me soon, but lets at least get past Billy and Tammy so they will think I am running strong.
Mile 14.6 - There is Billy, I don't think he even saw me in the pack.
Mile 14.8- There is Tammy. Throw my sweaty hat to her and another runner joked that I was being rude.
Mile 14.9 - Up the steep hill coming out of the "dip". Tough at Sound to Narrows and tough today.
Mile 15.5 - Losing contact with Steve and the 3:45 group. Next to a woman who suggests that we need to reel them back in. I am strong enough to do that and we are back in the pack.
Mile 16 - That did not last long. Pack is getting away for good this time. Feeling warm I take off my outer shirt and tie it around my waste
Mile 16.5 - Feeling cold. Put shirt back on.
Mile 17 - First walking break. Head a little light, legs tired. Don't like all these turns in the neighborhood, can't maintain pace. Poor me.
Mile 20 - Pity party is over. Spirits are better, but today is not my day. 3:50 pacer passes me. I keep getting light headed on the uphills. Not severely so, but not something I can push through. When I walk for just a few seconds it gets much better. I am taking many short walk breaks. My pace has slowed and I take a look back expecting to see Ashley catching up, but she is nowhere in site.
Mile 21 - Oops, there she is, I knew she would catch up. Next half mile is a pleasant run together along the "trail" beside Highway 16. I think the trail is an extra lane or off ramp and others do not like it much but I do like being able to see a ways ahead and know what is coming, rather than all the quick turns alot of the course has had. As for being able to see far ahead I can now see that we are approaching another longish uphill. I encourage Ashley to keep going as I need another break.
Mile 22 - I want to be Judy Fisher when I grow up!!
Mile 23 - Pass a guy wearing a " running with diabetes" t-shirt. He has an insulin pump on and I think about asking him if I can use it for a mile or two just to see what is going on with my blood sugar. I hold my tongue but do encourage him and move on.
Mile 23.5 - Woman with my same Maniac shirt catches me. I ask her name, secretly suspecting that it is Lesa Overfield and in fact I am right. Nice to meet her and we talk a little. She beat me by 6 seconds in San Fransisco and I was hoping to meet her.
Mile 24 - What a beautiful down hill!! Legs are OK, no pains and my head is still attached. At the bottom the hill I slow a bit and send Lesa on her way.
Mile 25 - Significant de ja vu. I have run here before with these same people around me, except I have never been here before and do not know the guys I am with now. Feeling passes quickly. If I start hallucinating I will walk it in. Actually feeling happy, relaxed and running better with the shortest of walk breaks now and then.
Mile 25.7 - I have done well to not look at or negotiate with my watch. Just running as well as I can. With about a half mile to go and feeling like I could speed up I look at my watch and see that if I can do it in six minutes I will beat 4 hours. Having a blast, I pick up the pace.
Mile 26 - I know where I am!! This is where I park when I visit UWT, Here is the walk way between the buildings. Sprint around a planter box and start looking for the finish.
Mile 26.2 - Awesome finish area. I am running strong and really enjoying myself. Blow some kisses to the crowd and yell "I love Tacoma!!". Ask for two medals because I ran hard but he says I would have to do another loop. I feel like I could keep running for a while, my fuzzyheadedness caused me to slow more than my legs needed the rest. I have a new "limiting factor" to work on. Time to recover/taper for CCM.
126th of 347
race #135 marathon #19 Tacoma City Marathon #1

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For an old man, you are in good shape, Andy! Although, I would have to root for Ashley :)