My hometown race is still one of my favorites. Organizers do a terrific job and I get to run with Maniac friends, local Olympia running friends, and I always know many of the spectators and volunteers. No shirt or medal, but we get a nice hooded jacket, luggage tag and a commemorative coaster. Living so close I can almost sleep in and make it to the 7AM start. I know where to park and it is a stress free time getting in place to run. It has been warm, but is cloudy now and won't get as hot as previous years, though a little warm for optimal running. I do not have to decide what to wear as I am sure I will be fine with just a tank top and there is no chance of rain.
It has been two weeks since the Tacoma Marathon and I am not quite fully recovered. One week ago we went to California and I spent three long days at amusement parks. I wore the GPS on two days and know that I walked over 12 miles each of those days. Add the time on feet waiting on lines and I do know that my feet ached each evening. After 4 days of no running, but lots of walking, and too much fast food, I went for a 4 mile run on Thursday. It was horrible. I felt so tired and off, it was a real struggle. Ran three miles on Friday and it was a little better but still an effort. Also feeling some cold symptoms, a little sore throat and general weakness at times. So I took Saturday off and here I am Sunday contemplating a PR attempt. Recently I have seen people run some very fast races somewhat unexpectedly. I am thinking that I will not know if it is my day unless I try. Probably best to wait till the next race and play this one safer, but I feel OK this morning. I'll start off with M761 which will be at my PR pace, and if I feel lousy after a couple of miles I'll drop back to a slower pace.
Start - I find lots of friends and eventually M761 just before the start. With the half marathon starting a little later and having a sold out event, there is a large crowd of spectators to see us off. We are positioned well and it is a smooth send off.
Mile 7 - I don't feel horrible but I don't feel great either. Just running along at a steady pace. Plenty of space on the scenic country roads. We run a bit with Arthur from the UK who ran the Windemere/Spokane Marathon yesterday.
Mile 14 - Not much to write about. Beautiful day. Flowers in bloom. Can't decide if this course is hillier than Tacoma, they both sure have some ups and downs. Letting M761 set the pace, I'm not really focused on the watch, but I do realize that we on my PR pace. As much as I do not need/want an entourage of support staff to run/bike with me and cheer for me, its good to be with one or two other people side by side and not all alone.
Mile 17 - Mild stomach issues. I think it is the Ultima drink and perhaps I am downing more fluids than I can handle. Its warm and I start pouring a little water on my head at each aid station. The stations are two miles apart and I begin to look forward to each one more and more.
Mile 2o - More stomach issues and now plain old tiredness. The pace has slowed, what with walking through the aid stations and I will not get that PR. Still moving OK and it could be a good run after all.
Mile 22 - Liked the big downhill, but now I face the dreaded Eastside Hill. It starts with just a little bump, but that is hard enough. M761 continues at an even pace while I really start to falter. Now come the walk breaks.
Mile 23 - Still moving uphill. I am passing lots of half marathon walkers so it is not as evident that I am being passed by marathoners. Everyone is slow going up this hill.
Mile 23.5 - Same little girl at the same place as last year with her tiny cups of cold water. I tell her thank you and that I remember her from last year. Hook up with two runners that I had passed some miles ago. We get a little conversation going and it helps me stay with them.
Mile 24 - Sudden severe muscle cramp in my right groin area catches me in mid stride. It goes away as I walk but it will happen two more times while running and each time give me a great excuse to walk a bit. Run/walk/shuffle on.
Mile 25 - I had been very confident of beating 4 hours and am still sure that I will make it, however the closer I get to the finish, the more I realize that I need to keep moving to even make that goal.
Mile 25.5 - Love the view down Capital Blvd as I see the finish and a good crowd cheering. Get in just under 4 hours and am satisfied that I "went for it" but just did not have the right stuff today. I slowed so much after mile 22 that M761 beat me by seven minutes.
Finish - Find Jody, who did well in the half, and then stay for a long while cheering in the rest of the finishers. Thanks to David Gardner for taking the photos. And happy that Deb Gardner did not catch up and tap me on the shoulder like I deserved, it sure was close though. Next race should be the North Olympic Discovery Marathon on June 6.
Marathon or Ultra #48