Sunday, November 28, 2010

11-28-10 Seattle Marathon

My third time here. Five years ago I ran this seven weeks after Portland and was concerned about how it would go, running marathons so close together. This year I ran a marathon five weeks ago and I am concerned that it is too far apart. I got in an OK long run on the trails two weeks ago, then the weather turned icy and nasty and all training fell apart. In a way it is good as some minor aches have gone away. I mostly want to have fun today and to beat four hours is always a goal.

I have a trash bag with me to convert into a rain poncho if needed, but it looks like we will luck out and be dry. It is cold so I have my jacket, hat and gloves. Eight fig newtons in my pockets and some S!Caps, but no Gu or energy gel. This is a continuation of my nutritional experiment from the last marathon that went very well.

1.3 mile walk from the condo to the start line. I time it well and get to see the huge race that is the half marathon go by. Jennifer Seward sighting. Then cluster around with other Maniacs. This race draws so many club members and with its two out and back sections it is really fun to see everybody. At least eight people that I know are completing a "Quadzilla" today which is four marathons in four days. Three of those will go on to run much faster than me today. Another friend will finally get that elusive BQ after much effort and deliberate training. One of my students is here running his first marathon. He will catch up to me at mile 2.5 and run with me until mile 4. Then he will blaze on much too fast. I expect him to come back at some point, but will he?

Start - Well organized race and it is a smooth start. M761 finds me just before we are released. Run with her and M111 for a bit

Mile 1 - I managed to not run into a monorail support, goal number one accomplished today. M111 goes off faster. He is finishing the quad today. Twice this year he passed me late in a race, even though he was on the second day of a double. I thought that maybe after a triple we might be about the same speed, but he is way ahead now and I will not see him till after the finish.

Mile 2.5 - Half Marathon walkers are not a problem this year as they are on a different highway ramp. I do not like all this concrete, but I feel good.

Mile 4 - In the Express lane tunnel. Lose GPS signal. My student gets ahead at a water stop and I do not try to keep up. Suddenly I am surrounded by three members of the Kuhlmann family. Fun to see that M761's siblings are getting faster.

Mile 6 - On the I-90 bridge. Very little wind which is a good thing. Holding a steady pace, a little faster than I should be, but not too bad.

Mile 8 - Bob Dolphin sighting.

Mile 13.1 - Nice steady running. Hit the half at 1:56 and change. Two minutes faster than I had planned, but well within range.

Mile 14.5 - Pass two guys who are walking and I overhear one say "Maybe if we had trained this would have gone better".

Mile 18.5 - Starting to tire. Legs a little stiff. I encourage M761 to go on ahead. I keep running though, holding pace. Soon I catch Maniac Lesa and we run together. Like M761 she is great company for me. Don't have to talk all the time and I know that her finish times are similar to mine. Big hill here I had forgotten about. I had been waiting for the super steep Galen street hill, but there is a big one now that takes a little out of me.

Mile 20.5 - Galen street hill. So steep it is crazy. At least it is short. As soon as I start climbing I can feel both my calves tighten up. Not quite a cramp, but something seriously different. Able to keep running, we level off then climb the longer but less steep Madison street. Now both legs are tightening up all up and down. A little painful but mostly just uncomfortable.

Mile 22 - Downhill, now back up through the arboretum. Climbing, twisting road. Seems to level off, then goes up again. Tough to keep moving but I do not stop to walk and I am passing lots of walkers. My running pace has slowed and runners are passing me but I'd like to not walk and I think that I will have to do so if I am to beat four hours. Plus I may get "pigtailed" or "kimpossibled" if I slow any more. Large photos and memorial signs from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on both sides of the road. I think of their suffering and how minor mine is and I move a little faster.

Mile 24 - More downhills now. Good spirits and decent energy, just my legs are not cooperating. Too much concrete. My last two marathons and long training run where on trails and I think that is the problem. Stomach is OK and I think that the Fig Newtons are working way better than gels, so that is a big plus.

Mile 25 - Steep downhill. Too steep, I have to be careful to not fall apart and fall down here.

Mile 25.9 - Dip down and then up the last tough little hill. I almost grind to a walk, but I am so close now I keep jogging/shuffling on.

Mile 26 - My biggest fan Jody is here to take my hat and cheer me to the end. Into the stadium. I hit the grass just as my watch turns to 3:59. I will make it under four but barely. I did well to not negotiate with the watch. Maybe I would have, but every time I checked my time I realized that I had to keep pushing to beat four. I never did catch my student, he finished about 90 seconds ahead of me.

Mile 26.2 - Glad to be done. Way harder on the legs than any recent races. I will have to hobble around for a while. Lots of happy Maniacs in the recovery area. Most are pleased with the day and I rate this up there as one of my favorites.

861st of 2284
56th marathon or ultra
31st sub four hour marathon
3rd Seattle Marathon

No comments: