Two days after the Capital City Marathon in May, I discovered a non painful lump on the top of my foot. I figured that it was swelling from the race and would subside, but it did not. Then the recent issue of Runner's World magazine was all about cancer and had pictures of runners in prosthetics and what not. Yesterday I decided to get it checked out. I called to make an appointment with my doctor and I was lucky to be able to get an appointment that afternoon. Good thing I did not have to wait over the weekend, because after making the call my nerves shot up and I was severely stressed out. I had been sure that it was nothing to worry about, but now that I was going to the doctor, I was frightened. Well, worry no more. Its just a "ganglion cyst" and no treatment is needed. What a relief. So I arrive at Vassault park with an extra dose of gratitude to be able to run. My streak of running at least 100 miles each calendar month is now in its 79th month. I count that as such a blessing.
Marathon 6 days ago and a couple of hard runs this week will put me at 47.5 miles for the week at the end of this race. I did not race here last year, but two years ago I ran a PR for this distance. This is my sixth year here off and on since 2002. Every year I have been a little faster, but I expect that to end this year. I feel good but the tired legs will surely slow me down and I am fine with that.
Such a large event, I wonder why all these people do not come out for more races. See lots of friends and I am very calm before the start of my wave. Tammy took the green wave again this year, so I will start five minutes later and try to pass her. Fun to have a goal like that to keep me going. Its cloudy and mid fifties. Nice for running.
Start - Move up close to the front of this large wave. A little weaving around people but not too bad as we get up to pace. Now it opens up some and I find a comfortable pace. Pick it up some and go blazing down the long hill. Run with Paul H some but he moves on ahead.
Mile 1.5 - Into the park and Kachunga! Oh the whole race is not downhill? Oh I won't be able to maintain a 6:52 mile? Now up and down on the Five Mile Drive through Point Defiance Park. Same as the Tacoma Marathon but at the faster pace it is a whole different beast. I swear some of the hills are steeper than they were a month ago.
Mile 2 - 14:20, ten seconds slower than two years ago.
Mile 2.5 - Catching up to a guy with amazing bulging calf muscles. I think about asking if I can borrow his legs but he has ear buds in. As I pass him I can hear his breathing is very labored. I figure that he has been to the gym for weight lifting a lot, but does not have the lungs for this kind of pace and distance. My legs and lungs are suffering equally, so I guess that my training is on target.
Mile 3.5 - Have had Paul in my sights since he went ahead and now I am gaining on him. He is close but there is a pack of about ten runners between us. Probably a bad idea but I surge and move around them and catch Paul. We run together for just a few steps before I move ahead. He will finish right behind me.
Mile 4.5 - I am not running a steady pace at all. Fly down the hills, slow on the uphill. Surge past runners (hey Sabrina!) and then settle in with someone for a while.
Mile 5 - There is Tammy, so another surge to reel her in and tap her on the arm. She is running great, but I caught her...one goal done. Now what about that PR? With 2.5 miles to go I have about 20 minutes to make my best time. Highly unlikely with all the uphill to come.
Mile 6 - Out of the park, down the too steep hill then up the way too steep hill. Average pace is at 7:32. I remember that in my log book I recorded a pace of 7:30 two years ago. There is no way I will make that, especially with the long uphill to go. But I will easily beat one hour and I am running happy. Leap frogging with a woman, encouraging those who are able to run strong up the hill, thank the volunteers. Judy Fisher sighting. I can see the traffic light far away at the top of the hill.
Mile 7 - Hill flattens and then gets steeper. But wait!! Actually don't wait, keep running!! I am at 52:59 and it can't be more than three minutes to the top of the hill. After that we turn and go downhill, then onto the grass and the finish. That last bit can not be more than a minute, so I just might get that PR (and extra point in the Brooks race series). Crest the hill and realize that I will get that PR no problem. Cruise on in and then sprint to the finish on the grass. Nice kick left too. Wow that was unexpected. Back home I check my log book and recalculate my 2009 pace. I had written 7:30 but in fact it was a 7:34 pace. Today I ran a 7:33 per mile.
56:34 (official time is showing 56:18 but I don't believe it)
212th place of 2472
Race# 238 Sound to Narrows#6