My fourth time at the Seattle Marathon. Looks like it will be the worst one yet as far as weather. Rain and wind are predicted. I am pleased to see that it is not raining as I begin the walk to the start line. We stayed at BKs condo and it is about a mile and a half to the start line at the Seattle Center. I take my time walking and pause to watch the early starters go by. Hard to get a GPS signal with all the tall buildings. Still trying to get a signal, I meander through a parking lot and along the street edge I find a $20 bill. My lucky day, or was that it for luck for this day? It starts to drizzle as I watch the half marathoners go by and then get ready for my race.
Start - Line up with Evil Triplet Ron and Maniac Jessica. Some of my other usual running mates are running their 4th marathon in 4 days and will start farther back. A couple of them will go on to pass me later in the race. It is raining now and I have a trash bag over my jacket. Not too cold but it will be wet all day today. Start right on time and I negotiate the crowds well.
Mile 4 - Into the I-90 express lanes bus tunnel. Trash bag comes off and into my pocket.
Mile 6 - Out of the tunnel, then on the long bridge over Lake Washington. The wind is at our back and it is easy to keep pace. I stop to tie my shoes and then head back across the lake, into the wind. I catch up to two guys and draft them a little. Soon I realize that one of them is Maniac Ken who I have run with at many races. I feel like I should not draft on him so I ease up next to him. We commiserate about the weather. Although it is not hard to keep a steady pace, I know that this wind and rain are taking a toll and that I will probably be forced to slow down later. Takao Suzuki is there to take a picture. Thanks Takao. Together Ken and I make it over the bridge and then I go ahead, expecting Ken to pass me later.
Mile 8.5 - Still running into the wind a little but not as bad. Steady rain and some puddles to dodge. A crow walks onto the course, picks up and empty gel pack and walks off to the side of the road. Bob Dolphin sighting.
Mile 13.1 - I hit the halfway mark at 1:58 about a minute faster than I had planned. I take a little walk break just before the timing mat and then reset my watch. Now I will try to go just a little faster to put a little time in the bank before the hills. I feel pretty good and hope that the feeling stays for a while.
Mile 15 - Catch up to Maniac Jeff. Run with him for a mile or so and then decide to go just a little faster.
Mile 19 - I forgot about that hill. Tiring a little. Right foot is aching some. Doing OK though. Less windy here, but still a steady rain.
Mile 20.5 - The left turn and instant steep hill. Just like last year my calves start to tighten up. Also my left quadricep which has never given me any trouble starts to present itself. I am running but going at the same pace as two people who are walking. At least it is a short hill, but next is a longer one that is less steep.
Mile 22 - A little bit of foot pain, a little bit of overall leg tightening, a little bit of lightheadedness and a little bit of nausea. I find this low slow gear and I can trudge along. I am able to pick up the pace any time I want, but then one of my symptoms tells me to slow down. I am passing quite a few people who are hobbling with cramps of some kind and I wonder if this cold weather has something to do with it. So I continue to pass walkers and limpers but many of the runners are passing me because I am going so slow. I just do not have the willpower to tough it out today. The 4 hour pace team passes me and when I realize that I will not make that time goal I really lose motivation. But I am still having fun. Joke with spectators and commiserate with fellow sufferers. I will finish and it won't be a horrible finish time, but definitely an off day. I wonder how much I can blame on the weather? Maybe a 5 minute penalty and then my lack of determination will cost me another 5 minutes.
Mile 24.5 - So Happy to see the Space Needle in the distance, not so much farther to go. But now crossing I-5 the wind has picked up again. My hands start to get cold. I put on my soggy gloves that I had taken off miles ago and that helps the chill. Then the steep downhill and on to the finish.
Mile 26.2 - Finish and get my medal from Maniac Betsy. Glad to have brought dry clothes to change into. In the warm recovery area the chill soon goes away. This was a tough one for me, but I managed to keep a happy attitude and enjoyed the time out there.