Saturday, June 9, 2012

6/9/12 Sound to Narrows 12K

40th annual event.  My 7th time here. 
2002 - 1:00:20
2005 - 59:08
2006 - 58:27
2008 - 57:21
2009 - 56:41
2011 - 56:34

The past couple of years I have run a marathon on the weekend before this race and I have waited to see how I feel midweek, before signing up for StN.  This year I had the R2R 50K last Saturday.  On Wednesday I felt good enough so I registered for today.  At the SSR store in Olympia, they were out of yellow wave bibs (7:30 to 8:30 pace) so I got a red bib (greater than 8:30 pace).  On Thursday I went for an easy 4 miles and it was horrible.  No lingering soreness or pain, just tired legs.  I was really dragging.  I cut that run short and took off Friday.  So I do not expect to run well today.

In training runs I have been weaning myself off of the custom orthodics.  Yoga twice a week plus foot strengthening exercises of the last couple of years has enabled me to build up foot strength in the muscles that are weak from being in the orthodics all the time.  The running has gone well recently, so today I will race without them.  It really lightens up the feel of my shoes.  I know that having soggy wet shoes feel so heavy and slows me down late in a marathon, I wonder how much the reverse is true.  If today does not bother me, I may try to go without them on a longer run next weekend and then go for it in the marathon on 6/23.  So today I am looking for a good hilly workout, run well on tired legs, hope that my feet don't hurt later and I will not expect a PR.  Anything sub 60 minutes will be fine.

Start - Three club Oly guys are here and all have yellow bibs.  I would like to run with that wave and I go to the "fix it" center at registration.  They tell me that it is fine to keep my reb bib but run with the yellow wave.  I think that I will do that until I watch the green wave go off and the announcer is telling people that they should not be starting yet with  a red or yellow bib.  I decide to not make any trouble and just go out at the front of the red wave.  One mile easy warm up, then I line up right in the very front for our start.  Its nice weather, with a little breeze.  I don't need the long sleeves but I will wear them anyway.  Late yellow starters are still coming through a minute before our time, then we go out and down the hill.

Mile 1 - 6:46 -  Feet slapping fast on the downhill start.  I have had plenty of running room. I may be in the lead of the red wave.  But now I am passing yellow stragglers.  Oh the steep and sudden uphill before the zoo parking lot.  Dramatic slowing.  Have to catch my breath.  Legs a little tired but mostly now it is my lungs and maybe my racing heart.

Mile 3 - Hard to get a rhythm with the ups and downs in the park.  Negotiating around a lot of slower yellow bibbers.  Tough going but doing OK.  Now I gradually catch a wonderful costumed group.  With cardboard cut outs they are dressed like Pacman characters.  First I pass two white dots.  As I get ahead of them, I hear one say to the other "it is so pretty here".  What a great reminder about where I am running!  Until this moment it had been more like showing up for work and just getting it done today.  But lets think about this and appreciate it. I am running through old growth forest.  It is an amazing park full of God's green earth.  I still consider it an honor and a blessing to be able to run here.  Also to be with a few thousand others who care enough about their bodies to get outside and get some exercise on this nice day.  I will keep running as best I can, and it is too fast a pace to relax and joke around, but from here to the end I will enjoy and relish the time. 

Mile 3.5 - I am just behind Pacman himself and a blue ghostie.  I am suddenly afraid that the ghostie will start flashing and then turn around and chase me.  I decide to pass before that happens.  On through the park.

Mile 5.5 - Down the big hill and now up the big hill.  I can tell that I will finish under one hour, but also not be near a PR, so I will just keep on the best that I can.  Up up up the long hill.  Turn and turn and on to the finish.

Finish - All 4 Club Oly guys finished in 58 minutes.  My left foot is perfectly fine.  My right foot has some ankle issues that I have had off and on recently, even when using the orthodics.  I will wait a couple of days and then decide about next weekend.  I like coming here and seeing all the casual runners as well as the speedys.  Seth Bridges, who has been beating me in races since he was 12 or so, was the overall winner and I am so happy about that.  I like doing the same course year after year, as a measure of fitness.  The price has gone up and the race is on the same day as the Lake Young's Ultra, so I may not do this every year.  But I do hope to come back soon.

58:28 (7:52 per mile pace)
321st place of 2511 (not including walker wave)
25th of 126 in age group
Race #272
Sound to Narrows #7

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