After three years of missing this race in order to be with Jody at Chelanman, I am able to run this year as she is not doing that triathlon. New this year is a half marathon. I signed up some time ago and with the no T-shirt option the price was more than reasonable. We will get a nice wooden finisher's medal,along with an accurate and well supported course. The only problem that I have is that I did the Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon just six days ago. My legs are still shot. I "ran" two miles on Tuesday. On Thursday I ran about 4.5 miles but still felt tired legged. I keep telling myself to just have fun today and not worry about time. Well I have a streak of sun 1:50 halfs, so I will try to beat that, but who knows how it will go?
Weather is looking very good, cloudy and comfortable. I got my race number and timing chip yesterday, so I can leave the house this morning after 6AM and still be in downtown Olympia well before the 7AM start. I like the big local race where I can see so many friends.
Start- On Fifth Avenue. We start two minutes after 7AM and it is smooth going out. Turn on Jefferson and begin climbing. It is not steep but I can feel it in my legs. I hope that the extra day off yesterday would help, but my legs are still shot. I can run, fairly quickly, without pain, but I am sore and tired. Can I go on like this for 13.1 miles?
Mile 1 - Pass Judy Fisher. I beat her by two minutes at the marathon and I will come in two minutes faster than her today. That is not to brag. She is 68 and absolutely amazing. Finish mile 1 in 7:57 but I am still settling into a decent pace.
Mile 2 - Paved bike trail that parallels I-5 and takes us across Jefferson. Nice route that I have not run on. First water station has large cups that are totally full. I go to grab one off the table and drop it because I did not expect it to be so heavy. Not many cups or helpers either, I hope that it is not swamped with all the runners just behind me. The race was capped at 350 registrants and I think that was a good idea.
Mile 3 to 7 - Steady 8:04 pace. Every once in a while I get the feeling that my legs will buckle under me and I will fall to the ground. Other than that I am having fun. Now we are on the paved Woodland Trail. I have run here often and I am very familiar with the rest of this course. Plenty of room to run, great volunteers at the couple of road crossings and at the water stations. Fun to see Rich and Phil. Chehalis Western Trail has a nice gentle downhill and I have run here so often. I pass a couple of people, but also get passed. If I can hold this pace the rest of the way I will be happy.
Mile 7-11 - On 36th street now. Little traffic and cars will not be an issue. I can hear footsteps behind me, catching up. Now they get louder. Now ridiculously loud. Someone is stomping their feet at my heels and it can only be Martinho. He finally comes up next to me and I laugh. I figure that he will move on ahead but he stays with me. Warming up now. At one aid station I want to dump a little water on my head but they only have gatorade. Small uphill before Priest Point Park and that does me in. I can not help but slow now. Martinho goes ahead and I simply can not keep up.
Mile 11-13.1 - Very short section of dirt trail, then the road in the park. Over the bridge and down and around to East Bay Drive. It is all familiar and a gentle downhill for most of it. I am slowing but will get under 1:50 for sure. I get passed by a couple of guys and only catch one myself. Happy to see the finish and I cruise on in with what energy my legs can muster.
Overall I had fun and I am glad that I raced today. Running on tired legs is difficult and a drag at times. My legs never buckled and it was probably good training for something but I wish that I could have run on fresh legs. I love the Tunnel and I love Lakefair so I will continue to do both races, sacrificing a speedy time for a fun time.
Now I can rest up a bit as my next race is not for three weeks.
58th of 303 finishers
Race #275 , half marathon#26