My 287th race, but only my 2nd 15K. I had no plans to be here today, but my recovery from the marathon of last week went much better than expected. On Thursday I was thinking about the weekend and that a good ten mile effort with no walk breaks would be a good work out. Then the rest of my family had plans, so I was free to race. The 15K is 9.33 miles and will be more fun that running alone.
There was a huge windy rain storm all day Friday, but now it is mostly clear skies. In fact I will wish that I had sunglasses at times. Cool and a little breeze but nothing to complain about. No real racing goals. I would like to be around a nine minute mile. Ideally I will run the second half faster than the first half. Same old out and back course that I have done so many times. Fun to see Maniacs and Oly area runners.
Start - No warm up and I start way in the back. Probably a 10-15 second differential between my watch, which I start when I get to the start line, and the official time. Around the track and up the hill. I am right at a nine minute pace but it feels easier than that. Gradually I speed up to about 8:50 pace, which is where I am at when I see the first mile marker.
Mile 1 to Mile 4.665 - In a big pack. No hurry to pass people, but I do pass some when there is an easy opportunity. Really nice to be out in the sunshine and feeling good. I gradually get just a little faster. It is a good steady pace, working hard but it is sustainable. I can see Maniac Nancy up ahead and I want to run with her, but I take my time and reel her in slowly. We run together to the turn around. 8:47 overall average pace at the turn around. I tell her that I plan to negative split. Secretly I am not so sure that I will be able to. In my return from injury I have been taking so many walk breaks in all of my runs for the past few months. Plus I ran a marathon seven days ago. I expect to get real tired and that is fine.
Mile 4.665 to 15K -So I set out a little faster and keep an eye on my overall average pace. 8:47 drops to 8:45, then to 8:43. Working harder, but it feels good. Runners are spread out and now I am playing catch and pass. 8:39 and with every person that I pass, it gets just a little more difficult. Bro Terry sighting. Now the only real uphill on the way back. I slow a little but it is not so bad and I know that there are some nice downhills coming up. Pass a few more people and it is 8:35 overall pace. Two guys up ahead and less than two miles to go. I can't believe that I am thinking about age group results and wondering if they are in my age group. This is turning into a wonderful race. I will have the negative split no problem and I probably will not be passed by anyone in the second half. If I can catch these two guys, one of them may come back to get me, and I still fear falling apart, but I am truckin right along. Pass both of them and then run scared that they will get me. 8:31 pace. I can not help but look back at one of the last turns and it looks like I am OK. Cruise on in to a happy finish.
Results pending, but I did get a third in age group ribbon
First Half: 41:05, Second Half: 38:27
36 of 83
Sunday, February 17, 2013
My left foot (plantar) has ever so gradually been getting better. It had been 4 months since my last marathon. I have done very little running. Finally a couple of easy paced short races in January. Then a 10 mile long run and a 14 mile walk/run, which gave me back to back 20 mile weeks. I could either keep building up, or just jump in and do a low key marathon with no time goal. I miss my maniac friends and events, so I opt for the First Call President's Day Marathon. I can go with the early start group, and with the 50K I should not be the last one one the course.
It is supposed to rain, but there will only be a slight mist at times. I ran this course back in August. I love the atmosphere, logistics and cost. The course is fine, but with a double out and back, I could see myself getting bored of the course after a few more times here. Still it is a great option for me today.
It is dark at the start as the 20 or so of us head out of Blythe Park. Soon I settle in behind and with Maniacs Linda and Jill. Linda has run 132 marathons or ultras and Jill has run 162, so I am the newbie of this group. I am taking walk breaks early and often and when I do, they get ahead. My running pace is a little faster, so I catch up every so often. Not nearly as many trail users today as when I was here last time, but I still have to watch for the bicyclists. The foot feels good and everything feels good early on. I tell myself that finish time does not matter, but surely I can come in under 5 hours.
Two bald eagles perched over the river.
I finish the first half in 2:25. With the double out and back I get to go cover the same ground again. And see many of the same people. Bob Dolphin sighting. He is running the half marathon. At about mile 18 things start to get tough. I am holding my sub 11/mile pace but now I have to work to do so. At mile 20, near the final turn around, things fall apart. I am clearly under trained. The time on my feet, now about 4 hours, has caught up with me. Body check - left plantar seems good. Other parts of my feet are hurting. Occasional cramping in both calves and hamstrings are tight. Both hips are hurting too, which is unusual. At least my stomach feels fine. I felt hungry about an hour ago. I have had a couple of gels, and plenty of gatorade, but I wish I could snack on something else now. Also I just can not hold my head up well. That is a classic late stage marathon fatigue sign for me. Oh well, I asked for it. This is the misery that I must endure, just another hour or so and it will be over. When I realize that I will not break 5 hours, I give up on all time goals. My friends in the 4 hour range who did not take the early start all pass me. Wow I can not hold a 14 minute mile!! But my spirits are fine considering. Different parts of my feet hurt and maniac Tracy can tell that just by watching my gate as she passes me. Nothing so serious, but I have no desire to injure myself so I walk a lot and eventually make it to the finish.
Today is the day after the race and I feel normal fatigue. The plantar is doing great. I am humbled by my slow time, but eager to get training again and gradually get faster.
5:15:09 a personal worst time for a paved marathon
21 of 25
Marathon or ultra#92