Saturday, March 30, 2013

3/30/13 Run Like a Fool 5K

My second time here.  My 75th 5K.  Two loops around Capitol Lake plus a little more to make it an accurate distance.  $25 including a long sleeve shirt is a reasonable price.  Still getting my speed back.  Killer workout on Tuesday and I can feel a little soreness in my quads.  Goal is to beat my time from the Friendship Run  of two weeks ago (23:12) and hopefully get in under 23:00.

Weather is amazing.  Mostly sunny and cool to start. Nice to run a 1.5 mile warm up loop with Tammy and Amy.  Now some sprints to get ready to race.

Start - Race starts on time and I have positioned myself well, allowing the fast guys to be in front.  Bill and Wade go off faster than I would like.  Amy is already a speck in the distance.  I feel like I am running fast enough (I am on a good pace) and will stick with it.

Mile 1 - 7:20.  Bill continues to extend his lead.  It is all I can do to hold my pace.

Mile 2 - Pass two runners.  Slowing a little and I am not sure if it is my legs or my breathing that is the limiting factor today.  Feet feel really good though and I am happy to be here.

Mile 3 - I hear a runner thundering up behind me and he passes me on to a strong finish. Not one of the two I had passed earlier.  Now I just try to hold on and finish strong.

Mile 3.1 (3.08 on the GPS) - Done. Under my time goal.  Slower than last year, but right about where I expected to be.  Cool down loop with Amy gets me 6 miles for the morning.

I get a ribbon and a Cliff Bar for earning 3rd place in my age group.  At the raffles I win an assortment of Gatorade products.  The bag is heavy and has about $20 worth of drinks, gels, powders and such.  It was nice to be out in the sun, warming up, with the other runners, having the satisfaction of a good workout done.  Amy does a crazy dance to win a prize.  I do not care for this Capitol Lake course, I have done it too many times, but they do such a nice job with this race that I will look forward to running it again.

12th of 167 runners and walkers
3rd of 9 in age group

Sunday, March 17, 2013

3/17/13 Frienship Run 5K

10th annual event and my 6th time here.  This event keeps growing. Not so happy about it being moved from early February to mid March and from Saturday to Sunday.  Biggest gripe is the major increase in price. I am paying double what I paid last year, but it is still a very nice event.  And this year we get socks.  I know that the parking lot will fill, so I get there plenty early.  Strong breezes make it seem very cold, but at least it will be dry.  I contemplate hat and gloves but decide to just run fast to keep warm.

I have been able to do some speed work in the last two weeks and things are feeling good.  Maybe I can match last year's time (22:23) but probably not.  My warm up is OK but not great.  I just don't feel super speedy and I think that the cold wind is part of the problem.

Start - I position well and start off with no problems.  Step over the metal fence curbing, make all the early sharp turns, hope over the asphalt curb and wind up the paved trail.  Plenty of room to run now.  One kid does not seem to want me to pass him.  He speeds up as I catch up and when I do pull almost even, he comes toward me as if to block me out on the narrow trial.  I have to wait a few seconds and make my move again.  This time I break free.

Mile 1 - Missed my split time.  Too many ups and downs and twists and turns.  I feel OK but my legs are a little tired.  Get passed by a stroller.  Sharp turn to the left, then another left to return on the road that is parallel to the trail. 

Mile 2 - Gradually pass a kid.  Now a guy just a little younger than me.  He stays on my tail and is making all kinds of hard work noises.  His ragged breathing sounds like how I feel.  My breath is OK but my legs are tired and my brain starts feeling foggy when I try to speed up and get some distance from him.  Up the steep hill to the overpass.  Its alright if he passes me, but he does not.  I try to pick it up on the bridge.  I won't mind if he gets me here, but he does not.  Now the steep downhill.  He will probably get me here, but no.  No cars to stop us this year (thanks volunteers) I keep on as best I can knowing that the end is near but that I will not beat last year's time.

Mile 3.1( Finish) - Up that last hill.  Sprint hard so that terrible breathing guy does not get me. Bob Martin sighting. In to the finish (3.02 on the GPS) and three of us look like we might vomit.  Everyone recovers alright and then it is cheer on the others and wait for raffles and awards.  So many great raffles, but alas I do not win anything.  Fun time today though and pleased with the results.  Same finish time as 2004.

9th of 218 (many walkers)
1 of 8 in age group
Race#289, 5K#74

Monday, March 4, 2013

3/3/13 Watershed Preserve Trail Marathon

My 5th time here.  The official race name is the Northwest Trail Runs Spring Run for Fun.  I will keep calling it the Watershed Preserve marathon for my organizational purposes.  Same course as last year.  A five mile loop with two out and backs added on to make it 6.55 miles.  Four loops equals a marathon.

Surprising that I am here.  First marathon post injury was just two weeks ago.  I recovered so well from that I ran the 15K last weekend and that went great.  I have decided to try to build on my fledgling endurance and have another go at a long distance today.  No time expectations, just give it a good effort and get in an endurance run.  I'll try o run each loop at 1:15 and hope to beat 5 hours.

Cold but sunny.  A humid cold though.  I will wear gloves till mile 2 and keep my hat on the whole way.  The trail is damp and squishy but no big puddles or deep mud.  New this year is that we have to park a mile from the start and take a shuttle bus.  I bring two bags with dry clothes and other possible essentials.  No waiting for the shuttle, it is not a hassle.  8:30 early start and most of the marathoners choose that time.  We do not start until 8:42 but I do not mind waiting and chatting with fellow runners.

Loop 1 - 1:11
I start way in the back and take my time moving up to my place.  About a 12:30 pace to start and get up the first hills.  Ron and Jackie staffing the aid station that is more than halfway out there.  Fun to see them each time.  There is a very nice wide smooth gradual downhill for about a mile on the back half of the loop and I get my pace under 11/mile.  Then the twisty uphills, but really not a difficult trail.  This is where I ran my first trail marathon and it is still one of my favorite courses in terms of trail difficulty and the logistics of racing here.  No horses yet, but I am expecting the stampede of the 9:30 starters (5 mile, 10 mile, half marathon and regular start marathon) as I am now heading back to the start and finish area.  Now the blazing fast runners zoom at me, and then the hordes of other runners.  At least 100 runners all coming toward me on the two lane trail.  Just about all of them stay to their right and there really are no close calls.  Quickest Tracy Marshall sighting ever.  I hope that she catches up to me like last race, except I'd rather be faster than that.

Loop 2 - 1:11
Second loop is fine until the last two miles.  I start to tire and get a little negative in the head. I remember how tough the last marathon was and hope that this one is not so bad. I consider dropping out, but not too seriously.

Loop 3 - 1:21
Catch up to a woman from West Seattle who took the 9:30 start but now we are going about the same pace.  We run together and talk for the second half of the loop.  A really great diversion.  I know that I would have walked more with out her there.  I have my good attitude back and I know that I will finish today.  Earlier I passed a whole bunch of Maniac friends and I am running a little scared that they will start passing me.

Loop 4 - 1:28
Serious slowing but really things are not that bad.  No one is passing me and I am able to run long distances with walking on the uphills.  Just plugging along slowly.  Legs are tightening up some, but an S!Cap and some salt dipped potato at the aid station seems to help.  I won't make 5 hours but now I am motivated to not let any Manic friends pass me and also to beat my time of 5:15 from my last marathon.  If I can reach that one intersection by 5:00 I should be able to make that goal.  Even if I do not, this race has gone way better than the last one.  No pains and I am able to run just about the whole thing.  I am slower than the previous loop, but I think that I am walking less.  I hit the intersection at 5:02.  Now if I can just make it to the clearing by 5:10 I will have no trouble beating 5:15.  Too many turns and ups.  Where is it.  Finally at 5:09 I see the big clearing.  Up the little hill, there is the parking lot, now a turn then another.  One more turn and up a little hill and I will be there, but as I make the last turn, there are two horses blocking the way.  With less than 100 feet to go I have to stop and step to the side of the trail.  It only costs me a few seconds and soon I am running across the finish line.

My worst finish time on this course, but I expected that.  Really I enjoyed the race and am pleased that I am getting some endurance back.  No significant aches or pains.

31 of 62 finishers, 3 of 6 in age group
Marathon or ultra#93