Monday, June 24, 2013

6/22/13 Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon

Fifth year of this event and my fourth time here.  Logistics are easier this year with a start and finish at the Seattle Center a "short" walk from the condo. Jared is running the half and by luck we are assigned to the same corral.  Corral #10 of 42.  I am pleasantly surprised with my bib number.

Start - No trouble getting there.  We line up in time and wait as the corral fills up.  7AM start but with the slow wave starts it is 7:15 before we get moving.  Many corral jumpers.  Runners and walkers with much higher corral assignments are ahead of us and I will have to dodge around them.

Mile 0.5 - Jared is going off way too fast.  I had wanted to keep up with him, but it just does not seem wise at this point.  We could have run together until the courses split at mile 6, but I let him go now.  Not much I can do about it really and it is fine.  Now I realize that although all 4 lanes of 5th avenue are closed, we are all squeezed into two lanes.  I move under the monorail track and over to the empty lanes.  Free to run as I wish for the next mile.  I settle into a nice 9 minute mile.

Mile 6 - The bands are good, but it is such a short time that I can hear them.  Fun turn to a downhill and a run under the giant dude.  Now we split off from the half and it gets distinctly quieter.  Over 12,000 in the half and under 3,000 in the full.  Nice run along Lake Washington.  Amazing view of Mount Rainier.

Mile 10 - Holding a steady pace and feeling good.  Catch up to Maniac Mike S and we run together for the next five miles.  Pleasant conversation.  Warm but not too hot.

Mile 15 - Up the steep hill to the Interstate 90 bridge over Lake Washington.  I leave Mike behind and continue on at my steady pace.  This is a very long out and back, much farther than at the November Seattle Marathon.  I look forward to seeing friends and it is a treat to see Pedro, Ginger, Deb and Tracy who is also running her 98th marathon.

Mile 21 - In to the long tunnel and still holding that 8:59 pace.  It is not as easy, but to make it this far at this speed, I am pleased.  Just maybe I can beat 4 hours.  I would be happy with anything under 4:15, after my bad run at the Green River Marathon.  The tunnel is humid.  My feet are starting to tire from all the concrete.

Mile 22.5 - Walk through an aid station at the end of the tunnel and I have a very hard time getting my legs moving again.  Warmer, concrete, and heading up hill.  There is a runner on the ground with two medics tending to him.  He looks OK and is talking on a cell phone, but it is a strong message to me to not push it.  The desire to beat 4 hours is just not enough to chance a DNF and trip to the hospital.  Really I mostly feel good.  Just my legs that are having trouble moving.  No pains, no fuzzy headedness or nausea.  But I am walking too much.

Mile 23 - At Safeco field.  I know that it is a 20 minute walk to the condo and another 20 minutes to the Science Center, so it will be 40 minutes unless I get some running in.  Shuffle downhill.  Happy surprise to hear Debbie G shout for me.  Run a little with a Maniac.  Then walk a little more.

Mile 24 - Run slowly with Maniac Ryan, who ran 20 miles to get to the start line today.  Then I can sense the finish and get some energy back.  Follow a woman who is breaking a path for me and I encourage her to keep up the pace.  We leap frog a little, but having her and Ryan and some guy with an amazing mohawk to try to keep up with gets me through to the finish.  Strong crowd support the last bit.

Mile 26.2 - 26.34 on the GPS.  There is a high entry fee for this race, but they do take care of you at the finish.  Bottle of water, an ice cold wet towel, bottle of gatorade, fruit smoothie from Jamba Juice, recovery bar, fruit, bagels.  Medal of course.  Maniac #1 is there and gets a photo of me and Ryan.  Also we get one with Patti, as we both have cool bib numbers.  I find Jared and we hobble back to the condo. 

Going in to today I had said that this would be my last Seattle Rock and Roll.  But I really did enjoy it.  There are so many June race options though.  I will probably take a year or two off and run something else, but I would not mind coming back here again.

753rd of 2346
Marathon or Ultra #98
Race #296

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

6/15/13 Run for Rett 5K

I ran this in its first year, 2010, and am happy to make it back for another run.  New start and finish area and other great improvements to an already very good event.  First race I have done that uses the Tumwater Historical Park.  Easy parking, covered area, restrooms, playgrounds.  Why has this spot not been used before?  The course is certified and as I look at the map, it is all places I have run before.  Timing by Craig (guerrilla) so I know that it will be accurate with fast results.  Out and back along Capitol Lake (still closed till further notice), then a lollipop up the hill and left downhill back to the park. Beautiful sunny morning and nice to see some running friends here.

Warm up two miles and then some strides.  Its been three months since my last 5K and I have done little speed work.  

Start - Some Rett girls ( ) are lined up along the start for added inspiration. It is so good to be able to race and support a local, specific group that is doing real and good work.  Smooth and fast start but I have positioned myself well and can run at my own pace with little passing or being passed.

Mile 1 - 7:26 - Ever so slightly downhill.  Feeling good but wonder if I can hold it.

Mile 1.5 - Somewhere around here is the turn around.  Fun to encourage Gary, Amy and Martinho as they are ahead of me.  Return along Deschutes Way on the road with the outbound runners on the sidewalk.

Mile 2 - Passing a couple of people and no one is passing me, but I am not running all that strong.  Now up the gentle hill and under Interstate 5. I am ready to make the turn down to the park but then I am directed to keep going up the hill.  I had misread the map and I have farther to run.  Keep working hard as I am afraid that Joe might catch me. Finally the turn and this trail/road back down to the park is less steep than the way I thought we were going to go.  I get some nice speed back.  Then it is on to a gravel path for the last half mile or so.

Mile 2.9 - Two small children are running side by side ahead of me.  They have numbers on but could not have completed the 5K that quickly.  They must have done the 3K or they are part of the kids race (they do have numbers on) and are just running on the course.  The boy gets ahead of the girl and I pass her too.  Now the boy and I are sprinting to the finish and I just do not have the heart to pass him.  It probably cost me two seconds but I enjoyed pushing him on and letting him get in before me.  The volunteers take both our finish tags but Craig tells them not to keep the kids tag on the loop.  Craig is able to sort through numerous extra and unlabeled tags and still provide quick results.

Finish  - 3.1 on the GPS.  Pleasant and not lengthy wait for the awards.  Two entertaining kids races and I even get to dog sit for a few minutes.  I take second in my age group which earns me a gift card to Twisty's Frozen Yogurt. A most enjoyable morning.

15th of143
2nd of 7 in age group
Race #295
5K# 76

Monday, June 3, 2013

6/1/13 Green River Marathon

May is the month that I always run Tacoma and Capital City marathons.  For April and June I seem to be finding different races each year.  Today finds me running from Kent to Alki Beach in Seattle, mostly along the Green River.  17th annual event and my first time here.  I know that it will be urban, with lots of turns and some major street crossings.  I have heard that some runners have taken wrong turns in previous years, and I do not want to be one of them.  I have printed out the directions and have them in my pocket just in case.  Here is a portion, from mile 15.5 to mile 19.0:

Runners continue on path until it runs out. Continue North on "the access road" to 14th Avenue Bridge. Runners continue to the right (East) to the first stop light, Henderson Street. Turn left. Runners will go up a short steep hill and then go down hill. You will see a pedestrian bridge (DO NOT TAKE THE BRIDGE). Stay to the left and GO UNDER THE PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE on the bike path. The path will end shortly. Stay to the left. Continue on road (8th Avenue). Run straight through the next light. Follow all 'Arterial Turns' road signs. These are the main roads. Signs will say Arterial Turns, left (on Kenyon), right (on 5th), left (on Holdon), and then turn right at stoplight.

The good news is that the course is very well marked with orange painted arrows.  Other great things about this race are 1) It is free.  I make a small donation to help with costs  2) It is a low key mostly Marathon Maniac event.  There are a couple of first timers here though.  Small race with plenty of parking and easy logistics for a point to point course.

I park at the finish and hitch a ride with Maniac Jason.  A relaxed hour wait for the start.  A little cool but it will warm up as soon as we start running.  Some aid stations are a little spaced out, so I will carry a water bottle.

Start to Mile 8 -  Running too fast and I know it.  I planned to go a little quicker than recently, just to test what kind of shape I am in.  9/mile would be good, but I am cruising along at 8:45/mile.  Long sleeve shirt came off at mile 2 and it is warm now.  Shade is nice.  Mostly a paved trail along the Green River.  The riparian zone is in awful shape.  The river is levied with a wall of blackberries on either side.  Sometimes there is poison hemlock or reed canary grass to compete with the blackberries.  The other side of the trail is bordered by industrial centers.  Not scenic, but an urban greenbelt I suppose.

Mile 9 - Mel Preedy sighting.

Mile 15 - Been running off and on with 4 others.  Nice company and I am still on that fast pace.  Starting to feel confident that I may have a good race.

Mile 16 - And just like that I start to tire.  It gets tougher to maintain.  Plus the course has gotten uglier.  We are on the side of some road with cars coming at us from behind and a narrow shoulder.  It is a long straight way and I am glad to get off it.

Mile 17 - That short but steep hill and now things really fall apart.  Oh, so tired.  I have to walk a lot.

Mile 18-22 - Misery.   Lots of walk breaks and super slow "running".  Ugliest course ever. Shipping containers, train crossings, giant pile of 55 gallon drums, cracked sidewalk, broken glass, big trucks.  Seems like everyone is struggling too.  Not many passing me, and I do have the early starters to catch up to.  Serious low point.

Mile 22-26.2 - Things get better when Maniac Ted passes me and then Maniac Mike catches me too.  Somehow I get my energy back.  I am able to run much farther without a walk break.  I catch back up to Mike and we run off and on together to the end.  It is a nice day at Alki Beach with lots of people out, that I must dodge.  This slow running with some breaks is more of what I am used to doing late in marathons.  Compared to the previous miles, I feel great.  Happy to see the finish though and be done.

With so many June options, I probably won't be back for this one again soon.  But I did have a mostly enjoyable day.

Results have me at 75th of 167 but some listed ahead of me took the early start so I may move up when that is sorted out.
Marathon or ultra#97