Monday, July 22, 2013

7/20/13 Lakefair Half Marathon

Second year in a row with this dilemma of having two great races within six days of each other.  I gave it my all at the Tunnel Marathon on Sunday, so there is no way that I can be fast today.  Last year I did run this race hard on tired legs and it was not great fun.  I will take it easy today and just enjoy the event.  I will go sub 2 hours, but not sub 1:50.  1:58 sounds good to me.  Jared bailed at the last minute but Tammy is here and she has the same time goal.  It will be fun to run with her.  We have a long history.  In fact I coached her a little for her first race which was so long ago that she wore a cassette walkman while running it.

It is 7AM and cool and grey with no wind.  The clouds will burn off later, but not until after the race.  Ideal running conditions.  I have not run a half marathon since this race last year.

Start - I find Tammy just before the start and we cross the start line together.  Gradual uphill with turns to get things going.  Crowded but we are at a good pace.

Mile 2 - On the Eastside paved trail.  First water stop is overwhelmed, but I get a cup without much wait.  The trail is just a little narrow for this race.  It can hold 4 across and there are a lot of runners at this pace.  We work our way around some, and others pass us.  It is nicer when we have some room in front of us.

Mile 3 - Steady 8:50 per mile pace.  It is a little faster than I had planned.  Tammy is feeling good and I convince her to relax and hold back for now.  I assume that she will be able to beat 2 hours but that it could be a struggle.

Mile 5 - Now on the Chehalis Western Trail where I run often.  Very familiar territory and a gradual downhill.  Dawn Schuler sighting.

Mile 7 - Feeling hungry right when Tammy offers me a small cookie.  My legs feel tired and tight off and on. We are still holding an even pace.  We are on a long straight section of country road, maybe 36th street. I hear a small "ping" sound on the ground behind us.  It only registers in my brain because a runner 20 feet back yells up to us that Tammy had dropped a key.  She had her car key in her pocket and it had fallen out.  We never would have known or been able to find it, had the runner not seen it and picked it up fer her.  Tammy secures the key in the zipper pocket of her hand held water bottle and we continue on pace.

Mile 9.5 - Volunteer Bill is there and Kari snaps this photo of Tammy and I

Mile 10 - Llama sighting.  Steepest uphill of the course.  Tammy is struggling and I am worried that she is hitting the wall.  I am prepared to stay with her until my two hour finish is threatened, but she toughs it out and tops the hill.  Now she is running well again.

Mile 11 - Through Priest Point Park and then a gentle downhill on Eastbay drive.  Picking up the pace, we are at 8:49 and running well.

Mile 12 - Tammy says that I could go on ahead.  I had thought about running the last mile as fast as possible, but there are only a few people ahead of us that I think I could catch and I really do not want to injure myself just to take a minute or two off my time.  I will stay with Tammy to the end.  Club Oly is staffing the mile 12 aid station and Tammy drops her water bottle there, for a friend to return later in the week.  Neither of us remember that her car key is in the pouch with the bottle until after the race finish.

Mile 12.5 - Pass Judy Fisher

Mile 13.1 - 13.05 on the GPS.  Being the gentleman, I let Tammy cross ahead of me.  We ran very even splits the whole way.  The sprint to the finish gave us a slightly negative split.  I drive Tammy back to mile 12 to pick up her key.

Nice wooden medal again this year.  Rogue Race Timing has laptops set up so I can check my chip timed results right away.

I am thinking that I might skip the Tunnel Marathon next year and try to be fast at this half.  But I love the Tunnel.  I have time to decide. Next race is August 11, my 100th marathon.

129th of 375
Race# 298, Lakefair Half #2

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

7/14/13 The Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon

A marathon on my birthday!  Bib #47 to honor the event.  My 4th time at this race.  Up at 4AM.  Park the car in North Bend at 5:45AM.  On the bus and at the start line by 6:30AM.  Ninety minutes to chat with friends and try to stay warm.  Finally the sun peeks out from over the mountain and it starts to warm up.  It is going to be another bright sunny and warm day.  Seems like I am on a streak of warm sunny weather for my races lately.  Maniac Monte's 300th marathon.  My 99th.

Start - Packed in thick but the short out and back sorts us out well.  Into the tunnel.  Going in I see and inscription with the dates 1912-1914.  Is this tunnel really 100 years old?

Mile 1 - Lost GPS signal and it is dark.  Mile marker of chalk with glow sticks.  Seems wetter than previous years.  The ground is mostly dry, but I get splattered on a couple of times by something dripping from above.  Now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Mostly looking at the ground but once when I look up, it appears that a runner is coming toward me.  Just as I am about to get out of the way, I realize that he is going in the same direction as me, the light at the end of the tunnel made it look like a head lamp and something about his stride made me think he was about to run into me.

Mile 2.2 - Almost out of the tunnel.  I take a look back as the RD had suggested and it is a very cool sight to see all the lights.  Now out of the tunnel and a kind volunteer helps me with my drop bag as the long sleeves come off and I store the knuckle lights.

Mile 3.0 - GPS has snapped into place and I am on 8:55 pace.  Gentle downhill now for many miles.  I get a little faster and am feeling good.

Mile 8 - Average pace is now 8:45 and I won't let it get any faster than that.I am going to try to run sub 4 hours today and that puts me well into that range and perhaps too fast.  It has been one year since I last went sub 4 and it was at this race.  The great news is that I have no injuries, everything has felt fine for a while now.  I may not have the training in, but I will go for it and see what happens.

Mile 15 - Getting warmer out.  Warm breeze swirling around at times.  Funny in this race with so many people I know, I end up running mostly alone or with strangers.  Nice folks though.  Focus on the running, try to not get caught up in the amazing scenery.  I appreciate the gift of being able to run up here.

Mile 20 - 8:50 overall pace and hoping it can continue, but I am just starting to stiffen up and tire some.  Warm.

Mile 21 - The one turn on the course and all of a sudden I am out of energy.  Oh so hard to keep going.  Run becomes a shuffle with walk breaks.

Mile 22 - 4 hour finish slips away.  Lots of people passing me.  Hot and tired.  Pass a woman who is staggering but says that she is OK.

Mile 23 - Maniac S passes me and will go on to beat me by 8 minutes.  What a strong finish for her.

Mile 24 - I am going to have to step it up if I want to beat my 4:09 from my last marathon.  I get in behind a guy and follow on his heels as he is running at a nice pace.  I expect this to last about a quarter mile, but I get into a groove and actually pass him.  Now I am able to keep running much longer than I thought possible. 

Mile 25 - Too bad I had that horrible bad patch from 21-24.  I now feel much more energetic. Stiff but I can keep running.  I have rallied like this before a few times and it is frustrating to not understand what is happening with my energy levels.  Well this one is almost over and mentally I know that I can push on.  Stay even with a woman for pacing support and then pass her.

Mile 26.2 - 26.44 on the GPS.  Stop running and now I feel very hot. The woman who finished right in front of me is being escorted to the medical tent.  I look for some shade.  It takes a few minutes and some ice on the head before I feel better.  I should feel happier with this finish time.  It sure was a fun way to start my birthday.  Now home to celebrate more and eat whatever I want.

My next marathon will be number 100!!  Transcendence 12 hour in Olympia.  It will be another celebration.

Before then though, I am signed up for the Lakefair Half Marathon in six days.  I plan to take it easy on these tired legs and just get in under 2 hours.  Hopefully I will be somewhat recovered by then.

193rd of 390
Marathon or ultra #99!