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!