Monday, March 24, 2014

3/22/14 Dizzy Daze 12 hour - Green Lake, Seattle

 My first time here was in 2011.  Happy to be able to come back.  Maniac Central with tons of great folk to run with.  3.2 miles around the lake so some people I will barely see all day.  Race directors Betsy and Matt know how to put on a great event and the food selection is astounding.  The weather is even amazing. Cold at the start but it will warm up a little and be dry all day.  For a 12 hour race to count as a race in the Marathon Maniacs club I have to go at least 50K (31.1 miles), so I will have to complete 10 loops and that will give me 32 miles.  My plan is to hopefully add an 11th lap and finish with 35.2 miles and a body that does not need weeks to recover.  No serious time goals.

7AM - We gather for a quick briefing ("keep the lake on your left") and off we go.  There are so many people that I would be happy to run with.  We are all packed together of course and the trail is only good for two together.  I start off nice and easy and after about a mile I feel like going faster so I work my way around a pack and get moving, probably faster than I should.  I find myself with Katie and we talk and run the whole rest of the loop together and that is great.

Lap 2 - Run with Michael.  We talk goals and I like his quest for his 100th marathon in Washington State.  Later I will look at my numbers and see that I have 97 marathons in WA, so another goal to reach soon.

The next couple of laps are pretty much by myself.  I hold a ten minute mile that includes some walk breaks.  I grab a handful of food each time at the aid station, typically roasted potatoes and peanut M and Ms.  Power aid and then later Carbo Pro.  I carry a small bottle in my Defiance vest pocket and that is plenty to get me around the Lake.  Oh and I start a tradition of having one GuChomp and short walk break every time I pass the Starbucks.

The Rogue Wave is here to volunteer and she is getting in some miles prior to that. She asks if I want to run a loop with her and her dog Jukka.  I say that is great, as long as they do not mind going slowly.  I had seen pictures of Jukka but I had not realized what a beast he is.  An 80 pound 9 month old puppy.  A puppy who wants to chase after every squirrel, crow, duck, dog and person on the trail.  It is chaotic at first but he does settle down on the backside of the lake and the Rogue Wave keeps a tight grip and control.  A wonderful and distracting lap.  I always enjoy the chance to run with RW, but one lap was probably enough for today.

There is a big board at the timing station that lists where everyone is at.  When I complete my 6th loop I see that they have correctly recorded my previous 5.  The sixth is not there yet because I just came through.  I never should have looked at that board because later I start to get confused on what lap I am on.  I have my GPS watch, and I know that I passed 26.2 miles in about 4:30, thinking that I could have run a marathon in decent time today.  I should reach 50K in about 5:30, but now all those loops have gotten to me.  I am on the far side and I think that I am on loop 8 but I am afraid that it might only be loop 7.  I catch up to Deb.  Always nice to run with her.  I am lapping her ( and yes I have been lapped by a few runners myself already) and based on that and when my mileage total (26.8) finally sinks into my brain she convinces me that I am on lap 9!  Wow, what a sudden happy moment.  It should be easy to run the rest of this lap with Deb, then one more to 50K and then a victory lap.

Before my 10th lap I linger at the aid station and totally lose my pace ( I had been slowing, but now I don;t care about my time). Chocolate chip pancake.  I carry my camera for this loop to document the path.

Last lap - Tracy is stretching but asks if I want to to run with her. She started late and has a few laps to go.  She is running another marathon tomorrow so she is in no hurry. I put the camera away and soon we are off.  We do a lot of walking and talking and it is all very pleasant.  My feet started hurting a little a few miles ago, but not too bad. Other than that and some stiffening shoulders, I feel well.   I enjoy the last lap and finish comfortably.  I feel like I could totally keep on walking/jogging/shuffling and probably reach 50 miles, but I choose to stick with the plan and leave here with a good chance for quick recovery.

I get my key chain medal and change into some less smelly clothes.  Come back for pizza.  I hang around longer than I usually do post race.  I actually have an appetite so I feast and enjoy the company.  I leave just a little guilty as I see others continuing is a 12 hour race.  But 6 and a half hours is enough for me today.  I really like the price, logistics and vibe of this event.  I don't need to go run around Green lake again any time soon, but perhaps in a year I will be back for this race.

37th farthest of 133 participants
Race#322 (on 3/22)
Marathon or ultra#108

Sunday, March 16, 2014

3/15/14 St Paddys Day Half Marathon - Tacoma

My first time here for this TCMA event.  I feel like I have not run a major event in a long time.  With over 3,000 runners including the 10K and 5K this will be the largest race in recent memory for me.  Fun to be in a big event, but then there are the logistics.  We were strongly encouraged to pick up our numbers (and long sleeve T-shirts) on Thursday or Friday.  So I went up to North Tacoma after work on Thursday.  I got to see the TCMA and Marathon Maniac Headquarters above Fleet Feet Sports which was fun.  Not fun was finding 26th street, finding parking, then waiting in a long line for quite some time.  Oh well, Saturday morning will be a little easier.

Saturday arrives.  I do get there early enough to find good parking and am ready to race.  Dry and cool, great running weather.  Fun to see Terra, Martinho, Tammy and others.  I meet a young woman from Chicago who is here for a few weeks on business.  Of course I want to tell her all the things that she should do and see.

I am way ahead of my normal monthly mileage and I know that I have tired legs.  60 miles last week and after this race I will have 110 for the first 15 days of the month.  I did rest yesterday, but I have no expectations for a fast time.  I would prefer to run comfortably hard and not blow up on the way back. Under 1:50 will be fine.

Start - Chip timed, I start with Tammy, but take off on the sweet downhill.  First mile in 8:00 but it was mostly downhill.  The 1:50 pacer is already getting far ahead of me, also going out fast.

Mile 3 - Loop back around, up and then down again.  Feeling good with plenty of room to run, but also lots of people.

Mile 4 - On Ruston Way.  Water station. Volunteer Rogue Wave sighting.  Running on my own, but having a friendly word with the people that I gradually catch.

Mile 6 - Catch the 1:50 pacer with a nice pack.  She has time in the bank for the hills and I try to keep up the pace, up the long gradual hill.  Then the turn and the real climb up to Ruston.  Tough patch here. 

Mile 7 - Looping around blocks of Ruston.  Steep little uphills and then the downhills are too steep to run effectively.  Starting to rain a little.  Happy to zoom down the final hill here and back to Ruston Way.  Maniac Deb sighting.

Mile 8-11 - Long flat rainy.  A little wind.  I draft one guy and then run with him for a while.  Nice company, he donated blood yesterday.  We start passing 10K walkers.  I am in a good groove, getting more tired legged, but holding the pace.  Up and down the overpass.  One more big hill to go.  Every once in a while someone goes zooming past me, but for the most part I am passing more than being passed.

Mile 12 - I catch up to Chicago woman.  Nice surprise to see her.  I decide to encourage her and run the last mile with her.  I am not feeling super competitive and am working plenty hard enough.  5K and 10K walkers are supposed to be on the right side, but we have to go around those who are still in our lane.  At one point we split apart to pass a little group and when we merge back she grabs my elbow.  Except it is not her, it is Lizzy Lee.  She is putting on her final sprint and says hi as she passes me.  I want to run with her so I pick it up.  Then there is the very last hill and she is faster than me, so I finish just behind her and just ahead of Miss Chicago.

Mile 13.1 - Finish - 13.17 on the GPS.  Terra and Martinho are already done and watch me come in.  Great times for them.  A little later we get a photo.  It is still raining lightly and I start to shiver.  I don't stick around much longer.  But it was a fun event and nice morning.

129th place of 930
Race#321  Half Marathon #28