Here again. This time I am not only pacing, but have organized the pace groups. Most from Club Oly, but I recruited some solids from my MM friends who I know could go the whole way. Also organized pacers for the half.
Still thrilled with my Tacoma time, I have no problem giving up a fast effort today to support the race, but still get to run it. I did not taper at all, figuring this will get me lots of miles for the week (62) and help my endurance.
Weather looking great. Cloudy and cool, the sun will threaten to come out later but it will never get super hot.
Leading the pacers is a bit of a distraction though. My fault, I forget to eat the banana that I packed for 30 minutes before the start. I did have a bagel on the drive in. I also do not drink as much water as usual and I forget to use the bathroom just before the start. I strive for the lowest stress on race morning and this is way more frazzled than I am used to.
Marilou has called in sick and Missy is not so comfortable pacing 5:00 by herself. A last minute change, we recruit Mike Kuhlmann to don a balloon and pace with Missy the first half. I had planned to run the first half at 4:30 pace with the Rogue Wave and then when Jenny meets us at the half I would wait for Mike Mahany running 4:45 and join him. Instead I will trust Mike to do the 4:45 solo and join Missy for the second half at 5:00.
After group photos, juggling assignments, balloon and singlet hand outs and making sure that the second half people have their transportation arranged, I can concentrate on the race itself. Line up at 6:45AM and it is fun to see the different pacers all in place.
Start - With the Rogue Wave, we start our watches on gun time and it is 15 seconds before we are over the mat. Crowded. Some chatty folks. People counting on us to hit the paces. We hit mile 1,2 and 3 right were we should be. Amy Wineka sighting. At mile 3, someone behind cheers for us as we are on perfect pace.
Mile 5-7 - Good to have two of us as we can alternate bathroom breaks and still have someone running the even pace. Super Marie is with us. Into the countryside. Donkeys and horses. Two giant shaggy cows. One cow is scratching her head and neck against a large tree. Nice time with the Rogue Wave.
Mile 9 - That huge downhill and my right foot/ankle starts to hurt. Somewhat suddenly and worse than usual. I have had this discomfort off and on for what seems like a few years now. Funny, I can run a 3:59 at Tacoma or do a 10 mile tempo run and have no problem. Then some day I will be out for an easy run or even walking and it can flare up. On the uphill it will get a little better. Later it will gradually get worse. I will try to not overcompensate and hurt the left foot. My theory is that there is some swelling going on around the area where I had a "baker's cyst" a few years back. Maybe some scar tissue that gets inflamed once in a while. In the mean time we make it up the big hill and continue on.
Mile 13.1 - 2:14 on the clock. We are one minute early and that is great. There is Jenny, ready to go so I bid farewell to the Rogue Wave and wait for Missy. The 15 minutes goes by quickly. It is fun to cheer people on and I see Mike right on time for 4:45 pace. I join up with Missy and Mike K, and now I get to run at a minute per mile slower than I ran the first half.
Mile 15 - Off leash dog (no owner) snarling at us as we run by. Very distracting but thankfully there are two vehicles slowly coming past us at the same time so the dog stays on his side of the road. Ahead of us we had seen the dog really go after a runner. Woodard Bay. Now the steep uphill. Mike has had hamstring issues and it is bugging him now. He drops from pacing, but I am thankful that he paced the first half. He gives me the balloon and I think that I tied it on. As soon as I start running though, it slips away and into the air.
Mile 16-20 - Nice easy running and chatting with Missy. She is strong and on task with a pace chart for every mile. She could easily do this herself. Except at about mile 20 her watch battery dies. For the rest of the race she will call out the splits we should be at and I will check with my watch and adjust as needed. We stay about 45 seconds to 2 minutes ahead of schedule.
Mile 21 - One runner who had been with me earlier and not said a word is now with us and ready to talk. He admits to being under trained and slowing down. But by talking with us, the next miles are nice and he stays with us. Now the new section of the course. The course has been tweaked a little. I did not like how they made it sound like a good thing that we would not have the downhill on Legion Way. Truth is that downhill is a little steep and it gets replaced with a more gradual and longer downhill. Really nice change. And great spectators on Puget Street. One handing out spoonfuls of M and Ms.
Mile 22 - Heidi Perry aid station.
Mile 23 - Just me and Missy up the Eastside Hill. I feel fine except the foot.
Mile 24.5 - Catch a long legged young woman at the water station. I had seen her while waiting at the half point, she looks really young. We find out that she is 18. And she is so tired. We tell her to stay in front of us and she gets running at a pace a little faster than us.
Mile 25 - The young woman has stopped, but starts up again. Then twice she stops and bends over. She is not communicating much but seems OK, just exhausted, so we encourage her to go on.
Mile 25.5 - Now she stops again and walks off course onto the sidewalk. We have two minutes in the bank and really should slow down. I stop and gently push on her back and get her moving back on course. I know for sure that she can do this and she gets moving again.
Mile 26 - The woman will make it ahead of us. Missy and I slow even more but with no one behind us we continue on to cross the finish line.
Mile 26.2 - 26.5 on the GPS but don't tell anybody that and I know that some of that was from veering off course here and there and walking a bit as I waited at the half point. Nice medal and surprise a really nice cap that I will wear for sure. Out of the shoot I see the girl sitting in a chair, surrounded by friends and family. I see how she is doing and she gets up and gives me a hug. I am so glad that she does not hate me. Great reports from all the pacers, makes me feel like it is worthwhile.
Marathon or ultra#126
Capital City Marathon#12