First race since June 14. The Tunnel Marathon was the culmination of 6 months of hard work, and many training miles. This year my marathon times went down and I finally got back under 4 hours twice. Ran some good 5Ks too. But it all fell apart after the Tunnel. Recovery was hard so I took extra days off. New discomfort below my left knee meant resting a little more. Temperatures in the 90s, then a trip to Spokane where it hit 106F one day. Week long trip to Springfield Missouri, where humidity was added to the heat. My easy pace of 10/mile became difficult. Knee/shin gradually getting better but everything feeling slow and sluggish. Back to WA 4 days ago and the running got better. But I have done no speed work in a month, have not run longer than 8 miles at a time since the Tunnel and have not run a half marathon in almost a year. Low expectations for today.
On the bright side, my friend and one of the few people who actually reads this blog, Allen George, is here. I went to college with his wife Amy. They now have 4 kids and are medical missionaries (on sabbatical) in Peru. USA home base is Nebraska. No trouble picking up 4 race numbers at SSR yesterday. The Georges got in last night and we stayed at Hood Canal, so that meant a longer drive to the race this morning. Two of the kids are racing the 8K and Allen will run the half with me. We get there with just enough time for a little warm up, bathrooms and find the start line. Sunny and will be warm, so now that I am here, I am glad about the 7AM start time.
Hometown race, so lots of familiar faces. Super S and Maniac Jill sightings too. Allen and I line up with a few minutes to spare. We are going to shoot for sub 8:30 miles, hopefully closer to 8 and hopefully pick it up later. Being undertrained I am relying on hope. Allen is faster than me, but he is happy to stick with me and we are not treating this competitively.
Start - Because of the new trail overpass on Pacific, the start has been moved closer to the finish line and the 8K start. Nice change. Chip timed we start off well. About a half mile in I see that I am at 8:20 pace and am happy because it does not seem that hard.
Mile 1 - On to the shaded paved trail. Passing groups and being passed, but not too crowded. Settle in at this pace and happy that it all feels OK. No desire to go much faster. First water station is not overwhelemed as in previous years. I have my large handheld anyway, extra water can go on my head later. Judy Fisher sighting up ahead. I expect to catch her eventually.
Mile 4 - Nice running with Allen. He seems very comfortable and it is I who is a little worried about maintaining the pace. He is talking more than me as I try to focus on keeping up the pace.
Mile 6 - Real familiar territory on the Chehalis Western Trail. Nice gentle downhill, now a long flat bit. Feeling tired though. No pains, which I am thankful for. Tired legs and sluggish. Keep pushing, but it is not the funnest time for me.
Mile 7 - Out onto the roads. This road is not only open to the sun, but has been freshly tarred. Glad it is only 8AM. This patch would be miserable in true heat. It does wear me down though. Martiho and Jenny pass us. Longing for the section in Priest Point and the East Bay road to the end.
Mile 10 - Out of Priest Point and now a gradual downhill to town. Was hoping to be screaming fast here, but now I can pick it up just a little. Going to end with a fairly even pace, a slight positive split. Feeling better now. Judy Fisher still a quarter mile ahead. I will not catch her. Allen is doing great. I should not have worn a black shirt.
Mile 12.4 - Rich Brown sighting, so I have to try to go faster. Now merge with the 8K and then the finish. Allen is my guest and he clearly had an easier time than me, so I try to get him to cross the finish line ahead of me. He has none of that and we both slow down at the end trying to be nice. We finish together, but the clock put me ahead.
Finish - 13.15 on the GPS. Allen's son ran an 8K/5 mile PR and his daughter won third in her age group. Nice food options and plenty of water at the finish.
Next race will probably be on August 22. But should I do the Redmond Watershed marathon, or the Run Like a Dog local 5K? Leaning towards the 5K at this point as I would like to get some speed back.
1:50:24 chip time
88th place of 364
Half Marathon#31 including 15-20 milers