Saturday, February 6, 2016

2/6/16 Geoduck Gallop Half Marathon

I seem to race this one about every other year.  Two years ago I ran the 10K but today I am back for the half.  Third time at this distance here.  Although it is a certified course, I am convinced from my previous times here that it is significantly short.  Tried to get in my 5th consecutive 40 plus mile week, but I was just too worn out and needed a break.  Took off the past two days and I should be OK.  I also am committed to not racing hard today.  I really want to run about 8:50/mile and keep even splits the whole way.  Then next week do the same thing, but keep it going as far as I can during a marathon.  So it is a marathon training run today and I will need to exercise discipline to keep from going too hard.

Light rain stops just before the race start.  Cloudy and cool and damp, very nice running conditions.  I feel light and unprepared with no jacket, water bottle, food or energy gels.  After three weeks of super long races, I should be able to tough out any conditions during a quick 2 hour run.  It will be good for my to rely on the aid stations for drink.

Goal time = about 1:57.  Must get under 2:00 as I have never gone over 2:00 in a 13.1 mile half, in 22 races in the past 22 years.

Club Oly group photo.  Great to see Lizzie, Mike, Loren, Ulrike, Marilyn, Missy, Marilou and others.

Start - Start near the back and stay patient as the course narrows and turns this way and that.  Actually everyone is running at a decent pace and it is easy to just gradually build up the speed.  No warm up run today.

Mile 1 - 9:18 - Free from the crowds and feel good.  Pick up the pace a little.  Now the big loop around The Evergreen State College campus.  Nice quiet country roads.  I know the big down and up is coming.  Get there and it is as steep as ever, but I run up the whole way and it is fine.

Mile 7 - Second loop.  7.1 on the GPS.  Course is running long this year.  How can this be?  I am going to trust the certification process and not the GPS signals over the years.  Have to adjust my pace though and go with the mile markers.  Not a big race, every couple of minutes I pass someone as I am continuing to feel comfortable and the pace is not hard for me today.  Catch up to one guy who is holding a phone that is playing some king of hip hop music.  I run with him for a while and the music is OK I guess, then a really bad song comes on and I surge ahead.  Second time down and up goes well too.  Run the whole hill, that I know I have walked in the past.

Mile 10 - 10.2 on the GPS.  I pick up the pace some more, but try to stay in control and not push it.  I am ahead of my time goal.  It is fun to catch people though and the urge pushes me forward.  After passing someone, I ease up a little, but no one catches back up.  Everything feels really good and I try to keep a steady cruise to the finish.

Finish - 13.31 on the GPS.  Around the last turn I thought I could beat 1:54 and I speed up to do it.  Then I forget to turn off my watch until after they take my tag and hand me a cool medal/bottle opener.  1:54:08 on the watch.  I will have to wait for official results.  Really happy that I did what I set out to do, maybe a little faster than I had planned, but it all felt so good.  Now can I do the same thing next week, a little slower, and keep it going for double the distance?

36th of 122

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