Monday, May 16, 2016

5/15/16 Capital City Marathon

Thirteenth time running the full, 12th year in a row.  Sixth year pacing and second year organizing the Club Oly pace team.  I had many pacers coming back from last year and not much trouble getting the 18 pacers and two volunteer drivers into their assigned duties.  Handed out singlets at the expo where most of the pacers attended.

Race morning.  Hope everyone shows up.  Mix of fun seeing friends from near and far, small level of stress hoping that everyone gets here on time, and increased nerves as I have my own pacing duties to think about.  We all make it with fully charged watches, tie on our balloons and line up early.

Weather had called for showers but I am so thankful it is dry.  Cool and cloudy all morning, with just a little mist in the air at times.  Perfect running weather and nice enough that spectators will be out.

Start - Chat with some people around me.  Some say they plan to stick with me.  Maniac Claudia is one of them and that is great because we have not run together before.

Smooth start and fun with all the half marathoners cheering us on.  About 15 seconds to get to the mat and I will pace off of gun time so that gives a little cushion.

Mile 1 - 9:54 if I remember right. So a little fast but not bad and we can just keep on about that effort with the east bay hills soon to come.  Big group around me and I try to get some names.  Maniac CJ, Holly, Esther, Sang, Todd and some others.

Mile 10 - The first big hill.  Still have my group with me.  Nice steady pace.  Love the course as usual.  The spectators but also the quiet country roads.  Last year my right foot/ankle was having issues.  This year it is my left foot/ankle.  It has been nagging me since I finished Tacoma two weeks ago.  I only ran once in the past four days and that was short and easy.  I think that was wise.  Today it is flaring up off and on, nothing too bad.  I do take one ibuprofen, saving three more in case it gets worse.  I only need to hold this pace until 13.1 at which point Bill takes over.  I plan to stay on pace but if I have to walk for the foot I can do so after the halfway mark.

Mile 13.1 - There is Bill ready to jump in.  Down to Woodard Bay and up the steep hill from there.  Great to have his energy as my fellow runners are getting quiet.  We lose Claudia and a few others, but Holly is here and I really want her to succeed.  Now the long mostly flat on Libby Road.  Gradually passing a few people.  I think we are going to pass one young woman, but she rallies and stays on pace for many more miles.

Mile 20 - Things get exciting as we merge with the half and pass some half walkers.  More spectators.  Two 5Ks to go.  If not for the left foot I would be having a blast.  Instead every step is a reminder that something is not quite right.  I can manage the pain and it never really flares up.

Mile 22 - About two minutes ahead of pace, but the final tough hill is here.  Heidi Perry sighting.  Holly and Sang with us as Bill and I begin the ascent.  Bill reminds us to pump our arms.  Sang and I try to come up with a mantra, all we can do is say "keep running".  Holly is quiet and determined.  We reach the top and the fun can begin.  Through a mass of bubbles in the air from kids with a bubble machine.  Lots of people with signs, including Holly's crew who take this picture......

 Mile 24 - Holly goes ahead to finish in 4:26!  Sang has fallen behind but will get in just at 4:30.  Not much left for Bill and I to do but stop for a beer at the rogue aid station and then ease on down Capital Way.  The beer is great just too little.  Bill and I watch the pace and walk the last aid station as we have walked them all.  Things look good but that finish line looks so far away.  We have paced it well and trot on in just a little ahead of schedule.

Finish - Giant medal.  Check in on Holly who starts to lose feeling in her arms and ends up in the medical tent.  With care and electrolytes she recovers soon enough.  I get my pizza and take it back to the street to sit on the curb and cheer everyone in.  All of my pacers did great and it was a big success.  I plan to organize the team again next year.  The reward is worth the time I put into it.

About to leave, but I cheer Deb down the hill.  Then Monte, then Jeff Galloway.  Now I see a small group very slowly coming along.  Young woman with a leg brace and cane going to slowly.  When she gets closer I am shocked to see that she has a five mile race bib on.  Cheer for her and then read in the paper that she had a spinal cord injury and is rehabbing.  She has run the half here three times, but today the five miler takes her four and a half hours.  Epic effort and inspiring!

185th of 314 finishers
Race#390, Marathon or Ultra # 141, Capital City Marathon #13

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

5/1/16 Tacoma City Marathon

While I don't like the 4AM wake up to get to the shuttle for the 7AM start, it is supposed to get warm today, so starting at 7 is probably a good thing.  It is Tacoma and it will be warm, so I break out the old Maniac singlet.  But I bring long pants and fleece to wait at the start in comfort.

Cheer the early starters and mingle with friends.  Bright sun is rising here at the Narrows Airport.

Last year I ran 3:59:59 and I am reasonably sure that I can not do that again.  Two weeks ago I ran 4:27 at the very hilly Whidbey Island and I am confident that I can beat that time.  I am thinking of staying with the 4:15 pacer and pulling ahead late if I feel good.

Start - Crowded and I find myself closer to 4:30 pacer, but I am not concerned.  This far back we start out, then have a crowd hesitation right at the chip mat, but then we are over it and running smoothly.  Around the corner and the short out and back.  Jesse Stevick with a big lead already!  But when I check results he is not there, so I don't know what he was doing.

Mile 3 - So much for 4:15, I am now just behind Ian and Nick pacing 4:00.  Big group with them and I try to stay back so I can see the road.  Over the Narrows.  Boxed in again I ease off.  Coming up the other side I have plenty of room and crowding will not be an issue any more.  Gorgeous views of Puget Sound.  The uphill is long as always.

Mile 6 - Run with a new friend, Marycarol.  She has a support/spectator crew out here.  The next four miles are very nice as we chat, staying 50-100 feet behind the pacers.

Mile 10 - I accelerate up to Ian and let him know that I am back there, that I made it this far, though I know I won't last the whole way.  Then slow down and rejoin Marycarol.  But then we do a brief merge with the half marathon (Terry Fritz sighting) and it gets crowded and I push on to stay with 4:00 and am on my own.

Mile 13 - Chip mat here, not at 13.1 and it reads just under 1:58.  Catch Judy Fisher.  Into Point Defiance Park for 5 more miles of hills.  And shade.  I have been pouring a little water on my head already to stay cool.

Mile 18 - Just coming out of the park, a little detour on to some dirt and gravel and an uphill and I suddenly tire.  Can not quite hang on with 4:00 pace.

Mile 20 - Down to Ruston Way and the heat.  Feeling OK.  A little pain in my left leg that I can ignore.  Warm.  Slow but chugging along.  10 minute miles with short walk breaks from here to the end.  I am actually passing quite a few marathoners (and halfers as we have merged with them again)  A few strong runners pass me but according to the split time sorting I net gain and pass about 30 marathoners in the second half.  A few places I can feel the heat radiating off the road.  Shade feels so nice when it is there.  Keep up good spirits and try to encourage others around me.  My worst time here was a 4:12 so I have to try to beat that.  Every mile closer to the finish it looks like I will have no problem doing that.

Mile 25 - So glad to get off that road.  Now a few turns and one long stretch to the finish.  Still able to run long sections, I keep plugging away and get it done.

Mile 26.2 - Done!  Feel a little nausea and walk around some to recover while sipping on water.  After a while I get my drop bag and hike up to Pacific Ave, about .3 miles from the finish.  Sit on the curb and cheer for runners.  Fun to watch friends finish up.  Marie pacing 5 hours right on schedule.  Then the Rogue Wave (25 weeks preggo! with her Dad)

Good enjoyable day and a nice feeling of accomplishment.

142nd of 462
Race#389, Marathon or longer#140