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