Saturday, December 17, 2016

12/17/16 Pigtails Marathon

New RD is Monte.  Almost everything else is the same as previous years.  Fewer runners though.  My 8th time here, so not much to say about the course.

Bitter cold.  20 degrees at the start.  A little light snow right when I finish.  So all bundled up and I will stay that way for the whole race.  At least it is dry.

Start - Nice to see friends and fellow crazy runners.  Early start option this year so some are already out on the course.  We start on time and head off on that nasty short out and back.  It is a rocky trail, made worse by the frozen solid ground and chunks of ice.  I start out easy enough and am happy to see the first mile done in ten minutes and now it will be a much better trail.

Mile 5.9 - Back and forth and with Ted.  More dismotivational signs than previous years.  So cold, there will not be many other trail users.  I have my pace down to a 9:30/mile average and am feeling good.  Take short walk breaks and try to not push the pace.

Mile 11.5 - Hammond aid station with roasted potatoes.  The warm potato is so nice!!  Now the push to the turn around and I will be happy to be heading back.  Counting the miles more than usual.

Mile 15 - On the way back now.  Just a slight breeze and colder in this direction.  Marie and Deb sighting.  Deb asks if I am cold and then offers me a "fireball".  First time drinking whiskey while running a marathon (maybe first whiskey ever).  Yowza!  Glad I did not take a larger sip.  I will save the rest of the little bottle for later.

Mile 16 - Catch up to Teri.  We run together to the next aid station.  Nice to finally run with her.  But she is slowing and I still feel pretty good, so I press on.

Mile 18.5 - Maybe I took too many potatoes, my stomach is starting to rebel a little.  Frozen gels and rock solid shot blocks have not helped either.  Start slowing some but still thinking I can beat last year's 4:19.

Mile 19.94 - A bridge is up ahead, maybe right at 20.0, and I plane to walk the bridges as usual, but I am suddenly struck by serious fatigue.  I start walking here and pick it up again after the bridge, but in a much lower gear.  It is all of a sudden so hard now, from here to the end.

Mile 22 - Lately when I tire late in a race, I can plug along OK, but this is serious wall stuff today.  Been a long time since I have struggled like this.  Not having a very fun time, I should rate today's experience a 3 out of 5, but there is still that sense of accomplishment that I am starting to have, knowing that I will finish another marathon.  It really is a great feeling to be able to get outside and do this, whatever the finish time.

Mile 25 - Gave up on 4:19 a while back, then I gave up on 4:30!  It is what it is.  I am running 14 minute miles.  Pigtails herself passes me.....and she is running the 50K!  I can shuffle and move my arms.  Head down a lot and I don't care.  Soon to be over.

Mile 26.2 - Try to speed up for the finish, but it is pathetic.  Picture with Monte.  Teri comes in a minute after me, I should have just stayed with her.  Soup and quesadillas.  Thanks to the awesome volunteers who braved the real cold of staying in one place.

15th of 48 with 16 did not start
Race#405, Marathon or ultra#148, Pigtails race#8

Saturday, December 3, 2016

12/4/16 Saint Martins Jingle Bell Run 5K

4th time here and 4th year in a row.  Always a week after a marathon.  I registered back in July so with early pricing it was $25 with shirt and chip timed.  It bugs me a little that they have continued to make the 5K race for competitive runners only.  If you can't go sub 30 minutes, then you can do the untimed fun run.  I know I can be under 30, but I like having all the walkers show up in the results, making my finish spot look better.

Recovery week was OK.  Got in a good hill workout on Thursday as I am focusing on training for the Mountain Marathon in March.  Yesterday I should have rested, but I had the opportunity to get out for 4 easy miles and I am afraid that I will need early in the month miles to reach my goal for December.  So today I feel a little weary.  Last year I ran a slowish 23:54 and I think that I should be able to beat that today.  Warm up for 2 miles and I feel ready to go.

Cold but dry.  I will wear a beanie hat and after warm up I put on a pair of gloves.  Not sure I need them but I will end up wearing them the whole way.  Two long sleeve T-shirts.  Fun atmosphere, with lots of costumes and people of all ages. One of my CCM Pacers is here, Rob.  I tell him that he has to beat me to keep his 3:30 pace job.  That will be no problem as he will crush it coming in 8th overall at a 6:10 pace!  Barb is here and worried that she won't make the 30 minute cut off, just getting back after injury.


Start - I start about a third of the way back.  Takes a few seconds to get over the mat.  But it is less crowded than past years and we can run our own paces right away.  Just a little tight, but not bad.  I head out at a too fast pace, but taking advantage of the pavement before the uneven grass trail.

Mile 1 - 7:30 - but now the uphill and then uneven dirt part, with a little mud.  Lost of people to run near or with, or to go back and forth with.

Mile 1.55 - Through the finish chute and start the second lap.  But I am at 12 minutes and I really doubt I can run the second half faster than the first.  This will be my slowest time here yet.  Nothing hurts and I am pushing myself hard, but the speed is not quite there.  Get going faster, but then there is the trail.

Mile 2.5 - Up the hill again and I am getting passed a lot. And I thought I was strengthening my hill game.  Now I am sure I will not beat last years time.  I keep going hard and get a little faster once I am back on the pavement.  Work really hard to pass one guy on the last stretch.  Then it is over.

Mile 3.1 - 3.11 on the GPS.  Walk back to watch the finishers.  It gets thin after 27 minutes, and when they do come in, I cheer them on.  One small girl will be so close, I scream at her to speed up and she finishes at 30:00 on the clock.  Oh, here comes Barb at 31 something and they are still recording times.  I am glad that they were not so strict on that.

Half mile cool down jog.  Check results on the laptops.  Get snacks.  Rachael Petersen sighting.  Back home by mid morning.  Glad I ran, will probably do it again and trying to not be so disappointed with a slightly slower race than expected.

58th of 133
Race#404, 5K#107, SMJB#4