Sunday, June 18, 2017

6/18/17 Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon

After a four year break, I am back.  Got a great deal a while ago and I really want to fill a spot on my wall of race bibs at work.

New start, at Husky Stadium, so it is point to point and stadium to stadium, though we never actually get inside either stadium.  Stay with Jared so it is an easy walk to the University Street Light Rail station in the morning and a short train ride right to the start line.  Except the trains are packed!  I squeeze on OK, but at the next stop only a couple of people can fit on and hundreds are left waiting for the next train.

Nice to see Deb and Betsy, but then I am on my own in corral 10. It is cloudy and humid but not too warm.  I am comfortable in short sleeves.  It will stay cloudy and nice the whole way.

Start - With all the crowds I somehow end up in corral 11, so at about 6:41 we set out.  So many people, about 11,000 in the half and 2,500 in the full.

Mile 1 - 9:41 - Happy with the time, but it does not feel so easy.  I feel stiff and not warmed up, the running is just not at smooth as it should be.  Watching people zig zagging around.  I also pass quite a few, but try to conserve energy and wait for an opportunity.

Mile 6 - Right on that 9:41 pace still.  Feeling better.  We go under I-90 and the there is a band playing and then a huge archway for Alaska Airlines.  I have my phone since it fits in my handheld water bottle so I slow to take a picture.  Before I snap the shot, a kind runner hands me my driver's license that fell out of the phone/bottle pouch.  I had the license just in case I have to wait at the finish for Jody and want the free beer.  So grateful she saw it and I got it back before I knew it had been dropped.  I decide to not take out my phone again

Now a super long row of "Wear Blue to Remember" folks holding large American flags.  It is picture worthy, but I am not going to do it.  Probably a half mile of flags.  Now the the fast runners coming back from the lap around Seward Park.  Amanda, Roger, Pedro, all looking strong.

Mile 10 - Halfway around the park myself and still a very steady 9:41.  Comfortable.  Introduce myself to a Double Agent and we run together for a bit.

Mile 12.5 - Steep uphill after the park and a strategic walk break.  A 10/mile finish would be great, so I might as well ease up when I feel like it, hopefully letting me continue on in good shape later in the race.  We merged with the half runners who are 4 miles behind us at this point.  Actually we have our own lane, but many of them are on my side now and there is lots of walking.  But we have the whole wide road, so it is not bad.  Quick potty break which gets me closer to an average of 9:51 pace after that and the previous hill.

Mile 15 - Long uneventful way on Rainier ave. 

Mile 18 - Close to the finish line.  Some half people walking around with finisher medals.  Full course goes around and now the long out and back on the Alaska Way Viaduct.

Catch up to Super Sabrina who is running her 200th marathon today.

Tiring on the uphill ramps, pace is slowing.

Mile 20 - Fun to see the fast people coming back.  They are almost done.  Amanda, Roger, Pedro.  Meanwhile I have a long straight slog to Ballard and back.  The Battery Tunnel is fun and I pick up the pace while I can hear the "Run to the Hills" song blaring.  But out of the tunnel is a long gradual uphill and I resort to walk breaks.  I am in good shape to beat 4:30 and I will spend the rest of the race making sure that I do so, with the least amount of effort as possible.  GPS is about two tenths off so I need to factor that into the math.

Mile 23 - So glad to reach that final turn around.  Super S not far behind.  Then I see Emilie and Vickie!  Yay!

Mile 24 - So enjoy the downhill to the tunnel.  Momentum keeps me running all the way through it though I am not going very fast.  The sounds are crazy, almost psychedelic what with my mental state at this point.

Mile 25 -  Reach the mile marker with 4:15 on my watch.  So I am still confident of a sub 4:30 but do not have time to waste.  Down the ramp, I can see the finish line, but they make us go out a little farther than I expected before the turn.  High five a couple of kids and then wave to Jody who is yelling for me.  Don't feel like going all out but I pick it up some with all the spectators.  Glad to be done with no pains or really rough patches.

Mile 26.2 - 26.4 on the GPS.  Could I have gone faster?  Yes, I did not push it.  Seeing a couple of runners getting medical aid on the course is sobering.  But I also feel like in the last 6 miles I kept trying to conserve energy.  I never stepped it up or pushed hard, for fear of really hitting the wall and having miles left.  I am a long way off from my sub 4 hour days, and this was not even as fast as Tacoma this year, but I think I ran well and it was relatively easy.  Especially since I did that trail 50K just two weeks ago.  Now a break for a little while.  Next race I am registered for is not until July 15.

1007th of 2450
Race#419, marathon or ultra#156, RnR Seattle#5

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