Monday, July 17, 2017

7/15/17 Trials Legacy Marathon

My first time here at this second annual event, a marathon that retraces the course of the Women's Olympic Trials marathon, held in Olympia before the 1984 Olympics (the first Olympics that women where allowed to compete in the marathon).  I heard (but don't quote me on this) that the RDs are trying to raise money to erect a statue/monument in Marathon Park to commemorate that race.  I love the idea of another local marathon, though I could not make it last year, I was happy to register early for this. The $80 entry fee is not bad considering we get a shirt, socks, medal and a whole lot of volunteer and police support.

A number of things happened recently to take away my competitive spirit though.  I have not run farther than 7 miles since June 18.  Trip to England and then Caleb and family visiting messed with my normal routine.  Birthday party with cake and ice cream last night.  Started feel a cold (the Summer Sniffles) coming on yesterday.  Seven days ago I ran very hard to win the Mcleary Bear 10K.  I think that my legs will be OK, but my competitive spirit needs a break.  No desire to push myself hard.  Oh and it is going to get very warm out, another reason to take it easy.  Plus the course......not having run this race before and knowing that it is a small event, I am afraid that we may be on sidewalks a lot and probably have to stop for traffic lights at times.  At packet pickup yesterday I learn that there are only 35 runners registered.  So disappointing.  The Lakefair half and 8K will be going on at the same time, with hundreds of runners, but I will be out there all alone.  Best thing is to find someone or two who are OK with a slower pace and stick with them.

Enter Vicki and Emillie.  I first met them in April at Blooms to Brews and have since seen them at Capital City and the Seattle Rock and Roll.  I knew that today is a special day for them and since they finished behind me at each of those races, I hope to run with them today and have it be easier for me than if I really ran for time.  This will be Vicki's 100th marathon and she is finishing a goal set be her late husband, so it is a very meaningful day for them.  They are pleased to see me and seem happy that I want to tag along with them.

Start - At Heritage and Evergreen Parkway.  Easy parking here, but getting back from the finish (3 miles away) is not entirely figured out.  Bright sun and warm enough to start in just short sleeves.  Crockpot is here as is Maniac Laura, so I have another option of someone to run with, but for now I will stick with Vicki and Emillie.  Chipped timed, but no mat at the start line.  Such a small group though the start is smooth with plenty of room to run on the quiet street.

Mile 4 - A bit of a rough start  but now I am feeling warmed up and running relaxed.  Over Highway 101, down second ave to Littlerock road.  Over I-5 and up Capital Way.  I know this whole course but seldom run on any of the first 18 miles.  Traffic will build and the roads will get busy.  It may have been a nice course in 1982, with closed roads, but with all the development and our little race, it may not be so fun.  Yes it is as flat as you can get around here, but I would take scenery and hills and quiet roads compared to this.  Matt sighting, followed by Rob sighting.  Thanks for volunteering!

Mile 13 - 2:18 on the clock.  We are hoping to beat 5 hours, so we are in great shape.  Very uneventful morning so far.  Warming enough to start pouring water on my head.  So pleased with the number of volunteers, course marshals (in bright shirts) and police at road crossings.  No waiting for traffic lights.  Aid stations every two miles.  Never a questions of where to turn on the course.  But the best part by far is running with my new friends.  They think that I am sweet to run with them, but the miles are just easing by in pleasant conversation and I am happy to be here with them.  Perhaps mother and daughter have run out of things to talk about after 8 marathons in 16 weeks, they seem so happy to have me with them and to talk about whatever.  They keep saying how nice I am, plus they think that I am a fast runner.  They also have family and friends up from Portland just to spectate and help them celebrate this achievement.  It is a nice diversion every time we see them.  In the mean time we have settled in to a steady pace.  Yelm Highway sidewalk, College Street, 45th Ave, Ruddle Road (with cones so we can run in the road); these are roads I would never choose to run on.

Mile 15 - Starting to tire.  I expect that we will take walk breaks soon.  But Emillie says that her Mom does not walk, just slows a little. Emillie is still running on her toes, like a deer.  For now Vickie is running strong and I begin to wonder if I will be able to keep up.  Yes I came in ahead of them in three races this year, but now that I think about it, they were very close behind me in each one.  We really are very well matched to be running together. Right shoulder is bugging me.  Water bottle with phone is heavy.  I take two ibuprofen.  I often carry some with me but seldom use it.

Mile 18 - Through St Martins, then back along and over I-5.  Now the course will get nicer.  The shade on the Western Chehalis trail is so welcome.  After that long gradual uphill, we get a nice downhill.  We pass a couple of runners and are maintaining our pace.  I feel better after that bad patch.  Just hot and tired, nothing hurts, shoulder is under control, I think the ibuprofen helped. 

Mile 21 - On to 26th street (no road shoulder or shade) for about 2 miles and then it will be along the bay and gentle down to downtown. Vicki is running like a machine.  I want to take a walk break.  Instead I push on ahead.  Until this point I had been careful to not get ahead, let Vickie set the pace, but I just want to be done with this section.  I can see the aid station and the turn onto Ames road up ahead.  I get into the zone and trudge on, planning to wait for them in the shade.  Alone for the first time in this race, work really hard to get through this section.  Walk into the aid station and look back, and Emillie and Vicki are only a few feet behind me.  No rest for the weary, we continue on together.

Mile 24 - So nice coming down East Bay.  Gentle breeze and gentle downhill.  Making great time.  We want Vickie to finish however she wants but we all realize that a sub 4:40 is very possible.

Mile 26 - Downtown, so great to see that mile marker.  No problem reaching 4:40.  But then the last 0.2 miles seem long.  My watch had been running 0.1 miles long, now it reaches 26.4 at the finish. 

Mile 26.2 - Vickie's friends are here with balloons and 100 roses.  I make sure that they finish a step ahead of me.  Hugs all around.  Each of us happy with how the run went.  Watermelon and orange slices and water.  Jared and Caleb are here to drive me back to my car so I do not stay long.  Buy a cold Mountain Dew and it is so good!

My watch read 4:38:40 but a volunteer at the finish said that our time as 4:37:40, looking at a clipboard.  Also I did not see a chip reader at the finish, don't know what is up with that, but I don;t care.

I had a much more fun day than I expected, thanks to my new friends and a well organized and supported course.  The running was good too, with great pacing and an even split time!  The course with the mostly ugly busy roads and long stretches in the hot July sun, and the small numbers are reasons why I might go back to the half at Lakefair next year.

Results pending
Race#422, Marathon or Ultra#157


Emillie Niblack said...

My fast friend Andy! I found your blog and will look forward to keeping track of all the fabulous places your running career takes you! It really was a joy and honor to run with you on Saturday. It made the marathon miles fly by and we really appreciated your positive spirit. Thank you for encouraging us and sticking with us through 26.2 miles of my babbling on and on. I hope our paths will cross again in the future. God bless you as you run and make a difference in the lives of those who are fortunate enough to run with you. -Emillie

mummydust said...

Yay! You found me. I'm a little sad that you are done with marathons for a while. Hope to see you on the road sometime.