Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sound to Narrows 12k

Sound to Narrows 12k
 (7.4564544 miles for the metrically challenged)

Sound to Narrows 12k, June 11, 2011

Saturday, 6:30 a.m....beep...beep...beep!  "What day is it?" I sat up startled as the alarm screached.  I have to stop waking up like this.  Maybe this is the beginning of senility, waking up not knowing what day it is or why the alarm would be sounding.

In a few moments, I remembered why I was waking up and quickly headed to the coffee pot, hoping to be revived by it's caffeinated magic wonders.  Okay, I gave myself 45 minutes to get out of the house.  The race started at 8:45 am and a group of us were meeting at 8:15 for the paparazzi.  I signed up under the Narrows Bridge Running Club team and was finally going to meet teammates for an upcoming relay in July. 

I decided to wear my running skirt and running "skivvies" underneath.  That's underwear  for those that are not OLD like me.  Grabbed my pink tank and my Discovery Marathon long sleeve shirt.  My race packet would be waiting for me at the Route 16 booth.  http://www.route16runwalk.com/ 

My family stayed home and cheered me on from their beds.  **Well, not really.  They were helping my parents while I played.  I was a good girl and went to help right after the race.**

 The race started at  Vassault Park in Tacoma.  I parked 3/4th a mile from the start and did a happy dance straight into an empty porta-potty that manifested itself along my walk.  I slipped inside the box of wonders and prayed the apartment complex residents weren't watching.

NOT the port-a-potty I found
 8:00 a.m. and I was already at the Route 16 booth...early!!!  Tony Seabolt had a Dirty Girls singlet I could wear for the race and I spent the pre-race time talking with a lot of running friends and posing for pictures. 

8:40 a.m arrived and I headed up to the race start, seeing other friends along the way. This is perhaps the largest attended community event in Tacoma.  I lined up with the green wave (first wave), with the other waves released in 5 minute increments.  The green wave is supposed to be able to run 7:30 minute miles so I set off with a goal to get in under 7:30 for my first 2 miles and see what my legs were willing to do after that. 

Cruising downhill for the first mile gave me a one mile split of 6:45 which I was extremely happy to see.  Ruth Perkins, the eventual overall woman's winner, passed me in the first 1/2 mile and I knew that something had gone wrong with her start as she should have been at the front of the pack.  She must have been running in the 5's and I tried not to think about how slow she made everyone look. 

One of the markers along 5 mile drive through Point Defiance Park
We entered the park and the up/down hills of Point Defiance slapped everyone into reality.  I ran this at Tacoma City Marathon but racing Sound to Narrows and pacing the 4:15 marathon group make this road two different animals. 

Uphills my quads would catch fire and I had to let other runners pass me.  I took advantage of the flats and downhills as much as I could, passing the strong uphill runners.  Somewhere along the drive, a woman asked if I was Ginger.  I was absorbed in thoughts of flaming torches and loved the distraction.  It turns out that I met a reader of my blog, Amanda!  Hi Amanda!  Thank you for saying hey to me and helping me to not think about my quads internally combusting for a couple of minutes.

We escaped the park to be faced with North Mildred Street, which should have been named Evil Canyon.  I literally felt like Jack (from Jack and Jill) falling down the hill and when I recovered from the pounding of the downhill, I hit semi-truck mode on an uphill.  As we rounded the corner from the hill, we had a nice stretch of road before hitting the last big ascent of the race, Vassault Street. 

I've found the best strategy on this road is to break it down into sections.  Hill #1, hill #2, short hill, long hill, etc.  This would be my slowest mile of the day, 8:19.  The last half mile I pushed myself as hard as I could knowing the finish line was just around the corner.  As I turned left off Vassault onto a downhill and right toward the grassy finish (being careful not to trip over a curb!), I saw the clock and was thrilled to see I would finish under one hour.

My Garmin read 57:03 with my last .5 at a 7:00 pace.  The Sound to Narrows site has me at 56:39, but that unfortunately doesn't seem right.  I believe this is my second fastest Sound to Narrows, with my fastest around 55 minutes.  I think I have only run this 4 times but will need to look at my running logs to confirm.

Overall results:
4/164 age group
27/1276 overall women
222/2478 overall men and women

Post-Race:  I ran through Point Defiance the next day with my husband but this time through the trail system.  We ran 10 miles at a leisurely pace, and with 4 miles to go, I told Jeff, "Okay, 6 done.  Now we can have fun!" and on the word "fun" I heard a KER-THUNK!  Well, at least one of us had fun.

I forgot to add that after the race, our team met at a restaurant for food, fun and prizes.  I wasn't able to attend but found a message on Facebook telling me I had won a bib for the Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon set for August 6th!  Awesome!!!
Hanging out with the Original Narrows Bridge Running Club

Dirty Girls and Rhubarb

Tony Seabolt and his Dirty Girls harem

Does anyone else think I must be on stilts??