Monday, November 28, 2011

Seattle Marathon - #40

6:45 a.m!  The race would start in 1 1/2 hours and I was just leaving my house.  The morning went quickly and the hour I gave myself to get ready wasn't enough time.  I couldn't seem to get everything together and my body wasn't cooperating with the idea of an hour long drive without a bathroom break.  I planned on leaving no later than 6:30.  

I headed out of the house and couldn't find my phone.  Back into my house and searched and then thought to call my cell and finally found it in the car in my purse.  Doh!  

I had a change of dry clothes for after the race but didn't have any alternate race clothes packed which I regretted.  I had chosen an underarmour long sleeve shirt and black capris.  I also had arm warmers on underneath the underarmour.  Predicted rain and wind had me dressing conservatively.  As I drove to the race, the temperature was in the mid-50s, much warmer than I anticipated.  I would normally not wear long sleeves at that temperature.  I also could only find my double-thick layered gloves.

I downed a Clif bar on the drive and quickly started feeling nauseous and anxious to get to Seattle.  My stomach was flipping out!  I decided to take the Qwest field exit and avoid the exits closer to the Seattle Center in case they were backed up.  I searched high and low for street parking near the start but my luck seemed to be missing.  I turned onto 5th and saw the start area up ahead.  A right turn onto Roy brought a welcome sight, empty parking spaces in a small lot.  $5 all day parking and very close to the start.  It was 8:05 and the race started at 8:15!  I had exactly five one dollar bills and it didn't accept credit cards.  I tied my key onto my shoe, grabbed my gloves, Itouch and headphones, bib number and timing chip.  I had NO time to go back for any last minute changes.  Impatiently I folded my dollar bills into the smallest size I could to get them into the little holes and prayed each one would go in as the "key" to push them in was missing.  Finally I got the last one in and I jogged to the nearest porta-potties, which at this point was painful.  

8:09.  Pinned my bib on my shirt while waiting in line and headed to the start after a quick porta-potty turnaround.  My headphones were in a tangled mess and as I tried to get through the maze, I saw that the ear buds were missing.  Oh well, nothing I can do about it.  I also hadn't turned on my Garmin, which is notorious for not locating satellites while I'm moving.  It does locate when I get to the start.  

This officially has not been my best race morning.  I had to climb over a metal barrier and saw the 3:30 pace group to the my left.  I quickly drink a 5 hour energy and take off a fashionable garbage bag that I didn't need.  One minute to go and I decide it's enough time to get my ankle timing chip tied into my shoe laces.  I am shaking as I don't like the idea of being trampled as I'm squatted down to do this last minute preparation.  I finished with about 5 seconds to spare.

Mile 1-2:  Lots of energy in the air.  The start was next to the Experience Music Project at the Seattle Center.  We run under the monorail along 5th Avenue and continue along this road until we head onto the  I-90 express lanes.  Somewhere between mile one and two my Garmin had a glitch and gave me a 6 minute mile.  

Miles 2-4:  We continue along the expressway and head into the tunnel leading to the I-90 floating bridge to Mercer Island.  I am HOT in the tunnel but I don't have a tank on under my long sleeved shirt and my gloves would just annoy me if I stuffed them in my capris.  If I have to, I'll take them off but decide it's easier to keep them on.  I have a headband on but no hat.  With the winds during the race, my hat may have blown away anyway.

Miles 4-6:   We head out of the tunnel, half-marathoners turning right to head to Lake Washington Boulevard while the marathoners continue across the bridge.  I stay just in front of the 3:20 pace group and feel comfortable at that pace.  This is the first time we see the front-runners on the out-and-back across the bridge.  I saw Trisha Steidl near the front for the women and she will go on to win the marathon.  The men's race looked pretty even in the front.  One of the men, well..I'll just show you and you decide (Thanks Takao Suzuki):   

Is this a Body Glide scientific experiment?   He was fast!  This is leaving the tunnel heading to the bridge.
Miles 6-8:  The turnaround at the end of the bridge had an aid station and my stomach finally settled enough for me to take in fluid.  I had felt sick most of the morning after the Clif bar and couldn't eat or drink.  As I ran back across the bridge, I saw a deluge of runners which always gives me a boost of energy.  I stopped to give my friend, Jessica, a hug but mostly went unnoticed by my fellow Marathon Maniacs.  Not wearing my Maniac gear left me feeling lost in the crowd.  I don't think there are any unofficial pictures of me in this race.  The bridge was windy but I didn't feel it affected my pace.  It did push me sideways a couple of times, though.

Miles 8-11:  We headed out along Lake Washington Boulevard, basically flat the entire way.  I kept a consistent pace and was anxious to get to Seward Park.

Miles 11-13.1:  The 3:20 group passed me somewhere in these two miles and I didn't have the zip in my step to keep pace.  I hit the halfway at 1:42.  

Miles 13.1-17:  Maintained a fairly even pace through these miles.  The rain was coming and going with winds picking up and dying down.  Gold leaves were flying off trees in almost a magical way that I didn't appreciate.  

Miles 17-20:  We run under the I-90 bridge and buckle down for the most challenging part of the course.  My pace was slowing and suddenly the sky loomed ominously dark bringing a drenching rainfall in moments.  "Liquid Sunshine" as one spectator Pollyanna'd to the runners.  Anything that WAS dry lost the battle.  A long row of American flags followed pictures of soldiers who died in service to our country.   Here is an opportunity to put life into perspective when you see these pictures.  The 3:30 group has passed me and I later saw that Maniac Terry Sentinella was helping to pace it.  I may have rallied had I known he was there because it's just a little easier to push yourself when you have someone else working with you.

Miles 20-22:  "I hate you, Galer!" a guy shouted as we approached a short but steep hill that leads to a less steep but longer incline. I admit that I did walk about 30 seconds on the less steep hill just to get some of my energy back.  Mile 21 is near the top which leads us toward Interlaken Blvd., a windy, slightly up and down section.  Once Galer and Madison are behind us, I know the biggest hills are gone.  

Miles 22-24:  These miles are sluggish, I'll admit.  I didn't even realize I had slowed so much.  Lost focus can do that.  I love getting to mile 23 and knowing that only a 5k is remaining.  We are treated to a Space Needle sighting and the finish is within view!

Miles 24-25:  Steady pace, distracted by the woman who apparently didn't rinse her compression shorts thoroughly as there are bubbles frothing all along her clothing and running down her legs.  

Mile 25-26.2:  The downhill pounds my legs and I was relieved to get to the bottom of the hill.  I'm passing some people who can't get out of low gear and my stomach growls in hunger as I turn from Republican onto Dexter.  As fast as I felt hungry, I felt nauseous again as a pungent smell of food filled the air.  Left turn onto Mercer and I push my pace up the hill and know the left turn to the stadium is just ahead.  I turn left and shift gears and race to the finish.  I started to pass a guy who, of course, picks his pace up (coincidentally) and I get a little tripped up on his foot while simultaneously pulling my headphones out of my Itouch, which flipped up and cut my lip. 3:34:39!  

Betsy Rogers and Bill Barmore welcomed me in and gave me my medal.  I had been feeling dizzy at various points in the race and really felt it hit me at the finish.   I think the wind may have affected my equilibrium.  After getting my finisher's blanket, I made my way to the recovery area where I had to sit for about 10 minutes before getting up to get some fuel.  A quick (this is relative!) trip through the food and drink, I head out as I was beginning to shiver.  

I'll be getting a pretty piece of plastic in the mail since I finished in the top 10 of my age group!

My 40th marathon is done with not much fanfare but a great day nonetheless.  I'm looking forward to number 41 on December 31st!  I've heard rumors there ma be an opportunity for a triple marathon threat.  Do I dare?

GINGER GRUBER 43 6/105 41 3:34:39  3:35:04 1:42:18 1:52:47 


Avg Pace
52:48.9 (I am a running phenom!)1.002:48.9