Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dizzy Daze Marathon

Green Lake -Dizzy Daze Marathon
Seattle, Washington
March 24, 2012

I've run Dizzy Daze once before in 2009, finishing in about 4:15 and freezing.  I had my key tied to my shoe but my hands weren't functioning so I took off my shoe and unlocked the door with a very wet, muddy shoe attached.  It also hung from the ignition until my hands dethawed.  Brr!!!  What a nice surprise to see sun in the forecast for the race!

With an 8:00 a.m. start, I needed to leave by 6:15 to arrive in time to park and get my number. So of course I left at 6:25.  It was 7:40 before I finally was circling Green Lake, only to take a wrong turn (were the road engineers drunk when they designed these roads?).  I was in my non-GPS car without a map and getting very frustrated.  I stopped a man who was walking and very stupidly asked, "Where is the lake?" and he pointed me down the correct road.  I have been to Green Lake before but without my navigational system, seem to get turned on the wrong diagonal road every time.  

I saw the start, found a parking spot and with 10 minutes to go, realized there was no porta-potty or bathroom closer than 1/4 mile.  Betsy Rogers, race director, saw my plight and rescued me by driving me to the nearest bathroom.  She was my hero!  We made it back to the start with 2 minutes to spare and were quickly sent on our way.  It didn't seem like there were many runners but I didn't make time to look around at who was there in my rush before the race.  

My plan for the day was to enjoy the weather, the flat course, get in my long run and try to keep it under 9, but preferably 8:30 pace.  My first mile felt very comfortable at an 8:03 average so I decided to attempt 8:15 as my average for the race and see how long I could hold it.  The outer loop around Green Lake is approximately 3.2 miles and open to the public.  A 100 mile (one runner), 100k, and 50k started before the marathon and the half-marathon started after.  It was difficult for me to tell who was in each race so I raced based on my pace and not on where anyone else was on the loop.  

I listened to my Itouch but didn't carry water since there was an aid station every 3 miles. The weather was amazing, clear skies, warm but not hot, dry...completely opposite of my first run here.  Green Lake was full of dog walkers, bicyclists, runners, walkers...a perfect day to be outside, especially after months of gloomy weather.

The weather, seeing people enjoying the day, the flat course, and amazing race directors kept my spirits up and I felt great each mile, stopping long enough to grab a drink on each loop.  At the half-marathon mark, I stopped and grabbed a couple gus out of my bag and didn't need to change into the spare shoes I brought (memories of the last wet run are still fresh in my memory).  The half marathoners were on the loop now as well.  Some runners don't like this course but for me, it was awesome. I enjoyed the activity that was going on around me and it kept my mind busy.  

I soon found myself beginning the last full loop and couldn't believe how great I felt.  After passing the aid station, I continued to the short out-and-back turnaround and found myself grabbing a bib out of Matt Hagen's hand at the finish line.  He announced me the women's overall winner and this was my bib for next year if  I chose to use it.  My official time was 3:29:04!  I've run marathons and really struggled to get that time but this day it felt like a walk (run) in the park!

Margarita pizza was waiting for me along with a very cool key chain, knit cap and coffee as a prize.  A soccer game awaited me (well, actually it didn't wait), so I headed out and was immediately transformed from marathon winner to mom.  All in a day!  

Avg Pace