Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Seafair Torchlight 8k - 7/28/12

Beverly and I met up and made our way to catch the 3:00 ferry from Bremerton to Seattle.  We had a few hours of rest after Whale of a Run 4 mile.  I pulled into the wrong parking garage, losing a couple minutes, and once in the correct one, finding a spot was difficult, especially for my huge SUV. I had Beverly fold up the dollars to put in the parking meter and she ran to it while I parked.  It was 2:58 p.m.!  I ran to her and lo and behold, it was a new meter, not the kind you push your folded dollars into slots.  Without her glasses, Bev had attempted to put the money into a coin slot.  Even with this small error, we would have missed the ferry.  A helpful attendant recovered the money and we spent an hour walking around the newly renovated Bremerton waterfront.  It has changed so much since I was a kid!  There was a wedding party at the park by the ferry and shipyard. We both agreed our husbands would NEVER want to get married next to their work.  

We arrived at the Seattle waterfront at 5:20 p.m. and started the trek to the Seattle Center.  This walk seemed a lot shorter in my mind.  I saw a Club Northwest runner and asked if he knew where packet pickup was. He told us and said we better hurry or we'd miss it!  Yikes!  We already had been race walking but began jogging to the Center.  I need to start looking at the race details before I leave home. I assumed we were starting the race where the Seattle Marathon started.  Not at all. It was on the opposite side of the Center.  Lots of spectators were lined up waiting for the parade.  There were entire living rooms and kitchens set up on the sidewalks!  Barbecues, tents, potlucks, etc. filled every space along the road.  

We ran into the Seattle Center and finally found packet pick at 6:00.  That was a nice warm up and we both were already hot.  The drop bag area and porta potty was next.  Bev waited in the drop bag line while I waited to use the bathroom.  The Center was packed with people!  There was excitement in the air as we made our way to the starting line.

A helicopter hovered overhead and the local tv station broadcasted the start.  This is a big event in Seattle, followed by the Torchlight Parade.  The first few miles were downhill and flat, and also along the parade route.  This made the miles fly!  I only felt cramped with runners for a quarter mile and then ran easily at my own pace throughout.  I love running with spectators and was not disappointed in the huge crowd cheering.  

And then...The Alaskan Way Viaduct.  It was HOT and seemed to last forever.  My pace slipped.  I was fortunate to not know what was ahead.  

We had some uphills in the 4th and 5th mile, nothing compared to a trail run, but these felt incredibly hard.  We'd round a corner and I thought the finish line should have been there but it wasn't.  I was thinking we'd be running about 4.8 miles.  We finally reached the finish line with 5.11 on my Garmin.  I was so happy I wore a sports bra because I was roasting!  The finish line had lots of goodies including blueberries!

Bev finish a couple minutes behind me and she was pretty happy to have run her first double race day.  After a short time sitting, we made our way towards the ferry.  A stop at Anthony's Fish House sounded great! Bev couldn't decide what kind of fish taco she would like and the chef was so nice, he made her a free salmon taco.  When does that ever happen?  

Super fun day with a super duper friend!  I love this race and especially when I get the early bird rate!

overall place:179 out of 1874
division place:4 out of 92
gender place:29
gun time:36:43

Beverly in front of the new-fangled parking meter 
One of the hills.  Ugh!
Bev and I after the finish.

The fountain at the Seattle Center
Seattle waterfront fountain
Bev with the chef at Anthony's
The Wheel along the Seattle waterfront.  $13 a person for one spin around!  
Avg Pace

Whale of a Run - 7/28/12

July 28, 2012

Going in reverse order, it's time to report on two short races I ran in one day.

First, Whale of a Run 4 miler.  I hadn't planned on running this as I was already signed up for a race in the evening. Jeff was signed up for the evening race but found out he had to work the weekend.  I contacted a friend and asked if she wanted to run with his bib and after some ice cream bribery, Beverly agreed.  She was running a race in the morning in Silverdale and egged me on to run it as well.  I've done this race but have missed it sporadically due to soccer tournaments falling on the same day.  Since Jessica is injured, that wasn't an issue this year.

I arrived at the registration tables race morning 45 minutes before the start and quickly was signed up, used the porta-potty and had time to run back to my vehicle before the start.  After the Ragnar Relay the weekend before, I had been taking it easy with my running and sleeping A LOT!  Running fast sounded difficult!

The first mile is flat and open, easily separating runners before we turn a corner and face the only hill on the course.  And this hill is a doozy when you're trying to run fast.  6:55 first mile and I felt pretty good.

Road construction forced us to run on dirt as we began the second mile, a slow incline before the steeper section that isn't terribly long.  If you don't know this course, it's intimidating and hard to know how to pace yourself.  I knew that once I rounded the corner, it leveled out and was a good time to recover but not let myself fall too far behind. I was elated to see a 7:44 second mile.  Sure, I wish it was faster but for a hilly mile, it was good for me.  The goal for mile 3 was to get my rhythm back and start looking for targets.  Running targets.  I passed a few runners along this stretch and felt like I had some life in my legs.

Mile 4 is flat and downhill, perfect for me!  That's where I can make up time from my slow uphill times.  I focused on quick feet and pulling in runners in front of me. With half a mile to go, I passed a group of 3 guys and just as we rounded the corner to the last straightaway, one of them surged past me and outkicked me at the finish.  It's all good. Pretty sure he's not in my age group or gender :)

A 6:14 for mile 4 put a big smile on my face and even though I think I've run this course in a faster time, this girl was pretty happy to have finished under a 7 minute average and even squeezed out a low 6 minute mile.  Not bad for a 40 something mom.

First in my age group and I think I was 7th overall.

Avg Pace

The last stretch before the finish.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon - 8/4/12

Time to play catch up with my race reports.  I will start with my most recent since it's fresh in my mind and then attempt to give reports on Tunnel Marathon, Ragnar Relay, Whaling Days and Seafair Torchlight BEFORE next weekend's 12 hour run.

The week before this race, I pulled a double race day with a 4 miler in the morning and an 8k at night.  Following these races (Saturday), I only did easy running and zero pace work, strides, etc.  My body didn't want to run fast and my mind didn't have the nerve to argue.  I've also been staying up SUPER late watching the delayed Olympics, getting inspired by amazing athletes.

My friend, Sharon, agreed to set aside my bag so I wouldn't have to wait in line. Jeff was working so I was on my own.  After a terrible night of not being able to sleep, I rolled out of bed as Jeff was leaving for work. My head was swimming and I felt bloated and slow.  I couldn't find my half-fanatic tank so I wore the tech T for the Fanatics. The forecast called for high 80s, low 90s, but with a 7:30 start, we might miss the heat.

A short 25 minute drive and I arrived at the start.  The porta-potty line seemed to take forever and just 15 minutes before the start, I found Sharon and pinned my bib and made my way to the starting line with a couple minutes to spare.  Since I got my hair cut and colored this week, my friends were walking past me without seeing me, which I thought was funny.

At the start line, I was near the 1:40 pace group and my hope was to stay in front of them.  The start is at the Tacoma Narrows Airport and after a short out and back section, we ran out to the main roads leading to the bridge.  The first 3.5 miles are relatively flat and downhill, giving everyone a fast start.  I had a good clip going until the end of the bridge and the sweat was flying.  I'm guessing it was close to 80 degrees.

From 3.5 to about 5.2, it is uphill and I knew this would not be a great race.  As I reached the end of the biggest hill, averaging 10 minutes/mile, I forced myself to not give up the race.  It wasn't a PR but that didn't mean I had to quit giving it the best effort I had ON THIS DAY.

I won't lie; it was a challenge to keep a racing attitude when I knew a competitive finishing time was out the window.  The 1:40 pace group passed me around mile 8 but one of the pacers, Brad, ran with me for a couple miles while his group went ahead.  The heat was getting to him so he slowed to regain some strength. That helped the time pass quickly and soon we were entering Cheney Stadium, with the big screen showing all the runners around the field.  Brad had to briefly stop but caught up and passed me within a mile.  Blinded by sweat dripping in my eyes.  Scott Gaines, a sub 1:30 half marathoner had passed me earlier but I caught him along this stretch as he succumbed to leg cramps.

With only 2.5 miles to go, I noted 3 women in front of me and Brad was passing them.  My only focus was to keep Brad in sight in the hopes of gaining some distance on the women.  It worked!  Mile 11 was 8:15 but I pulled a 7:21 for 12 which helped me pass the women.  The last mile was flat and downhill and I squeaked a 7:02 out of it.  As I passed a guy just before mile 13, I told him to stay with me.  He picked up his pace and in the last straightaway, he outkicked me.  I finished strong averaging 6:12 for the last quarter mile. It wasn't enough to catch Bob Martin's 1:40 pace.

I finished 9th female, 2nd in my age group and 2nd master.  The first female master finished in 1:32.  This is another great local race that I hope to run every year.

Finishing times:

2008- 1:33
2009 -1:33:22
2010 -1:35:29
2011 -1:33:30
2012 -1:40:34 (+5 minutes from my previous course PW)

The start line at the Tacoma Narrows Airport

Tacoma Narrows Bridges
Finishers' medals
Finish line with Marci Martin and Bullseye, Patti Randall Krebsbach, me, Maryanne Tomich and Sharon Butler
Maryanne, me and Lizzie Lee

Avg Pace