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