Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Light at the end of the tunnel marathon

July 15, 2012

Quick recap:

Hyak Tunnel
After the marathon, Crystal and I stopped at the start line to capture some pictures
Dark Hyak Tunnel 
Tunnel Entrance
My daughter, Crystal, and I were headed to a college orientation that would start Monday and my marathon was along the way so we made a pit stop at my cousin's house on Saturday. We were treated like royalty and while Crystal slept in Sunday morning, I made my way to the Ole Cedar Mill Mini Storage to catch the bus to the Hyak Tunnel trailhead located on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail.  The ride seemed endless, one of the reasons I don't like riding from the finish to the start of any marathon.

This summer day was perfect for running with temperatures not exceeding 60 or so with rainfall late in the race. The coolness aided many runners to personal best times for the marathon.

The race started along the trail with a short section in the opposite direction and then we turned around and headed for the dark tunnel, headlamps and flashlights en masse. The great thing about the tunnel is that it is flat and the footing was sure. My headlamp's batteries must have been bad because I could barely see more than 2 feet in front of me so when someone began passing me with their Sun lamps, I hung on to their pace for dear life. My lesson for next year is to check my batteries and carry a flashlight.

The light at the end of the tunnel was SO FAR AWAY but we eventually spilled out of it 2 miles later and super volunteers took our lights and made sure they were put in our drop bags.  The course follows the John Wayne Trail.  Here is a map of the course:  Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon Course

Spectacular views and a net downhill course made this marathon like manna from heaven.  I was warned about the downhill causing quadricep pain but I had no problem with it. I was able to run a few miles the next day.  Much of the race I spent with Mary Hanna, either side by side or leapfrogging.  The time flew by for me and soon I was cruising into the finish line in 3:21:34, first in age group and 7th female overall and 37th overall.  My friend, Lori, crushed the course in 3:07, taking 3rd!
One of the amazing views along the course - hope you're not afraid of heights!

This is on my list of MUST DO AGAIN.

Pedro finished his 100th marathon! 
Bill Barmore congratulating me at the finish,  probably saying, "But Lori still kicked your butt."

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Running With The Reign 5k

October 27, 2012

Running friend, Sharon Butler, needed a way to fund-raise for her daughter's dance team, and, of course, being a runner, she couldn't help but think of a race.  She set the wheels in motion and with some stutter steps along the way, found herself on race morning with a successful event.

This past week, Sharon and I went for a little jaunt around Dyes Inlet during my daughter's college classes.  Wednesday, I decided to do the same loop again on my own just because I had the time as I waited again for my daughter.  I haven't had many long runs in the past couple of months so I took advantage of the situation. Dyes Inlet Long Run map is here.

For the third week in a row, I have added speed work into my training and completed 6 Yassos (800s at marathon goal pace, 3:20-3:30 per 800 for me).  My legs were dead Friday as I did a short 4 mile run and hoped I left something for the race on Saturday. I wouldn't be worried if it was a trail marathon or something but a 5k meant I needed to have speedy legs!

The morning was dreary, soggy and no end in sight to the rain. A text from my cell phone carrier woke me up at 6:30 am (how rude!) to update me on my account. Crawled out of bed 15 minutes before my alarm - can I cancel a carrier for waking me? I inhaled my coffee and convinced myself I was awake and it was ONLY 3 miles!  I could award myself later with a snuggly kitten nap if I really needed it. .

I layered up in a tank, long sleeve, shorts, warm-up pants, compression socks, gloves and cap.  I stayed toasty inside the junior high until five minutes before the race and then took off all the outer layers. The only other person dressed in so little was the male first place winner.

After a brief huddle under a tent, I lined up at the front and we took off out of the parking lot, splashing all the way. I quickly found myself in 4th place following two teenage boys and an adult guy, who informed me it was 3.4 miles so I should pace myself since I "obviously"intended to race hard (his words).  The course was along mildly rolling roads, ones that I have been running for years. We ran past my uncle and aunt's house, my brother-in-law's house, my in-law's road (why yes, we could possibly own this road!) all surrounded by farm-esque housing. I wonder if anyone noticed the alpacas?

I kept pace directly behind the adult guy with a 6:50 first mile and 7:14 second mile. Ideally (for me) a sub-7 pace is a pretty good day. Close to 6:30 pace average I'm feeling great. As we approached mile 2, orange shirt adult guy tells me to go for it as I creep past him.  Passing people in races is motivating but also leaves me with an impending sense of urgency to not let them pass me later in the race. I managed to squeak out another 7:14 mile and noted the first two runners ahead weren't gaining any distance on me so they had slowed their original pace. With less than half a mile to go, I gave it one last push and was able to increase my pace to 7:03 over the last .36 miles for the first overall woman's finish.  Not exactly lightning fast but fast enough.

This was a fun race put on in a short amount of time and hopefully it will be back bigger and better next year!  Maybe the "Reign"really will run with us then?

Boing! Boing! Boing! Trying to stay warm.

And we are off!