Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Rattlesnake Lake Marathon RR (updated with new photos)

lLast Sunday (7/6) I ran the Rattlesnake Lake Marathon, though my time was a bit longer than I would have preferred, I had a good time and still remained under the 4 hour mark.

The day began early, I picked up Barefoot Jon (MM# 209) and we were on the road by 6:30am. We arrived shortly 7 allowing Jon to take the (2nd) early start at 7:30, I waited it out and took the standard 8 o'clock start.

The first 5 miles were on a gentle down hill slope, I took it slow and ran at about a 8:20 min/mile, it felt comfortable but may explain why my over all time was longer than usual (ie: I usually go out faster and drop off sometime after the half way mark).

There's a turn around at mile 5 that begins a subtle 2% grade going up hill for 13 miles, if this sounds familiar it's because most of this course is also part of the Mt. Si 50 Mile course. Those 13 miles have a way of grinding on ones mind, thankfully, there's some great scenery to be had including waterfalls and mountains, not to mention the cool bridges and rock climbing features along the way.

I knew before I reached 18 miles, the turn around mark, that my time was not going to be stellar, despite the fact that I ran the entire course, 2 quick 'restroom' stops, a few water bottle fills, and 13 miles of long, slow, uphill running had already taken their toll. I attempted to us the down hill to my advantage as much as possible but never really felt that I was cruising as fast as I would have liked to. In the end, I reached the finish in 3:57:23 (16th out of 51 - full results can be found here).

(just after crossing the finish line)

I can't say I have any lessons to take away from this race but I did enjoy my self. There is one small exception, I've decided that I'm not a fan of having each mile marked on a course and I'm not a fan of wearing a watch while I run, both gave me to much of an opportunity to continually check my pace and progress, something I've never trained to do. Instead of speeding up (or, god forbid, slowing down) when need be, I would just crawl into my head crunching numbers and end up being too 'present' and aware. I find I run better when I'm looking for the next aid station as opposed to the next mile marker and when I am able to get into a rhythm, something I found difficult to do while constantly obsessing about what my watch read.

All that said, let me reiterate once more that I had a grand old time, I found Rattlesnake Lake to be just what I wanted after what felt like a disastrous Grandma's, something small, friendly, and low key.

After the race I sat around for about an hour or so munching on some tasty food prepared for us by the race directors, while meeting and chatting with other maniacs. I hit the road around 1:15pm Seattle bound feeling content with another marathon under my belt, that's 7 total now!

(enjoying the food after)

On a completely unrelated note, check out this great blog posting ( It may make a little more out of ultrarunning than I would, but I understand where the author is coming from, I often suspect endurance running (and really, running in general) offers me something I'm missing... I'm just not entirely sure what it is I am missing...

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