Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A little more detail...

Without going on & on I figure I should write a bit more about this past weekend... I'll start with the end by saying recovery has been going along swimmingly, I still have a few aches and pains but nothing unexpected. The calves are a bit tight and both middle toes have blisters but beyond that I'm feeling pretty fresh at this point, I attribute it all to ice baths, protein (shortly after finishing), rest, and of course the care of my (awesome) wife. Anyways, on with the tales...

Friday started dark and early, my wife and I woke up, got dressed, and essentially headed out the door, an hour or so later we were in front of the race director's home ion Gig Harbor. After getting signed in I stood around a bit chatting with a few other Maniacs and shortly there after we were herded down to the starting area. The race started off with a conga line through the woods that opened up a few minutes later as we found ourselves on a wider trail. The trials were well marked and the weather was perfect for running in, I enjoyed the course and ran the majority of the race on my own except for about 2 or 3 miles on the third of four loops where I talked with Steve Walters. At the end of the third loop my wife meet up with me to snap an action shot and give some quick encouragement. I finished the forth and final lap in 4:29:45, 9th over all, and was again greeted by my wife, after a few minutes of cooling down, and eating one of Bill's great blueberry pancakes, I thanked everyone and we headed off. On the way home we stopped in Tacoma at the Harmon Hub and had some tasty brew and burgers and then home from there. The rest of the day was plenty lazy, besides the ice bath and hot shower after wards not much was accomplished, we watched a few movies and were both in bed pretty early.

(Post Wishbone beers at the Hub)

The next morning I got up on my lonesome feeling pretty good, it was apparent I had run the day before but I felt confident that I'd be alright at the Ghost. I drove over to the east side of Seattle, found some street parking near the start of the race, and again, proceeded to bide my time until it was time to run. This time I started off on my own but was soon running with Rob, together we covered almost the whole first leg of the marathon route together, from that point on I was once again on my own. As much as doubling back on the same route a few times over might not sound so great it's actually a lot of fun during a race that's filled with so many familiar (and soon to be familiar) faces, it allows for a constant flow of hellos, smiles, and well wishes which do a great job of taking ones mind off the task at hand. I was able to run the majority of the race with only a few walk breaks during the last 6 miles or so including one longer than needed during the last loop through Seward Park. Despite the extended walk, I crossed the finish line at 4:57:30 which happens to be a new personal best for me, and in fact my first sub 5 hour 50K. After the race I hung out briefly, scarfing down a hotdog and chatting with some folks, then off I headed for downtown Seattle to the Seattle Marathon Expo.

(approaching the finish line on Sunday)

I woke up Sunday morning feeling pretty much the same way I felt Saturday morn which I interpreted as a good sign. Once again my wife and I headed out the door together, she dropped me off near the start and went off to meet our buddy Bob, together the two of them would meet me at the finish line. After squeezing my way through the gaggle of runners and spectators watching the half marathon take off I got to an open area where I stayed loose and warm. As time went on I started to see more and more Maniacs gathering together, eventually a group of up headed to the street, by the time the race started there were about 15 of us lumped together somewhere back toward the 4:45:00 pacers. The race started and I fell into my pace fairly easily, the short trek through downtown and the International District were uneventful and as I got on to I-90 I knew the race would be no harder than the day before. There was a lot of fog on Sunday which made the run across the I-90 floating bridge and along Lake Washington feel shorter than they were, there's something to be said for only being able to see so far ahead of yourself. After the 13 mile mark I began taking a bit more time at aid stations, I don't think I needed to, but it felt nice to sort of meander and each time I did I felt my pace would pick up once I was off again. In the past I had prided my self on never having walked during a marathon, this day would be different, I choose to walk a few of the hills that show up late in the race and as much as that would have disappointed me a year ago, I see major benefits now, as I walked I passed people who were 'running,' my marathon walk is still a fairly decent power hike and though it did provide a little rest it also proved more effective. In the end I finished at 4:02:43 which is a personal worst, but really by only 5 and a half minutes or so, and to come after 2 previous days of running, well... I'll take it. As planned I was met at the finish line by my wife and buddy Bob and within 15 minutes of finishing we were sitting down to a hardy breakfast at the Mecca, a great way to finish up 3 races in 3 days!

(my wife's not sure she wants to stand so close to me :-)

As more pictures appear I'll post them as well, until then I'm already getting excited for for the Ghost of Birch Bay Marathon... funny thing about running/racing, the more you do, the more you want to do!

No comments: