Sunday, July 08, 2007

Seafair Marathon ~3 minute PR!!!

I know what you're thinking, how could anybody PR on that hilly course. I have to give all the credit to KISW 80's weekend. At mile 14 I put in the earplugs for some motivation and really picked up the pace, relatively speaking.

10th of 30 in age group
90th of 250 male
114th of 400 total

After getting the first real nights sleep in weeks, I was up at 4:45 to get myself and Jenn and Kids ready for the race. We dropped of the kids off at granny's and picked up my friend Chris on the way to Bellevue. He and Jenn ran the half.

It was cooler at the start than I thought it would be. There was a slight breeze that was really starting to make me cold. I stayed loose by walked around until the start. It was better than last year when I showed up at the start late. And I didn't even have time to tie my shoes.

I went out conservatively (tried to anyway). The 1st 2.5 miles are relatively flat. I was able to hold it down to an 8:44-8:34-8:32 for miles 1, 2 & 3. From 2.5 to 5 miles you climb the biggest hill of the course. I did those in 8:58 and 9:03. I was happy to let people pass me. Last year I took this hill too fast and paid for it early. Miles 5 & 6 are flat and then you get a 1.5 miles of downhill. I slowly increased my speed on the downhill topping out at 7:29 during mile 8. After joining the 1/2er's and turning onto 140th at 8.5 miles you start to go up again. It's not that steep but it goes on for 2 miles. I continued the strong pace up the hill and around corner onto SE 8th Street. At this point the 1/2er's went right and left us. I was glad to see them go. It was really crowded at the A/S. I had to walk a 1/2 step to get water. I didn't like having to break stride, especially since it was the first time all day. I was thinking I could actually run the entire marathon, which I've never done. I walked a total of 3 steps during the race, all at A/S. The light clouds that were present during the start had burned off and it warmed up quickly.

So 10 and 11 go by with more of the same I felt good and I was pushing the pace. I was warm but a couple of waters poured on my neck at each A/S took care of that.
mile 9 8:19
mile 10 8:48
mile 11 8:38
mile 12 8:31
At mile 12 the uphill becomes more pronounced and continues until mile 15. Just before the half Van passed me and I followed her for 3 miles but then lost her around phantom lake, mile 17. At mile 14 (it took me about a mile) I put in my earplugs and tuned into a jamming hard rock radio station as motivation to keep up a good pace. I used this technique at the Watershed 12 hr and it seemed to work well for me.
mile 13 8:56
mile 14 8:52
Once again at mile 15 I let loose on the downhill and turned in 2 good splits before we hit the lake and started climbing.
mile 15 8:25
mile 16 7:53
I really wanted to walk up the short but very steep hill on the back side of the lake at mile 17 but since I hadn't walked yet I figured today could be the 1st marathon I've ever RUN without walking. Had I walked I think I could have lowered my time a bit but that wasn't important at the time.
mile 17 9:13
mile 18 8:56
From 17 to 19.5 it's mostly uphill and exposed. To me this seems like the hottest part of the course.
I was trying to get 2 waters for my head and 2 drinks for my bottle at each A/S but there weren't all laid out so that was possible. Many were undermanned and had all the volunteers bunched together.
Once I was back into a residential area and another downhill started I was able to rest while still keeping up a great pace. This downhill was just over a mile.
mile 19 8:57
mile 20 8:08
This brings us to the hardest part of the course. It's the hardest because of where it is. It's a steep 1/3 of a mile uphill at mile 21! I ran the whole hill. I was past by a snail and the 3:45 pace group. I started to follow them but had a massive cramp in my left hamstring. I tried to continue but just couldn't. I risked falling on my face I had so little control over my leg. So I had to stop for the first time. I stretched it out for a few seconds and then started running again. I only had a few yards before turning downhill and I didn't want to loose that pace group. Well it wasn't much of a group. 2 pacers and one runner. And it looked to me like the pacers were trying to loose their runner on that hill as they passed me. I was unable to gain on the pace group going down the hill because I was taking it easy on my hamstring. By the time I got to the bottom though, I was all better and flying once again.
mile 21 9:06
mile 22 8:53
At mile 22 you pretty much bottom out so all that's left is to climb the 4 miles to the finish. There were many 1/2er's to pass to keep me motivated. I was closing slowing on the 3:45 pace group but couldn't really pick it up for fear of another cramp. The cramping was a direct result of the increased pace. I don't train at this pace. I was well hydrated and had enough salt. I still felt really strong.
miles 23 8:41
mile 24 9:06
mile 25 9:00
mile 26 8:53
About 200 yards from the finish my calves and hamstrings cramped up again. I was almost right behind the 3:45 pace group I had been chasing down. But for the 2nd time I had to stop and take 5-6 seconds to stretch the back of my legs. My quads on the other hand were still real fresh. I didn't take as much time as I needed to stretch so as I ran down the finish shoot my ankles, calves, and hamstrings were all locking up. I'm sure I looked pretty funny running as fast as I could, legs flailing around like a school girl.

I don't think I could have run much better on this day, given my training schedule lately. I know the splits look really bad and all over the map but that's just the way the course is. I gave a strong and even effort all day.

1st marathon ever 2005 Seafair 3:59:50
new harder course 2006 Seafair 3:57:39
Fastest marathon 2007 Seafair 3:48:22
2nd fastest Tri-cities 3:51:57


GotLegs! said...

Nice run Arthur!

Hey, your photomap of the 12 summits must have been spot on. Steve Stoyles memorized it and knew exactly where to turn - very impressive!


shawn said...

I can't believe you were listening to music - cheater! (JK - I'm just jealous) Now if you would just post your report as fast as you ran we'd all be happy. :)
Congratulations to you - 4 hours is tough to break, and you did it with a wide margin.

(Are your locks gone? You know being so aerodynamic is cheating too! You've just got all the tricks figured out now dontcha? :))

GotLegs! said...

Nice race Arthur! I don't think your splits were that bad actually.

BTW: Who's that skinny guy in the picture?


King Arthur said...

Thank's Tc. I don't know who that is but I saw some cool dude wearing a shirt just like that down at Western.

olga said...

Congrats on PR! I've heard for some weird reason a few people PR'd there - may be hills are actually good? :)
And your photo-course of 12 summits is awesome, if I ever be able to come over, I'll print it out!

Journey to a Centum said...

Nice job at Seafair. We both have our PR's on the course. It was my first marathon as an official marathon maniac and I think the yellow jersey made me run just a little harder.

I'm going to study the calendar and try to put a date on the 24 Summits Suffer Fest 2007. I've got R2P this weekend so I'll get good sleep depravation training. The following weekend I was planning on running the new ultra out in Gig Harbor but I may need to reconsider. We will need pacers for the second half of the run to keep us motivated and make sure we don't wander off babbling into the wilderness.

Rob wants to run the night portion. I think that would be good because he has mentally perfected some wicked cougar kung-foo moves in case of attack.

What works best for your training schedule? Do you want to do the whole 24 summits or just a portion of them?

adam said...

Congrats on a great race! and a nice report. Maybe someday I will run my hometown marathon (Seafair) . . . if only there weren't so many other places to be running in July!