Monday, June 29, 2009

R&R Seattle - 12 Summits double

I ran the R&R Seattle Marathon on Saturday and 12 Summits, about 34 miles, on Sunday.

Rock and Roll
My plan was to just run how I felt. I didn't know very much about the course. I checked the elevation the morning of the race to see where the hills were. The only roads I knew I would be running on were the I-90 Bridge and Hwy 99 on the new St. Patties Day Dash course.

I was in the first corral, which was fun. I was lined up just 10-15 feet behind the elite runners and I met a fellow ID member "Kevin", I think he finished around 3:02.

The first hour of the race went by really fast. I was chatting with Ryan and Shawna just enjoying a nice run. R&R has me at 21:48 for the 5k and 44:17 for the 10k. That 10k time included a mile split that was around 8 1/2 minutes from going up the hill at mile 5. Other than that I think I was running right at 7 minute miles. They also had a 9 mile split in there (I don't know why) of 1:04:33, seems like it should have been at 15k.
At around 12.5 miles the marathon and 1/2 merged together and it was a serious mistake by the race staff. We merged in with the 1/2 marathon runners that had averaged almost 2 full minutes per mile slower!!! So for about two miles I had to weave and dodge the slower 1/2 marathoners. It wasn't too bad except for the first half mile of it when we were all jammed into one lane. That was a serious mistake by the race staff, but pretty much their only big one, at least that I saw.

I crossed the 1/2 way point with Shawna right at 3:10 pace. I knew I couldn't keep up this pace once the hills came at around 15-16. And right on cue has I started on the last hill (set of hills from 16-20) I ran out of gas. I was passed by 6-7 runners. Some of whom passed me 4 or 5 times. Even as I was running downhill on the bridge nearing the turn around a found myself checking the pace on my watch and thinking something like, “this is downhill, why is it taking so much effort to run 7:10” or whatever pace it was at that moment. And “if this is so hard coming back up is going to kill me”. I had just finished a gel before the bridge and I guess it started to kick in because as the downhill turned to up I started to feel better. Right after the turn around I had a tiny glass of beer from a Laura, a local runner, and that lifted my spirits. It sloshed and foamed around in my stomach for about 1/2 mile but it gave me something to think about other than how I was about to crash and burn from running faster than my fitness level. At 30k I was at 2:15:32 and felling better.

Well I don't know if it was the beer and the bands or just seeing all my fellow runners going the other way cheering me on and telling me how great I looked but I started to feel a lot better. Not faster just better and as if it took just a little less effort to run that same pace. I passed by the 19 mile mark and did some quick (and simple) math. I figured if I ran 8:00 minute miles to the end I'd be right at 3:15, my PR. I guess the clock must have said something close to 2:19, plus 56 minutes. That’s about all the math I can do in my head at 19 miles. That lifted my spirits even higher. I ought to be able to just jog it in and get a PR. SWEET!!!

I kept doing the math at each mile marker, and kept checking my pace on my Suunto. I was running between 7:15 and 7:45 and averaging (I think) about 7:30. Then it was I can run 8's in and get a 3:14, then 3:13 then I stopped checking and just ran. At 24 miles I was at 2:54:16.

I also had in the back of my head that I would be running tomorrow and that was actually more important than a PR today. I ran the last 2.2 miles in exactly 18 minutes which isn't very fast (8:10 pace) but it did include a nice little hill as you climbed back up onto the viaduct. I finished in 3:12:16 an average of 7:20 mile pace. That's 3:11 faster than my last PR which was at Boston this year. I ran 1:35:10/1:37:06, that's a huge 2nd half PR for me. I normally slow way down in the second half of the race.

Jenn picked me after trying to make it through the maze of closed streets. I had a long ice bath a good meal and then we went to the Strawberry festival. I love fresh picked Strawberries. And of course I had to make a smoothie when we got back.

12 Summits
We had 4 runners show up to run this Tiger Mt. classic. Shawn, Tony (Tc), Linda “Lightening Bolt” Barton and I started off at around 6 AM. I felt better than I thought I would. I could go up and down the hills with just a little more effort than normal and the technical trails were no problem. We took it easy and did the first half in 4 hours. My legs felt good for the first 3 ½ hours then they just went dead. We had a nice long 15 minute break at the turn around then headed back up the trail. My pace was slow all the way to Middle Tiger. I guess that’s when lunch kicked in because I was finally able to keep up again.

We stopped for a few minutes to do some covert vigilante trail work on the back and still make the return trip in just over 4:30 hours. I figured closer to 5 hours. It was a good day to be out on the trail. The rain at 6 am had me a little worried but it eventually stopped and warmed up nicely.

I wore my Brooks Launch road shoe and they did great, for a road shoe. I did find the limit for the shoe. They are not good for very steep inclines. I slipped a little going up the Nook-Section Line trail in the morning, but coming down after 31 miles was down right dangerous. Maybe on fresh legs the lack of traction would be ok but I’ll not be testing that theory out.

I also took a few pictures to update my photo map of the trail. There are 2 new intersections from the logging operations. Watch for that in the next couple days.


Backofpack said...

Congrats on your PR Arthur! That's a heavy-running weekend for sure. When we slower folk merged back in with the half, we ran into the half-walkers. That was a treat! It made for some entertainment trying to find a pathway to run. Oh, well, it was lots of fun anyway!

Journey to a Centum said...

Way to go! It was a perfect day for a fast run. Congratulations on your new marathon PR. I had some FOMO regarding your 12 Summits run but I wanted to spend some time with Michelle on Sunday. We had a nice run/walk together. I'm guessing I would have been the slow wheel on the wagon had I come along.

Has something changed in the logged out area since you and I were up there? There was a new road cut to the left that takes you fairly close to South Tiger Summit if you were to turn on it. It will probably just be a matter of time before someone punches a trail through from the road to the summit.

Colin Hayes said...

Nice PR, and nice way to get it - almost without trying to. I've heard a few friends comment on how hilly the end of the course was. You should be able to blast the 10k leg of our Tri in August.