Wednesday, December 31, 2008

12/31 Yoga and Run - Treadmill

Went to the gym with Val. We decided to take advantage of our membership and take one of the Yoga classes they offer. First one ever for both of us. It was worth the time, and we both just need to figure out how to integrate it into our schedules on a more regular basis. I didn't realize I was so tight and stiff. OK, I did, I just didn't want to admit it.
We're going to need to get good mats and wear long sleeves the next time though. They keep it pretty cool, and the mats the provide are WAY too small.

Another really good run. 5 miles at 1%. Max this time was 6.7, lowest was 5.7. Average was 6.0. Val walked and ran on the treadmill next to me.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

12/30 Run - Treadmill

Another 5 miles on Tuesday. Ran during the morning today. I had the first of the Personal Training sessions that came with my membership at the gym. This one was basically a throwaway with all the paperwork and orientation stuff. I'll meet with him again on Friday to work on some stretching and flexibility stuff, then he is going to start planning some strength training stuff. I cam out of the session a little grouchy, and I wasn't sure why. Some of it was feeling like I had gotten goat roped into doing strength sessions when all I really wanted was to get some help with stretching.

After I got back from the gym Val helped me explore why this bothered me so much. I initially responded with the fact that it was so hard to get time to train that trying to find the time for strength training and yoga and all that other stuff. Being the insightful person she is, she pointed out that I wasn't running, I was training. And she's right.

If I was running, I'd be out there for a couple of times a week, a couple, five miles at a time. If I'm going to train, I should go ahead and do what needs to be done. I'm a little worried about the strength training affecting the heart rate training, but we'll see how things go, and what kind of plan the trainer comes up with.

The run was at 1% incline as usual. 6.5 was the max! And I didn't go below 5.6! My average was 5.6 ish, but I think that was brought down a little by the warm up. I'll have to figure out how to program a custom workout so I don't track the warm up. Still busy at the gym with the 'holiday' week, so I ended up in the second row using the iPod again. Lots of older/retired people using the treadmills for their walks.

12/29 Run - Treadmill

A much busier night at the gym on Monday night. The roads have cleared and people must be on vacation because I had to move to the second row of treadmills. Got to watch Rocky, Pirates of the Caribbean, and a guy with some scary looking blood pooling in his lower legs for 5 miles, while jamming out to the iPod.

I actually remembered to set the incline to 1% from the beginning this time. Never went over 154 on my heart rate. I'm feeling much better about the training as I get into the swing of things. I think that I just needed more time on my legs to get to a level closer to what I had been training at. I worked between 5 90 and 6.0 mph, with an average of 5.3. Much better than the last couple of workouts.

My left knee is still bothering me a little, but it gets better the more runs I do, so I suspect it's just a matter of strengthening the muscles around the joints again.

As I was leaving there was a gal on the end treadmill. I'm sure that to a woman having 'powerful' thighs isn't a compliment, but I certainly mean it that way when I describe her. I figured she would be a fast runner, and when I came out of the locker room she was hammering it out.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2009 Races

I'm pretty obviously not just going to run one marathon. :) So here's the plan for 2009 at this point. Marathons only this year, maybe an ultra in 2010. :)

Yakima River Canyon Marathon
04 April

Rock and Roll Seattle Marathon
27 June

Fall Marathon of some sort, as yet undetermined.
Portland Marathon - 04 Oct
Seattle Marathon - 29 Nov
Leavenworth Oktoberfest Marathon - Was 04 Oct in 2008 - very maybe

The Week After The Marathon

It's more than a little late and not really relevant at this point, but I wanted to get my mental progression of that week on 'paper'. :)

During and Post Race:
This was unpleasant, and I MIGHT do RNR Seattle in July. But I'm NEVER running Seattle again.
Well that wasn't all that bad, and I'll will do RNR Seattle in July. But I'm NEVER running Seattle again.

I'm feeling pretty good, and I'll do RNR Seattle, but I might do Yakima in April. But I'm NEVER running Seattle again.

I'll go for a run tomorrow, and I'll do RNR Seattle, and I WILL do Yakima in April. But I'm NEVER running Seattle again.

A good run today, and I'm definitely running those two marathons. But I'm NEVER running Seattle again.

Today someone told me that when you use the word 'fun' in reference to your marathon you are pretty much mentally recovered. I'm not there yet, but I'm going to have to run Seattle again, and prove something to the course. :) I used 'fun' sometime the next week. :)

12/27 Long Run - Treadmill

Back to the treadmill. 10 miles on the treadmill isn't bad... If you have a lobotomy first. :)

The worlds slowest 10 mile run. At the peak I was at 5.0, most of it was at 4.6. At the end I was at 4.2. (all at 1% incline). I maxed out at 154, my newest max aerobic heart rate number, once or twice. I reset the treadmill at 3.5, and again at 7. I jogged over to the fountain and refilled my water bottle and started back up again.

This is going to be a tough exercise. I'll go back to work on the 5th and ask the heart rate experts about the program. I supposedly can't do any fast workouts till I see some improvements in aerobic fitness. We'll see how this affects the plan.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

12/26 Run - Treadmill

Finally made it back to the gym for a few miles on the tread mill. As every Seattle area running blogger has sniveled about we have had a 'touch' of snow in recent days, and between that and preparing and hosting the holidays I ended up going for 5 days without a run. Apparently people could tell, because even Kaitlyn told me to go for a run at some point. :)

I got the gift any runner could dream of for Xmas, a Garmin 405, and have been obsessively reading the manual and wearing it around trying to see how the heart rate functions work. :) And then doing research at what heart rates I should be training.

With the Garmin, this means I can start doing some heart rate training. So off to the gym to try it out. Holy crap this is going to be hard. I did the following with the goal of keeping my heart rate between 130 and 150.

.9 @ 1%, 4.1 @ 1% My fastest speed was 5.0 mph (12 min/mile) lowest was 4.2 (13 something/mile) I didn't even run this slow when I was starting out.

I can certainly say that this makes me second guess the heart rate training concept, and my original training plan as well all at the same time.

As I have learned, I may have defeated the point of my first session with the last .5 mile of the run. I started jacking up incline and speed to check my maximum heart rate. I finally maxed out at 187 at 6% incline and 7:34/mile. I managed that for about 1/10 of a mile. :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

12/20 Long Run - Treadmill

Back to gym on Saturday night for 8 miles on the treadmill. Weather was starting to get hairy so I threw a jacket and the chains for the truck in in case I needed them

Got to watch the last part of the classic Battlestar Galactica, Assault on Ice Planet Z or whatever it was called and part of a CSI:NY/CSI:Miami crossover

Was there pretty late, and between that and the snow I swear there were only 4 people in the gym, including me. The staff had no idea if you could make the treadmill go past 60 minutes. They were surprised that I wanted to. :) Had to make a pit stop at about mile 4.5 so it was moot point, and playing with it I don't think you can. I'll have to talk to someone competent tomorrow.

8 slow miles
4 @ 10:00. 0% (forgot to set the incline while I was messing with the rest of the settings)
4@ 10:00, 1%

12/19 Run - Treadmill

Wandered up to the gym on Friday for another 5 miles on the treadmill

A much better experience than Thursday. Temperature was lower, and it all seemed to work better

.5 @ 9:3x, 1%
4.5 @ 9:0x, 1%

Friday, December 19, 2008

12/18 Run - Treadmill

Worked from home on Wednesday waiting for the snow from heck that had been predicted. Val and I went out for lunch and got our Xmas presents for the next few years and joined the 24 Hour Fitness up at the end of the street (about 3/4 of a mile away).

Went home to find that the running clothes were dirty and wet from the last run, so washed them. Found that the snow had arrived and had to wait till Thursday to run.

This was the first time on a treadmill for any real distance, for me. I did not approve. :) Anyone who do any sort of mileage one one of these things has a great deal of my respect. It was brutal. Too hot, I was just sweating like a pig, boring and just icky.

Managed to stay on and bang out 5 miles
1 @ 9:0x, 1.5%
1 @ 8:3x, 1.5%
3 @ 8:3x, 1.0%

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

12/16 Run - Med. Long Run

A chilly run at lunch at 25 degrees. Honestly, it wasn't too bad once I got moving. Wore my compression shorts under my pants, two long sleeve technical shirts under my Brooks Jacket, light gloves and a new breathable Asics watch cap. The watch cap came off at mile 2 and then my temps was perfect.

Ran the lake plus an out and back. I know you can't bank runs, but I figured I need to start establishing Tuesday as my Med. Long Run day, and I doubt I'm going to be running on Wednesday with the pending snowfall.

More of the mix of new albums from Saturday helped the run.

Saw Bruce on the way back, while I was on the out part of my out and back. He said motivational things, I just grunted. :)

Run ended up being 8.13 miles in 1:09:38 (8:33/mile)

Congrats to Laura at Absolut(ly) Fit for another marathon down (and what I hope is a time she's happy with (4:48:39)). OK, creepy, I know, but I wanted to see how she did, so I worked my way through the results until I found a Laura from New York... :)

12/15 Run - No Run

Snow, ice and cold. We ended up with 4 inches of snow at the house, on top of damp roads. I wussed out. I worked from home to avoid traffic and since I've been fighting a cold on and off all week.

Mill Creek Town Center had the best snow removal service I've ever seen. Ran errands with Val at lunch and drove through. Thought about going back to run, then procrastinated, and needed to earn some of my salary.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

12/13 Long Run

It started snowing lightly some time in the afternoon on Saturday, but didn't really start sticking to anything but the grass until very late.

Hung out and had dinner with our neighbors for the first time in a long time on Saturday. Kaitlyn was completely maxed out so she didn't even get a bath when we came home, she just went straight to bed.

Waited till Kaitlyn was down and went out and ran in the snowfall. It was amazing. It was one of the best runs ever. No stress over going out to run 8 or more miles, wonderful quiet with the snow, an amazing mix of new tunes, and the runners high at least twice in the run. Just absolutely amazing. I came home blissed out. After this run I really understand why people more religious than me can say that they talk to God on a good run.

Coming back across the trail I had left in the sidewalk and seeing the ghost of me running, just my tracks headed the other direction. It made me want to follow them and see where I'd been. :)

Run ended up being an even 9 miles in 1:23:52 (9:19/mile)

12/12 Run

Did as close to a 'hardcore' run as I get on Friday and ran in the rain and 41 degrees. We normally get a drizzle isntead of a rain, but this was a real rain.

This was a good run. Did 5.3 miles in 45:33 (8:35/mi)

Friday, December 12, 2008

12/10 Run

Went out at 10pm and did 5.3 in about 47. Pace worked out to just under 9:00/mile.

First couple of miles felt great, then my IT band started mumbling, and oddly, my left knee started hurting as well. It ached Thursday morning, but an Advil later it seems to have gone away.

I think I have been rolling my IT band too far towards the back of my leg. I changed that angle I'm leaning on the roller and it seems more effective.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

12/08 Run

Ran 3 miles at about 9:20/mile again on Monday evening. Was going to run on the weekend, but just didn't make time for it.

Legs still feel weak, and my IT Band and thigh were bitching at me again. I'm going to take it easy this week and try to run 3 days then ramp it up next week if everything cooperates.

12/04 Run - First Post Marathon Run

Ran 3.1 miles at about 9:20/mile at lunch on Thursday. Felt pretty good for the most part. Not a lot of energy in my legs in general, my hip flexors were surprisingly tired and when I stopped my left thing kind of was twangy. IT band was there but not too bitchy

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Seattle Marathon 2008 Race Report

Sorry this has taken so long to get up. Between post race energy levels, having to work for a living, wanting to not forget to remember/tell any details (they keep coming back at the oddest times), and getting a new iPhone on Monday, and having Val's work computer crash on Wednesday I've been a little distracted. :)

If you want to follow along:
MapMyRun Map (switch to hybrid mode and zoom in. :))
Official Map with water stops, etc

I slept pretty well all things considered, once I got to sleep. I'm not a heavy sleeper anyway, so when the final time I rolled over was 4:57, so I just turned off the alarm and got up. I felt nice, clear and focused right away. No real jitters or nervous energy, just knowing what I needed to do. The Marathon Run started at 8:15 so I had a few hours to get everything together.

Took a nice long water wasting shower and shaved. A hot shower is my coffee when I can take a long one, and I needed it. Realized all my clothes were downstairs in the kitchen. Oops. :) Threw on a robe, kissed Val, went downstairs and got my running clothes on. Checked the temperature. 52 degrees at 5:20. Took the dog outside to see how the weather felt. No problem at all. The predicted fog was definitely there. The flashlight was like a laser, cutting through it. Toby cooperated as well and did both of his businesses before we went in. (Sometimes he's a little stubborn and will only do one thing per trip. It's annoying. :))

Started sucking down some water and had a Vanilla and Cashew CLIF nectar for breakfast to get things moving. My Mom stuck her head out of the 'guest room' (the living room with a curtain in the opening) and said good morning and good luck. Even she commented on how much calmer I was this morning. Then she did the sensible thing and went back to bed. Dad had this idea for a 'paddle' type banner to make it easier to find them, so I went out to the garage and found a small 4 foot long piece of wood, cut six inches off the end of a piece of poster board and stapled it on. I figured my Dad could 'decorate' it himself. Then, finally, my intestinal tract started to wake up and cooperate. :)

Dad showed up right on schedule at 6:00. Just after I had checked for him, and gone back to the bathroom of course. He set off the alarm (Toby :)) but managed to get it turned off before it woke Kaitlyn. We talked for a second, I showed him the paddle, and then I rolled out. Which I had actually managed to do morning and night the entire week. :) Loaded GUs, Advil and nuun into the handheld, my phone and GUs into my shorts pocket. As an interesting aside, you can get a RAZR type phone and 5 GUs into a pair of Nike 'compression' shorts. :)

Threw everything that wasn't on my body into a gallon ziploc bag so I wouldn't drop it, grabbed the paddle and my sweats in case I needed them and got on the road around 6:15. Super foggy out, and no real traffic at all until we got in line for the Mercer exit. We slogged our way through the exit, and were fortunate that they had left one of the left hand turn lanes onto Westlake open so we could take the easy way to work. As I've pointed out I don't like driving. This was the only part that really made me nervous. I didn't want to be late or be wasting energy fussing with traffic. We finally got to the parking garage around 7:00. We drove by the volunteers setting up the mile 25.5 water station where Betsy (Eat Drink Run Woman) was going to be working a little later.

I made a quick pit stop, and then gave Dad the nickel tour of my office and the lab on the second floor, and then we went back to the car to wait on B. I went ahead and got on my Band Aids and some Body Glide and pinned on my bib, and went over the spectator route maps with my dad. B showed up and we chatted while he changed and filled water bottles. He told me after the race that he winced a little when he saw me with the handheld, since I hadn't trained with it. He thought I'd be going 'naked' or with my fuel belt.

We all started walking to the start, but after about two blocks Dad realized he had forgotten the camera. :) He went back and B and I made our way to the start. It seemed very well equipped with portapotties, which B took advantage of, while I tried to see if there were any people from a Runners World forum hanging around at the 'Ducks' tour site. There weren't so I just made my way into the gaggle of people with about 10 minutes to go.

Ended up finding a spot around a cluster of Marathon Maniacs all chatting about their doubles and last weekend's marathons and stuff. Neat, but not inspiring like it would have been normally, probably because of jitters. It did make me think of Laura and the fact that she probably knew/had met some of these people.

I'm not much of a chatter at races so I just hung out and listened. They played the national anthem while I was adjusting my shoes, which was a little awkward to stand up and hand on heart halfway through once I was finished. Bruce caught me with about 5 minutes to go and thought I was too far back, so we inched a little further forward. I found the 4:00 pace group and decided to stop there. Bruce was shooting for 8:00/mile so he kept working his way forward.

About 5 minutes to go. I'm standing trying to see everything and remember everything, but not trying to creep anyone out. I think the gals standing next to me thought I was checking them out. I was, but only in the sense of 'I'll bet these gals are fast.' and 'Are they old enough to run this race.' :) Finally the radio announcers stopped babbling and started counting down.

Air Horn!!!

And nothing. And finally shuffling, and stopping, and hey the start gate has two openings, and they're small, and now I'm almost through, click the watch and finally running. Holy crap. I think I'm actually running this damn thing. (According to the difference between gun and chip time it took me 43 seconds to get to the start line. I knew it was packed, but that seems a little long to me. But hey, everyone knows technology can't go wrong, right. :))

Mile 1 - 9:07

Ran down 5th, then it kinks left at Denny. Dad was supposed to be on the right hand side trying for pictures so I ran near the curb as much as I could. Never saw him, but wasn't' worried. (Turns out he walked up the other way to the location and was on the right. His right. :))

The first few miles run parallel to the monorail, and despite having two lanes for runners it felt crowded, probably just from the 2100 runners sorting themselves out and the mass of the monorail trestles. I recall they didn't pull the cars or a big chunk of this section, but now a week later I wouldn't swear to it. :)

There was a couple standing backed up against a trestle with a sign. I didn't notice them until a guy just behind me said 'Thank you.', and didn't get a chance to read the sign.

There were a handful of early shoppers out standing at crosswalks, just staring. One gal looked like she expected the crosswalk sign to come on any second and the runners to just stop like cars.
Temperature was still in the low 50s, no direct sun because of the fog and it felt pretty good to me. Roads were slightly damp from all the fog, but no puddles or any standing water. I started to warm up about like normal and started sweating about half a mile in.

Passed the 4:00 pace group at some point in the first mile. At the time I was thinking that I thought I could pull out a sub-4 and that I wanted to get a few ticks in front of them.

After the first half mile everyone was just concentrating, trying to settle into a pace and get a position, and it was hushed from the fog, just just foot beats and breathing for the most part. An amazing way to start the morning.

Pace for this mile was just about perfect as far as I was concerned.

Mile 2 - 8:29

Still hammering down 5th past all the office buildings, police offices and volunteers at each street. People with more presence of mind are thanking them, I'm trying to keep my shorts from falling off. A little bit of an uphill, then a downhill here as we set up for the on ramps.

Never do something you haven't done in training. :) Apparently 5 GUs and a cell phone are more weight than the elastic one the shorts can handle all alone. I'm fighting to tie the drawstring while trying to hold onto my throwaway gloves, that for some reason I don't want to throw away, and my water bottle. Finally I get them tied enough I'm not pulling them up every 100 feet or so.

First water stop is right around the mile 2 marker. I blow on through thanks to the water bottle. A little fast, I probably pushed up the uphill a little harder than I should, but I did my best to coast the downhill.

Mile 3 - 8:56

We keep going down 5th. At some point just before the I-90 on ramps we cross under an overpass with a bunch of spectators watching with some well prepared signs for their runners. Just ahead is the on ramp, dipping down then curving and climbing.

Somebody planned ahead - walkers are in physically separate lane. Makes me wonder about that because I don't remember seeing many walkers, or a separate way for them to get on, but I may have been a little focused.

The slope of the on ramp was more than a little annoying and was a foreshadowing of the massive camber most of the roads we'd be running on seemed to have.

As we started coming up on the mile 3 marker, a portapotty with a mile marker tacked onto it, there's a volunteer sitting on the k rail dividing the lanes, singing out the times for both groups. It was more than a little odd to see the portapotties sitting on the freeway.

Maybe a little fast on the pace, especially with the on ramp, but within my mental cutoffs of 8:50 and 9:09.

Mile 4 - 8:50

About 2/3rds of the way to the mile 4 marker we enter the Mount Baker Tunnel, which is just before the I-90 floating bridge we will be crossing. little bit inside the tunnel, near mile 4 is the Aid station. Staffed by the Seattle Atheists. The sign was memorable and worth a few chuckles at least; Seattle Atheists - We Believe In YOU

Skipped out on the water stop since the bottle was doing OK. Downhill here, and a little fast.

Mile 5 - 8:37

Just at the end of the tunnel, there was an odd little weave happening as they shouted "Full to the Left, Half to the Right" and sorted us out into our groups so we could go our separate ways.

Coming out of the tunnel, you are basically right on the water. A guy running up next to me made a comment about how great the view was. :) There was just a wall of grey starting about 20 feet off the bridge. I responded that at least it was a nice blank canvas, you could imagine anything you wanted out there. :)

Saw the pace Saturn and then a guy blow by, by the second guy I realized that was the pace car and I had just seen the leader. not used to thinking about seeing the leaders. I tried to cheer for the second guy, but I just squawked, so I quit.

Much too fast. Coming out of the tunnel and into the air was great, and getting onto the bridge made it feel like we were making some good progress.

Mile 6 - 9:08

Had my first GU just after the mile 5 marker, and it didn't settle well, causing some mild tensions and an awareness of my having eaten, which isn't normal. I'm pretty sure I had enough water, I think it was just nerves.

Shortly after taking the GU, B crossed the other way, just as I had looked down to watch the roadway of course. :) He shouted out and we exchanged waves.

The roadway was a little squirrelly because of the expansion joints in the road. Eight or 10 4 inch steel 'planks' with a slight gap between them, polished by car tires and now wet with dew. Too wide to step over, you had to make sure you landed squarely so you didn't slip.

High fived the Santa guy. He ran the entire course in a Santa suit, and finished in like 3:40. Bastard. :)

The water stop was under the Mercer Lid (an overpass/park that goes over I-90 so the fine folks on Mercer Island didn't have to look at the freeway). I made the first attempt to refill the bottle, got it abut half full because I was moving too fast and then managed to dump water on one of my feet. :) Finished the water stop and made the turnaround. The marker for mile 6 was back out on the freeway headed back to Seattle.

Tried to slow down a little to make up for the previous mile, but not enough.

Mile 7 - 9:01

Don't remember a whole lot memorable this mile. Talking with Val later, I have to define this stretch on I-90 as my least favorite part of the race, terrain wise. I suspect it would have been more interesting if the fog hadn't been there, but I was pretty focused on running and probably wouldn't be watching the scenery in the distance anyway.

I did notice that I had settled into a cluster of runners. The cal who I remember as being dressed in all white. The obnoxious pair of guys who got more obnoxious as we went along, etc...

Mostly flat, trying to keep pace down, but not succeeding very well.

Mile 8 - 9:38

What goes down must come up. :) The 'hill' as we worked our way back up into Seattle started to wear me down a little. I tried to slow down to make up for the super fast mile earlier and to not waste too much energy on the little hill. it felt pretty tough.
B later commented on the fact that inclines early in the race can be an indicator of how much pain you might feel later.

The mile 8 marker was another lone porta potty on the freeway just before turn off the bridge. Had my second GU just as I saw the marker. Didn't go down much better than the first.

My right foot was starting to feel a little warm behind the ball of my foot, a blister in the making, bit nothing too serious yet.

Mile 9 - 9:17

Just as you think you're going back into the tunnel you notice that they everyone is cutting left just before the tunnel starts, onto what must be a maintenance trail that leads a bit steeply down and curves around to dump you into streets and Lake Washington Boulevard.

Shortly after you get back onto the street is the next water stop. I decided to try to get my bottle completely filled, so I slowed down a little, I started grabbing cups and pouring. I accidentally got some Gatorade in the last cup I grabbed. They were calling it out, I just wasn't paying attention to that or the cup color. It was disgusting, adding some additional mild cramping to add to my continuing discomfort from first GUs. Didn't drink any more until the next water stop.

I'm starting to really drag ass here. I started realizing I was in trouble during mile 8. This mile I just kept moving hoping the GUs and less up and down would bring me back some energy.

Saw the leaders again. The lead runner now is the guy who actually won the race.

Mile 10 - 10:06

The first half of this mile was brutal. I knew at this point I wasn't going to be able to keep the current pace, and knew that I wasn't' just going to be able to slow down, I was going to need to walk. My breathing and heart rate were way out of whack, and all the was keeping me from walking right then was the fact that the family was just ahead. It actually crossed my mind that I could just hang a right at where they were and drive away, and no one would know. (Except family, blog fiends, co workers, etc. :))

The obnoxious guys (OK just one of the pair, the other guy couldn't get a word in edgewise) with the shirts reading 'This seemed like a good idea a mile ago' were right behind me here, and so was the gal in white.

The 9.5 water stop

Part of my cheer team waiting at 9.5/16

At just about mile 9.5 Mom, Dad, Val & Kaitlyn were waiting. I was checking out a spectator sign with pictures of their pets or something when I heard them all shouting "Go Aaron", and then saw the bright yellow paddle. I don't think Kaitlyn realized who I was till I passed. A really nice bright spot in my morning, especially given my flagging energy.

Threw them my gloves as I passed. Disposable, eh...? Still not sure why I hung onto them. They were $1.99 for effs sake.

Found a clear spot after the family and poured out the contaminated water so I could refill. Didn't bother putting in any nuun from this point on. not sure why, it was a challenge to do at the mile 6 stop, and I guess I just arbitrarily decided not to. :)

Stopped at the water stop to fill up the bottle. Got a couple of cups from volunteers but that wasn't going to do it so I just slipped the line to the table and started pouring cups into the bottle. Passed on GU at the GU stop since I still had a bunch.

I had been thinking I would see them at 10 because that's how we talked about the spot. "We'll see you at 10/16." Hit the family and then the water stop and was like, where the eff is the marker. Got back into a trot until I could clear the corner after the water stop, moved to the right and started walking. Timed myself for this and the next few walks. 30 seconds then I started running till I hit the mile marker, or 5 minutes, whichever came firs (It was the mile marker :)).

I think I saw B this mile too. I know I did on this out and back, but not exactly sure where.

Mile 11 - 10:10

Mile 11 isn't particularly memorable other than trying to do 5 minute, 30 second walk combos the whole mile, and not feeling rested at the end of each walk interval. That and the psychological trauma of having to start walking so early. I was having to fight being so negative that I would quit, and switch into a do the best you can and finish the damned thing. It might get better once you walk a little.

All the smack talking about how I could see through to a 50 miler, and thoughts how many marathons I was going to run in 2009, and running Yakima River Canyon in April, vs. RnR Seattle in June all got chewed on and spit out. All that mattered from here on was surviving and finishing. If it got better, then cool. If not, we'd evaluate once I was done.

I think I high fived my first little kid on this leg as well. :) I figured it wasn't like I was going to be wasting energy. Had a GU somewhere in here.

My IT band started talking here or maybe a little earlier, so I took a pair of Advil. Took a while to kick in, but worked pretty well once they did.

Mile 12 - 11:46

Run/Walk intervals were a little more organic this mile. I just wasn't getting enough rest so I was walking longer. Finally made it into Seward Park, and the water stop just inside the park. It must have been a little cooler here by the water because the water from the stop was just so good and cold.

The fog was really dense through the park, and it was like a heavy grey wall. Since we were running near the shore you could see the water in flat cal ripples coming under the wall into view and then lapping the shore. Very artistic, and when they were strong enough to make noise very relaxing.

Mile 13 - 10:34

This water stop and more walking must have helped, (and now that I think about it the Advil may have kicked in) because the pace went up this mile. It didn't hurt that we were close to the halfway marker which gave me some additional motivation to keep running.

Got passed by a Mom and Daughter running very strongly, with Portland Marathon 2008 technicals on. The daughter couldn't have been more than 10, and Val said she saw them both cross the finish line ahead of me. More than a little young in my opinion, but unbelievably impressive.

Halfway - 13.1 - 2:04:35 (9:30/mile)

This last tenth mile of the first half was brutal. I kept running because I wasn't going to let a few hundred feet beat me. I'm pretty sure I didn't walk, but I wouldn't put my hand on a bible about it. :)

At this point just assume I 'm doing a effort based run/walk. I'd run until I couldn't convince myself to run anymore, walk until I felt like I could run again , then repeat.

Mile 14 - 11:00

This side of Seward Park parallels Lake Washington Boulevard, which we ran in on (and will run out on. You could hear the cheering for the runners just a half mile across the water, but you still couldn't see a thing.

No real terrain here so not sure why I slowed down other than just being tired. Had another GU somewhere in here.

Stopped at the water stop just before the exit to the park and refilled again. Cool water, mmmm.... The simple pleasures. :)

Mile 15 - 10:41

High fived another couple, four kids on this leg. One of their moms was giving out what must have been left over Halloween candy. I took a mini snickers, then reconsidered, and tucked it into the pocket on my hand-held.

Mile 16 - 10:40

just a random shot of the mile 16 marker

The best part of this mile was hitting the 9.5/16 water stop and knowing I had spectators. I'd been trying to convince myself that I might be able to pull off a 4:15 given my split at the half, and I half believed it at this point. :) (The math in no way works out, but hey... :))

Snagged a GU from the GU station, and stopped at the water station to refill my water bottle. Got back into a trot since the water station was visible from where Mom and Dad were going to be. As I came around the corner I saw my Dad on the left taking pictures.

note my nemesis, #1609. :) she's in my mile 21 pics too. :)

Tried to smile, and ran on. In my head I'm trying to figure out where my Mom is. Then I hear Val, and suddenly she's there on the right. Tell here I think maybe a 4:15 and run on.

Wait, Val's here, with Dad... Where's my Mom and Kai... oh, there they are, a little further on. Tried to tell my Mom the same thing and touch Kaitlyn and then run on.

Photos here show how bad my right foot form is though. Makes me want to crop all the photos to cut off my feet. :)

Ran around the corner again and dropped to a walk for a little bit. :) Had a GU early while I was walking.

Mile 17 - 10:57

Started to get a very little bit of terrain this section, mostly rollers, no real elevation gain.

Still doubling back on ground we've seen before coming into the park.

Now the race report gets boring. :) Just tired, run/walk... :)

Thank goodness, the count for miles remaining is now into single digits!

Mile 18 - 11:08

About halfway through the mile we cross under I-90 as we continue to run through some very nice residential ares with the crappiest roads you've ever seen. The roadway camber on Lake Washington Boulevard has to be run to be believed.

When I had the energy to run for significant lengths I tried to run on the crown to save my legs. Unfortunately I couldn't trust my body as to when I would need to walk, so I tended to stay in the worst spot, on the gutter side of the road.

Not entirely sure why I'm slowing down here and in the previous mile... Just tired I guess. :)

Just after I-90 we really start to get some terrain, precursors to the up coming 'hills of death' (tm) :). The water station was just after the first set of these hills as I recall.

Mile 19 - 10:54

Another GU station near Leschi Park, which I took advantage of. I had completely forgotten about this one and until I wrote this sentence I though this station was a 'rouge' GU station. :) This station and the associated water station were in an area of Seattle I've never been to before. Very nice. :)

Shortly after this water station I knew I was heading towards maxed out. A random spectator said good job and made eye contact and I teared up a little and could feel my throat tighten.

Mile 20 - 11:43

Ran through some really nice homes on this mile. Again with the bad streets. not the best way to showcase your streets to marathoners. :)

There had been a lot of bikers out taking advantage of the closed roads for club rides I think. I made a comment out loud as a group rode by in here to another runner about thinking I had picked the wrong sport. :) I was trying to be witty. :) I realized I had seen her with her partner? earlier (he was a Marathon Maniac. (for all I know so was she)). She responded saying that running had saved her live, helping her control her diabetes. All I could say was that I didn't plan to change sports. shrug.

I realized in that interchange that I was, and had been in a new cluster of people. the earlier gal I talked with who was holding her scarf in her teeth, a redhead, a couple of TNTers, etc...

We crossed the half marathon timing mat this mile (maybe last mile, I'm starting to get confused. :) ) I wasn't sure what it was when I hit it so I made sure that was a running phase. :)

I think this mile had the house/cottage that was blaring AC/DC -- 'You Shook Me All Night Long' very appreciated. Id did make me think about if the discomfort level might have been different with an iPod.

Mile 21 - 13:01 (late?)

This mile was the Galer/Madison Hill combo that I've been sniveling about for weeks. :)

During the lead in the Galer, I was trying to run as much as I could since I knew I'd be walking up Galer at the minimum. Just after the mile 20 marker and before Galer was a great couple with huge bowls of pretzels and gummi bears. I went ahead and took a chance and had some of each. It couldn't make my mild stomach discomfort, continuing from earlier, a whole lot worse.

And then I trotted up to the bottom of Galer. And I walked. There was no way I was even going to think about running that 3 short blocks. They were stopping traffic at the top of the hill to let the runners onto Madison, and I couldn't even run to help speed that process. Had the crap scared out of me as we passed the golf course, as someone drove a ball downrange just as I passed. :)

The sadistic bastards with TNT had their motivational signs about how cancer couldn't kill the soul, etc on Madison every 10 feet or so for a section. Another emotional moment given all the people our family is has lost to cancer in the last 18 months.

Kept walking up the hill till I heard someone call my name. It was my mom about half a mile early. She and my Dad had hiked the hill to see me early at the hard part. It was really nice to see them.

slogging up maidison. note my nemesis again. (seriously, I hadn't even noticed her until I showed these pictures to a friend. he thought it was funny.)

I saw mom, hit the top of the hill and started trotting again and then saw Dad. Hit the water station shortly thereafter and refilled again. One of the high school gals there tried to make a witty comment about my bright hat and I just grunted. With a little more brain power I could have been a little snappier. :)

If you pull up the bigger picture (sorry for the lousy quality) you get a good impression of how I'm feeling right now. :)

And now downhill to the next mile marker. Thank goodness for the downhill. :) Until my thighs start snivelling. :)

Mile 22 - 10:39 (probably too short)

Lots of downhill this mile. :) Split is probably a little off because previous mile's split is off. This section runs through the rest of the way down Madison, and then into the Arboretum, even in the fall, very pretty. B and I ran part of this path a few weeks ago, but the other direction.

The water stop was placed so we hit it just as we entered the Interlaken part of the 'hills of death' (tm). My bottle was still pretty full, so I bypassed it and started working my way up Interlaken.

Mile 23 - 12:03

Interlaken. Surprisingly I found this to be much easier than the Galer/Madison hills. Interlaken weaves back and forth and bobs up and down in a really scenic, seemingly never ending run. This was the biggest hill in the route.

I think the fact that the route hides itself helped me set achievable goals for run/walk combos. The section where the route switched from road to park train was a little squirrelly because there was a weave of cones to go through, it was a little odd.

Just before the weave was a 'water station' that was offering beer. :) I'm pretty sure there was anyway. I don't think I hallucinated it. :) One of the volunteers at the hill was calling out that there were only 3.4 miles to go from this point.

The only dumbass spectator/volunteer moment happened right around here. A pair of volunteers called out that 'You're at the top of the hill' as you passed them. 50 feet later and around the corder you realize they're idiots and you are in no way done with the hill. If I had had more energy I would have gone back and beaten them. :)

I'm still in with the group that I have been for a while. A guy I hadn't noticed before said 'I guess we have to finish now.' :) We both thought it was amusing, I think we were a little logy. :) A very cute family dressed for church, and either walking from one of the homes or maybe out for a post church walk was waking along the side of the path give support to everyone.

Mile 24 - 11:52

Just as we were coming out of Interlaken A TNT coach was running back up the course. I've since learned that most of the coaches don't run the course but are at locations. It certainly explains why she looked so fresh. She was the second one I(I think ) I was and both were very supportive of everyone they passed. I've heard that TNT spectators have a bad habit of only cheering for TNTers, but I didn't notice that. I may have been deep int eh throes of my one misery and just not noticed though. :)

Just as we turned onto Delmar traffic was backed up and they let a car go left ahead of me, and it was a reminder of how much of man impact on the city a marathon has.

the next water station had someone handing out Krispy Kremes. I thought about it for a few seconds and decided that I'd better not. The taste wouldn't make the intestinal issues it would cause go away. :)

I have decided that the one piece of spectator support that I don't think is good is 'looking good' , because honestly, none of the people I was running with looked real good at the point we were at. :) OK, I'm projecting, and I demand spectators not say this because it bothers me. :)

My left lower back started to cramp a little, which I initially attributed to the fact that I don't seem to be able to carry anything evenly no matter how I try. I always seem to revert to carrying in my left hand. It has been suggested that it might have been roadway camber, or the fact that the form in my left foot is so utterly dismal.

A little uphill after the water stop and then we're turning left on Boyleston. Which had a slight (VERY slight) uphill grade, that just about made me cry. I remember this as being downhill from the elevation map damnit! :)

Finally under an over pass with a porta pottie and the mile marker on it tucked in on the sidewalk.

Mile 25 - 11:25

i can honestly say the section on Boyelston and this mile confused me because I don't remember them being as long as they were on the map.

One of the houses on the hill had spectators on their upper balcony and they had these funny legs made out of stuffed nylons with running shoes attached dangling down and bobbing up and down. No idea what they were saying/cheering but it was amusing.

After what felt like a never ending mile we finally go to the ramp for Lakeview Blvd that I had expected about a mile ago. The best part was knowing that except for Mercer most of the rest of the course was downhill.

Mile 26 + .2 - 13:17 - (11:19 for second half)
Finish: 4:32:58 (10:25/mile)

Completely forgot to tag the split at mile 26. I don't even remember seeing it. If we estimate a 9:00 mile for the last .2 (I might have been faster than that, amazingly enough (one of the Pro shots has my feet up by my knees), but it seems reasonable, then my split for 26 was 11:29, and 1:48 for the last .2.

Down Republican, which is like coming home since work is just by the 25.5 water station.

Just as we're about to turn down the hill off Eastlake I hear two guys from the Fort Lewis 10 miler team. One of them had a great quote that almost sums up the whole experience for me. "sounds so easy, feels so hard."

Down the hill and I'm actually moving pretty well. I hear the people at the water station calling out a warning about railroad tracks/steel plates on the roadway near their site.

Sorted through the volunteers for the water station and took water from Betsy (Eat Drink Run Woman), and thanked her by name :) She looked surprised that I knew her name. :)

B, the sadistic bastard, was waiting in his lawn chair by garage to the building. He shouted out and that's how I noticed him. I made it to the end of the block after seeing him and then had to walk.

Walked up the tiny incline to Dexter chatting with a guy. This was his 5th marathon, and his worst one. Shuffled the block on Dexter and down the hill, and then walked up the hill. Catted with another guy, this was his 6th. He commented on how great crowd support had been for this one compared to the other Seattle's he had run. I had to agree, I certainly had no complaints with crowd support.

Made it to the top of the hill and started to shuffle again. Two blocks to the turn into the stadium on 4th, and I started to pick it up. I didn't have a lot of energy left, but I was going to finish strong. I just had to make it to the finish line and I could stop effing moving for a while.

A little ramp into the stadium, what idiot put that there, and onto the turf. Trying to pickup pace. Hear my family calling me and see them out of the corner of my eye. Don't have any extra energy to wave or turn my head and acknowledge them.

Here's a timing mat, I slow a little, wait, now that's not the finish, the finish is th big damned sign ahead, no idea what that was (turns out it was a mat so they could read your name as you crossed the finish line), speed back up to cross the finish line and stop. Head and hears hammering an pulsing.

Apparently two guys finished just ahead of me, I don't even remember them being there. The finish seemed a bit disorganized to me. I had to reach out to get my medal, got it and put it on, because by heck I had just finished a marathon! The photographer stopped me as I was starting to walk to get my chip taken off and snapped a shot while I attempted to smile. This was pretty ad hoc. A lot of the other shots I've seem seemed to at least have the mylar blanket as a background. I walked forward had someone take off my chip and then had to grab my mylar blanket, because the guy handing them out was distracted by something.


Wandered in the general direction of my family, pretty much loopy. They found me and I got congratulations and got/gave a really big hug to Kaitlyn. She didn't like how wet I was at all. :)

This is Val's favorite of the finishing pics.

I call this my zombie runner pic. If you look at the linked big version you can see how dialated my eyes were. Val says at this point I answered at least one question with a completely unrelated answer. :)

Wandered into the Victory Recovery Area and got some chocolate mile, bananas, fruit cups and some Talking Rain sport drink (can't remember the name)(disgusting stuff). I made a pass through the vendors and then checked results to keep moving.

Finally got my clothes from Val and wandered into the changing area to change. Turns out one of the guys I was chatting with was from the Runners World group that was trying to meet at the beginning of the race.

looking almost human again

We had planned on going to Lombardis (our default celebration restaurant) for the victory dinner before my mom headed home, but I had no appetite at all so I asked to just go home and relax. We'd try it again if I felt more up to it.

Went home, took a shower, had my Dad take care of my blister, and just hung out on the couch with my legs up and tried to relax. My dad dropped off his film on the way home then went back out so we could look at the pictures, and Val's (which turned out a little better). Kaitlyn was really into me for the rest of the day which was really nice. :)

I wasn't that physically disabled even on Sunday, just tired. I was pretty much up and moving normally by noon on Monday, and I've joked with Val that if I want sympathy for more than 36 hours I either need to be obviously crippled, or run a 50 K, I figure that should be good for 48 hours, and a 50 miler would be good for 72. :)

if I had to pick a word to describe the marathon I'd say difficult. It was much harder than I thought it would be from my training runs. I've got a much better respect for the distance now. :)
If you made it to the bottom, thanks for reading all of this. I'm going to write another post shortly about how my metal state changed over the course of last week, but I need to get something accomplished. :)

Some interesting statistics:
Average pace for the race: 4:21:53

Pro shots are up if you want to take a look

This is the first race I have run that used the runpix website before. Use my bib number (583) then click marathon. It's pretty cool. Notice the 'next' buttons at the bottom of the pages to see the cool features I missed for a few days. :)

2135 total finishers for the marathon (64% male) I was 1382 overall
1364 males I was 967
277 in my age group I was 151

Going to have to start working hard to get up past the 66% marker. :)

The Day Before The Marathon - Reprised

OK, just because I need to make sure I have the whole experience down for future reference, we're going back in time to the day before the race. :)
It's not as cool as the actual race, but it's part of the process. :) If you think this is long, just wait for the race report. (I know: we are, we are. :))

Kaitlyn cooperated with us so I got to sleep in a little bit. Which was good, since this was the second night in a row I'd had night sweats. After some consideration, I suspect they were stress related. :) Nothing quite like having to swap out the comforter in the middle of the night. Bleah.

Got up around 8. Val did up ham and cheese eggs and French toast. My mom had been staying with us for Thanksgiving and the marathon, so we just waited till 10ish when my dad showed up (staying with my mother in law just down the road) and then finally started to get on the road.

Gathered up a copy of my registration receipt in case I needed it, as well as the address for the expo hotel and expo map. I'm really glad Val is the driver in the family because I hate driving in Seattle. (Val would point out here that I really dislike driving anywhere. :)) Between streets at diagonals, random one ways and people, it makes my head hurt.

Finally got on the road and drove down to Seattle. We drove by work so we could see the route from there to the start (and the last .7 miles of the course as well) and then down the first bit of the route (en route to the expo hotel) so Dad could figure out where he could take some good pics. Noticed an unanticipated exit closure sign on the exit I'd normally take to work that was effective at 0700, so knew I'd need to get in a little earlier than originally anticipated, or we'd be driving all around to get in. Especially since the course runs right by the building.

The plan was for him to ride with me to work where we would hang out and meet up with B at work, walk up the the start, drop B and I off at the start and then move down to where 5th kinks left on Denny so he could take pictures of the start. Then he'd walk back down to work, displace, and join Val, Kaitlyn and my Mom at Genesee park near the mile 10 marker. Val and Kaitlyn would watch me at mile 10 and then bail out to keep Kaitlyn warm and go the the Aquarium, or the Pacific Science Center and then watch me at the finish. My Mom and Dad would hang out at the Park and see me at 16 (It was on the Seward Park out and back), then displace and see me at around mile 21, just after the Galer/Madison hill combo, and before the Interlaken hill slog.

Got to the Expo at the Westin, needed to pick up my bib and chip (obviously)(I ended up being bib number 583), and Dad wanted to see if we could find a higher visibility hat to make me more recognizable for picture taking. Apparently he didn't think my generic white running hat would be distinctive enough. The expo was well organized, had good signage and volunteers directing people, and was very crowded. In an ideal world they would have been in a slightly bigger space. Only really bad thing was that the charity organizations were segregated away from the vendors and in their own space and almost everyone I saw did the same thing I did. Walked in, realized what was in the room, saw no obvious freebies, and bailed.

Bib and packet pickup were out front in a nice and obvious ballroom, set up very neatly. You had to navigate to the back corners of the vendor area of the expo to get your goodie bag and 'free' shirt. The grandparents took Kaitlyn to the sign making/kid's entertainment area, and Val and I wandered through the vendors looking for hats, or anything else cool. I apologize to the LaraBar people for taking too many samples. I wasn't paying attention to your admonitions to only take 2 TOTAL bars... :) Oops. (As a note: not a bad bar, but I think the CLIF nectar organics are better, for a date based bar at least.) Got a couple of cowbells from Saturn, picked up a new tube of nuun in a better flavor than what I have left at the house. Had no luck at all looking for hats. Found some but they were really odd. Even the brims were foam. Very floppy, and felt really odd to wear, so didn't get one. Almost bought a Stick, but decided we needed to save some money and I'll just stick with the foam roller for now. The goodie bag had some generic stuff, but most importantly included a REALLY nice map of the course, made from satellite imagery, with the best detailed elevation map of the course I've seem. (Which was a little scary. The one on the official site is a little 'cleaned up' and, well...) Probably going to frame the map and bring it in to work, since my Dad seems to be offended by the whole wall with nothing on it. :)

Kaitlyn loved the sky bridge between the parking garage and the hotel. It was over a street, and she could stand on the shelf on one side, see a car coming, and have me swing her as fast as I could over to the other side so she could see the car drive 'reappear' and then swing her back to repeat. And hey, we saw a YELLOW BUS while we did it. Not sure how to top that. :)

Got back on the road and headed to the first spot for my spectators. We had spent some time Friday night looking at maps, and now just needed to work out the route plans and specifics of where people would be, and how to get in and out with all the road closures. After some driving around the first spot ended up being Genesee Park just before mile 10 on the way out, and right at mile 16 on the way back. We drove down Lake Washington Blvd , on the course, until we hit Galer and Madison. Galer looked ugly, but I realized I had run this specific hill or something similar (possibly steeper) when I went out with B fro those couple of hill workouts. Madison was a surprise. Galer is steep but short. The Madison part of this wasn't all that steep, but it was long. Then we were able to drive to the base of the Interlaken weave that I had run with B, and decided to head home.

Decided en route to the house that we needed lunch and Dad REALLY wanted to get me a higher visibility hat! :) We stopped at Taco Time for lunch then walked over to the Brooks Outlet to see if they had anything. I was hoping them might have the NightLife hat that goes with the NightLife jacket and gloves I already have. Unfortunately they did not. Probably because they don't have any problem selling the things. :) Stopped by RiteAid and got film (Yes, Kaitlyn, they used to use cartridges that had to be processed before you could see your pictures.) for my dad, and snagged a couple of neon poster boards in case people wanted to make signs.

Dropped the ladies off at the house so Kaitlyn could take a nap, and Dad and I zipped over to Run26 for that danged new hat (which they did have. The new model has a flasher attached to the adjustment strap so it's even safer. :)). Almost forgot the GU I needed, but my dad caught me at the checkout. The guy who checked me out coaches as well as runs and he suggested that I just go ahead and walk up Galer (the first really steep hill that starts the Seattle Marathon 'hills of death' tm) :)

Dad blasphemed and asked about wearing the race shirt during the race. :) I'm not superstitious, but that's just a jinx waiting to happen. :)

Dad had committed to dinner with my in-laws for the night so he bailed out around 5. I started a load of laundry with some clothes in it that I wanted for after the race, and then started laying things out on the kitchen counters to make sure I wouldn't forget anything. Clothes, bib and chip, shoes, phone, ziploc bag for phone, GUs, Body Glide, Band Aids, clothes and shoes for after, good for after in case there wasn't any, directions, nuun, Advil, handheld water bottle, extra pins for bib, and finally breakfast for race morning.

Val made me a pair of turkey sandwiches for me for dinner and made me sit down to eat them instead of standing and pacing. :) I surfed while I ate, starting to get maps together for everyone so that all the route planning we had done earlier would work.

All sorts of nervous energy especially after we got back from Run26. Val told me later that the only time she's seen me this out of character was when I proposed to her. Finally settled down a little around 8:30. Went up to bed at 9:00 and read blogs and running forums and surfed till 10. Turned off the lights and just laid there, trying not to think too much about the race and assorted and sundry administrative details about it and was still awake at 11 when Val came to bed but went to sleep shortly after.