Saturday, February 21, 2009

Seventeen on the Lake Sammamish trail

I put in so many of my miles on the Lake Sammamish trail. Today I decided to take a few pics during my run... Bright and early starting at 6:30pm.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Valentine Marathon 2009 race report

10:30am, Olympia, WA
Temperature: 35F-45F, Cloudy
Humidity: 87%-68%

I had intended to run this race before I got on-board the Mardi Gras Marathon train. I have never run two marathons within a week so this was a new experience. The only person I had confided in was David (since he posted the team thread on privacy I figured he could be trusted ).

My recovery from MG went pretty well. On Wednesday, I ran a PR on our monthly 2 mile time trial so I knew that I was good to go. If I didn't feel good at any point I would have dropped out and called this a long run (Olympia is just a 75 minute drive from home).

The Valentine marathon is a very low key race. It was pretty much the anti-Mardi Gras Marathon
- The race was not chip timed
- There were less than 60 full marathon runners.
- There were no mile markers. Just some chalk signs and boards for the turn-arounds for the 5k, 10k, 10 mile and half marathon races.
- My most vociferous supporters were 2 dogs barking at me. In fact since the course was open to traffic for a bit and there were some rude drivers honking at us to move out of the way.
- It was an out and back course.
- It was bucolic. I liked seeing the horses, ponies, cows...
- You'll likely be running on your own for most of the race. I did get some Maniac company towards the beginning but that was soon gone.

My race
- When I walked out to the start in just shorts and the MM singlet I noticed that people were staring at me (everyone was bundled up). They guilted me into donning a cap and gloves. My first instinct was right. It ended up warming up and these two just ended up being a burden.
- It was nice having the runners for the other races until they had to turn around.
- I felt in control of my pace all through. My goal was same as the MG marathon. 3:40-3:45. Greater than 3:45 would be a PW. Less than 3:40 would make it tougher to call it a train-through marathon. All the miles > 8:20 were because I was stopping to take pictures. I've come to accept that photo-marathoning will cost me about 3 minutes in stopping time per race. However, I feel it's worth making sure I get clear shots of things I care about.
- Seeing the majestic Mt. St Helens in the back-drop made my day. I stopped for a few seconds on both ways to take pics.
- Given that this was an out and back course I was more focused towards running without stopping in the second half
- I saw a guy with the words "Old guy pass with compassion" on his back
- The two things that mattered to me were spot on - accurate and clearly marked course. What remains to be seen is if they post an accurate finish time.

mile 1: 8:19
mile 2: 8:32
mile 3: 8:17
mile 4: 8:13
mile 5: 8:32
mile 6: 8:30
mile 7: 8:13
mile 8: 8:23
mile 9: 8:17
mile 10: 8:18
mile 11: 8:15
mile 12: 8:23
mile 13: 8:25
half: 1:49:39
mile 14: 8:15
mile 15: 7:52
mile 16: 7:53
mile 17: 7:55
mile 18: 7:54
mile 19: 8:26
mile 20: 8:30
mile 21: 7:42
mile 22: 7:50
mile 23: 7:48
mile 24: 7:55
mile 25: 7:33
mile 26: 7:35
Time: 3:34:13 @ 8:10

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Mardi Gras Marathon 2009 Race Report

7am, New Orleans, LA
Temperature: 50F-64F, Cloudy
Humidity: 83%-50%

I had no plans of running this marathon until I realized that there was going to be an awesome group of folks heading down to "the Big Easy". I needed a break from winter and work so I was sold.

This was the first time in a marathon that I would be:
- signing up for the race at the expo
- having a hurricane at the dinner the night before
- running wearing beads. This actually felt good towards the end...
- running on shoes with 350+ miles on them. Bad! I just could not get new shoes on time.
- running with a camera- stopping/adjusting my run to take pictures
- running with a singlet (Marathon maniacs). Worked out great since I got to interact with MMs before, during and after the run...
- not using body glide or any anti-chafing mechanism. Accidental, but did not pay for it.

My goal for the race was to run a 3:40-3:45 marathon. Anything faster would not be good for a train-through run and anything slower would be a PW. The plan was to run with Eric, Anu, Nagesh and possibly Bill, Brian. Anu and Nagesh were running the half.

After a discordant rendition of "America the Beautiful" we were off running. The first mile passed through Bourbon street. This was kind of strange - 7am in the morning with no raucous crowds and the roads being soaped off. I was also working out the quirks of taking pictures with my camera while running (this was a new cam and I had not gotten a chance to test it out).

Next, the course hit Charles street. During my last visit to NOLA for Mardi Gras '05 I had watched with envy as runners ran on the cable-car trails. Finally, I got a chance to run on it while admiring the beautiful mansions. I was with our "3:40/1:50" group for the most part though I was stopping/running ahead/getting behind when I saw something that I needed to take a snap of.

The course then took a loop around Audubon Park. This was beautiful with trees, swans, golf courses, some impressive houses...

As we headed to the half finish, the focus was on Anu and Nagesh finishing strong. And finish strong they did!

Passing the half finish was kind of anti-climatic. As the loud cheers died down the scenic course transformed. Our "group" also gradually disintegrated. A&N seemed to be a glue that held it together... We caught up with the 3:40 pacer dude right after the half. I ran with him for a bit but dropped him after about a mile. While I loved listening about his plans for Med-school, the pace did not seem to click. Eric later concurred with this.

Scenery-wise there was nothing note-worthy until we headed reached the City park at mile 21. I remember being inspired by "Chariots of Fire" both the times I passed someone blazing it. It never gets old on me. The mile 19 beer stop seemed tempting.

Unlike my other marathons, I'll remember a lot more about this run going forward - I have the moments that stood out for me preserved in pics... A kid I high-fived in the park (along with her brother). A couple of ladies with a cow-bell after mile 24 - seeing their pic being taken seemed to have made their day. Brian with his arm-panties to remind me of the discussion about his friend's wife's present. A lady with a cute running skirt I passed after the mile 25 marker. Robyn, Michael, Jon, A&N cheering right before I crossed the finish...

Thanks Eric for getting us all aboard. Great FEs :)

mile 1: 9:00
mile 2: 8:24
mile 3: 8:19
mile 4: 8:12
mile 5: 8:19
mile 6: 8:19
mile 7: 8:21
mile 8: 8:28
mile 9: 8:23
mile 10: 8:23
mile 11: 8:26
mile 12: 8:38 ???
mile 13: 7:17 ???
mile 13.1 1:49:35
mile 14: 8:30
mile 15: 8:35
mile 16: 8:32
mile 17: 8:07
mile 18: 8:19
mile 19: 8:09
mile 20: 8:17
mile 21: 8:05
mile 22: 8:06
mile 23: 7:56
mile 24: 7:54
mile 25: 7:54
mile 26: 7:44
mile .2: 1:48 (@ 7:40)

Chip: 3:36:27 @ 8:15
Gun: 3:37:17
OA: 216/1486
Male: 191/945
Div: 32/155

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