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

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