The Magnuson Series is pretty cool. It's a monthly run series at Magnuson Park and each month you have the option of doing a 5 or 10 15 km race. I'm hoping to go up Mount Si tomorrow with the Seattle Running Club so I didn't feel the need to do any hills today and the Magnuson loop is extremely flat. Perfect.
Yesterday was my first day running after four days off and it felt fine so I think I'm ready for some harder stuff? And another back-to-back weekend of running? You never know until you try.
My goal for today was 7:00/mile pace all the way.
And I just made it...
IT WAS WINDY. As I drove to the parking lot trees were swaying and people were huddled in their cars. I got out to register and had to put on all my extra clothing (sweat pants, windproof fleece jacket, raincoat) just for the short walk. Once I had my number I went right back to the van, started the engine again and cranked the heat.
With about 12 minutes to go before the start I got out again and hit the head. People were hugging the bathroom walls to try and get out of the wind and I was no different. Interestingly, I was one of only three people on the leeward side of the building?! I was worried I might be too warm once we started but I usually am okay with over dressing just a little so I put that thought to bed.
They line everyone up together and just recommend that people who run 8:00/mile or faster get to the front. I looked around for some other 15k numbers (each distance has a unique color) but only saw two. Sheesh. In comparison, there were a ton of 10k numbers. That sure is a popular distance! I guess it's also a benchmark and people want to see how they did compared to last time or last year, etc.
We got the 30 second warning and then it was GO.
Bang! Right away some speedy 10k folks are leaving me in their dust. And there was this one woman with two LOUD and UNRULY dogs on retractable leashes and of course they were totally not retracted and the dogs were pulling her along faster than I could go! DANGER.
Within about .25 miles I spotted another 15k runner near me with a yellow shirt so I tried to hang with him. It didn't work. Right after the hill he started to pull away and after half a lap he had a reasonable gap on me.
On the backside of the course there were two spots where the gravel trail was under water. Each puddle was about 10-15' long and they had put cinder blocks and flat stepping stones down so you could walk on them and not get wet. Let's just say it was interesting hitting these stones (that were spaced for walking) at speed. Thankfully I managed not to fall or slide off each of the three times I ran through this section.
After one lap yellow shirt stopped for a drink at the start/finish and suddenly I was just 50' behind him. [Martin's strategy of using a hand-held bottle was working!] Then on the hill I made up half of that gap and one mile later, in the grass, I passed him. No doubt due to my mad trail running skillz. :)
I'd be lying if I said I didn't look over my shoulder a few times during the next lap... but luckily my gap slowly opened up and as I started the third lap yellow shirt was just out of sight.
My concentration had held up okay for the first two laps but now on lap three I was starting to falter just a bit. This pace was about all I could do and maintaining it was getting tough. There were a couple of spots on lap three where I know I was going slower than on laps one and two but what can you do. Well, I guess I could actually train... but Homey hasn't been playing that this year.
As I was approaching the puddles with the stepping stones for the last time there was a young woman with a walker in front of me who was completing the 5k event. She had a friend with her that was helping her out along the course (and was probably there for safety too). Since the walker isn't exactly designed for off-road use and has tiny wheels, she went straight through the puddle! Awesome. Her friend on the other hand gingerly stepped onto the stones. Well here I come as fast as I can and now there is no room for me on the stones. Not wanting to dive into the muck I (gently and politely and not too loudly) shouted, "Excuse me!" as I ran up to the puddle. She kind of freezes and then at the last second leans way to one side and I decide there is enough space and jump onto the stones. For a second I thought I was boing to slam into her and send her into the mud. I'm SO glad that didn't happen. I had time to shout encouragement to the woman with the walker and her smile when she looked over at me spoke volumes. Obviously it's not the pace that matters, sometimes it's just finishing.
I managed to reel in a few more 10k runners in the last mile and yellow shirt was not gaining on me so that was good. With half a mile to go I shed my vest so they could see my number at the finish but I was not able to pick up the pace until I was very close to the line. Rats.
Whew! I guess to go fast you need to train fast. Damn logic.
I walked for a bit to cool down but I was getting cold fast so I pretty much hightailed it back to my van and got the hell out of there.
Take long shower.
I'm pretty glad I made my goal! I was absolutely unsure of doing it with all of my runs this year being of the long, slow variety. Nice.
|6:00 AM - sausage, apple sauce, 1 scoop protein powder, 2 scoops Perpetuem, banana, walnuts, lots of tea
|9:15 AM - gel
9:30 AM - gel
race - bottle w/some Hammer Gel and 1 tablet Nuun
|Time of Day
|40, wind, light rain the last half
|5 km loop, totally flat except for one 40' hill, about 2/3 gravel path and 1/3 pavement
|1st - 15k
|15 km (9.3 miles)
|Brooks Launch, hand-held bottle
|The Balanced Athlete socks, compression knickers, Craft short sleeve undershirt, SmartWool long sleeve shirt, wind vest, Patagonia gloves, SmartWool hat