30 November 2015

pacing Lucca at the Seattle Marathon

In what has become a most excellent annual tradition I ran with my sister Lucca at the Seattle Marathon today. For a change I was officially entered this time. :)

The first time I paced her was in 2012. I ran the entire course and it was am Amazing experience! In 2013 I was injured so just ran the last four miles. In 2014 I was again recovering from an injury but this time managed the last 18 miles, carried all of Lucca's nutrition and helped Lucca to an all-time marathon PR. Nice! That year was FREEZING cold. This year I had signed up myself long ago to take advantage of the early bird pricing and originally the plan was for me to try for my own marathon PR but (a lack of) training and a vacation (I know, pity me) conspired against me so we ran together yet again. In retrospect, I'm really glad it worked out this way.


Lucca's husband Bil Vandegraff came along this year too to run/walk the half marathon, it was a family affair!
I recently read Being Mortal and in it the author mentions the "peak end" rule of pain and suffering. In short, this rule claims that what affects your memory of pain and suffering the most is the peak of suffering and whether or not you felt pain or if you felt relief (or at least a significant decrease in suffering) at the end. He claims that if the last memory was not so bad then you will describe the entire ordeal as not so bad. That's the long way of saying that our smiles above bely the suffering we just endured.

Lucca had not done any marathon-specific training for this event and the longest run she had done recently was around three hours. Then she went on vacation for two weeks during which she ate lots of everything. Then she caught a cold. I'm still trying to recover from a hip injury and the longest run I have completed in ages is about two hours. I also went on a two week vacation where I ran not at all.

So of course we both still opted for the full distance. :) It must run (pun intended) in the family.
That said, Lucca was already over the worst of her cold, the weather forecast was pretty good and for a change my hip wasn't making any noise so we figured let's go for it.

Every time that I run with Lucca she impresses me. Her pace is consistent and unrelenting. And unlike me who starts to look pretty haggard when things get tough she's always smiling! Lastly, once the run starts she doesn't waste time or mental energy talking about upcoming hills, etc. and the Seattle Marathon course is not flat.

Some things to ponder.
  • The first three times i paced Lucca she got a PR. In spite of her self-professed "lack of training" this year she was again on PR pace until close to the end. And when she slowed down she did not blow, she just slowed a little. Awesome experience on her part or perhaps I should start a pacing for hire business?
  • The last two years i carried all the nutrition. Not having to stop, ever, is awesome!
  • Lucca's all time marathon PR last year and her stellar run this year were fueled by Hammer Nutrition. Causal relationship or coincidence?
  • I had stop at a porta potty on the course. Catching up to Lucca is not as easy (read: it was tough!) as it was several years ago.
The start is always cold!


Running into the I-90 freeway tunnel always feels surreal.

Lucca has never walked the E Galer St hill.


Lucca always puts in a strong finish.

Who is more tired?




I will cherish these memories for a long time. If you ever want a pacer Lucca, I'm your man.

Here are all the pictures and video.

Waking HR
Body Weight
Body Fat
Breakfast none
Nutrition 2 large Water Bottles each w/2 scoops Perpetuem and 2 Endurolytes, Hammer Gel, water
Recovery 3 scoops Recoverite
Time of Day 8:15 AM
Workout Type
Weather low to upper 30s
Course Seattle Marathon
Results Another great run with my sister!
official results
Time Lucca - 3:50:13
Me - 3:50:14
Distance 26.2 miles
Equipment Brooks Launch 2, Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest 2.0
Clothing Brooks Essential Low Quarter Sock, 2XU Compression 3/4 Tights, Craft Active Classic Long Sleeve Baselayer, Brooks long sleeve shirt, buff, Brooks Vapor Dry Glove II

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