Sunday, June 28, 2009

2009 Seattle RNR Marathon




















Seattle Rock & Roll Marathon report.

Everything went well the morning of my race, but if the day before the race was any indication of how my race would go, I was in serious trouble.

Friday afternoon I parked my car in my driveway so I could wash it. I got a knock on the door an hour later from our condo landscaper telling me that he’d backed into my Coupe.
Busted tail light and a bumper that was out of alignment by ¼”.

Jenni dropped me off at about 5:30 and I had plenty of time to get things out of the way, talk to a few running friends I ran into in coral #2 and get my photo taken by the roaving camera guy.
My goal for this race was 3:30:00, being I ran that on a similar course. It turned out to be a way easier course, and I was in better shape. 3:25:00 (a PR) could have been achieved on this day. I felt great, maybe even good enough to run a BQ time of 3:20:59.
The crowds were thick despite corals. There were still a good 750-1,000 runners per coral.

1/2 a mile into the marathon, I wasn’t paying enough attention to the terrain I was running on. I twisted my ankle on the edge of the asphalt where the paving ends and has a 2" drop. I tried to break my fall with my right hand. That left me with 6-8 very deep cuts with rocks and dirt. It looked like hamburger, blood and dirt. Then my left hand hit along with my left thigh, resulting giant raspberry on my thigh. Left elbow hit. My left eye socket hit the ground and shattered my Oakley's into two pieces. It forced the glasses into my temple bruising it.
So there I was, no sun protection for my eyes on a very sunny day, and my ankle was kinda sore. Little did I know it was actually WAY more than just sore. Adrenalin and endorphins mask pain.

I got up and continued on with the same pace I planned (8:00 or faster).
I saw a co-worker at mile one and stopped for a second to let him know his wife might be finishing AHEAD of me. It was her first full marathon.
It’s kinda sad that I didn’t get to enjoy this course, I was just on autopilot. I just wanted this nightmare to be over. I couldn’t believe my race was unfolding like this. At some points I just laughed, I’d pay big money to see a video of me going down like that. The people behind me that saw me go down had a good laugh I’m sure. Oddly nobody said a word or stopped to make sure I was ok.
It’s hard to come up with details of this race, because it was just a blur. I just ran, I can’t even remember what was going through my mind except I know I altered my normal stride. I kept my ankle as stiff as possible without pushing off of it. It’s a good thing I don’t pronate much when I run, I’m neutral. My concern was my new shoes, lightweight trainers. They don’t offer as much support as my normal shoes. To think before the race I was worried about my other ankle and what I thought might be plantar fac. In the weeks prior to the race.

At mile 11 I was still at 8:00 pace and stopped for a full minute to wash out my wounds and dig out rocks. I actually looked at my ankle for the first time. It was the size of a racket ball. I saw a few people I know and they commented on how I was running, they asked if I was limping. I guess I was only fooling myself. I told them what happened and like true Marathon Maniacs they told me “you can do it”.

Mile 11 I think it was, we met back up with the ½ marathoners. We had run out the I-90 bridge adding more miles. That was a mess, you WERE running with people your pace, then when you rejoin them, you are running with people way slower. To top it all off 4 lanes merged into two, with water right before it. GEEZ
That was tough. Any left right movement wasn’t fun. Turns, turnarounds, camber in the road………
So now I was heading into the city, near the finish line. The half runners were almost done, but was I almost done? I could take a DNF on the full and turn left and get a ½ marathon finish, which would actually be more like 15-16 miles for me since I ran on I-90. This was the toughest mental portion of the race. I don’t like failure. I literally couldn’t decide what to do, to the point that it upset me. If I finish in 2 hours I won’t be able to find Jenni for about an hour and a half. If I continue and can finish or take longer than 3:45:00 she’s going to start freaking out. As it was, when I finished I was way behind my normal time, and the time we discussed. She was already wondering what happened to me. When she saw me at mile 26 she KNEW, she could see it on my face.
I continued on, trudging out onto the bridge. Once I made that decision, I thought for a split second it was the wrong decision. It’s so demoralizing running away from where you are to finish. After I went through the tunnel and up to Fremont, I talked to a young lady to try and take my mind off this “problem”. Her story was crazy, maybe not as crazy as mine, but crazy. Her long run was 12 miles, and the day before the race she upgraded to the full marathon. Easier for her, she might have been 22? I left her behind and made my way to Fremont, seeing my friends coming back at me after they went around the turnaround. I didn’t use my garmin, I was just using my watch and keeping track of each mile, judging how I was doing by each mile ran. They weren’t TO far ahead of me, and they were in the 3:30-3:35 range. Seeing the 3:30 pace group ahead of me, and seeing the 3:45 pace group behind me as I myself was coming back around mile 19 gave me a much need confidence boost.
I was doing great besides my ankle. Then again I was around 8:18 pace, which is now becoming very comfortable at any distance. The only problems I had were when I’d stop for water. I could tell it was tight and I just tried no to look at it.

Mile 23-24 once again was no fun, you had to run past the finish area again. This time we were going south of it for another turnaround. I didn’t feel any fatigue on my legs I just could feel my ankle was so done. I really wished I could have enjoyed this race, the scenery, the bands. Mile 24.5 was the turnaround I think, that hurt. I just about walked around that cone to make sure I didn’t hurt my ankle anymore with left right action.
Mile 26 was down the off ramp, STEADY please…Little did I know Jenni was there at the bottom. So was Shelby, local RUN26 running store owner and mentor to many. He was coaching TNT this race and must have run 40 miles back and forth helping his team. He had a big high five for me. Jenni saw me and yelled but I didn’t hear her. She then ran through the alley to mile 26.15 to see me finish. I saw her and heard her ask me if I was ok. I think I was almost crying at this point, and mustered a “hell no” nod.

I watched my finish video today, I looked like crap. I instantly signaled to a medic to look at my ankle. They took me into the medic area and sat me on a chair in direct sunlight, nice. They kinda cleaned out my hand and gave me some ice. Funny thing was I saw on the news later on that they had these cool buckets of ice water for runners with plastic booty’s for your feet. Why wasn’t I offered one of these? Instead I had a lame plastic bag with ice wrapped on my cankle, dripping melting ice all over. Headed out to get my medal and finishers pic and find Jenni.

The lines to go through the food area were HUGE, and a maze. I could barely walk here people……. I asked if I could forgo that area and bypass it and find the giant “N” for Nelson so Jenni could find me. I’m sure she was kinda wondering WTF happened to me? They couldn’t move the barricades so I climbed over it. Once again, NICE, I mean do I have to ask for a wheel chair to make it apparent I can’t walk? I ran into Heather who had just ran her first ½ marathon. A friend of hers passed away recently and she ran it for them. So cool.
I found Jenni and got my kiss and ahug, explained why her boyfriend is crazy and ran 25.5 miles on a jacket up ankle, hobbled to the car and got the hell out of dodge.

















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