I’ve been ranting in my previous blog entries about how I am not ready for my second marathon – not getting enough training due to work, being sick, bad cramps at the US Half Marathon. After my completing my 20 mile run in 4:14, I somehow found confidence that I can do better than my first but the sub-5 hour goal was still in the clouds.
As I have been doing my practice runs in the cold, dark and sometimes rainy nights I am already used to the fall weather. I only had 2 layers of upper gear, running tights and gloves. I wore my Lunar Glide instead of my Kayano 15.
The race started on 5th Ave outside Seattle Center. Unlike the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll, the marathon and half marathon runners have different starting times. There were less runners but still a good size crowd. I positioned myself on the 4:45 pacers. If there is anyway I would want to get a sub-5 hour the pacer should be always at my sight. There were about 10 runners keeping up with the 4:45 pacers. I decided to run a little bit ahead of them at the I90 floating bridge turnaround. Miles 8 to 12, I was still ahead of the group.
Every 2 miles on the course, there were water stations and volunteers holding a timer and shouting the elapsed time to the runners. Not to pressure myself too much, I decided not to pay attention to the volunteers. I thought to myself that I would just look at my garmin on the halfway mark. I got a surprise at the turn in scenic Seward Park when I saw a big timer at the halfway mark and it read 2:20. 4:45 is a possibility!
Mile 14 and 15 I was still ahead of the 4:45 pacers. Mile 16 I felt something in legs – I am cramping. Not sure why this is happening again. I never missed the water stations and I had GU this time. I was running at a slower pace after the cramps. The 4:45 pacers eventually caught up on me on mile 17.
I reached the 20 mile mark in 3:45 – sub 5 hour is still a possibility BUT the next 3 miles are the toughest part of the course. The steepest part of the course is between miles 20 and 21. My legs and feet were already tired. I attempted to run uphill but would walk halfway because of cramps.
PR is a PR
Resigned to the fact that this will not be a sub 5 hour marathon, I took it easy to the finish line. I finished with a chip time of 5:06:49. Not a sub 5 hour but it was a 22 minute improvement from my first marathon. Thank you to my friends for the support and encouragement. Now I am targeting 4:30 for marathon number 3. The big question is BMO Vancouver or Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll?