Lake Sammamish Half Marathon - Run

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Redmond, Washington
United States
4th Dimension Racing
40F / 4C
Total Time = 1h 25m 29s
Overall Rank = 5/1159
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 2/248
Pre-race routine:

The night before we went out and I got a HUGE bowl of pho. Then we stopped and I picked up a 22 oz of Graff[t] which is a joint effort beer between a local brewery here in Seattle (Two Beers Brewing) and New Belgium Brewing. "It is an India Pale Lager (IPL) brewed with 100 percent Pilsner malt, Mosaic hops from Yakima Valley, Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand and a 10 percent by volume addition of unfermented apple juice (also known as “must”) from Seattle Cider Company. After fermentation, the brew is then dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin hops. With 53 IBUs and 7.3 percent ABV, the result is a dry, crisp, effervescent beer-cider hybrid with notes of grapefruit and citrus, accompanied by a brite and dry palate." So, now you know! :)

Anyway, I went to bed super early because, to my dismay, the race started at 7:30 am and I needed to warm up and do packet pickup. Sighhhhhh. (Not an early morning person!)
Event warmup:

I parked at the bar where we were going to meet afterward and then ran the trail along the river to the starting area. It was a nice little warm up. I picked up my packet, checked my gear and then did a nice set of strides and got into the coral.

The race was delayed a bit which I really can't stand. It's difficult to get warmed up and then totally cool down. But I understand, it's difficult to wrangle 2K runners.
  • 1h 25m 29s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 06m 32s  min/mile

This was another training race. I pretty much trained right through. The week leading up to the race was a tough one. I was feeling pretty worn down and had a pretty crappy tune-up practice a few days before. I was feeling pretty down on myself and my confidence was low but my friends and family cheered me up (here and elsewhere. Thanks Manatees!) So, I went in with pretty low expectations.

I had a plan and it was to do the first 3 miles at marathon pace, the next 7 at HM pace and then finish as strong as possible (depending on where I was at that point.) I actually ran with a watch (OMG!) so that I could note my paces. I hate doing that, but it was necessary in this training race. I also was planning to take a gel at the 5K, 10K and then somewhere around mile 10 to practice for my marathon.

I started out a little bit further back than I normally would because I was planning on running the first couple miles on the slower side. This turned out to be one of my best decisions in the race. We took off and about 3/4 mile into the race and there was a misunderstanding with one of the officials, about 20 of the front of the pack went straight where we were supposed to turn. I just so happened to be behind the guy who asked the official, "Hey, aren't we supposed to turn here?" so I was only slightly diverted. I felt bad for the leaders. Although it IS their responsibility, I was surprised the official didn't make more of an effort to redirect them.

I hit the first mile right on pace. I felt good and relaxed. We got off the road and onto the trail and I hit my second mile, also on pace. I've been doing a lot more M pace running, so it came pretty naturally.

Mile 3 was my last mile at M pace and I was also preparing to take a gel. I had them stuffed in my arm-warmers. I came into the split right on pace again and then I ratcheted down the speed into my perceived "HM" pace. I also took my gel at the 5K and then got some water at the station. My target for HM was supposed to be 6:38 but I came into mile 4 at 6:34. It felt really reasonable though so I didn't try to adjust. I figured things just got a little wonky taking the gel/water. I was running alongside a guy named Marty. He told me he was shooting for sub 1:27 and I told him that's what I had run last year. He said he remembered finishing right behind me. I told him to stick with me and we'd get him under 1:27. We ran together for a bit but he told me to go on without him as he was struggling a bit.

I saw a girl not too far ahead of me. I didn't want to push the pace but I definitely see the value in having someone to run with. I slooooowly made my way up next to her. She unfortunately had headphones on, so I couldn't chat about her strategy at all. Her pace was really nice and I locked in. We came into miles 5 and 6 at 6:33 and I was feeling really good. I took another gel at the 10K mark and then some more water later. Normally I wouldn't probably take so much fuel but I really wanted to practice for the M.

We stormed through miles 7 and 8 @ 6:33 and 6:32. The girl I was running with faded a touch and then hammered down and caught up. She did this a couple times. I couldn't tell if she was struggling or just playing with her pace. She did this again, this time surging in front of me. I didn't try to match her pace immediately but I did focus on quickening my turnover. I actually wasn't sure that I would be able to catch up and really didn't want to get caught up in her race. Pretty soon we were side by side again though. This was a little faster pace but I still felt good. She, however, seemed to be struggling at this point. I couldn't really encourage her or talk though because of the headphones so I just kept on.

I stopped looking at my watch at this point. The goal now was to slowly tighten down the pace. We came off the trail and alongside the road and pretty much everyone was single file. The other girl had dropped back to the point where I couldn't hear her anymore. I saw a guy in front of my who was doing farleks. His surges were INCREDIBLE. During his "recovery" I came up alongside him and I told him I was super impressed with his speed. He told me he was a 1500 runner and was doing this as training with his buddy who talked him into signing up. I wished him well and went on my way. I really needed to focus now, things were getting uncomfortable. What I noticed was that my legs were tired, not really an aerobic limitation which I was really happy about.

I kept thinking, "fast not hard, fast not hard." I tried to really relax my shoulder and keep my turnover quick without straining.

We approached the very difficult part in the course where you have to run about 100 yards, do a 180 degree switchback, run 100 then another 180 switchback. It's just mentally challenging. I tried to focus on 100 yards at a time.

Finally we came out of the switchbacks and onto the final stretch along the lake to the finish.

My 1500 friend pulled up along my shoulder and said, "Alright, half mile to go. Lets do this!" I picked up the pace and he stayed right on my shoulder, REALLY pushing me.

We came into the chute and he faded just a touch so I could finish solo. A total class act sweetheart.

I shook his hand and told him I really appreciated the support. He was awesome.

I waited around for the other girl to finish and told her thanks for the company.

That is the BEAUTIFUL thing about the more competitive races. It is so nice to have the company and the push from the other competitors.

What would you do differently?:

It was a "c" race and ran more like a workout, so through that lense I am VERY happy.

If it were an "A" race I would:
Push a little harder from the get go
And probably puke at the end, lol

Post race
Warm down:

Waited for Steve (from here on BT) to finish (NICE JOB STEVE!!!) then we rode the shuttle bus back to the start. While we were chatting on the bus a HUGE spider descended in front of my face and I had a FIT! Steve, without saying anything, smashed the sh*t out of it. My hero!

Our bus driver took forever and then got lost but finally we got back to the park. I ran a few more miles to cool down then met the rest of the BTers at the bar! W00000t w000000000000t!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Big marathon miles, no taper, ran as a workout (a hard one though!)

Profile Album

Last updated: 2014-02-27 12:00 AM
01:25:29 | 13.1 miles | 06m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/248
Overall: 5/1159
Performance: Good
Course: Nice and flat along the lake. The half marathon starts at Marymoor Park and follows the East Lake Sammamish Trail to Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]