Lake Sammamish Half Marathon - Run

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Redmond, Washington
United States
4th Dimension Racing
40F / 4C
Total Time = 1h 27m 49s
Overall Rank = 55/1805
Age Group = 30-39
Age Group Rank = 5/394
Pre-race routine:

Watched the sun go down and had a fire near the beach with friends while the almost full moon came up. I had a citra pale ale and a Fremont 77 spring session ale.
Event warmup:

Parked at the bar that we were going to meet at for beers after and ran the 2.75 miles to the start as a warm-up. Picked up my packet, used the porta, grabbed some water and lined up. I was running a little later than I had hoped so the whole thing felt a bit rushed. I need to get up a little earlier next time. I also had to sacrifice doing strides because I ran out of time.
  • 1h 27m 49s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 06m 42s  min/mile

My sole focus has been mountain/trail running but I wanted to get something where race time and pace actually meant something so I could truly check in on my fitness.

I have not done any long quality tempo runs or really anything specific to this distance, so really I was just winging it.

My goals were as follows:
D goal: Pace well so I could finish strong
C goal: Run under 1:30
B goal: Run under 1:29
A goal: Run under 1:28

Because I hadn't had any relevant workouts, I wasn't sure what was reasonable. I've been working hard but workouts oriented with upward (and downward) travel such as trail running, summiting mountains etc. doesn't necessarily translate to fast flat running.

I lined up near the front with a goal of a conservative start and a strong finish.

We took off and I settled into a comfortable pace right away. I felt extremely relaxed. I was in shorts and a tank which is almost never a problem but it was particularly cold at the start and I was wondering if I made a good decision. I probably should have at least had gloves.

My splits were steady through the 5 mile mark. I wasn't forcing anything but they were all landing under 6:50. I put most of my energy focusing on fast turnover on any downhill.

Unfortunately they are paving the trail along the lake and each year the course has to change slightly to accommodate the closed portion of the trail. This year due to the closure we were forced up onto the shoulder of the road for several miles. It was very narrow and quite dangerous. You didn't have much room to pass so some people were cutting outside the cones into traffic. I didn't want to risk it so I hung behind the people in front of my and unfortunately my pace slipped while I waiting for an opportunity to pass.

Finally we dropped down a hill back onto the trail and I used a fast cadence to take advantage of the hill, passing several people.

During miles 6-8 I felt a little lost. I was more or less all alone and my mind wandered a bit. I was struggling to maintain focus. Lucky for me a man came up alongside me for the pass. I tucked right in behind him and let him set a pace.

The thing was, I felt pretty good. My legs weren't shot, my breathing was under control. I was just struggling to push myself to that place you go in a half marathon, where it is more or less right out side of your comfort zone. I was very lucky to have the guy in front of me to do some pacing work.

We got into mile 10 and 11 and I was feeling better, not worse. I traded places with the guy and we worked together to get into mile 12. At 12.5 or so I was fading a touch and let the guy take the lead again. He started putting distance between us. I snapped out of it and focued on closing the gap.

We came into the final stretch and I was able to summon some strength and push the pace a bit. I saw the clock just under 1:28 and pushed hard to as to not lose my A goal. I finished strong with a negative split.

As I said, this course changes every year so it is difficult to compare times. I knew I wasn't in a position to beat last years time for several reasons but finishing 1:27:xx was a HUGE accomplishment for me. As I had mentioned, I hadn't done any kind of long tempos to get ready. If I can run an 87 without that, I think I am in position to hammer a beautiful half marathon time with some specific focus.

But for now, my sights are set on the more masochistic goals like the Pikes Peak Ascent and the Mountain Running Championship, where the times are slow, your heart-rate is through the roof and no one cares. LOL!

What would you do differently?:

Train specifically for this kind of racing, flat and fast.
Post race
Warm down:

Changed out of my sweaty clothes, got on the bus and then ran the 2.75 miles to the bar.
About halfway through my cooldown run I started feeling reaaaaaallly lousy. I was dizzy and my vision got blurry around the edges. I walked for a few minutes and felt a little better. Once I got to the bar I had a beer and felt a lot better. Lifesaver :)

I met up with some BT peeps which is always a pleasure. Then I headed out to the mountains for a hike.

By the end of the day I was really, really spent. I actually think I may have run outside my actual fitness today. Which to me, is a win.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Non-specific training

Profile Album

Last updated: 2015-03-06 12:00 AM
01:27:49 | 13.1 miles | 06m 42s  min/mile
Age Group: 5/394
Overall: 55/1805
Performance: Average
Course: Flat point to point primarily on path along Lake Sammamish. Part paved, part crushed gravel. Due to trail construction several miles were run on the shoulder of the road.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]