Lake Sammamish Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Redmond, Washington
United States
4th Dimension Racing
45F / 7C
Total Time = 2h 15m 12s
Overall Rank = 674/1051
Age Group = 40-49
Age Group Rank = 91/107
Pre-race routine:

Woke up around 5:45am, made coffeee. Ate toast with peanut butter/honey and a bannana. Quick shower to wake up and then drove an hour to the park for the start.
Event warmup:

Brief walk/jog to get loose and stay warm.
  • 2h 15m 12s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 19s  min/mile
Comments: first race report - Warning..despite my best efforts this is probably way too long...!!

I made the decision to attempt this race at the end of December, giving myself a little over 9 weeks of training to prepare. My goal going into the training was simply to finish the distance - something that I wasn't sure I could handle in such a relatively short period of time. But, given the encouragement of my family and Rookie team mates, I decided to go for it, and am so glad that I did. I used the Galloway run:walk method to build up my distance and stamina - my previous long distance was 5K and I had no race experience behind me. I lost about a week of training due to injury but other than that, the build up went very well.

Running 3 times a week with 1 long run I got up to a long distance of just over 11 miles while maintaining on the bike and swim. Heading into the race, I felt a little undertrained but confident I could make the distance. My training runs for the most part had been on tougher terrain than the race course and I figured that would be a big advantage.
So, from a long run of 5K at the end of December, before I knew it Race Day had arrived! Of course, typical Northwest weather for this time of year was delivered with a temp in the low 40’s and a cold and steady rain throughout.

Woke up around 5:30am, made coffee, had the normal pre-long run meal of toast with peanut butter and honey, and a banana. Then a quick shower to fully wake up. Threw the gear in the car, wife and son were ready to go so we all headed out for the hour or so drive down to the start in Issaquah. Got to the park with plenty of time to spare so hung out for a while doing some light walking and jogging and huddling under a tree to avoid being completely drenched before the start. Got final big hugs from the family before they did the smart thing and headed to IHOP for breakfast and hot chocolate while I got in line around the 10 min/mile pace marker.

9am arrives and the DJ sends us off. The course was great despite the weather. Most of the run was on a compact gravel trail so a bit less impact that concrete or asphalt. My original race strategy was going to be based on my training so I planned to run 5:30 mins, then walk for 1:00 throughout. Well that pretty much went out the window from the start!! Despite knowing not to get caught up in the excitement and early race adrenalin, I was pulled along and just didn't want to stop for my walk I kept going. I ran the first 4-4.5 miles before finally slowing for my minute of walking. From there I walked 1 min only every 11 mins or so, or just over every mile. There was no logic to that strategy - it's just what worked for me on the day. Physically and mentally I felt great, especially during the first half. I glanced at my watch around the half way mark and noticed I was just over an hour into the race and well within my finish goal of 2:20.

The race continued - eventually the runners thinned out and I settled into my 'a bit over 10 min mile' pace group as we leapfrogged each other for the last 3 or 4 miles. Physically, I finally started to feel some pain around the 11 mile mark. My long run in training had been 11.5 miles and my legs and hips were starting to complain. I had to dig in to get through miles 11-12 but once I hit the trail to Marymoor Park, where the finish line was, I knew I had it in the bag, and it was a great feeling. I gave a photographer, most likely a really goofy/dorky thumbs up on the final stretch and was ecstatic as I saw my wife and son, waiting in the pouring rain as I hit the final turn. Pumped the fists as I crossed the line and stopped the watch to record my time at 2:15:16 - 5 minutes ahead of my goal.

This was a fantastic day and despite the inevitable soreness that followed, the taste that I got of the race day excitement has me already counting down to my next one.

Big thanks to my wonderful wife Paula and son AJ (he's in first grade) for coming out in the cold and rain, to the organizers and volunteers at Evergreen Trail Runs, and to my rockin' online Rookie triathlon team - y'all know who you are!!

Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed a couple fruit recovery drinks, met family, raided the snack and pizza tents. Headed for car to get out of the rain because I got very cold real quick as soon as I stopped.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Trained for only about 9 weeks and lost a week due to calf injury. Could have used a couple more 10+ mile runs.

Event comments:

Evergreen Trail Runs put on a great event. Plenty of volunteers who were helpful and enthusiastic. I had a great time...this was my first running event of any kind and will be back next year.

Last updated: 2012-03-10 12:00 AM
02:15:12 | 13.1 miles | 10m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/107
Overall: 674/1051
Performance: Good
Course: Point to point mostly on trail from Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaguah to Marymoor Park in Redmond.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5