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Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon - Run

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Seattle, Washington
United States
Competitor Group, Inc.
60F / 16C
Total Time = 4h 03m
Overall Rank = 600/2210
Age Group = 50-54
Age Group Rank = 41/116
Pre-race routine:

I've managed to keep my weekly mileage up after my Winter/Spring run focus and was feeling well prepared and strong for this race. I also decided to keep running consistently through the week with runs of 5,5,3.5 and 3.5 at an easy pace. I seem to do better if I keep moving as opposed to full rest days.

Ran into Adrienne at the expo Friday afternoon and she loaded us up with Powerbars. Such a sweetheart. Went to the Old Spaghetti Factory afterwards for some prerace carbs and tried to get to bed early. Got up at 5:30 and sat in the lobby of our hotel sipping a cup of coffee and enjoying the quiet of the early morning. The start of a perfect day.
Event warmup:

Walked two blocks to the Monorail and rode it to the Space Needle where the race started. Quite the iconic Seattle experience. Weather was sunny and calm. Just walked around until the corrals started forming. The 4:10 pace group was in my wave so I asked them their pacing strategy. They said they were going to go out a little fast since the second half has some tough hills and they wanted to bank some time. I was thinking about 4 hours so thought following them for a while would help me negative split if they hit 13.1 around 2:02. My primary goal for the day though was to just run comfortable as far into the race as I could. That and to have fun taking it all in. I read the night before that an even pace did not mean an even effort and that stuck with me through the race. It had to be super easy until the floating bridge at 15 miles.
  • 4h 03m
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 16s  min/mile

The first 5k went well and I tried to maintain a very easy pace while weaving around all the walkers and folks that did not seed themselves correctly. I was passing hundreds of people. The half marathon starts at the same time and they seed people according to their estimated pace. More people than not were way off. The 4:10 pace group was just too slow and I cruised ahead after the first mile. At least they kept me in check off the start.

I think I was the only one from Washington State after chatting with folks from San Francisco, Boulder, Boston, Nashville, and Texas. I usually don't yak so much on the course but felt so relaxed and downright joyous that I was joking and talking with those around me. I think most people felt the same way as you couldn't have had a nicer day. So much positive energy out there. The bands each mile on the course were great as well as the high school cheer squads. Lots of cheering people along the route. I must have high-fived a hundred kids, two Elvis's, and a partybot.

The miles seemed to click off pretty fast and I hit the halfway point at 1:58 feeling very strong with lots left in the tank. At the 13 mile mark, there was a tribute to fallen heroes with their pictures posted and people holding flags for about a half mile. It was very, very moving as I teared up. I think many of the flagbearers were honoring their lost family members. I was so caught up in it I ran 30 seconds faster than pace through it.

I stayed strong and comfortable up the steep little hill to the floating bridge at mile 15 and across the floating bridge to Mercer Island. I was holding a nice 9:00 pace through the latter miles including the long gradual climbs. All the trail running was really paying off as I continued to pass people many of whom were walking up the hills. I didn't walk a step today which was a big accomplishment for me as I can't say the same for 4 out of the last 5 marathons I've run.

Alas, at 23 miles there is one more steeper pitch at the end of the long climb up from the bridge and that is where I started to feel the pain. I slowed on the next downhill portion to try to gain back some level of comfort but that wasn't going to happen. I went into damage control mode and slowed more as I hit another gradual rise, then a couple of steep blocks down before a short climb onto the viaduct. If the last 3 miles were flat I think I could have strided it in but the hills kept coming. One more climb at the 25 mile mark and one steep two block hill at 26 miles before the finish chute.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. A few longer long runs would help but I hit the paces I wanted and training has been going well.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked over to my wife and son at the exit of the finish chute and headed straight to the outdoor concert under way. Presidents of the United States was playing and I wanted to get a beer and hear the Peaches song. It was the perfect end to the event. Took the Monorail back to the hotel and soaked in the pool before heading out for more beer and food down on the waterfront.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not much. I had a pretty good race and felt strong. This is a very tough course that beats you down in the last 6 miles. I felt I handled it very well and can't wait for my next race. I learned a lot about patience and the last 6 miles could have been very, very ugly had I not held back. I also enjoyed this race more than any I can recall. Lots of positive, friendly smiling people also enjoying themselves.

Last updated: 2014-06-22 12:00 AM
04:03:00 | 26.2 miles | 09m 16s  min/mile
Age Group: 41/116
Overall: 600/2210
Performance: Good
Course: Lots of long gradual elevation changes as the course heads south through downtown then loops around Seward Park, along Lake Washington. A nasty steep incline up to the floating bridge at 15 miles. Across the floating bridge a couple miles to Mercer Island where you have a long gradual climb to the turnaround. Back across the bridge and another long gradual climb back to the south end of downtown. Drop down near the sport stadiums and then another climb before dropping down to the viaduct. Climb up to the viaduct for the last few miles. Another climb just before mile 25. Gradual drop before going under Highway 99 and a steep two block hill at mile 26 just before the finish chute. Brutal.
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 Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2014-06-23 1:22 AM

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Bellingham, WA
Subject: Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon

2014-06-23 6:27 AM
in reply to: #5016026

New user
Key West
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon
Congrats! I just did the R 'n' R in San Diego a few weeks ago and the hills there killed me. (wrote a race report too) Of course, I am from a very flat place. Sounds like you had a good race overall, but surprised to hear they started the half-marathoners at the same time. In SD they started about 30 minutes after us. Next it is on the Savannah and maybe New Orleans (both MUCH flatter).
2014-06-24 10:47 AM
in reply to: #5016026

User image

Middle River, Maryland
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon

Great race, Steve.  You really earned an enjoyable race.  Love the Presidents!! 

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After you have established the Ironman goal, the most important factor outside of the training is which race to choose? What is your best sort of course, hilly, rolling, flat?