a blog about running fast with style
21k = half marathon but 20k? Just subtract a k for… if you guessed 12.4274 then you win.
I had originally planned on running the Mercer Island half but that required me picking up my race packet on Saturday and then going back on Sunday to race and that sounded like way too much effort for a weekend. The 20k was half the price, on Saturday and most importantly my training besties were also running.
(Scratched the lens of my camera so now all my pictures have an awesome auto filter. Classy.)
Decision made, we drive south.
I’d run several races in the Ft Steilacoom Resolution series over the years so I knew what to expect. The race starts at the high school, twists and turns and twists some more through neighborhoods and then turns around twists and turns back to the high school.
Guilty running confession: I did not have the best pre-race strategy. I’d stayed out late (in the cold) the night before and on top of that I had absolutely no race strategy. My only goal for the race was to feel better than I did during my last 3 half marathons which shouldn’t be that hard to do since all three of them were super craptastic at the end. To reach this lofty goal I needed to run smart and go out conservatively something that has proven to be rather elusive as of late (save that epic negative split 5k).
I lined-up with my training besties and before we knew it we were off. The start was on the track so the first 200m was stupid fast. We settled into pace and things felt “meh”. My hamstrings were a bit tight but I couldn’t complain. We found ourselves in a nice little pack and came through the mile right around 7:00 (though Garmin said it was 6:53 it beeped a bit early).
Miles 2 and 3 clicked by at 6:58 and 7:01. Mile 4 we hit the downhill and I managed a 6:49. At this point we were still in a little pack but for some reason I decided hold the 6:49s going into mile 5 and in doing so I lost the group.
What was my one goal for this race?!!
After mile 5 I realized I needed to so slow down if I wanted to find the end of this 20k. Mile 5 I also picked up a new running buddy who played a quick game of 20 questions which I am surprisingly awful at while racing. She finally dropped back to find a friend.
Mile 6 I settled in to 6:58 and found the turn around .2 miles down the road. And decided to be stupid again and dropped a 6:45. In my defense there was this guy a head of me and since I was all alone I thought it would be great to catch up to him and run with him. And then I caught him and passed him at the water station.
Mile 8: 6:48. This feels hard.
Mile 9 and I knew what was coming… the hill. I turned the corner ready to climb and out of nowhere comes one of my training besties… wait what? She’d missed a turn. I bet you all are amazed that I wasn’t the one who missed a turn (as am I) but I have run this course 3 times so I had a slightly above average grasp on where the little course arrows were and did my best to follow accordingly.
I hoped my friend would join me for the climb but she backed off.
Only 3 and change to go?
10-12 were hard, 6:44, 6:23 and 6:35.
All I wanted to see was that dang track. The end of the course winds its way back through neighborhoods and across a road, around a gas station, through a parking lot and finally the track.
I was nearing the gas station when I looked up and saw another girl from my training group coming from the wrong direction. Looks like another missed turn except she added distance to her race.
I finally hit the track and had absolutely no turnover and no desire to try to find any. I finished at 6:43 pace and was happy I was still upright.
1:25:08 and I had no idea what that meant. Here’s what Garmin said:
Overall I’m pretty happy with the race. My actual pace was 6:51/2 and I was happy to be able to drop my pace the last 2 miles and though I wished the legs felt better they weren’t awful either all good signs for this upcoming marathon.
More fun details: 4th overall, 3rd women and 1st in my AG more importantly it’s the best I’ve felt in a race in well over a year… more good signs for this upcoming twenty-six point two.