Friday, August 6, 2010

Anacortes Half Results

Location: Anacortes, WA
Official time: 1:57:44
Chip time: 1:57:40
Pace/mile: 8:58/mile

Overall: 49/126
Gender Place: 21/71
Age Place: NA
Oh my gosh....can it be true? I am actually posting a half marathon race recap? YES IT IS! I still need to do recaps for the Kirkland Half and the Seattle Rock N Roll Half, but maybe that will be my goal for the upcoming week :) On to the race recap...

After spending the night at the Little Bro's place up North, we woke up early and drove to Anacortes, WA for the Anacortes Art Dash Half Marathon. For those of you unfamiliar with the area, Anacortes is very positioned between Bellingham and Whidbey Island, both of which are North of Seattle. It had been years since I was in Anacortes, but it was really a cute, small town. It was actually much, much nicer than I expected (I would even go back for a weekend, tons of small shops and views of the Puget Sound....but I digress) It was a quick drive and we found the start of the race quickly.

The packet pickup was situated right behind the Town Hall, and there was no line. I easily picked up my shirt and bib in no time. Unfortunately, I didnt READ the website well enough, and there was no timing chips for this race. WHAT? Luckily I had my Garmin with me, or else I would have been really pissed. The race was only $45, but still! I was surprised.
 Walking to the start
 Getting ready and standard shoe shot...

All of the runners walked 2 blocks to the start of the race. I again was very surprised to find out that the 5k, 10k and half marathon runners were all running on the same course at the same time. Yes, you heard that right. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem sharing the road with other runners, but a 5k is a totally different race than a half marathon. As the gun went off, I quickly found that I was running entirely too fast and I didn't want to get tired. Slowing down was difficult and luckily again, I had my Garmin to keep me on pace. As the Garmin beeped for the first mile, I actually had my fastest unofficial mile PR yet: 7:43 for the mile! At around mile 1.5 the 5Kers hit their dog-leg, and went back to the start line. It was a relief to not have sprinters running around me :)
Mile 2-4:

Mile 2 was along the Tommy Thompson Trail, which was a nice paved path along the waterfront. Luckily there were no other pedestrians in this area. It was really a nice run along the water, and reminded me of parts of the Bainbridge Island Half. We then reached a pedestrian foot bridge (or the tressel that is on the logo at the top of the page. It was really nice because it was REALLY long, and we had a cool breeze off the water on both sides of us. I have never run on such a long, low bridge before, but it was really scenic and beautiful.
Oh, did I mention that it was totally flat?? The 10kers had their dog-leg right before this tressel, so they didnt get to run anywhere along it. Too bad for them (haha)

Mile 4-5:

I purposely didnt look at the elevation for the half marathon. I figured I would be running the race no matter what, so I wasnt thinking about it :) Well, as it turns out, there is a HUGE LONG HILL at mile 4. I mean, it is really huge. It was one of those monster hills that even experienced runners walk up. As this was the case, I turned the corner and saw everyone walking. I made a point to not walk, and just power up the whole thing. I might have been going really slow, but I still managed to pass 2 people on the way up!
 As always, the picture doesn't do it justice!

At the top of the hill we then had a steady, long decline. My legs were really tired, so I was not going as fast as I could have on the descent. Oops.

Miles 6-9:

This part of the course was flat again, and all along the waterfront. Aside from the huge refinery, there were pastures and views of the Puget Sound. It was really pretty and relatively easy. Somehow I forgot to bring my GU! I kept thinking that it wasnt a big deal, and that there would probably be a GU booth somewhere along the race. Well, I was wrong. As I hit mile 8, I realized this and just kept thinking "I need more energy, I need more energy..." It was really not a good idea to dwell on this, and I was psyching myself out. I even ended up walking for about 1.5 minutes just to calm myself down. After that, I was okay, and just focused on finishing under the 2 hour mark.

Mile 9-10:

We circled back again and went back over the tressel. Luckily I knew the end was ahead and it was all flat from here. I also saw a huge seal swimming along with me while I ran above on the path. That is definately something you dont normally see on a half marathon!

I was passed (insert sad face here) buy a man who was pushing another handicapped man in a makeshift running wheelchair. I am not sure if it is the same person, but I have read about someone who does the same thing and brings their handicapped brother along in every race. I'll have to research this more....

Miles 10-13.1
From here on out we were back on the Tommy Thompson Trail and heading back into town. It was still really flat and had few pedestrians to avoid in our way. Since there were so few runners in this race, I was really running by myself for most of the rest of the race. It was a really wierd feeling.
I did run past an older guy in his 50's. He noticed my Garmin and asked how fast we were going. His goal was to break 2:00:00, and I let him know he was well on his way. I kept on cruising at that point and just focused on the finish.

Running through town was difficult because we actually ran past the start and went a few more blocks to the finish. The volunteers at the end of the race were mostly really nice, but there were a few towards the end that I had to ask which way to run since it wasnt clearly marked. 

The finish line was out on a pier at the point of the city. Luckily I finished in:

So much better than I expected! For feeling as drained as I did, I was thinking I wouldn't break 2 hours. This isn't my PR, but it is my second fastest race :)
 Well, its not a medal, but it IS a ribbon :)

At the end runners were presented with a finisher's ribbon, and had an awesome snack table (string cheese, yummy almonds, fresh plums, bagels, breads, bananas, etc!) The Art Walk was right next to the pier, so most runners went through that afterward.

 You cant tell, but the shirt is the color of a highlighter!

Overall it wasn't a bad race. I really enjoyed the snacks at the end and the finisher's ribbon, but running with the 5kers and 10kers was difficult. Also, psyching myself out with no GU was irritating. I will definately be prepared with my GU for this weekend at the Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon!

Happy Running and Racing!

Return of La Nina?


So I was reading an article on (Seattle's local news) and apparently we are in for a lousy, wet and cold winter. Last winter we had La Nina, which meant it was warmer and dry. I was particularly a fan of 55 degree farenheight average in January! Not good news for local outdoor runners:

Seriously, I really prefer El Nino to La Nina!

A recap of last week's Anacortes Art Dash Half Marathon on the way!