Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Vancouver Lake 1/2 Marathon

This past Sunday I ran the always competitive Vancouver Lake 1/2 Marathon in, well, Vancouver, WA. I love racing road 1/2 marathons. They're long enough to take the kick out of 10kers, but short enough to be a great short, fast run for us ultra folks without taking up the whole day. And they're especially fun to run the day after a 50k.

As I was putting my training schedule together for the first 1/2 of the year, I figured January would be my base training month, with the long, slow 50k's each weekend. When those were over, it was time to start training for Boston. So this 1/2 was my first step towards that. Even though I was running it on tired, slow legs, I knew it would give me a baseline level of fitness.

Last year I unexpectedly (in a good way) ran 1:19:41 for 12th place. On Saturday at the MadAss, Rod and Jenn were making fun of me, saying I would be lucky to break 1:40. Regardless, I secretly wanted to break 1:20 again and also finish top-10.

Race morning was cold, damp, and foggy, but no rain or wind. Pretty nice conditions, actually. I warmed up with Sascha and fast Wendy Terris. She likes to refer to me as her pacer, and when she actually does pace with me for the first 1/2 of races, she usually ends up beating me. But when she starts out faster, I usually get her. I told her my plan to go out at a conservative 19ish for the first 3 miles, then go for it. Wanting to run sub-1:20, too, and p.r., this sounded too slow to her, so she decided against my pacing services for the day.

The race started and people flew by me and my 6:20 and 6:27 opening miles. Mile three in 6:13 put me past some of the ambitious starters, and to the 3 mile marker right at 19:00 in about 30th place. I immediately kicked it down to 6:05 for the next mile, passing a few guys. Around 5, I passed a big group of 6 and was probably in 20th. I kept the pace steady between 6:05-6:10 for the next 5 miles. In there, I caught more people, including the 2nd girl around 9 1/2, and finally Wendy around 10. I could tell she was struggling a bit, so slowed for about 10 seconds to get her to stick with me. She wasn't up to it, so I picked it up to sub-6s.
I decided to run a really hard 12th mile (I don't remember the split), ease up for a minute or two, then kick it in the last bit. As this was working, Eugenio was still quite a bit ahead of me, but was quickly coming back. I pushed a bit harder with 1/2 mile to go, but couldn't quite get to him. I finishd in 1:20:27 for 13th; Eugenio was 13 seconds ahead and Wendy 14 seconds behind.

It was a good, honest effort on my part. I was happy with it (although I admit I wish I would have run 28 seconds faster), and even won a mug for 5th in my age group.

Also in attendance were friends and ultrarunners Ronda, Stacey, and Liz. With the 2 out-and-backs on the course, it was fun to see their smiling faces (in addition to the smiling faces of many others!). Ronda and Stacey are gearing up to rock the Orange Curtain 100k (and are also rd's of this cool mud fest), so this was some great flat, road speedwork for them.

With all the snow we have in Sisters now, it's going to be a bit challenging to get in faster paced runs and track workouts. I hate to say it, but "treadmill, here I come." Luckily, I'm going east for the first week and a half of Feb., so I'll be able to get in some non-snow running Hardrock-hopeful Bryon on the weekends in DC (and maybe even a race or two), and some faster pavement pounding and track stuff with Bien during the week in NC.


ledemure said...

Your girlfriend is kick ass awesome!!!
Are you running on Orcas Island next weekend? I am thinking I might be able to keep up with a few runners. Mostly I am just dying to get out on real run...real being that I have put in a hundred miles on a treadmill.
Also, these are great photos!!!
I am a little too chatty about running today because the more I run longer distances the more I think I am finding a better place.
Who can I complain to about making women's running gear in lame colors? I love Mizuno running shoes and I see that they are now in orange and pink of which I will have to get a pair. But why not make running cloths in these colors too? I can't stand all this plum and turquoise...I want orange and burntish red or rich avocado green. Who makes the best running cloths? I don't need many I just need some that fit well and aren't ugly.

Argentine Rocket said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
saschasdad said...

Yeah, the Rocket is pretty special. I'm fortunate to have gotten reacquainted with her.

The Orcas race is on the 17th, and I won't be there. I would love to - it's a smokin' deal and lots of my friends will be there - but I'm really limiting the number of long races I do this year so I can really focus on Boston and Western States. I am running Hagg Lake on the 23rd.

Check out Brooks and Moving Comfort running clothes. I was just at a running apparel show a couple weeks ago, and the two of them were by far the best - in both function and fashion. If you can't find what you like near home, then when you come down for the Peterson Ridge Rumble in April(!), you can check out both lines at the new Fleet Feet Bend. You should look at the skorts, too. Not only are they cute, they really are functional, too.

Oh yeah, I forgot about that 13 thing. I guess it wasn't so bad then. See you soon!

Ronda said...

Nice job on your back to back last weekend. I wonder how many of those top 10 men ran a 50K the day before???? It was good to see you blazing by like a lightening bolt. Enjoy your treadmill workouts!

Anonymous said...

good job!!!!
back to back, a 50k and then a 1/2 marathon? You are ultra! (ultra nuts)

you're race reports are very good.

Lot's of talk of hagg lake around here.

see you there, if you want to stay at my house night before, call or email.

Kendra Ralstin said...

Sub sixes? Smokin'! Is the skirt no longer in your house of style rotation?

saschasdad said...

Your 8 x 400 at sub 90 shows that you should have been whoopin' me on Sunday. Us ultrafolks don't like to tell the let on to other runners about our previous day's race - that wouldn't be very nice.

I'm getting ready for Hagg now, baby...if running through lots of deep, heavy snow resembles the Hagg mud, then I should dominate. You're gonna have a blast, you ultravirgin, you.

Oh, the skirt's still in the rotation. I don't think those fast roadies would take too big of a liking to it, though.

WynnMan said...

Way to roll man! Please tell me you put some tasty grog in that pint glass.


Bret said...

Nice job Sean and after a 50K too! I have always wanted to do that 1/2. Half's have always been my favorite too. I haven't done one in over a year though. So how much snow you got in Sisters now? Detroit is just buried. I keep thinking "spring is near".