Point Defiance “15k”

Summation: Fun race, would do it again, but will make sure I actually know the course.

Was winning by 90 seconds until volunteers pointed me in the wrong direction when the course crossed an earlier section of the race. Got way off course. Angry about it, as this is one of the few chances I’ll ever have to actually win a race, but RD was nice about it, and I’m getting a comp. for any other event they put on. Will right more later, but main point is, this was a really long effort, and despite ~1500 feet of elevation gain/drop, my time was decent… I’m in good shape and that makes me happy.

Pre-Race: This was, if there is such a thing, a ‘D’ race for me. My whole philosophy with half marathon training this fall is to do nothing but aerobic miles until the Seattle half in November, and then incorporate speedwork in the lead up to Nookachamps. So I did a 5-mile aerobic run the night before. Of course, I’m also doing cycling, and had done 6×5′ sprint, 1′ rest on the bike trainer the night before as well.  Couple the brutal cycling and aerobic run workouts with 2 hours of sleep (a trend on the night before races), and I wasn’t feeling too hot.

Got out of bed at 5:10, ate my oatmeal and eggwhite breakfast that’s become standard, and drove off to Point Defiance Park. Had plenty of time, hopped back in the car as the breeze was a little much. Warmed up with a half-mile jog and about 5-6 striders; definitely should’ve done more.

The Race: Whole point of the race was to get in some good, higher heart rate work, so I went off the front of the race (there was a 15k, 30k, and 50k) with another 15k runner, who looked pretty speedy. We crossed the first mile in 6:07, and it was pretty much a straight run across the promenade. I backed off as my legs felt absolutely awful; just plain terrible. Nothing structural wrong, just stiff, stiff, stiff from the bike effort of the day before.

Started questioning my wisdom of doing the race after the next several miles were uphill; got passed by four 30k runners, who were clearly skilled. Actually recognized a couple as sub 1:15ers in the HM distance. Didn’t really get any splits for much of the race, just ran it on feel, but through 5 miles, I was averaging about 7:10; considering my 6:08 first mile, that’s pretty brutal. The one on-course aid station was at 5.2 miles, and taking in a couple small cups of water and a gel really, really did the trick.

After another rolling mile, I started to move at about 6 miles, and I recalled from the course profile that most of the last 3-ish miles were downhill. My splits started tumbling, and I was running 6:50s on the flats, and 6:20s-6:30s on the downhills, if not faster. My quads were still shot, and every time there was a slight incline, my heart rate would spike, my legs would almost seize, and my split would immediately drop to ~8:00-8:30, but there thankfully very few uphills from this point on.

I passed two of the 30k runners at mile 7.5, another at mile 8, and the gunner 15k runner very shortly after. I roared by him, putting tons of time in, and measured him about 90 seconds back at an out-and-back, but stabilizing as he saw me. There was a 30k runner ahead of me still, but he was definitely killing me and I wasn’t going to catch him. This is where I got lost.

The course crosses over itself at two points, and looking at the map now, I was able to avoid the first cross-over, but when travelling down a road, I took the first right, as a volunteer beckoned me too, when I should’ve taken the second. I was now running backwards on the beginning of the course, and until I spotted the RD a mile and a half down the course, had no idea. He helped me backtrack, but the damage was done, and I had done nearly 3 extra miles.

I got back on the right track on the road, and subsequently passed 15 people in the last half mile of the race with a scowl on my face. Will post my picture if it got taken, but I looked rather PO’ed, crossing the line in 1:31:XX, having travelled 12.7+ miles, in 10th place. The guy who won went 1:08:xx, and while I have no idea if he finished strong and would’ve passed me (there was a technical tenth of a mile near the end, where tons of time could’ve been picked up on me), I was at the front end of the race, with a very talented 30k runner being the only person in front.

RD was kind enough, and offered to comp me for next year, which I think I’ll take him up on. Course was a lot of fun, despite the issues.

Having fun running in the forest.

Disheveled, unreasonably upset, and wasted from 12.76 miles.

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~ by cdviking on October 22, 2010.

One Response to “Point Defiance “15k””

  1. This really is for sure a need to learn 🙂 , thank you for sharing this facts i actually appreciate and can try out on my unique diligences. many thanks a bunch.

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