Yes, I already know the results, thanks to Facebook and some spoilers in other blogs. But I still enjoy the watching. The women are in mile 22 and Paula is just now starting to drop back. :(
Despite the extra hour this morning, I did not get an early start on my run this morning. First there was a certain amount of lounging abed. Then, when I was finally ready to get myself going, I discovered that my Garmin was COMPLETELY discharged (like 0%), despite charging it yesterday. WTF???
So I plugged it in to charge for about an hour then went to figure out my route on Mapmyrun, just in case I ended up Garminless. (Plus it never hurts to have a route. :)
I got about 60% of a charge by the time I left. That turned out to be enough (for a 15-mile run and half mile walk), though it beeped "low battery" just before I got home. Don't know how long it would have lasted beyond that. I'm recharging again now and hoping for no surprises tomorrow morning.
At least by waiting till midday to go out I gave the weather time to turn BEAUTIFUL. The sky was blue and the sun was shining. For the first time in weeks I eschewed a jacket and went out in just a half-zip top and capris (I think I will avoid long pants unless it's below 40--yesterday I was a bit warm in my leggings.)
It was cool, though, and when I stepped out the front door to an apparent blast of cold I quickly went back in for gloves. Of course I will never learn, it invariably feels colder on my porch than it does when I get going down the block. As it did today. However, although I was certainly warm enough I never really got overheated and I ended up wearing the gloves the whole way.
My plan today was to go 14 miles. It's always kind of surprising how many back-and-forths it takes to rack up that kind of mileage. My first stab at a route on Mapmyrun was only 10-11 miles so I had to go back and tweak it. I came up with a plan that I was pretty sure would add up to 14 (there were some bits I couldn't sketch on Mapmyrun so I had to guesstimate a little).
I went out feeling good. Why wouldn't I on such a gorgeous day? Of course, as always on a long run my goal was to run easy without concern for pace. And of course, as always I watched obsessively and got concerned whenever I dropped below (or is it above) my comfortable pace of the day (around 9:30). And, as always, averaging made it come out fine in the end.
(Okay I will now take a blogging break to watch the finish of the men's marathon then go to the store for ice cream then get dinner. Back later.)
Okay I'm back. Pleasantly full of Kabocha pumpkin, brown rice and chicken stew! But there will be room for ice cream, oh yes there will. (Dreyer's Slow-Churned Peppermint! Let the winter holidays begin!)
Anyhow, I set out at a decent pace, just under 10 minutes for the first mile, and around 9:30 (give or take) for the rest. About three miles along I came to the Arboretum, and decided to run through for the scenery, even though it's impossible to go faster than about an 11-minute pace, thanks to twisty paths and obstacles like a photographer taking formal pictures of a family (I ran through the picture, couldn't help it, they were on the path!). It's less than a quarter mile through, though, so it didn't drag my overall pace down too much. And it shouldn't matter if it did.
Out of the park I headed back southward and along Grand Avenue, then downtown. I decided I wouldn't turn around and go north again till I passed six miles. Fortuitously I hit six miles right at Pacific Avenue, so I turned around without having to cross Pacific.
At 26th (or 25th?) I came to the pedestrian footbridge across Marine View Drive, and headed down to the waterfront. My next distance objective was to be at 8 or 8.5 miles before I left the marina.
I arrived at the marina around 7.5 miles (I think) and turned onto the one-mile walking path that circles the marina, passing Anthony's and of course running along the water. This was probably the most glorious stretch of run, with the sun sparkling on the water and boats! My legs were so light and ache-free, I felt like I was flying.
On the northern side of the marina, across from the rows of docked boats, I saw two ladies sitting at a beautifully laid out table eating a nice lunch. I waved at them and they called me over, asking me how far I was running. They had seen me earlier in some other part of town. I told them I was at around eight and a quarter and expected to finish 14 or 15.
As I left them I decided to do another loop around, not because I needed the distance, but because I was enjoying the area so much. Of course it was a matter of pride to keep my speed up for my audience! When I passed them the second time they stopped me again to ask more about my running plans and background. Then I waved goodbye and was on my way, 9.35 miles down as I headed back to Marine View Drive.
My biggest hill was coming up, about a quarter mile long and rather steep. On occasion I have done repeats on this hill, but today I didn't need extra miles, so I just plowed up it then enjoyed the gradual downhill on the other side.
I hit 13.1 miles just after crossing 16th Street. My half marathon split time today was 2:05:37, which I think is pretty consistent with other recent long runs.
I was supposed to be almost done by now, but I knew for a fact that I was more than a mile from QFC (planned end point). So it looked like 15 miles was likely.
On I went. In this part of town I had easy landmarks to break up my route. 19th Street, 23rd, then Everett Avenue. Once on Everett Avenue it was about a mile's shot to QFC. A couple more uphills but I kept my eye on a traffic light in the distance which I knew was the top. Then I cruised down into the QFC parking lot and punched the Garmin at 15.15 (though apparently actually 15.16).
I bought myself a mocha at Starbucks (recovery beverage) and walked home. Happily, my multitude of miles allowed me to refuel with a few dark chocolate Reeses PB cup miniatures and a handful of Three Musketeers mint minis! (I was really quite good about the candy yesterday, since I only ran seven miles, but today I could indulge a bit.) And for lunch I ate the leftovers from my post-race breakfast--veggie scramble, a very thick piece of bacon, and a small scone with butter and jam. I think I enjoyed it even more today than yesterday!
FINAL STATS: 15.16 miles, 2:24:55, 9:34 average pace.
Splits--9:58, .52 at 9:38 pace, 9:25, 9:41, 9:33, 9:38, 9:56 (?), 9:32, 9:26, 9:24, 9:37, 9:44 (this may have been the big hill), 9:29, 9:16, 9:25, .63 at 9:15 pace.
Now, ICE CREAM! :)
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T