I can't believe tomorrow will be two weeks since the Eugene Marathon. Although, in many ways it feels like a long time ago.
After my four-day weekend trip to Eugene, I followed my four-day work week with a four day weekend trip to Spokane for Bloomsday, a huge 12K event. I've run it annually for several years--2012 was my fifth time. Last year I pulled off a surprise PR (1:04:55) two weeks after the Boston marathon. This time, a week after Eugene, I had no plans for a PR. I just hoped I wouldn't embarrass myself (I think I figured anything slower than a 9-minute pace would be unfortunate).
My parents and I drove over on Saturday morning via I-90. It was a surprisingly easy drive, especially after we got out of the east King County cluster and up and over the pass.
We got to the Davenport Hotel in mid-afternoon. There we encountered a small problem. The valet parking did not have me on the list of people with hotel reservations. I whipped out my confirmation and saw that we were confirmed to arrive on...May 4. Friday. Oh. My. God. The valet parker was sure they could find a room for us if I checked inside. My mother was grim.
I went to the front desk and explained what happened and luckily they did give us a room (it would have been a long trip home!). We got the same type of room, same rate, but it was a handicapped accessible room. They probably hold those rooms back in case they are needed. I don't know yet if I got charged for our missed night. I had reserved the room with a card that I subsequently canceled (due to fraud). So I don't know if they would have been able to charge it or not.
After we got in with our many bags (I travel with lots of little bags, plus food), my dad and I walked over to the Expo and bib pick-up. It was mobbed but well organized. I got my stuff quickly, then we split up for an hour of browsing. I ended up with a new NuuMuu (running dress) to wear in the race, and some Tevas for fun (discount if you buy two or more pairs!). I did get a little shopping fever. Luckily I didn't find anything else I had to have.
Later we went to Cafe Europa for dinner. My dad wasn't thrilled with his pasta, but that was probably an ordering fail on his part (lesson--he only likes calamari if it's fried). I had pizza and liked it (half went back for a future meal). We were too full for dessert, but we remedied that in days to come.
Sunday morning I got up at about 6:30, got coffee from the lobby, and ate my English muffin with AB and jam in my bed. The race didn't start until 9. Around 8:15 I headed out to do my warm-up, stopping back at the hotel for a final potty stop before going to my corral (yellow). It was extremely crowded, as always. The weather was cool but not very, so it was easy to ditch my Goodwill sweatshirt.
We took off and, as usual, I felt the crowds held me back from fully exploiting the downhill start. If I ever feel up to a really good Bloomsday, I need to get closer to the front of the corral! Mile 1 was 8:48, and it should have been closer to 8:30, I feel. Oh well.
Even though I was a few seconds slower per mile than last year (I'll spare you the mile by mile comparison, yes, I did it), I was pleased that I was able to hold a decent pace. There are 3-4 hills (including the famous Doomsday Hill), but also a lot of downhill. I think I was strong on the uphills but really could have/should have pushed harder on the downhills.
It was pleasantly warm, but not so much that I felt unbearably hot at any time. Doomsday Hill followed a long downhill, so averaging kept me at a respectable 8:59 for that mile. They had mats at the top and bottom, and my "hill time" was four minutes. So clearly the hill was less than a half mile in length! What always frustrates me is the struggle to get back on pace after a hard hill. My mile after Doomsday was 9:00, even though the hill was finished and it was flat thereafter! Perhaps it included a little bit of the end of Doomsday.
I did manage a little kick in the final half mile. My overall splits--8:48, 8:34, 8:53, 8:40, 8:59, 9:00, 8:40, and .53 at 8:24. Final time 1:06:01, average pace 8:46.
It took a good 10 minutes to walk through the finishing area and get my shirt. Then I met my parents at Madeleine's for a delicious breakfast--pancakes with maple butter (genius invention) and we shared a plate of scrambled eggs, bacon, and fruit.
Waiting for breakfast, and my new NuuMuu.
Later (after a shower, change of clothes, and rest period) we walked down to Riverside Park and Spokane Falls.
My parents by the Falls.
Race shirt and Tevas.
Traditional "bench pic."
Group self portrait.
Frappucino Happy Hour at Starbucks. We party hard!
That night for dinner we ate assorted leftovers and then I picked up some decadent desserts to share. We took it a step further on Monday...after a drive to Coeur d'Alene and lunch at the Coeur d'Alene resort, we picked up cheese and crackers and fruit at Safeway, followed by dessert redux. Tuesday we drove home on Highway 2, which was very scenic but made for a much slower, longer trip.
Prior to Bloomsday I had run only once after Eugene, but this week I resumed a more normal schedule. I ran seven very slow miles on Monday in Spokane (legs were tired and I was listening to an audiobook). Wednesday I returned to the track (after four miles warm-up) for six quarter-mile intervals (1:59-1:53) (total seven miles). On Friday I did seven miles or so at a moderate effort.
Finally, today I ran a 10K in Mukilteo with hopes of working on my speed a little more. I had hoped for sub 52 minutes, but could only manage 52:46 (about 8:30 pace). My first three miles went quite well, but I struggled in the second half. (Averaging was my savior.). That could be because the first half was a downhill grade, and the second half had more uphills...also, it was getting warm! No pictures, no age group award (the top three in my AG were sub-50...quite rightly). I did about 1.5 miles warm-up before, and half a mile after, for a total of about 8.2 miles today.
Tomorrow I am anticipating my first double digit run!
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