Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Spokane Marathon Relay

Race Date: 10/10/2011
The Lightning Crew: Casey, Adrianne, Lanaia, Rene
The Spokane Marathon gives you the option to do a full marathon, half marathon, 10K or marathon relay.  I did the Spokane Marathon Relay two years ago and had a great time. I like it because it allows you to run and also cheer on your team.  The marathon/half mary course is hilly and includes Doomsday.  If you want to PR this isn’t the race you want to do it at.  ;-)    We participated as a mixed relay, which must include two men and two women.  The weather was cool and overcast so it was a good day to run.
I did the first leg two years ago and this year I did third leg.   This year the teams seemed faster than I remember.  I saw a few guys from the Spokane Distance project on one team; I think it was a mixed team but am not sure.   Lanaia did the first leg, Casey did second, I did the third and Adrianne was our anchor.
I went out too fast at the beginning of my leg.   My plan was to average sub 6:40s.    I looked down at my GPS watch and I was at a sub 6:00 pace!  I slowed it down knowing I wouldn’t be able to hold that pace.  I caught and passed two or three other teams.  The high school cheer squads that worked the aid stations did a GREAT job!  They definitely got me pumped.  For some reason I thought my leg of the run was longer than it was and when I came to the transition zone I had a lots of energy left so I picked up my speed for the last hundred yards or so.  I ended up running 6.43 miles in 42:17 which averages to 6:35 minutes per mile. Our team took third place and finished in 2:54:xx.  WaooooOOO!!  Fun times!

This racing season has been a great one for me.  I finished Ironman CDA, I PR’ed on my 5K time and my half Marathon time.  A year ago I was hoping to do the Tri-cities Marathon.  I ended up having some foot issues and backed out because I didn’t want it to affect my Ironman training.  I have done one open marathon in the past and would like to challenge that time.  I am in the middle of my last build of the year and am hoping I can SURGE one more time.  May I get to the starting line un-injured, may the weather be clear and cool and may the stars align for me one more time this year….may I finally slay this dragon called the Tri-cities marathon.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sandpoint Scenic Half Marathon

Race date: 9/18/11
Meghan and Rene
I had a bunch of fitness built up this year due to training for Ironman so I wanted to run a half marathon to PR.  My half marathon PR from last year was 1:33:04.2 which I got at the Snake River Half.  I jumped a ride with triathlon club teammate Meghan and on the way to Sandpoint it was sprinkling so I was concerned my body would get wet and cause chaffing or blisters to my feet.   Before the race I asked her what her pace would be and she said, “about 7:00”.  I wanted to go sub 1:30 so I had to hit 6:50s.  Shortly before the race the rain stopped.  Awesome!
I saw some fast racers including professional triathlete Brian Hadley (he placed 4th overall at Ironman CDA) and Gretchen Rose Wolf who beat me at the Hayden Triathlon.  Gretchen and others that beat me at Hayden started in a different wave so I didn’t know they beat me til later.  I will have to remember that next year in wave starts!  In any case the race started and at one mile a voice from behind me says, “that was one fast mile Rene”, we had run it in 6:50 or less.  It was Meghan.  Where did she come from?  I thought she was going to hang back (at 7:00 pace), guess not!  I saw Gretchen pull off to the side to tie her shoe at mile 2 or 3, I was thinking, “cool I might be able to beat her now”!  ;-)     I thought Meghan was going to fall back but continued to hang.  At this point I knew she was going to hang with me as she was looking strong.  As we crossed the bridge there was some headwinds so I was drafting behind these two girls who didn’t look like runners I didn’t think they could hold this pace for much longer (they later finish the race in front of me...never judge a book by its cover!).    Unfortunately around mile 5 Gretchen catches and passes me.  Meghan and I were doing the best we can to hold the 6:50s up hills.  I went over 7:00 pace a few times up the steep hills, but figured I could make it up on the way back.  At mile 6 I take my gel and we hit the turn-around.     It seemed Meghan was hitting the uphills hard and I was hitting the down hills hard.  We could see all the other racers after the turn around.   It was great to see some familiar faces like Kathy and Tanya.  At about mile 12.50 I pick up my pace as I wanted to have nothing left when I crossed the finish line.  I gave it everything I had that last .6 miles!  My final time was 1:29:17 with an average pace of 6:48.9 per mile.  I got 2nd in my age group and 11th overall!  WahooOOO!

Nearing the finish
Done!...I left everything on the course!

The green is the elevation of the Sandpoint Scenic Half Marathon, the red is my heart rate beats per minute (bpm).  My heart rate was pretty steady on the inclines and declines (surprisingly) and it spiked when I kicked it at mile 12.5.