【 以下文字转载自 Running 讨论区 】
发信人: larghetto (slow), 信区: Running
标 题: Seattle Marathon race report
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Wed Dec 1 02:03:05 2010, 美东)
BQ had been in my mind for many years. My BQ time is 3:20:59. My first
serious attempt was last year when I realized that I could no longer climb
with a badly injured shoulder. I followed 24-week AM plan. Unfortunately,
the training was a bit too aggressive because I ran the easy/recovery run
too fast (at near MP pace). By week 13 or 14, I felt my left knee was
hurting. Having learned a lesson from my shoulder injury where I kept on
climbing despite constant pain, I stopped running for a few weeks. My knee
was saved but my first BQ attempt ended before the race even started. It was
a wise decision nevertheless.
I picked up running again in August after this year’s climbing season was
over for me. This time, I wanted to be conservative. I decided to build a
solid base first with slow running in the fall, then drop the mileage a bit
to follow 18-week AM plan next spring and attempt BQ at Vancouver.
The training went extremely well. I used LHR training where I ran with HR at
140 or less. This naturally corresponded to running at 4-4 breathing
pattern, and it was about 8:45 pace initially and eventually became 8:15. I
followed 2-step-forward-and-1-step-backward approach to build mileage. My
weekly mileage went like 30-35-25-40-30-45 until it reached 70. By early
October after a 65-mile week with a 20-mile long run, I decided to enter
Seattle marathon to assess my conditioning. I did not expect to BQ at
Seattle. For one, I did not do any speed training at that point and two,
Seattle marathon course is not a fast one.
I added a couple of hill repeats and tempo runs after I signed up for
Seattle marathon. Two weeks before the race, I finished my last 20-mile run.
Then I started the tapering.
For the Seattle marathon course, there are a couple of hills in the
beginning, then it’s relatively flat for more than 10 miles, then the hilly
section starts at mile 19. From miles 19 to mile 23, there are a number of
steep hills, both up and down. For miles 24 and 25, it’s flat, and then a
series of steep downhills plus a steep but short uphill in mile 26.
My race strategy was that I would start at 8:00 pace for mile 1, 7:45 for
mile 2, and then maintain 7:30 pace till mile 19. From miles 20 to 23, which
are hilly, slow down to 8:00. Then speed up to 7:30 to finish the race. If
at any point I would be more than 2 minutes off the BQ pace, I would quit
the race immediately and walk the rest of the way so that it will not
disrupt my training.
Compared to close to 10000 half marathon participants, full marathon was
much smaller with just over 2000 participants. I easily found a spot within
20 feet of starting line. Race started at 8:15am. Seeing people passing me
left and right, I kept on telling myself, hold the pace, hold the pace, 他强
由他强，清风拂山岗. My first 2 mile splits were 7:48 and 7:35, a bit faster
than I planned but not that far off.
Mile 3 is a long ramp to get on I-90 highway. It’s a long uphill but this
early in the race, hill or flat doesn’t feel too different. I covered mile
3 in 7:39.
We ran part of mile 4 in I-90 tunnel. Shortly after mile 4 sign, near the
west shore of Lake Washington, half marathon course turns north. Full
marathon course keeps on going east to the floating bridge. A little over
half way through the floating bridge, I saw the incoming leading motorcycle
for the race, followed by a tall skinny black guy, the race leader and
We turned around at the edge of Mercer Island and back to the west shore of
Lake Washington where we got off I-90 and headed south to Seward Park. I was
running very comfortably, averaging about 7:25 on the I-90 bridge.
I kept around 7:30 pace for the next two miles. At mile 10, I assessed my
condition. I still felt good. My legs were still quite fresh. For the first
time in the race, I felt I might have a shot at BQ. I say this because I ran
Seattle marathon twice before. In 2003, I felt equally good at mile 10 and
ended up finishing the race strong. In 2005, I was badly under-trained due
to injury and I felt I had to really struggle to keep the pace at mile 10,
and eventually at mile 19, I started walking and 8:00 pace quickly turned to
12:00 and 13:00.
I cruised to half way point with the time of 1:38:08 (chip time). Perfect
execution I said to myself. At this point, I found I started to pass more
and more runners. That was encouraging. But at the same time, I started to
develop side stitch. It was not very painful but it really bothered me. I
had to change my breathing pattern to fight for it. Eventually, I found 2-in
-3-out breathing pattern helped most. It was still painful but much more
For the next several miles, I had to fight with the side stitch and my
gradually tight leg muscle. But side stitch gave me more problems. Running
was easy when there was not much pain in my liver area and became much
tougher when the pain intensified. But overall, I still managed to hold 7:30
pace until I saw mile 19 sign.
Now there came the notorious hills. The first significant hill was midway
through mile 20. The next hill was a nasty one, it was actually a series of
hills, some quite steep for running at about 15 degree. It started midway
through mile 21 right after the race course turned west. Quite a few runners
started to walk, but I kept on running and surprisingly, I found I was
faster on hills than anyone around me. Well, it helps to be a climber.
My split wasn’t so encouraging though. Mile 20 split 8:00, mile 21, 8:39.
Right at mile 21 sign was a steep downhill. After racing down this section,
my legs were partly dead. I found it very hard to pick up much speed. Soon
there were more hills, both up and down, although not as big as the one at
mile 21. My legs had to take more and more torture. Worse yet, the pain from
the side stitch was now at its worst. I could only take shallow breaths as
the deep breaths caused too much pain. I did not know how I endured these
miles but I toughed it out.
Finally there came the mile 23 sign. All major hills were behind me.
Miraculously, my side stitch was gone too. It was time for me to pick up
more speed. It felt it required some mental focus to do so as the small pack
of runners around me all slowed down. I sped up and kept on going, passing
one runner after another.
There were a few sections in that part of the race course that had only one
lane set up for the race. Unfortunately there were some half marathon
walkers still walking there. Some walkers were not very considerate and they
walked abreast and blocked the entire lane. At one spot I ran through the
gap between two over-weight lady walkers and one of them suddenly moved
laterally to close the gap. I could not stop myself and ended up colliding
with the 200+ lbs lady and bounced off like a pinball.
Due to my slowness on the hilly miles, I realized I needed to get back to 7:
30 pace to make BQ proper (i.e., 3:20:00, not 3:20:xx). I pushed and pushed
but I found it was impossible to run at that pace, especially now that I ran
by myself and no one was within 50 feet of me. At mile 25 sign, my watch
showed a time of 3:11:18. I thought BQ would be a virtually certainty with
almost 10 minutes to cover the last 1.2 miles, but 3:20 would be nearly
impossible. I said to myself, less than 10 more minutes, the agony would be
I apparently lost some mental focus and slowed down unconsciously at this
point. The last mile, being mostly downhill with a uphill near end, took me
8:13, the second slowest mile behind the mile 21 which had the nasty hill.
Near the end of the mile, I heard people yelling my name. It was cookiejar.
I did not know if I nodded at him or waved at him. I was nearly spent at
Mile 26 sign. My watch showed 3:19:31. Only 1:28 left. I was a bit shocked.
I couldn’t do math at that point but my intuition told me it would take a
sub-7:00 effort to BQ. What? I may not make it after going through all the
pain so far? You mean I have to train another 4 months to BQ? No way! TNND,
老子拼了. I sprinted the last 0.2 miles, giving everything I had, and
crossed the finishing line with clock showing 3:20:53. I made it!
I could hardly stand after I crossed the finish line. No excitement, no
tears, just feeling peaceful and genuinely happy.
This is a very tough year for me personally. But I did achieve two goals
that I have had for many years, climbing Mt Rainier Liberty Ridge and BQ.