Yep, that's right. DNS at Eugene but I was trained up for a marathon and it was shame to let that training go to waste. There are a couple marathons in the area two weeks later but we had prior engagements one evening (Spokane would require an overnight stay) and i didn't want a hilly marathon (sorry Capitol City). I honestly felt that if I didn't get in a marathon distance run now, I never would again.
So I had the crazy idea just to run my own marathon. I knew the course I'd do. The run/ride around Lake Sammamish is 22 miles and I really love the run which I've done in sections over the years. the first 12 miles are rolling which is good and nothing is too steep. And as I most recently ran the East Lake Trail as part of the Lake Samammish Half last fall, I knew that section was flat. I'd need some help though to manage water and supplies. cue coach Lesley and K.
Taper went pretty well. As we are in the middle of Bike to Work month, I've started biking again which was a nice alternative to running. I'd last done a 20 miler at Yakima River Marathon the first of April and then a 15 miler about 3 weeks out. I'd had some good tempo racing at the Earth Day 10k and the Top Pot 5k. Hip and back issues were minimal as I've been good about keeping on top of things.
overall however, I never felt all that much faster on just my easy pace. I'd still go out and slog 9:15 or so which is what I'm always doing my easy runs at. Honestly I'd hoped to get out of that 9:15 rut and see a bit more speed on easy runs. I know those runs are easier as heart rate was much lower for pace but there was never any oomph. Oh sure, I could crank out a good tempo run, track work and even marathon pace with no problems. But the no added easy speed worried me. I did have my annual doc appointment (which comes every two years for me since I have so few issues!) and got iron results back.
My ferritin levels tested at 15 ng/ml. That was non-fasting blood work and I'd had prime rib the day before. Ha! That is considered normal but since the range is 13-150(!), 15 is obviously low. and now that I've been reading more about this(here and here with low ferritin levels), runners should have a range of 20-30 and women distance runners should be higher. Me with my very short, heavy cycle? Yeah, that's probably too low. So i went right out to get those nasty, nasty iron supplements. I can't add any more beef into my diet 'cause I already eat some weekly. So this is good to know. does it explain some of the running issues? I have no idea.
I arranged for some days off from work and Lesley offered Tad as a pacer for the latter section of miles. I jumped on that knowing having someone to run with would really help. K offered to do bike support and as it happened, Lesley had her mountain bike ready for bike support too. The weather was perfect! No rain and it was in the high 40's at the start. There was maybe a bit of a slight breeze but it was negligible. I wore shorts which I've not worn since last fall. Sadly I couldn't remember which shorts wouldn't chafe on a longer run and did have some problems with that. I started with arm warmers, gloves and headband but gradually was able to shed these as I warmed up. Ready!