Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day Half 2013 or Best Laid Plans or Don't be Stupid

I've never done this popular race.  I always thought it was one that is typically too warm for me (foreshadowing). K ran it last year and it was too warm for him (more foreshadowing).  This year there were new sponsors (Overlake Medical Center Labor Day Half), a new course and a new start/finish at Marymoor Park and I had a coupon to sign up for the race.  Yes, i am a sucker! I also was not planning on racing this as I have a planned goal race at the end of the month.  I thought it would be good practice to do some miles at race pace and I wanted a supported long run.  

It was very easy getting over there and parking. There were plenty of
portopotties which was a common complaint from the previous venue. I did a warm up mile mostly because i wanted to use the real bathroom which is at the other end of the park.  And I realized it was really warm.  I'd been debating bringing my race vest (the Nathan Minimist) and finally decided i should wear it.  That was a great decision!

We started right on time and I went out at my planned easy pace (9:00 flat).  The original race plan was to run 3 miles easy, speed up to half marathon pace for 7-8 miles and then just run it in at an easy pace.  I held pace around 9 and debated it all.  It was sunny and I was warm and already looking for water by mile 2 (I kept my drinking schedule the same as the water stops at first).  Hmm.  Well I then added another mile easy and tried speeding up.  I managed a blistering 8:50 pace and then told myself not to be stupid!  It was too hot and I am never ever a good warm weather runner.  Back off and just aim for a long run pace and that will be fine.

And that's what I did and I, miraculously, was not stupid!  I drained my 20 ounces by mile 10 and started looking to aid station water to drink, dump over my head and wet my chest/arms.  The volunteers at the last aid station even offered to do the splashing of water! it helped.  I'd brought an electrolyte capsule and was glad I did.  i started hearing sirens in the area around mile 10 and had seen a couple runners looking pretty bad and tried to pretend the shivers i was feeling were nothing much as i took more water. I saw a runner down and being attended by emergency services around mile 11.  No one ever likes to see that.

I did like the course.  It is very flat for
around here and has enough turns and changes on it to keep it interesting enough.  It is pretty exposed though and the 9 am start is nice for sleeping in but not nice for a typically warm day in the area. The event was well organized with plenty of volunteers. 

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