Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rock and Roll Seattle Marathon Race Report

"When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, it seems like two minutes. When you sit on a hot stove for two minutes, it seems like two hours….. That's relativity." -- Albert Einstein

Speed, just like most things in life, is all relative.

Yesterday, at the Rock and Roll Seattle Marathon, I was faster than some, but not nearly as fast as I could have been. As you remember, my A,B,C goals were 3:20, 3:25, and 3:30 respectively. Alas, it wasn’t in the cards for this one. But, like I’m a fan of saying keep drinking, the more drunk you get the cuter I look if it were easy, everyone would do it – and marathon running is not easy:

Time: 3:43:54
Pace: 8:33
Place: 481 / 4080 overall; 60 / 310 Division (my Age Group is evil)

The Expo
If you use the Rock and Roll measuring stick, the expo was average size. However, because I was able to meet up with a few people I knew, I spent more time and had more fun than I have at any other expo.

First, I was able to meet mega-blogger Frayed Laces. She’s having a bit of a rock-star couple of months: Not only is she fresh off of a Kona qualifying tri, she is a Brooks sponsored athlete (although that was a while ago), is GU sponsored…and was still upright at the expo immediately after a red eye flight! I am not sure I could do ANY of those things! She was super nice and even gave me a Run Happy water bottle!

Next was Meb Keflezighi. He’s fast…and SUPER nice. That is what I love about runners. Both Ryan Hall and Meb were the nicest of guys.

Finally, I was able to meet Brad Nelson. He is a metal fabricator by trade and makes some pretty sweet looking marathon metal hangers. Check him out if you are in the market. I think that I’m going to get one to hang all of my RnR medals on.

Here is all of the loot that I grabbed at the expo. I had tweeted back and forth with the marketing rep from SofSole so when I stopped by to meet him face to face he let me have a few insoles to try out. Review in a few weeks after I’m able to give them a shot.

I’ll give you two guesses who arranged all of the stuff all “purdy like”.
Yes, my wife is in full on pregnancy nesting mode:

The Race
Disclaimer: Since I didn’t meet my A, B, or even C goal, this next section isn’t going to be all unicorns and rainbows. I’ll leave the rainbows alone, but if I would have saw a unicorn on the course I would have hog tied that little son-of-a-bitch and rode him to the finish line

I had heard horror stories of people showing up late to races or having to wait in a HUGE line for the shuttle bus so I decided to get there early – 4:30 early. That meant that I was at the starting line at 5:00am. Ugg. I took a little nap under a tree hillbilly style and headed over to the corals to look for Amanda @ RunToTheFinish. It would seem that fate has us meeting at a different race, because we sure couldn’t put it together this weekend. (Totally my fault)

The gun went off and the race started off great. I was hitting my mile splits (7:38) and chatting it up with Rock and Roll James who is running ALL of the RnR events this year. We ran along one of the lakes in what was the prettiest part of the entire race. I was a bit concerned because we were hitting a few rolling hills that I hadn’t marked on my pace band. No worries, though…right? Does the pope poop in the woods? WRONG. He uses the gold plated pooper in the pope-mobile.

Half Marathon: 1:41 (7:43 pace)
The wheels came off. It was right at about mile 13 that it hit me. It was a feeling that can best be described as a combination of my stomach trying to escape out of my throat and my lower GI being punched by Ali. I had felt bloated all weekend and was having “regularity” issues for 3 days straight....I guess something was up after all. Probably the worst thing that could happen to me during a race. After about 90 minutes running my body said to stop running.

This picture at mile 14.5 seems to capture how I was feeling.
Even the dude in the black shirt thinks I'm hurting!

Unfortunately, that is what I did. I stopped running and I became one of those guys who started to do the walk of shame death march shuffle at the half way point. The.Half.Way.Point. Embarrassing. Demoralizing.

30K (18.6 mi): 2:33 (8:12 pace)
The remainder of the race was a combination run/walk that plunged my pace from 7:30ish to 9:00ish. While I was running I was still maintaining my 7:40 pace however after 6 or so minutes I would feel like I needed to barf so I would stop and walk it off. Honestly, I just wished I could have barfed and got it over with! But, no barf would ever present itself. Bummer.

Miles 15 - 26 were all on interstate which was a bit frustrating. That meant that the spectators were few and far between. We were still given awesome views of the Seattle skyline and more hills than I thought were possible. The course was a lot hillier than I had anticipated. For the record, if you are going to be running San Diego and Seattle and want to know which one to go for a PR on? Go for it at San Diego. While San Diego has a hill or two, they are all pretty gradual. Seattle has rollers the entire way.

24 mi: 3:23 (8:28 pace)
At least I could have a LITTLE fun with it. At mile 26:

So, I finished with a wimper and grabbed my free MGD 64. I'm not a fan of MGD 64 beer normally, but without fail they always taste good after running a marathon. But, as an indication of how bad my stomach was, I only finished HALF OF THE BEER. Half!??! I'm as amazed as you are.

As bad as the race was, I do have to admit that looking back I still had a good time. I really do like running and I realize that not all of the races can be PR busting unicorn riding good times. Just like I tweeted as soon as I got back to the hotel: "For the record, still had a fun time....just had 25 more minutes worth of fun time than I would have liked!! :)"

Honestly, that is how I feel about this race. Not ANYWHERE close to where I wanted to be.....but I lived to race another day. Afterall, doing well in a race is all relative - whenever anyone asks me if I did well in a race I'll always tell them that I met my #1 goal: I didn't die.


Bradatuud said...

Nice work!! I didn't run so fast either. Working the booth really wore me out for the race.

inspiREDtorun13 said...

LOL at the MILE 26 PICTURE!!! How perfect for the event website's slide show. You even have a great shot of the course in the background.

I'm sorry things didn't go so well for your digestive system :(
which meant they didn't go so well for your PR quest.

I still can't get over a "bad" race for you is sub 4:00. Crazyyy.

As annoying as shitty runs are...they seem to push me harder in the future. I bet you slaughter your PR in the next marathon. Just thinking about Seattle if you start to get tired will give you second wind after second wind after second wind.

That said, Congrats! You crank out 26.2 miles like its nothing.

Cynthia O'H said...

Every race brings new experience to build on. While you may not have run 3:30, you still had a great time (literally and time-wise). You're in the top 10% and that is nothing to sneeze at.

I love the hangers. I think I must have been the model for the female runner with the ponytail swinging from side to side. Okay, I'm being a bit vain right now.

Congrats on a great weekend.

Her Name is Rio said...

GI stuff during the race is the WORST!!! A lot can happen in 26.2 miles. Glad you still had some fun out there. Congrats on finishing another RnR Marathon!

Teamarcia said...

It is all relative like you said. Truly that's a great time given your challenges that day. It will be all unicorns and roses for you soon!

Anthony K. said...

Nice work, even if you didn't keep your race pace the whole time.

I have been favorably lucky that, when I need to puke when running, it just happens. I can usually run and puke too, but at a much slower pace (helps me get less on me and more on the ground).

Tricia said...

Would you hate me if I admitted I got a chuckle out of the guy in black looking back at you? :) funny

But seriously, I'm super impressed with you powering through.

And for the record...your horrible GI issue laden finish time is STILL faster than my goal for november :)

Running Through Phoenix said...

I've been waiting for this report --thanks!! Like others have said, you had all those problems and still finished strong. No worries about PR, you will nail it soon enough and have your Boston. Great job brother!!

Running Diva Mom said...

You did fab ulous and you should be so proud! Seriously. I would do anything (well, not ANYTHIGN) to get times like that!! Be proud. Love the photos of you along the way. sounds like the expo was nice, too. Good to know.

Pam said...

It's all about the good times, man. You saw an awesome city, met some awesome people, and--like you said--you didn't die. Them's good times!

RBR said...

...if I would have saw a unicorn on the course I would have hog tied that little son-of-a-bitch and rode him to the finish line

Hoo! That was a classic line. certainly know that feeling (typically around mile 19-22ish for me) during a marathon.

sub-four is not even on my radar, hell, if you throw in stomach problems sub-6 is barely on my radar.

Great report. LOVE the pictures.

destinationathlete said...

Well, I know you're upset with your finishing time - but all in all, you had a good time (as noted by photographic evidence). And I also love that a bad race is sub-4 (LOL). Speed is relative, I know!

So, it was a craptacular run (no pun intended...ok, maybe it was, a little)...the beauty of running is so long as you don't die (which you didn't), there's always another race to show running who's the boss. :)

Can't wait to hear the reviews of SofSole - been seeing them pop up more and more in the running blogs!

EricaH said...

Looks like you racked up at the expo, sorry the race didn't turn out but glad you still enjoyed the experience and you got another medal :) speaking of can I please see a pic of the bling???

Julie said...

Hi Adam,
Nice job on your marathon! I think that you had a fantastic time...seriously, there are so many people who only dream of finishing with your time:) I know how the GI issues suck so bad! Way to hang tough and power through to a great finish!

Awesome photos too!

Ace said...

The pictures say it all, looks like you had some rough patches. BUT you pushed through and still were within a few minutes of your goals. Good work. Except on that MGD 32?!? Push through the pain already!

Angie Bishop said...

Glad you didn't die and that at least half of the beer was yummy!
The whole unicorn thing is still making me giggle. Next time you will ride the unicorn in, next time :)

64 CLASSIC said...

Fantastic effort man!! I have two marathons, 3 ultras, and a dozen or so halves... I remember the ones best that I had to struggle on. There are so many things that can run afoul to make things difficult.

You persevered!!!! You didn't make your goals but your finishes are outstanding. Great job.

Jill said...

Not dying is a really good thing, so yay on that achievement!! Yeah, it so sucks to be walking at the half way point (did that in Boston) but these happen and you chalk the up to experience and move on (some better that others...I'm not a good mover-on-er...I tend to dwell in my own misery for awhile). Seattle's a cool town, I hope you had fun after you drank half your beer! Congrats, Adam, on an amazing finish despite all your "issues."

Mel-2nd Chances said...

On my best day, I wouldn't ever get close to your bad race time! Congrats on another marathon!! Great pics too :)

Johann said...

Still a very good time, well done! Nice report and pics. Its always nice chatting to the super stars. You are right, runners are cool people.

ShutUpandRun said...

You do look constipated in that picture.

Only half a beer? It must have been bad.

Congrats, though, on a strong finish. Even if you didn't do it the way you wanted to, it's still freaking 26.2 miles and NEVER easy.

Plus, all of your stuff for the expo is neatly lined up and that has to count for something.

RunningLaur said...

You'll get that PR and BQ - maybe it's just waiting for when you can have tons of friends and family around to share it with you at the finish line.

You have some great photos though - so that's awesome!!

Chad said...

Dude, frayed laces is HOT. I'm done with your blog, with all the pictures of you. I'm switching teams. Her blog has pictures of a pretty girl! Also, she's a tri-athlete, which is better in so many ways. (2 ways)

RunnuRMark said... called MGD64 "beer" :) Well, we've done this enough to know that they don't all turn out like we want. It's too damn hot to be running marathons right now anyway. I'd say it's time for some speed work focus!

Whitney said...

Glad that you didn't die... and happy to hear that you still enjoyed it, even though it didn't include a rainbow.

Nesting wives should be more appreciated.

kilax said...

Again, I am not sure if anyone writes a race report as funny as you.

I am sorry you did not meet your time goals, but met your non-death goal. LOL! Of course, I think you did great. But, as a running-cripple, does that comment have any worth?

I did not realize Frayed Laces was sponsored by Brooks and Gu! That is the coolest thing ever. I loved seeing the pics from meeting everyone. I wonder if there will be any cool at the Chicago Expo (besides me. Ha ha. That's a joke).

When's the next one?

Jamoosh said...

First, still a good run.
Second, I think the guy was checking out your shirt in case you collapsed...

EZEthan said...

Rough going... think you were just sick or can you pin point what went wrong?

Oh well, still another R&R marathon in the books towards your awesome R&R hardware.

Morgan said...

Sorry it didn't turn out like you'd hoped but I'm glad you were able to make the most of it and try to enjoy those extra minutes... There's a BQ out there for you... keep the faith!!!

MCM Mama said...

Not dying is a good thing...

Glad you still had a good time.

Chris Korn said...

Since you got all philosophical on us with your Einstein and using the word "Alas", how about this.... Light cannot exist without the presence of dark. Races like these just make the PR's that much sweeter.

Rad Runner said...

Hey I still think your awesome! Your time kicks ARSE no matter what ya' say!
The pictures also give you extra high 5 points (in case you were wondering)..

aron said...

i have heard that is a tough race, and you still did awesome, even though not on your goals. congrats on yet ANOTHER marathon!

Erin said...

Congrats on another finish and another state crossed off the list! Too bad you weren't able to "Puke and Rally..."

Berryfine said...

I've been behind as well- whoops. Bummer about your race not going as planned! I know the feeling there. And I'm jealous- I must sign up for a Rock 'N'Roll since the 13.1 series in Boston did NOT include any kind of Expo AT ALL. Not even a bag of cool stuff when you picked up your packet. Sigh.

Glenn Jones said...

Bummer on the stomach! 26.2 is tough enough physically and mentally when everything is working properly. Way to push through the tough crap to pull off a sub-4!