Capital City Marathon 2007

oly_finish1.jpgOlympia Washington… May 16, 2004 was my first ever marathon and as I started was to be my only one. I’ll run this, I thought, and that will be that… I can at least say I did one. Well, I hit the proverbial “wall” at mile 20 and barely made it across the line in just over 4 hours and 7 minutes. As I lay exhausted on the massage table I realized I could have trained better. I knew I could have run smarter. I was hooked. Since I started working harder at eating right, running consistently and systematically, It was the only one so far that took over 4 hours. A “blemish” on the list that made me think I needed to take a mulligan on the WA race.

Olympia Washington… May 19, 2007 found me back at Sylvester Park on a chilly damp Sunday. With 500 miles of training, good running gear, Gu in the pockets, lots of good advice from The Balanced Athlete… I was ready to go.

Miles 1 – 3 I stayed below race pace (the goal was 3:30:00 or 8 min/mile) and let the early “hares” take off – you always see quite a few of them later anyway. By the top of the hill on Boston Harbor Road I settled into a slightly quicker pace and by mile 6 I had whittled the pace down to an average of about 7:50/mile. Up and down… up and down… it was hilly but I worked hard to maintain pace (cadence) regardless of the speed at any given moment (Chi Running influence there…) and by around mile 10 I had averaged 7:45/mile.

Cruised along 81st where CG had some friends set up a sign to encourage me in the rain. Well… I saw signs but , blind as the proverbial bat without my glasses, I couldn’t make out which one was for me in particular. But I did see the Nejedly’s waving where CG said they’d be and that made me smile. Although I acquired a running partner from here until about mile 16, I didnt make up any more time and pretty much stayed at 8:00/mile until mile 21.

Boy was that last part tough… They now have a different course than the one that defeated me in 2004 and the long 2-mile climb at mile 23 is a real killer. A combination of too-late carb loading on Saturday and perhaps pushing too hard earlier saw a big drop in pace for 3 or 4 miles. It was only through sheer determination that I hauled my butt up that hill. Well, that and the knowledge that CG was already waiting at the finish line…

The saving grace at Olympia is the long downhill mile to the finish line on Capital Way (that’s why I look at least half decent in the pic). No matter how crappy you were running 20 minutes before, the runners are happy they stuck that hill there to make us look like Speedy Gonzales for the spectators!!! As the PA boomed out …”and John Rankin of Auburn Washington…” I could hear “GO John! Yaaaay!” from the CG crowd.

Until 21 miles I was on pace for about 3:28:00… the last section slowed me enough to give me a 3:37:00 finish. Now my WA race is back in line with all my others and I’m happy. Cold, tired and not a little sweaty I didn’t really care about the time because I had just done something less than 1 percent of people do – finish a marathon.

At sub-4, that’s 7 States down and 43 to go… next up… Denver, CO


~ by John Rankin on May 22, 2007.

One Response to “Capital City Marathon 2007”

  1. Awesome job, John! Way to tackle the hill! Congratulation on the finish and redeeming yourself.

    Denver will not be super flat course but it won’t be hilly either! O2 might be a little low but I’m still working with Denver mayor to release more oxygen in the atmosphere on race day. We’ll have to plan your Denver Marathon outing with low walking sight-seeing and carbo loading pasta dinner!

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