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9:31 AM

13.1 mi


9:29 mi

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Vernonia Half Marathon

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7:20 check the forecast for the town the race is in. 35 and drizzly from 8-8:30 but dry and quickly warming to 40 after that.

Diving to race it starts snowing. Then snowing more. There is enough accumulation on the road that I was wondering if having the other car that still has winter tires on would have been a better idea. Just as I reach the first car that has spun off in the ditch I see the sign for the park where the race ends. Which is when it dawns on me that this race may be uphill with poor footing.

This is also when I realize I didnt provide myself an option for long pants except wearing my warmup pants over my running shorts and hope they dont bunch up too badly. (My warmup pants do NOT work commando).

9:00 the snow and rain stops and the sun starts to break through. I am feeling pretty good with my clothing choices. Longsleeves and shorts and zensahs. It is warming fairly rapidly. 9:30 race starts. 9:31 snow starts. Its a damn cold first mile. All in all the clothing choice wasnt bad. My thighs went a bit numb but it didnt sink to muscle level.

I'm running with my garmin to get the data, but with the display set to only show elevation so that I cant pace obsess. I decided the goal was to try to feel marathon pace for 10 miles and then see what I had left to judge if it really was. First mile was a zoo but then I settled in to what felt like MP. Except on all the wooden bridges which still had slush on them and my main goal is not to fall.

At about mile 5 2 girls pass me. They both have ipods on but are talking to eachother. This means they are talking loudly but dont know it. "Target 1 acquired" Pass me. "Good job, Target 1 down". Seriously? Seriously? I start to go after them but stopped myself by repeatedly saying "This is not the goal. This is not the goal" and also "They are so fucking going to burn out, if I see them after mile 10 they are toast".

It is uphill from then on to mile 12 getting gradually steeper. And the footing keeps getting worse. The only downhill was a steep steep decent with a volunteer standing at the top to warn us about how slick it is. There is a river of snow melt running down it so I am thinking I would have guessed that. And it is followed by an equally steep uphill that hurt my back to even walk up. At places the path is totally flooded out. I probably ran an extra 0.5 miles zigzaggin across the path to find the best footing. By mile 10 the snow/slush is pretty much everywhere. At mile 10.5 ish the paved trail turns to gravel and mud. The choices are to run in the middle in 3 inches of mud or run on better footing through deep puddles. At some point I realize I am no longer doing marathon effort, I am so focused on "dont fall on your ass". And that I am ok with that.

Mile 12 the path clears up and I pick up the pace and feel good that I feel totally energetic and that this was overall a really easy run, nowhere near race effort. I think I am actually somewhere in the mid 8's round a corner and there is a huge ass (but paved and dryish) hill. 75% of the way up the hill I spot the 2 bitches and then briefly regret not picking it up a bit during my 11 minute mile slog through slush. Because there is not enough race left to catch them. I was probably 20 seconds behind them at most at the finish.

2:04:06. Really not bad. I think MOST of the race was in the low 9's which considering where I am right now isnt bad. The big uphill in the middle honked off my back but I have 2 PT sessions next week and he is finally on board with the aggressive treatment plan. He did ultrasound, astym AND massage with active stretching last session.

MTA: 15 seconds. They beat me by 15 seconds. DOH!