Monday, November 30, 2009

What Is The Difference Between A Half And A Full In Seattle?

If you answer 13.1 miles, you are correct. However, is not my answer. My answer is 20%.

Every year, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Seattle hosts its Marathon and Half Marathon. I have ran the Marathon in 2007 and 2008, but because all the issues I had this year I decided not to run Pheidippides distance in 2009. My year has been spent in 5K speed training which was successful from my point of view, racing a lot, and building mileage to have a good level by January 2010 when my Eugene Marathon training will start.

Being that said, Seattle Half was a good way to still participate in this race. I love the organization, the route, and I feel a sense of gratitude towards the race because it was my first Marathon ever, in 2007. My dream goal was 2:10, knowing that if by mile 3-4 I could not keep the pace, I would immediately adjust to realistic pace between 2:15 and 2:20.

Because the majority of the hills are after mile 7 I needed to take advantage of every flat area or downhill. I needed to push it through miles 3 to 7 that were pretty much flat, and before Seattle hills showed up to laugh at me. But, but, but.... after mile 5, in a total flat portion, I started to fail. It could be thought that I started faster than I should. However, I would do exactly the same if I race it again. To run negative splits seems impossible to me with Galer, Madison, and Interlaken in the second half of the race.

The strategy I used - from NY Road Runners - says:
"If goal pace is tough during these first miles, you're in trouble. Either your goals were way higher than your fitness, the course or weather are too difficult, or you're just having a bad day". The course was no difficult, yet. We had the perfect weather for running 50F/10C, no wind, no sun, no rain, and I don't think I was having a bad day (that came after, see red below). So, my conclusion, is that my dream goal didn't match with my fitness, so I rapidly adjusted it to realistic goal before the dream became a nightmare.

Mile 1 - 10:06 - Flat
Mile 2 - 10:26 - Half flat, half uphill
Mile 3 - 10:56 - Uphill
Mile 4 - 10:32 - Downhill
Mile 5 -10:12 - Flat
Mile 6 - 11:18 - Flat <------ NOTE THIS!!! I started to feel nauseated when I pushed the pace to a sub 10.
Mile 7 - 11:24 - Flat <------ NOTE THIS!!!
Mile 8 - 12:30 - UPHILL and miserable long (i.e. Galer and Madison). Pace is understandable at this point after 2 bad miles.
Mile 9 - 11:32 - Half downhill and half uphill
Mile 10 - 11:27 - Mainly uphill
Mile 11 - 12:06 - Flat - <------ NOTE THIS!!! Continue being nauseated, stopped to throw up (couldn't).
Mile 12 - 10:26 - 2/3 flat 1/3 uphill - I really pushed it here. My eyes shined when at the end of mile 12, I saw my son who went to run the last mile with me (he did the same last year).
Mile 13.1 - 10:20 - Half down and half up. Stopped again to throw up but couldn't and then I ran with everything I had, including the last uphill before entering into the Stadium. In that curve I sprinted like a cheetah reaching 7:48 min/mile. I know I don't gain too much time with this, but man, it felt last two splits were nice after six miles of nausea!!! When I crossed the finish line I had to be helped, I really left everything I had. ...

It was not until I finished the race that I really understood The Difference Between A Half And A Full In Seattle. The 13.1 miles that are not run during the Half are all flat. Assuming a person is well trained for either distance, to run a Half in a 40% hilly course, seems to me, way more challenging than a Full 20% hilly. So, the answer: 20%

Another difference is that when you get to the finish line (Half) and go to the recovery area you have to walk among thousands of people to get food, but after a Full you have to walk A LOT to get no food!!! Now I understand that in the past years the "Halfers" ate it all!!! Kidding!

This is an excellent race, excellent organization, excellent support from the Seattle Police Department and Volunteers, and for three years in a row, we have had EXCELLENT WEATHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Official Time: 2:23:21. Although I have run this distance many times for marathon training I have never done it officially, so PR it is.!!!

Thanks to my son Diego and his wife Shelly for being there for me.

I bought this Brooks jacket at the Expo. It is wind and water resistant (not proof). Fantastic and SO light, I don't think it weighs more than one made of saran wrap.


Petraruns said...

Fantastic effort Lizzie Lee - realising during a race that it's just not there is very hard but persevering through that is SO important. And you have. Well done Lizzie - another victory for you!

Susan said...

That is an awesome jacket -- and an excellent report and analysis. You make me want to jet to Seattle!