Saturday, November 24, 2007

Seattle Ghost Marathon

Some of the Y Runners

What a beautiful day, and beautiful course. We had some clouds and some sun, it was cold and at times a bit breezy, but no rain. The course took us on a double loop - first around the point of Seward Park, then along Lake Washington, right along the lake's edge, under beautiful trees, past fancy houses, through the Leschi area and back. Absolutely gorgeous!

Rick and Jenny showed up at our house at 6:00 am. We piled in the car and drove straight to Starbucks, where Rick ordered drip coffee - ten minutes later, after they brewed it, he finally got his coffee. Then we drove right back to our house to pick up the Garmin that somebody forgot. The ride up to Seattle went by quickly and we pulled into the park just as Linda and Rich pulled in. Lisa pulled in next, and Margaret G. It was really cold, but I pulled my long pants off anyway. I knew it would get warmer as the day went on, and I would be too warm in them. We walked the half mile to the start line and checked in. Rick would be spending his day here, manning the aid station.

We chatted with other runners, froze a bit, said hello to Margaret B., then gathered for the start. A few of us were taking some flak for wearing shorts and skirts, but it didn't bother know, tough-hardcore- princess types can deal with a little harassment. This race is low-key, cheap and fun. No bibs and the official clock was the RD's phone. He gave us a shout to start and we were off. We ran back to the park and around the point, always within sight of the water. Out of the park, and along the lake, where we saw two beavers! One was swimming with a stick in his mouth, and the other was just sitting in the shallow water right below us. We ran back through the start/finish and aid station. Rick had coke waiting for me and pretzels out. Jenny went with her usual iron-stomach fare - pink-frosting cookies, mini Payday bars and potato chips. I don't know how she does it! The aid stations were ultra style - sandwiches, pretzels, chips, candy, oranges and more. I love, love, love real food in a race!

A few of the racers

The start

We ran out along the water, moving along quite well, using a 5/1 run/walk. We saw some of the early starters, and eventually, everyone else on the loop. Under the I90 bridge - which I somehow missed running under on the way out, making Jenny laugh that I missed it. My excuse is we were under it when we saw Eric and the stars in my eyes from seeing him made me miss the fact that we were under the bridge. (You are buying that, right?)

Speedy husband

Y Runners

Y Runners

We ran to the next aid station, quick break, then about a half-mile out to the turn around and we were on our way back. Back at the start/finish, Rick and the RD told us the course was short. We thought we'd just go with the flow and live with it. On the second loop, we decided to take a gravel single-track right on the edge of the water - it felt nice and soft on tired legs. It seems as though the path was about a mile long. We ran up to the aid station and she told us she thought she'd had her last customer, so had packed up and left, then saw us running and came back - very sweet. The aid station was the back of a pickup truck. We were in dead last, which was no surprise in a group of PNW ultra and marathon runners. We took the single-track on the way back too.

Coming in to the finish, but not quite done

Those of you who know me probably won't be surprised to find out that I could not "go with the flow". I told Jenny that I had to run 26.2 or I wouldn't be able to add it to my marathon count, or post to the blog. We crossed the finish line, where all our friends were waiting, at just under 25 miles and announced that we were going to keep going. I don't think anyone was too surprised. As we ran out, we heard foot steps behind us - it was Eric. He had done the same thing - ran till he got a full 26.2, then he ran along with Jenny and I while we did it. We ran back to the park, circled a parking island and ran back to the finish. Everyone was still there and cheered us in.

Heading back out to get the final 1.2 miles

Our time was 5:39:08. We ran at a comfortable pace, using the 5/1 run/walk, had four potty breaks and stopped at each aid station. I was comfortable (okay, normal aches and pains, and normal giganto blood blister in the usual spot, but the toes survived!) and I did not have to go post-to-post at all. I think the 5/1 is helping as is the much cooler weather. I really enjoyed the run and would do it again in a heart beat.

The real finish at 26.2

We followed up with coffee at Starbucks, then when we got home, sent Riley out to pick up pizza and salad. I think that makes for a pretty good Saturday


Journey to a Centum said...

I saw those beavers too! I've prepared for cougar and bear attacks but what do you do if you get attacked by a wild beaver? Do you try to look big and stare them in the eye talking boldly or look away slowly back away talking calmly but showing no signs of aggression? I suppose it's not a really big problem but I was just wondering...

I was nearly killed by a beaver in Canada. I was Kayaking the upper Chilliwak River Gorge and a beaver put a tree down right in front of me. I fliped under the tree and my boat got lodged in the branches. Luckily it was deep enough for me to roll out of the boat and float free. It took me about 15 min to free my boat with help from my friends. I'll elaborate during one of my taper tales.

Nice job at the marathon today! It was a beautiful day and you looked very strong when you finished!

Love Eric

Mama said...

Another notch on your lipstick case. Yeah Y runners. You had to run to keep yourselves warm, didn't you.

I'm very proud.

Be Free,

Joe said...

Great run, Michelle. Love all the matching MM Brooks Nightlite shirts!! Great stuff, great visibility!

And, yes, I'm not at all surprised that you and Jenny did the extra to make it official....good for you two, and for Eric!

Loved the pix...looked like a beautiful day. Our son spent Thanksgiving on Whidbey Island with friends...he said teh weather has been amazingly clear.

Congrats on another one!!

Anne said...

I think this confirms you truly deserve to be one of the maniacs, though I guess if the weather and course were as good as you write (and picture), I could go another 1+ miles too.

I love a race that is this low-key. And where the aid stations are out of the back of cars and trucks, so the crew can quickly reunite when they see the last runners coming.

Bob Gentile said...

Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr looks cold :-(

Congrats Michelle!! Great report and Pics... I loved 5/1, at JFK using that 5/1 during the middle part helped me finish the last leg upright and somewhat strong compared to some of the peeps we passed who were hurting pretty bad :-(

I so have to plan a West Coast event to run in 08' or 09' but in warmer weather :-) run some of those little Hills you guys talk about all the time-haha

Wes said...

Nicely done, Michelle! I love all the yellow the Y runners wear. Very awesome! I'm so with you on getting in the full 26.2! LOL... I'm sure Eric was glad you were there to protect him from the evil beavers :-)

Sarah said...

A marathon with ultra-style aid stations....that sounds like my kind of marathon! Glad you went out for the extra 1.2. It was the right thing to do. ; ) : ) Sounds like a great day!

Irene said...

What a wonderful race and race report! Looks chilly, though, but beautiful.

Enjoy your post run week!

King Arthur said...

Great Job! I'm bummed I missed it, but no pavement for me for a another couple weeks. It's not that bad, I've been having lots O fun playing in the dirt.

robtherunner said...

Looks like a great day for a marathon. Glad to hear all was well.

wendy said...

I think post to post is old news for you, young lady. Maybe even marathons now that you're a little crazy ultra gal. =)

I'm glad you had a wonderful Turkey Day and Ghost run, the pictures look wonderful, and I'm totally not surprised you had to clock the extra mileage - remember, it's OC, not OCD, because it's NOT a disorder. ;-)

PS - loved the comment on Wes's site, and I cracked up laughing over "someone" forgetting the Garmin.

JustRun said...

Great run! I love seeing everyone smiling out there. And shorts? I am jealous. :)

Happy belated Thanksgiving, too!

olga said...

Yeah, it's like me doing 0.25M to make it full 24, so I can log it in:) But what would you guys do without Garmins? Did those who stayed away from "extra" got a marathon finish? I can tell you I was the only one wearing shorts on Saturday run...well, skirt really, couldn't pass on it and even heard a compliment from Rob, what almost knocked me off:)

shawn said...

I like how you guys sent your son out to get you food. "Ah, ma, do I hafta?" :)

I like your skirt too!

Who care's about your finish place - congratulatons on finishing!

Mother of Martineau Tribe said...

Congratulations! I'll have to join you all next year.

Laufenweg said...

well done! i so enjoy visiting your blog. such an inspiration! keep it coming!

Anonymous said...

You just can't be satisfied with the finish line, huh? Gotta keep going. Way to go! The fact that you kept going means you were feeling good. Those marathons keep getting easier for you, huh? Sounds like a fun, small race.

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Hey, I commented yesterday and it's not here! Hmmm. I stopped on my way home and got teryiaki as I knew no one at my house would dare leave the Apple Cup to go and get me food! It was a fantastic day! The perfect birthday present!
PS the danskos rock!

runliarun said...

I would have run the extra stretch too, if I had to crawl. As arbitrary as it sounds, it's not a marathon if it's not 26.2.

What a great day!

Dori said...

Wow, you are a tough, hard-core princess! It takes a lot to continue a mile past the finish line when you've already run 25 miles. A great big CONGRATULATIONS to you.

As an aside, what do you do with all your finisher's medals? I have three from my marathon and three from half marathons. They remind me of the race, but it seems like too much clutter.

PNW Runner said...

I have to tell you, I so wanted to be a part of it even though I haven't been running, but it didn't happen.

I actually see sunshin in the pictures too, sweet!

Addy said...

sounds like an overall great day :) so happy to hear that the post-to-post ending was avoided in this one! The pictures are great. Looks like a wonderful fall day by the water

Sunshine said...

Wow! Congratulations again!
Loved the pictures.

Thanks for stopping by. Yes, Don's improved blood tests did make for a special Thanksgiving.

We were so excited to have such good news to share, we sent our Christmas greetings, by mail and e-mail... before Thanksgiving.

Happy running!

Sarah Elaine said...

I am glad to know I'm not the only one ripping off my running pants for a November run. :-)

I laughed when I read you had to go the extra bit at the end. You really are a maniac - in a good way.

scott keeps running said...

congratulations on another true 26point2. the photos are great. looks like a beautiful place to run. :)

Meghan said...

Whoa. I didn't realize you had another marathon coming up. And, look here, you've already done it. Congrats on another steady, solid finish. They are always like that for you, aren't they?

I like mama's comment above, another notch on the lipstick case. Heh.

And, from your above entry, you didn't even taper and ran so well! Holy cow!

Congrats again!

E-Speed said...

Props to you for getting out for the full 26.2. Glad the 5/1 worked for you and you are getting so you don't need post to post anymore!

Great Job!