Thursday, January 1, 2009

Pigtail's "Snow" Marathon

So I am up in Seattle working over the weekend of December 20. That Saturday in Pigtail's Flat Ass Marathon and 50k. Gail needed another marathon in December to keep her "marathon a month" streak going. So she flew up to Seattle after work on Friday night. I worked until 12:30 am that same night. Lucky for us the race didn't start till 0800 and I was staying only about 10 miles away. We gathered our stuff and headed off to the race. It was a balmy 16 degrees at the start with a couple of inches of new snow on the ground. This is a nice low key race that only had 57 runners. We handed in our two cans of soup (entry fee was one for food bank and one for you after the race) got our bibs on and off we went. The race started under a bridge on a river. We headed up stream along the river on a nice double wide bike path. The Elevation at the start was 100 feet and we would get as high as about 500 fee on at the turn around.

It was pretty easy to run in at the beginning because the snow was so darn dry. Gail and I had started with only about 4 other runners. Most opted to take the earlier starts due to the forecast for heavy snow later in the day. Gail and I ran on together. The course is nice but pretty boring. Many long straight stretches along an noisy 4 lane road. The river does make for some nice site seeing at times but you had to watch your footing as the depth of snow increased the farther along the course we went. Gail and I ran together as time wasn't really a big deal to either of us this day. This was just one of those "get 'r done" races with the weather and all. Gail began to suffer a bit and I started trying to make up games to take her mind off things. It seemed to work as she kept up a good pace. Aid stations were simple but really all you needed. Gatorade, water and some gels. At the turn around they had a nice maned station with every kind of ultra food you would expect, plus Hot Chocolate. We ran into Michelle and Jessica here. We stayed at that AS for a good 5 minutes enjoying the goodies. We then ran with the M & J for a good 3 or 4 miles. Chatting about races and tons of other things. It was a great mental break.

At mile 16 I decided to pick up the pace and see how I could do the last 10 miles. So off I went. I felt a bit tired already and was a tad concerned so I took two Ibuprofen and of course 20 minutes later I felt much better. I tried to run sub 9:15's or so on the way back but it was tough for me with the snow on the trail. I crossed the line in 5:11. One of my slowest races ever but that wasn't a concern. I had a fun time and finished another marathon. Van gave me her hand made medal witch is of very nice wood with a picture of a pig on the front and even has little felt pink ears on it! I talked with Eric and enjoyed the warm soup and I began to cool off. Oh yeah, I ran the entire race in shorts. No one else on the course had shorts (ah remember the 16 degrees) and everyone thought I was crazy. Nearly half the runners I passed made a comment about my bare legs. I had done this before at this exact temperature and felt great and had no problem with being cold today. Us Fat Boyee's got lots of insulation you know.

Soon thereafter Detour came across the line smiling as always. She had a tough first half but really got going later on and finished strong. We had some more soup and cookies then headed off the 100 yards to our car. The drive back to Seatac was starting to get pretty "dicey". The snow was falling and we needed to find a Starbucks. We finally found one and loaded up on caffeine and sugar.

We got back to our hotel and took a nice hot shower. The snow really started to fall and the room I was in had great big windows. We decided to go to the airport though and try to get Gail out on a flight back to Portland. Well we ended up staying about 5 hours at the airport and flights just kept getting canceled as the snow was just coming down too hard for the ground folks to keep up with. So back to the hotel we went. I had to work in Seattle again on Sunday so we figured Gail could just wait and fly home with me. Well long story short. All flights Sunday were canceled too so we took our rental car and another pilot and drove home to Portland Sunday night. It took 3 hours longer than normal and was a real mess. But it was an adventure for sure!

1 comment:

Backofpack said...

It was great running with you and Gail - love meeting up and chatting on the trail. It's such a good distraction! I wondered about Gail getting home that night. Sounds like quite an adventure.