Bib #18 – Blooms to Brews Marathon
By 4:00am on Sunday, I was back to normal. Sure, it was an ungodly hour, but it was approaching the ungodly hour when I am at my best. That time when the black sky of night slips into the deep blue of morning, still nearly an hour to sunrise. My favorite time of day.
I made the two hour and twelve minute drive from Seattle to Woodland, Washington, 20 miles north of the Oregon border, engrossed in the heart of the Audible recording of Big Little Lies, all the rage right now in the 40-something female set. My failure at Saturday’s Squak Mountain 50k was not quite a distant memory, but it was distant enough.
I hadn’t intended on making a race of it, but just 6 miles in I found myself struggling to stay behind the 4:15 pace group; I wanted badly to pass them. With a 4:13:41 marathon personal record from October 2016’s Chicago Marathon, I have no business running with the 4:15 group on a training run.
But at the split — 13.1 miles — I was still with them. Still not just holding on but holding back. And I started to think about how amazing it would be to PR the race, the day after a brutal trail half marathon and in the midst of a training week. At a 4:15 pace, I’d have to make my move with 9 or 10 miles to go to break 4:13; 10k to go at the latest. But at the 15 mile marker the pace group leader stopped for water, and I didn’t. The move was on.
My official finish was 4:14:01. 20 seconds short. “And to think,” I wrote on my personal Facebook page later that day. “Some people actually taper for these things.”