In case you were wondering where all those sonic booms were coming from on Sunday, it was from out here on the left coast, where Loopsters got together and decided to smash all expectations at the Surf City Marathon and Pikermi.
Boom!!! Three BQs! Boom!!! Seven,
yes, SEVEN PRs!!! Boom!!! Two AG awards! Sixteen Loopsters were racing,
and not one disappointing run! Loopfest race day magic was in full
force! Goals were shattered, spirits soared, 2014 expectations were
flying high! It was a GREAT day on the beach-side race course. But that
was just the highlight of a Super loopfest weekend!
OK, take a breath, and I'll back it up a bit.
battles with PF are well documented, but briefly, I haven't trained
regularly since September. I stubbornly did two pikermis in November and
December and probably delayed my recovery. But since Rehoboth I took 6
weeks off with no running, saw some progress, and had 4 tentative runs
in the last two weeks that went pretty well. 3, 4, 5, and 6 milers. Then
Wednesday I did a 4 miler that hurt worse than the others and I got a
little depressed again. I knew I should skip this race and be careful
and rest it. But it was a loopfest! Everyone was staying at my house!
Mild Sauce pledged to run/walk with me as slow as I needed to! So I ran
The evolution of my plan for this race:
1. Skip it
2. I guess I can pick up my bib and start it and turn back after a mile and head to the beer garden.
3. Well maybe I could do the first loop and then cut back for 8 miles total.
4. Well, it shouldn't hurt too much to just walk the rest, right? Sub 2:30?
Hmm, that 6-miler went pretty well. I guess I could just run easy as
long as the pain stays away and run/walk the last 5 miles. Maybe sub-2? I
don't want my first over 2:00 half on my record...
6. Shoot, the pain is back. I should really skip this race.
7. I can't skip it, idiot. Just see what happens.
So that's where I stood on race morning.
Friday, Loopsters started arriving. I had 9 staying at my house. These 8 plus John Wayne who came in later.
always so much fun to have the guests. They were all gracious and
thankful, but it was seriously my pleasure to have them there.
Here is the whole group with the locals added in.
Friday night we all descended on Anna Bananas house, and had enormous amounts of delicious food.
AtomBuddy came over and made pumpkin pancakes for everyone. It was a
beautiful sunny day, so we decided to head to the expo early and spend
the afternoon at the beach.
And we got our group shot.
managed to squeeze in a quick happy hour beverage at the nearest bar we
could find, and then had an excellent Italian carbo-load dinner. I had
the risotto with lobster chunks. Yum! Dinner out with loopsters is
always a blast. Even when some old guy in a bad toupee is singing Volare
at the piano.
Race day! The three marathoners were up and
out before 4AM. The rest of us got to sleep in and didn't leave until
5. John Wayne helped KT up my bum foot.
Leaving early and picking the farthest parking lot worked great. No traffic. No line at the bus. Just pitch black and cold.
We got to the expo and tent and chilled (literally) a bit.
then we all marched up to Misti and Nate's hotel room right next to the
start line, 8 floors up, and got a great view of the marathon start. We
stayed warm and enjoyed the indoor plumbing. Awesome. But then it was
time to run. I was ready.
Sauce was there for support, and her frequent screams to Seahawk fans
kept things lively. We saw JB and Alice as they were there to cheer for
us. We backed up to the third wave and planned to just go at training
run pace, maybe 8:30ish?, and enjoy the day.
The foot felt
pretty OK at the start. Hurt a bit, but nothing major, so we cruised
along. 8:34, 8:18, 8:12. Pace felt good, foot felt good. Happy times!
4 had a little hill. In my sorry fitness shape I slowed a bit and had
to catch my breath at the top, but on the way down, I was still feeling
good! 8:27 up, 8:10 down. Five miles in and things were just peachy! We
looked for loopsters in the big crowd (15,000), and managed to see a
few. Then we were back to PCH for the long out and back.
foot pain was basically just a dull ache that never spiked into angry
bee stings like it did at Rehoboth, so I kept running. I was getting
fatigued, but not too bad. I was pretty sure sub-2 was a done deal. I
thought maybe a walk break after the turn around at 8.
didn't need it. Kept going. 8:13, 8:15, 8:13. In mile 9 I walked
through a water stop and took a little breather. Legs were getting
sluggish. 8:34 But then I just kept on going into the sun and
headwinds. By this point I knew it was a good day. We saw a camera guy
and nailed this one.
10 and 11 had a little uphill, but I cruised on up, 8:13, 8:23. Getting
tired, but did the math and knew sub 1:50 was in my sights. Might as
well finish strong. We started pushing it a little. Legs were tired, my
breathing started getting heavy. But hey, it WAS a race after all. Sauce
tried to push me, but I didn't feel the need to go too far into the
pain cave. Comfortably hard. The marathoners joined the course in the
last 1/4 mile and we saw Roger just ahead of us! Couldn't catch him
though as he was running sub 7 on the way to his BQ! But I finished with
8:04 and 7:58, and a 7:11 pace for the last .17. Boom! Expectations
crushed! Injury belittled. Loop awesomeness affirmed. 1:48:49
We were happy.
we got some clothes on and started the party at the beer garden.
Loopsters filed in and we heard all the good news. One great report
after another. Happiest place on earth!
we made it out of there and back to my place where the partying would
continue. Super Bowl Party! I jumped on the Seahawk bandwagon with Roger
and Sauce, and that made that boring game VERY exciting!
guest Jacqueline Hansen was there, along with her home-made cookies
(which were delicious) and she inspired everybody - many of whom left
with signed books!
And there was much partying...
Jacqueline tells Dean what it takes to go sub-3....
A little Apples to Apples caused much merriment.
It was a fun night, a great weekend, typical loopfest.
I thought about putting our faces on this poster but my photoshop skills are nil, so just imagine it. Or do it for me.
Ready to do it again in 3 months at Flying Pig! I'm hopeful my foot will allow me to train enough to get back under 1:40.
Life is so good.