back to the watershed

I’ve logged hundreds of running miles on the Redmond Watershed trails, but just two events of 26.2 or longer.  My previous marathon time there was just under 4 hours, back in 2011.  I was pretty sure I wouldn’t break four hours this time.  I was still recovering from my faster run at Lost Dutchman in Arizona, and needed to keep healthy for the next race in New Mexico, two weekends away.  This was just about logging the miles.

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trillium trail – photo by takao suzuki

The week before had me wedging in some marginal miles on tired legs.  It’s late winter here – and the weather is in between cold and marginally warmer with horizontal rain.  Much to my surprise, I awoke to see clear sky above the mountains on the morning of the event.  A definite blessing.

We’d do four 6.55 loops around the Watershed.  I got there in time to catch the early start, which was nice.  The first loop around felt good.,  Watching my splits early on, I could see it wouldn’t be a fast day, so I just settled into a workmanlike pace and let my mind drift. 

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siler’s mill in the early miles – photo by takao suzuki

I completed the first loop in just over an hour.  On the way back in, the folks taking the regular start time were coming up the trail – there was an odd traffic jam of the sort I’d not seen.  Along the way I saw some familiar faces.  Jodie, a fellow ESR member, doing a long training run for the Comrades Marathon, and Gunner, a guy from work who running his first trail race.  I refilled my bottle and headed back out.  I still felt pretty good, although my pace had definitely slowed.  I took four minutes longer to do this next 6.55 miles. 

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collin creek – photo by takao suzuki

This was the trend for the rest of the event.  Each loop was a bit slower than the previous one.  By the time I set out for the final trip around, I was glad to be nearly done.  The pace charts bear this out – the last three loops were pretty steady (perhaps 10 seconds off of each other), but quite a bit off of the first.

I crossed the finish in just over 4:20.  This was good for 11th overall, not bad in a field of 63.  Beautiful day out there.

charts and graphs for running geeks

The graph tells the story.  Blue line shows the pace per loop, and the red line shows the cumulative average pace.  I finished just a shade under a 10 min/mile pace.

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The loop is pretty straightforward.  We’d embark from the south parking lot, run north on Trillium to the pipeline connector, then head east.  When we got to the pipeline trail, we’d do a 0.75 mile out and back, turning around just before the turnoffs towards Novelty Hill Road.  Then we’d take Siler’s Mill, before heading out to Trilogy and back.  We’d turn at Collin Creek, then head back to Trillium and home.

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