Thursday, January 2, 2020

Tunnel Light Marathon Race Recap 9/15/19

I ran my 6th marathon at the Tunnel Light Marathon in North Bend, WA in September (yes, this post is way late but I actually wrote it up at the airport but never posted it due to not getting the pics organized). It was my second time running this course. I ran it last year and you can check out my recap here. It was great because my sister and friend Lenora ran it again too. This was my backup race in case I didn't qualify for Boston at Revel Mt. Hood marathon. I was hoping I could qualify again since this race counts for 2020 and 2021 but mentally I wasn't in the race. However both my sister and Lenora wanted to qualify so it turned out to be an exciting race for them!

PACKET PICKUP: We picked up our bibs at the Nike Outlet in North Bend just like last year. We got there just before 2pm on Saturday afternoon, about 10 minutes before they were to close up. Here is the shirt for this year. I like how it is long sleeve and the faces are funny.

We stayed at the Edgewick Inn like last year and were pleasantly surprised that they remodeled the rooms, or at least touched them up so it wasn't as bad. Plus we did not have problems with cold showers after the race. Definitely recommend it as it is the closest place to stay if you are going to take the shuttle buses to the race.

RACE DAY: We actually did not need to take the shuttle bus this year since our Coach, Dawn, was with us. She was happy to drive us to the start and also drive us back to our hotel. Thanks Dawn! :)

This year the race start was 8am, an hour later than last year. We woke up around 5:45am since we wanted to leave at 6:45 from the hotel. That way we'd have time to eat breakfast. I had my usual bagel with peanut butter and was able to use the facilities before we left. The drive to the start line was about 20 minutes so we had a lot of time before the race started. It was nice to hang out in the car and stay warm. It was rainy and wet out. The temp was about 48 degrees when we started. Here's a pre race shot with our coach. So happy she is there with us. 

The race started pretty much on time. My Garmin had me starting at 8:03am. I didn't really have a goal time for this race but I was thinking it would be nice to get a Boston qualifying time again since this race does count for 2021 too. I was feeling pretty good as we started. The tunnel came up about .5 mile in. I was in good spirits going in. I didn't even use my knuckle light this time as I knew it was pretty lit with everyone else's lights. 

However in the tunnel, my right shoelace somehow came undone and it sucked. I didn't want to stop in the tunnel because I wouldn't be able to see and tie it in the dark so I had to wait until I got out. It was harder to run with an undone shoelace that loosened my foot in the shoe. The pics below shoe me getting out and then you can see my shoe off in the second one. :p I remember having to cross over to the other side so I could tie my shoe better at a picnic table.
It really discouraged me that I lost my sister and Lenora but I pushed on running as best as I could.

After that I tried to keep a good pace, but I just wasn't feeling it after a while. The rain poured hard at times and just wasn't stopping. I was wet and thinking how well my Mt. Hood marathon went and how I just wasn't feeling the same way at this race. I felt so much stronger in my last marathon, while this one I felt like I had to work harder. Thinking these thoughts, I just wasn't in it mentally. I had the thoughts of "I already know I'm going to Boston, why suffer?" "why am I running another marathon?" "26.2 miles is a long ways". 

The last 3 miles especially felt hard. I kept trudging along. My last mile came in at 10:04. When I heard the 3:50 pacer behind me, I was like oh no. I didn't want a whole group with me at the finish line. I ran my hardest to break away from the pack. The 3:50 pacer still sneaked by me, but at least I was right behind him and no big pack near me. Phew. 

I finished with a time of 3:50:05.2. I'm just happy I finished under 4 hours. 

First thing I did as I saw my sister at the finish, was ask if she got it. She did. She BQ'd and PR'd with an amazing time of 3:27. My friend Lenora also BQ'd and PR'd with a time of 3:30. I was so happy and proud of them. I'm also so excited because with their time we are all going to Boston in 2020. Yippeee.

There were lots of goodies at the finish. Here are some pics.

Tunnel Light Marathon is still a great race. Love the gradual downhill. It just wasn't my day. Here's the medal.

I will also leave you with video footage I took with my GoPro during the race. It was actually funny for me to see after the race. Enjoy and happy running! 

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