My RNR Seattle Marathon experience

01 Jul

When I signed up for Seattle rock-n-roll couple of months back, my only goal was to make sure that I do a mid year marathon to keep myself in shape for the sacramento marathon that I intend to run this year end… However, after my relay, when I really started doing my training runs, I thought that I could do a 3:25 type marathon if I pushed myself. However, I ended up doing a 3:53 marathon… Obviously, there are reasons… Most reasons were psychological than physical…I did 3:53:37… Much slower than I wanted it to be..:)… The highlight of the marathon was that I met Shoba and her relatives Ramesh/Mala and Aakaash at mile 16 and 22… It was very vital to keep my momentum going at the critical portions of the race…

Anyway, many take aways from the marathon itself:

1) As my friend Soochoo had predicted, the first time marathons (rnr seattle is the biggest marathon in northwest US by far) are typically not planned very well. It showed up in the critical aspects of this marathon. The freeway leading to the starting point got really clogged. After 45 minutes of slow down in the freeway, I finally decided to run about 2 miles to get to the starting point. I started 15 minutes after the race start. I heard from the paper that some people started as late as 1 hr after start time…. With 25000 runners (15,000 half-marathoners and ~6000 full marathoners, the race committee didnt think it through)….

2) That said about the starting point, the course as such was very well organized and had enough drinks/banana/ aid-stations etc., With the rock-bands playing all along and with a lot of crowd along the way, it was a pretty good race atmosphere

3) Never count on weather… I chose Seattle in hopes of a good weather. But, as luck would have it, I started at temp of 59F and it went to 75 F at finish line… The sun was shining all along without any cloud covers. A big no-no for me. In retrospective, San Diego could’ve been an ideal race for me… But then, last year, it was apparently very hot in San Diego….

4) I started out with a lot of frustration for having run 2 miles and in missing the pacer groups whom I had hoped to follow. With the weather being warm, I just lost my interest in running… As I started out, I decided to throw my timing goal and do a conservative effort. As time went by, I did slow down, to a point where I thought I was willing to either quit half way or do a 4:30 type marathon… Since I had slowed down in the middle, I had enough energy left during the last 6 miles… So, I finished strong…;). .. There were more hills than I had expected. No major ones, the maximum being 2 hills of about 250-300 feet at mile 16/17… But, in general, it was rolling hills all the way along, with a hill of about 100 feet at the 25th mile…

5) I thought the run-less, run-faster program was kind of aggressive. I used to train 40-50 miles for the sacramento marathon. I cut it down to 3 days of running (1 interval, 1 tempo and 1 long run with 2 days of intense cross-training (biking), averaging not more than 33 miles in any given week). I saw big benefits in my speed. I could hold 7:55 type pace for a 21 miler ( my longest run before the marathon). Obviously, that didn’t translate in my marathon performance. But, on the positive side, I did not get any cramps throughout. I recovered very quickly. The day of the marathon, I was already playing with my friend’s kid in the evening, running around… I felt strong… I think, the 3 days of running puts a lot of focus on running performance every time I went out to run, which could be good/bad..:) … It also gave enough time to recover after each run. I will definitely try it for my next marathon too… May be, I will add in a slow recovery run apart from the 3 aggressive days…

That, in nutshell is what happened. Checkout my finish line video in the following link. My bib-number is 5048.


Posted by on July 1, 2009 in General, Running


3 responses to “My RNR Seattle Marathon experience

  1. Saumya

    July 7, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    We saw the streets of Seattle you ran through – man, it seemed strenuous. Running 2 miles to get to the start must have been a real bummer.

    Good job Suresh

  2. Sri

    July 8, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    We struggled to walk through those streets 🙂
    Hills, Heat and delay to the start is opposite of what you expect in a marathon.

    California International marathon here we come …

  3. suresh

    July 8, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    thanks a lot saumya and sri… yes, it was a bummer… When running a marathon in a new city, unless u know everything about the course and other information, it is a good idea to just do it for fun instead of having time goals… For time goals, running something closer to our place is the best idea… With the way my diet is going, I will have a lot of catch up to do when I come back, for the next marathon…:)


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