I wasn’t sure what to label this one. After all, it was a training run, but it was an actual half. So does that mean it doesn’t need number? Or should it be #7.1? See all the random thoughts that go through my mind? In the end I decided to stick with #6.7 to see this training session through.
I picked up my number yesterday and wasn’t super impressed with the expo. The space seemed small and crowded or it could have just been me. I have been low on patience lately so most likely the expo was fine and it was just me being irritated.
To continue on with the easily irritated theme, I went to get my pre-race nails done and the color didn’t quite turn out how I envisioned and it wasn’t the best manicure. But as I kept telling myself, this isn’t a “real” race for me, this is merely a training run.
I laid everything out and went to bed, where I didn’t sleep very well and had dreams where I didn’t really sign up for Tinker Bell and had gotten an email telling me I was too late and the extra registrations were full. I wonder what my subconscious is telling me.
My alarm went off and I thought I heard rain. Oh great. Leave extra time to make a garbage bag poncho! Fortunately my ears were deceiving me, or more likely I was just hearing the rushing stream.
As I was driving to the start, I noticed how foggy it was. I mean really foggy. If fog means no rain, I’ll take fog!
I got to the race site and found the real bathrooms in a warm building! Hallelujah for real bathrooms! I made my way to bag check where I had my usual dilemma of how many clothes to wear or not to wear. It was cold, but not super cold. My hands were doing fine. So I decided to go with a long sleeve shirt and no gloves (which I would regret later).
I lined up with everyone else (there wasn’t corrals per se) and we were off! Down 5th Ave where I was able to enjoy seeing the Christmas lights.
From there, we got on the express lanes and headed across I90 (it was the opposite direction from Seattle RnR). The overpass kept going up and up and I couldn’t really see the end because it was so foggy! You could barely make out the people in front of you. I didn’t remember the overpass uphill lasting so long, but again I was enjoying the downhill so I probably was hoping it would last forever!
The tunnel garbled my Garmin, but finally I was out the other side and leaving the freeway to turn onto Lake Washington Boulevard. Up until this point, I had been thinking I had made the right clothing decisions. However, as we were running along the water, it felt like the temp dropped a lot!! My fingers FROZE and never got warm for the rest of the race.
The route along the water would have been beautiful except for the fog that still remained and obscured the scenery’s loveliness.
They described this course as rolling, which it was for the most part, until we got to the evil hill. It has to rank up there with the Lacamas Lake hill (although that one still wins, being so close to the end). Near the top of the evil hill, one of the volunteers was yelling “it’s all downhill from here.” I didn’t believe him, but it was nice to hear at that moment.
We turned into the arboretum, which was probably my favorite part of the course.
It was around this time where I started wondering at what point the first marathoner would pass me. (If a half marathoner left 30ish minutes before the marathoner and one was at 12ish minutes per mile and the other was at 5ish minutes per mile, at what point would the marathoner catch up to the half marathoner? How’s that for a story problem?) No sooner did that thought cross my mind then there was the motorcycle cop leading the way for the lead wheelchair athlete.
Around mile 9, my hamstring / knee / IT band pain that did not make an appearance last week, made a comeback with a vengeance!! Especially on the uphills. I was keeping up my run intervals for the most part (even on the uphills, except for the evil hill) but as the pain made itself known, I started walking more of the uphills.
I don’t really remember too much of this next stretch but finally we were crossing over the freeway and were heading into the home straightaway. Down the hill, up the hill around the corner and into the stadium and across the finish line! Hooray!!
Going into this race, I didn’t really have any expectations. My goal is always to finish and now that I’ve broken the 3 hour mark, come under 3 hours. I wasn’t expecting to have a shot at my secret goal of 2:45 as this was still a training run and it has only been 4 months since my surgery. Taking all that into account, I am satisfied with my time of 2:52:35. Definitely room to improve on!! Let’s say this upcoming weekend in Vegas? 🙂
Speaking of Vegas, one of the best shirts I saw was one that read “My week: Seattle Half, 40th Birthday, Vegas Half”. Ha – looks like my week (minus the turning 40 – I’m still not super comfortable with being 35, don’t rush me to 40!).
Throughout the race I got lots and lots of compliments and shout outs on my skirt – thank you Team Sparkle!! I love the splash of color, and of course sparkle makes you fast! In fact, afterwards a lady came up to me to tell me that we were playing leapfrog and she was admiring my skirt and it inspired her.