I know a lot of you have been waiting to hear how the half marathon went on Sunday. Well, I’m here to give you the full weekend recap.
I will just start off by saying that I’m sure glad it’s over, but I actually enjoyed myself more than I thought I would.
I had a few short runs leading up to the race.
Including a really cold one Thanksgiving morning:
That was my very last training run before the race. It was a little surreal.
On Friday, Huebie and I headed up to the Expo to pick up our race bibs and swag bags. Even though he wasn’t running he still wanted his free stuff 🙂
It was actually happening. I was going to run 13.1 miles. Craziness.
On our way to the expo I started to get a nervous tummy, which continued throughout the weekend. I get super nervous about competitions like this. But we got a lot of free swag at the expo and picked up a new stick roller to help roll out the tight muscles.
Saturday morning I worked my legs out with Little A at Little Gym:
Just getting preped for the next day.
Then I spent the rest of the day in and out of stress mode. Like I said, I get really nervous leading up to events like this.
I packed my bag for Sunday:
And had my carbo loading dinner:
Which of course isn’t complete without dessert. Then tried to go to bed relatively early.
Sunday morning was an early one. We were up and out the door by 6:00 am. A big thank you to my parents for coming over so early to watch Little A.
We’re ready to rock and roll!
We made great time. And then we got into the city and traffic was stopped:
The only cars on the road were all trying to get to the race. I was starting to get even more nervous at this point. But we still had time.
And we made it with about a half hour until start time. I checked my bag and headed out into the crowd. And the weather was perfect. It was much warmer than forecasted; around 52 degrees. It was definitely windy, but no rain. Awesome running weather.
I took about 2 bathroom breaks and found the water tent, so I decided to eat my entire bag of GU Chomps about 15ish minutes before the start; which, in hindsight, was probably a bit too early. But I didn’t have a watch with the time so I had no idea how much time we had left until the start.
They finally called us into the corral; all 7,000 of us! It was madness. Like herding cattle. I literally felt like a cow being shoved into a chute. I found the 2:30 pacer and went a bit behind them, since I planned on a 2:40 pace. They started the countdown…5, 4, 3, 2, 1……and we all started…walking. Yes, walking. There were so many people that it took a while for us to get to the actual start line where we started running. It was still dark at the start of the race and windy, but no rain.
I spent the first 3.5 miles weaving in and out of people trying to pass. I was on pace, or a bit faster even, and passing people really does keep you motivated. The first water station was at mile 2 and it came up quicker than I anticipated. I actually ended up getting their Gatorade hydrator that they had, which was much more like water than Gatorade (that’s a good thing for me). I decided then to try to alternate Gatorade and water at each water station.
At around mile 2.5 we ran up onto the freeway on-ramp and started running on I-90. It was still pretty crowded since it was just the on-ramp, but once we started running in the tunnel it broke up a bit more and I was able to make up some ground. It was pretty darn cool running on the freeway and into the I-90 tunnel. I just kept thinking “I’m usually driving on here. This is crazy.”
I got off the freeway and onto Lake Washington Blvd, where it clogged up a bit again, but after about a half mile the crowd dispersed a bit. I so wish I was able to run with my phone so I could have taken pictures for you guys. It was beautiful! I was pretty focused, but every now and then I’d remember to look up and enjoy the view of the water and the beautiful houses we were running by. I remember thinking, “Who the heck lives in all of these enormous houses?!”
Huebie met me at around mile 5:
And I was able to throw him my running wind breaker/rain jacket that I had taken off at mile 3 and tied around my waist. I thought about taking my hat off too, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to start raining at this point. I wish I’d known because I got really hot with the hat on the last 3-4 miles.
It was around mile 6 that I started thinking, “Would I ever do this again? No, probably not.” This is also right around where my hip flexor started to hurt.
At around miles 7-8 I hit the hill. The course took a sharp left turn onto a hill that might as well have been stairs it was so steep. Luckily it was only about .2 miles long or so, then merged onto Madison Ave (for you locals) and continued on a pretty good up hill for about another mile or so. I had assumed at this point I’d be walking the hill. I did walk a little bit of the steep portion, but ran the entire way up Madison Ave. I was pretty proud of myself.
I hit the downhill (oh, glorious downhill!) then turned off Madison and onto a street that took us into the arboretum. It was beautiful. The trees and all their beautiful colors. Makes me really appreciate this area. That section of the course was up and down hills, but nothing too big. My hip was really hurting at this point, and both my ankles started to ache a bit, but I just tried not to focus on the pain. We came out of the arboretum with about 2.5 miles until the finish. We ran over I-5, then back under, then back over again and into the home stretch.
There was a nice long downhill, which I think we all believed was closer to the finish than it really was. We were all hauling. Then the course veered right (dang you marathon course planners!) and onto another street leading up to the Seattle Center. It was a pretty decent hill to have at the very end of the run. But there were lots of folks out there cheering us on (and one guy with a sign reading “Don’t stop, everyone is watching you.”) so once the course turned into the Seattle Center and finally into Memorial Stadium I gave it all I had and sprinted to the end.
I finished in 2:11:13. I beat my starting pace of 2:40 and my goal pace of 2:30.
I crossed the finish line, got my medal, space blanket and water, and I immediately
stole laid claim to like 5 more waters.
All-in-all, it was a great experience. I was so glad it was over when I crossed that finish line. And even though I thought I’d never do it again, if I could find a flatter course, I’d maybe consider another half. I think 10ks may be my jam though. We’ll see.
Thank you to my fantastic hubby for training through so much of this with me even though he didn’t get to run the half. And to all of you who have given me words of encouragement and support during the last 3 months. You really kept me motivated and I truly appreciate it.