To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Seattle Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon

Goal: Finish in time to see Everclear. ....  Goal achieved!

3:30am the alarm goes off. I hustled through the shower, covered myself in gear, did my make-up, put on sunscreen, brushed my hair and went out the door with my bagel, banana and water in hand. I went downstairs, out the door and there they were ... the buses to take us to Tukwila. Talk about convenient! In case you missed my post about the expo, Seattle RnR is my Boston. I have an "official" jacket and I was bused to a neighboring town so that I could run to Seattle and the finish line. Oh yeah, who needs BQs when you can just pay out the ass for a fun Rock'n'Roll event? This slow girl better just like the ass paying 'cause that BQ is never gonna happen! Anyway! The bus ride was comfy, nice and warm, and rather long. I was concerned. I mean I had to run all the way back, so how far were we going to go? I sat next to a lovely woman that was from the area and walking the Half. We had pleasant conversation which helped ease my nerves.

At the start area I had zero wait for a bathroom, then just paced around trying to eat my food. I seem to max out at just one banana and half of a bagel. I really need to have more than that - I can tell when running - but still my nerves get the better of me. Out of 39 corrals, I was in 28, so while the elites started running at 7am, I didn't actually start until 7:45. It was a bit of a wait, but I was so busy people watching I didn't mind. But I have one complaint... Why do people show up stinking before they've even gone one mile? And why did I have to be stuck by the woman with terrible breath? Smells would bother me all day. While waiting I did notice a lot of looks at my leg. Eh, what can I say, it had personality that day!

When we finally started running I was more than ready, yet a little concerned. I mean obviously I am not running at my best given the above photo of my leg. This was my first run after the 8 injections I got and my only plan was to not push too hard and end up in pain. I started at a nice pace but couldn't go as fast as I wanted because of the crowd. It thinned out after the first mile though, so I can't complain! 

Something new happened during this race. For the first time EVER I had to stop to use the potty! All the water I was drinking before, combined with my Meniere's meds, sent me to the 2nd batch of bathrooms on the course. I was pretty impressed with how quick that stop was, but since I didn't care about my time I wasn't worried at all. 

I continued on my way and found a lot of entertainment with the high school cheerleaders and various bands lining the course. I enjoy any fun distraction! I was pleasantly surprised when I hit the 5K mark, it came up quick! 

It wasn't until after the 5K mark that I decided to walk a bit. I had not trained for the 13.1 miles at all (since I physically couldn't) so I didn't have my full stamina. Normally this would really mentally mess with me. Not today! I was just enjoying everything. I felt like the energy on the course, from the volunteers to the entertainment to the runners, was just awesome! I didn't mind walking here and there and seeing parts of the US I have never seen.

Around mile 4.5 I realized that I was still running and had NO pain! This was monumental and gave me a boost! Also around this time I had some Clif gel - vanilla. It is really sweet for me, so I just paused at the water stop while I had it. Again, guilt free! What a feeling it is to actually just go for FUN with no pressure! I loved mile 5 to 6 ... all downhill. I felt like I made up for lost time, and actually somewhere in here I think I was running around 9 minute mile pace. Hot dog!

The next 3 miles were all along Lake Washington and it was just lovely! I stopped to pet a dog named Murphy, I photographed a peaceful heron, I paused at a band for a photo, I ran a lot, I walked a lot, I enjoyed it all!

During these three miles I also started feeling like this race was kind of emotional. (Oh wait, it's my Boston, it is supposed to be, right?) I saw an older woman being pushed by a younger couple in a jogger wheelchair, I saw tons of TNT runners with shirts honoring their loved ones, I ran by cancer survivors, we ran down a stretch lined with posters of fallen soldiers (and seriously, they were almost ALL younger than I am), we ran down a stretch with the family members of the fallen soldiers holding countless American flags, we hit a water station manned by soldiers in uniform. Everywhere I looked I was running with people that were running for a cause. It was just nice to see all the support for others out there!

Did I mention still NO pain?? At mile 9 the half marathon split from the full marathon runners - and thank goodness we did! Seriously I didn't need those extra hills! The next huge stretch was all in a gradually uphill tunnel. It was cool that it echoed so much and when the runners got rowdy it got REALLY loud! The DJ in there was pretty funky and playing good music, but I am really happy I had headphones in - they acted as ear plugs! It was so humid, I was very happy to come out around mile 10 and get some fresh air. Along with the fresh air came the view of downtown! 

With only 2 miles to go I was completely shocked when I ran around a corner and there was Biker Boy! Camera in hand, I'm glad he caught me in a moment of feeling REALLY strong! I mean I thought I was going to be amazing in the last 5K of the race. The man with the body odor completely derailed that plan. He smelled so bad, and I couldn't get away from him, I almost gagged. This time the running didn't make me puke, but a fellow runner almost did!

The amazing cheerleader, that he is, Biker Boy took off running after this shot. I knew what he was doing and couldn't stop it. He was waiting for me around the next corner. And now, for the first time ever, you will see below this paragraph and actual photo of me walking during a race!

This is my standard walking pose. I don't know why. Once I walk, the left hand goes on the hip. Sometimes it goes under the skirt, but still on the hip. Even in this shot I was calling him out on being a brat for getting me in a pokey moment. What can I say, I fully admit I cannot run 13.1 miles without walk breaks!

Unfortunately there were many walk breaks between here and the end. I was tired, I swear you see the finish area 3 times before you hit it, I wanted to be done and everything smelled. People, the air, the food vendors. Smells make me want to hurl. But I didn't!

Normally I sprint to the finish. I couldn't even start running until after I hit the 13 mile sign. I mean I was seriously fighting my upchuck reflexes BAD. I was sure it was going to happen and I couldn't find a "safe" place, which is the only reason I didn't. I even pulled my paper towels from my pocket and had them in my hand ready to clean myself off!

Soon enough I was there! I pushed as fast as I could and hit the finish line with a smile! It was my slowest race ever (2:53) but I met my goal... I saw every minute of Everclear! ---and still without pain!

It was a great race. I'll be back next year - and I'll definitely improve on my time - and still have a blast!

Up next ... post-race fun and fellow bloggers!


  1. how does someone stink out of the gate? The b.o. at the end would have gagged me too. It looks like you enjoyed the heck out of Seattle! Great job! I love your hand on hip walk, too.

  2. what a really cool medal!

    gosh've been rockin it since February...

  3. Oh my goodness! Talk about a typo ... I just re-read this and saw I had my finish time at THREE hours 53 minutes instead of TWO! Oops! *Not sure I could keep entertained for nearly 4 hours! :)

  4. Smells really bother me too so I feel your pain! Congrats on a pain free finish! :)

  5. Great job! Looks like a nice course! How was Everclear?

  6. Everclear was awesome! I'll do that post tonight!

  7. Great job! You have a lot of really cool pictures, thanks for sharing them. I also don't understand the funk smells of people. Bleh.

  8. Was it humid that day? That's when the smells really get to me. Even kind of good smells are just too overwhelming.

    Great job on the race! Now you know what it's like for us penguins, meandering along, having a good time :)

    When are we going to see Darcelle, hmmm?

  9. Congratulations! Looks like a fun race. I love Seattle! :)

  10. 2:53 isn't slow! My first half was 2:51 and let's not even get started on Eugene... Bad bad bad! Congrats on doing so well even with your injury! You are amazing!

  11. What a great race!! You are awesome!! And I think you've convinced me to try for it next year!

  12. Nice job! I'm so glad you enjoyed the experience, except for the runners with B.O. (eww!). I HAVE to do this race next year!

  13. Awesome job! So glad you ran pain free and puke free! Sounds like a fun race!

  14. congrats!!! seattle is an emotional race. Just so much inspiration all around you!!

  15. Your awesome! Great job on the race and all the great photos. I really need to get a new camera.

  16. Congrats on such a great race - and how awesome is it that your guy was there to take pictures of you at the race - even if he did catch you in a pokey mode!!!!

    Bummer about the bad smell guy - that always sucks!


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