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

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Seattle R'n'R Half - Take Two!

During this, my 15th half marathon, I realized it was sort of a passing of the torch. I ran my first with Lesley and she helped get me through that finish line. Here we were again together at a race, saying Hi and wishing each other well before the start. This time, however, she wasn't pulling me along, I was the one coaching someone to their first finish line! That thought made this race even more special. A race with so many blogger friends from all over, a challenging course, perfect race weather, a fun concert... it was a Great day to be a runner!

Becka, Giraffy, Fruit Fly, Lesley and Tricia
Kim!!
All dolled up in my 80's attire, I was happy to open my hotel door and see Giraffy, Becka and L! "Oh my, you're wearing all the colors!" I heard Giraffy say. Funny girl! The four of us girls and Man Friend all walked together to the Space Needle and split up so I could check my bag and get back to the corrals. Why is bag check always so far away?? I was able to meet up with Kim before the start and she convinced MF to slip into my corral and just run with me. Rule breaker! And so break a teeny rule we did. After a quick photo with the girls I went back to my own corral and before I knew it I was at the start line. I Love Rock and Roll was blasting - perfect song to start off my 4th Rock'n'Roll half marathon!

I pretty much told MF to just "follow me" as we navigated the first mile and turns. We already discussed how I run the tangents at races, seeing no need to add extra distance by taking wide turns. We hauled ass and then settled in on a comfy pace once the course was straightened out. Let's talk about the course! I liked it! I found it to be much more challenging than last year's course, so it is best I was feeling healthy this year. For the most part we ran up the smaller hills. A couple of times I had us walk for about 30 seconds on the ups just to get a mini break for our legs... because once I head down I don't back off! Also, I walked through each water stop - except for one, which we'll get to in a second.

"Oh Sh!t!!"
Coming up around mile 4 I took my first gel. I used that moment to glance behind and make sure I didn't have Giraffy in my sights. Starting one corral behind me, I was certain the girls would fly by me - but here I was, just a mile from the split, and no sign of my friends! Sweet! ;) Continuing on feeling really strong I rounded the corner and saw it. The "Oh Shit Hill". I named it that because pretty much every person in our area rounded the corner, looked up at that wall and said, "Oh shit!" I ran about oh, 3 steps and said, "who the hell am I kidding?" and started walking climbing quickly. Sure enough L went flying by me. I was rather impressed! I mean she scaled up that wall like it was nothing!! At the top she was paused and I jokingly told her that now I was passing Her! She said she was waiting for the others, which told me they were close. MF looked back and said he saw the sparkle skirts just rounding the corner. I didn't even look, I just took off and flew down that hill, only pausing a bit to grab water. But until I hit the merge I was NOT giving them a chance to catch up. Success! After the split I even said, "Okay, we can chill out now, the race is done!"

Last year this race was rather emotional. All of the people running for cancer, and then the section honoring fallen soldiers. This year it was a bit different because not only was all of that happening again, but this time I was running with MF in his Navy shirt. People were thanking him for his service. I guess it put a whole new twist and reality on it for me. As I recall the flags were on a gradual incline - yeah, flew up that one! Then came the tunnel. Last year I walked it. This year? Not a single walking step. We hit the tunnel and my goal was to run the entire thing. I nearly took out a girl at the water stop when I did a fly by grabbing of water and Gatorade. But I did it! NO walking, I freaking Loved it!! There was even a point half way through that tunnel that I said, "I'm freaking out about how great I feel. I mean this is freaking awesome!"

Jazz Hands through the finish!
From that point on we just kept getting stronger. Around mile 9 I had a first ... I took a second gel. So now I had eaten food before the race with no problem and successfully taken two gels. I'm improving! That gel must have helped me because the last 5K was our strongest and we had negative splits. During the last mile and final tunnel I was just zoned in, picking off runners one at a time. With .4 to go All That Jazz came on. "Sweet! I get to finish to MY song!" And I was off. Jazz hands were in full motion. I was focused on the finish and flying by so many people. Then we turned the corner. "What the hell? Seattle HATES me!" I yelled. I took a few fast walking strides up the final wall and then let it all go until the finish line, with mile 13 being my fastest of the entire race.

The announcer actually told everyone to check out my outfit. Naturally I had to ham it up and do some mid-run bows while fluffing my sparkle skirt as I came up to the finish line. Imagine my joy when I ran my toughest half marathon course and had my second fastest time! I was less than 4 minutes from a PR. And with that, this was the single best race performance of my life! I am still so excited about it!

We got our medals, water, food, space blankets, had photos taken and then just wandered around basking in the glory. For the rest of the day we couldn't stop talking about how awesome we are! Picked up our bags, got my Pacific Peaks bonus medal and then grabbed my spot for the Gym Class Heroes concert. No joke - I took 80 photos/video at that concert (that post is coming!). I was able to finally meet one of my favorite bloggers, Emily, and also ran into Jennifer on my way out of there. Sadly I didn't bump into Travie McCoy. Shucks!

So, to sum up all of this babble.... I freaking LOVED this race! Zero complaints! I might actually consider going back next year to do it again! Threepeat?!?


10 comments:

  1. INCREDIBLE!! Way to kill it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great job RR, you've been working hard and deserve it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome! Sounds like you had a strong race!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congrats on the neg splits! Way to go!
    U R getting stronger.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aren't you just the cutest?! Sounds like a fun race. If you do a threepeat, maybe I will join you! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, Oregonians can invade ... again!

      Delete
  6. Go you!! You rocked it!! I loved your description of the first hill - man I couldn't believe it coming around the corner! So glad we finally met for real!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right?!? That hill was brutal! And then the finish line - it was like P.S. ... remember that one hill??

      Delete
  7. Congrats on a great race! Very nice outfit-even cuter than I imagined!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for reading my little blog, your comments rock my compression socks!! ºoº