it was roughhh. maybe because the novelty of training had worn off since last year, maybe because there are SO. MANY. HILLS. in seattle, but whatever the reason...this race was definitely a challenge. i would just like to point out that i am NOT an athlete, so i guess it's great i even got myself out there. i've never been one of those people who had sports or running come easy to them -- i mean, let's be serious, when my 4th grade teacher told my mom i needed to get involved in a group sport they picked bowling of all things. even now, the day before the race, my parents told me how surprised they were that i was doing something like this. haha! i actually love running -- i love feeling in shape and knowing i can push my body to crazy extremes, and i love getting time all to myself to be alone with my thoughts and blow off steam -- but even though i've literally run hundreds of miles over the past two years, every single mile has been a challenge for me.
so anyway. back to the race! i'd been sort of dreading it until last thursday, when jack and i drove to century link field to pick up my race packet. the expo was awesome! i left feeling SO pumped and ready to go. the rock & roll race series really is a lot of fun -- loud music, cool people, even a really cute race shirt for participants. i highly recommend.
i spent the whole day before the race moving boxes from our apartment (on the 3rd floor of a walkup -- talk about a warm-up) into our new house, and our movers came that afternoon to transport furniture. i planned to get a ride to the race start with a friend from issaquah, so (in order to get as much sleep as possible) i slept in a sleeping bag on the floor of our empty apartment the night before. woke up at 5:30 a.m., met up with my friend ali, and drove to the starting line at the space needle!
the first three miles were a breeze (probably because they were mostly downhill, ha) -- i was clocking 8 minute miles and felt great. then the hills started. i'd trained on hilly roads -- including the road we lived off of, which is the side of a freaking mountain and SO steep -- and was expecting it, but still...hills suck.
we ran from the space needle down to the football / baseball stadiums, over to lake washington and along the shore, up onto a closed portion of the I-90 freeway, then looped back past the stadiums, up the viaduct and back to seattle center. definitely a scenic route, but a tough one for sure. we also ran through two tunnels -- the 90 tunnel after the lake, and another tunnel right before the space needle. in theory i have no problem with tunnels and knew they were coming, but DANG. i do NOT like running in tunnels. i got only a few steps into the first one and had to start talking myself down from a crazy claustrophobia breakdown -- it was so stuffy and dark and crowded and you couldn't see the end once you started, so it felt like you'd never get out. plus i drank too much water in the middle of the race and got a little nauseous, that was fun. i had to walk part of the way because i felt like i was going to lose it.
but i held it together and finished! i ended up walking a bit more than i would have liked and lost most of the lead i'd created in the beginning, but i was SO happy just to be done. i hobbled through the runner's finishing area, collecting my free snacks and drinks (my favorite part :) and then called b to check if he'd seen me cross the finish line. b and jack had slept at the new house while i was at the apartment, and since we'd figured it would be raining i told him not to watch me along the course and just come for the finish line -- but when i called, he was still on the freeway! wah wah. no spectators for me but that's okay. at least he met me at seattle center after and helped me crawl to the car. :)
here are my official stats:
race time: 2:09:51
rank: 4,658 out of 14,249
pace time: 9:55
division: 434 out of 1,523
not the best -- i was a few minutes slower than last year. :( but hey! at least i finished ahead of 10,000 people! ha. we hung out at the race festival for about an hour after i finished, and when we drove home there were STILL plenty of halfers still running. (not to mention all the full marathon people who still had hours left to go...and this is why i will never ever run a full.) two hours after i got home, the clouds rolled in and started pouring rain again. so glad the heavens smiled down on our runners that morning.
i'm glad i did it! maybe someday i'll run another one, but for now i'm definitely taking a little break. i didn't work out at all this week and it has been glorious...nevertheless, i'm already feeling a little antsy to get moving. i think i'll keep my distances a little shorter for a while, though. :)