Saturday, June 30, 2012

Race Recap: Seattle Rock n Roll Half Marathon

I know, I know it's been a week since this race and I haven't shared a recap yet. Well here it is. It's pretty pic heavy because I took like 30+ photos on the course. A first for me for sure.

I decided to do this race while I was training for the Country Music half. I already had a trip to Seattle planned to attend a conference for work June 19-22, then I saw the Seattle Rock n Roll race was June 23rd. I can just stay the weekend, I thought, and it's only about 8 weeks between Nashville and Seattle so I can just keep my mileage up and it will be easy peasey.


Oh, how I forgot after training 4 months for a race you just want to be done training for something. Combined with the fact I was scheduled to begin training for a sprint triathlon this summer, I didn't quite do the mileage I should have during those 8 weeks.

With my focus on triathlon I only ran 1-2 times a week and the longest run I did was 8 miles. I've never felt so physically unprepared for a race before. And that's BEFORE I got to Seattle and was go, go, go for work during the 4 days leading up to the race. Come the Thursday before the race, I didn't even know where to pick up my race packet or how transportation to the race would work.

My co-worker suggested I just eat the race fee and skip out. For some reason that was never an option for me. I don't bow out on things just becausee they are hard or uncomfortable. Even if I walked every mile of the course, I was going to finish this race.

I got up at 5 AM and quickly got ready before the Starbucks in the hotel opened at 5:30 AM. I got a coffee, banana and wheat bagel from Starbucks for breakfast. I was lacking the protein I normally consume race morning, but as you've probably gathered I wasn't exactly prepared for this race and SBUX didn't have any peanut butter. Fail.

Even though the start line was only about a mile from my hotel, I took a taxi to the start line. I originally planned to take the monorail, but apparently you have to buy tickets for that in advance. I still got to the race start by 6 AM.

After waiting for about an hour (and meeting some Nashvillians in the process), I proceeded to the porta potties before getting in my corral. This guy was freaking out because it was 15 minutes before the 7 AM start and the line at the bathroom was so long. He was in corral 15. NEWSFLASH at these huge Rock n Roll events, if you are not in the first 5 corrals, you don't have to be in your corral right at 7! He had a good 30 minutes before his corral would start, but he was so so anxious.

The gun went off while I was in the porta potty. Then, I got in my corral (39 of 47) and waited....and waited...

And waited some more. It was like 8:07 before we crossed the start line.

Lots of cheer squads out on the course with the bands. Some dressed up, like these KISS girls. Overall the bands were more punk/grunge than Nashville's country and pop/rock country bands.

The race started out great and honestly I felt like I had a really strong race for not really being as diligent training as I should have been. Since I'd only done up to 8 miles, I expected to hit a wall at mile 9 or 10 and walk the last part of the race. Amazingly, this never happened and I was able to keep up with my quarter mile intervals of running/walking. Sometimes running a half mile before walking if I felt really good.

This girl was the BEST RACE SPECTATOR EVER. Seriously, is this not the best sign you've ever seen at a race before?
Good thing she was where she was because we had just turned the corner (around mile 5) and saw this HUGE incline. This picture does not do this incline justice, but believe me it was STRAIGHT UP for about 2-3 blocks.

Half way up the hill.

After tackling that incline, we headed towards Lake Washington.

Near the lake, they had a large group of military supporters and right along the course they had set up photos of killed in action military. So emotional.

After passing by the lake and going through a tunnel we ended up running on an interstate towards downtown.

Entering the downtown area, another view of the space needle. This was around mile 11.

Running along the byway with the Harbor to the other side. Great views for the last few miles.

Finished #5! My official time was 3:16:28, which is the 2nd fastest half I've ran. Not bad for piss poor training. Best finisher photo ever - love the space needle.

Gym Class Heros were playing at the finish. I thought that was kind of fun!

I still can't believe how incredibly great I felt during and even after the race. I never hit a wall. I never thought, "I can't do this." I felt amazingly blessed for this strong body I have. It allows me to abuse it by not training the way I should, and then busting out 13.1 miles.

After the race and a quick shower, I had the most amazing burger and onion rings at 8oz Burger Bar. Then, explored Capital Hill, went shopping, got the best cup of coffee, then walked down to the water and rode the ferry over the Bainbridge Island. We spent the afternoon/evening exploring the small town on the island and having drinks at the cutest place overlooking the water.

This race was everything I wanted it to be (a 13 mile tour of Seattle) and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an awesome destination race!


marisol said...

I am so proud of you for not quitting and doing an amazing job! See you can do amazing things.

Lauren- Old Red Boots said...

I'm so proud of you!

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