Sunday, June 17, 2012

Rock and Roll Seattle Memories

As I think about running my 9th half marathon this weekend at the Seattle Rock and Roll I can't help but get all sappy and think of where I was only 4 short years ago...get ready for feelings folks!

The month of June and the Seattle race is where all this half marathon and eventually marathon racing business began.  Before the Rock and Roll race series came to Seattle the race was the Seafair Marathon and Half Marathon.  Myself and 4 of my best gal pals trained our little butts off for it starting at about 3 miles and making out way up to the half marathon distance on race day.  Let me take you back on a little trip down memory lane (since I didn't have a blog back then) with my history with the Seafair turned Rock and Roll race...

2008 - Seafair Half Marathon - 2 hours 35 minutes

2008 was by far the warmest year I've ever run this race and being my first half marathon having it so warm from the very beginning of the day was a big mental barrier for me.  I stuck with my gal pals for a good portion of the race which boasted way more hills than anticipated but all the hoses and sprinklers put out by people along the course will VERY appreciated.  The race started at Husky Stadium, ran over the 520 bridge and winded it's way to end in Bellevue.  I remember having to walk around mile 10 in the scorching sun of downtown Bellevue and almost crying because I felt so defeated.  I gave myself a point in a distance where I would start running again and I did and I even somehow found enough energy to sprint towards the end.  I felt a HUGE sense of accomplish finishing my first half marathon all the while wondering "I think I can run this faster...".
pre-race with my ladies
post race BBQ celebration with friends and family
So, this race started my little running journey with a little over 2 and half hours 13.1 mile PR to smash in the future!

2009 - Inaugural Rock and Roll Seattle - 2 hours, 18 minutes
I was a little skeptical of this HUGE race and how well it would get pulled off in Seattle and while they had some shuttle bus logistical nightmares it was clear the Rock and Roll race series knows what the heck they are doing.  My whole team of ladies ran this race as well and for most of us this was our 3rd or 4th half marathon.  I have to be honest and say I don't remember too much about this race other than the fact that people freaked out over seeing a bald eagle on the course (tourists!) and that there was this  huge dog hanging out a second floor window of a house watching all the runners go by like a spectator.

This photo makes me really happy!
I was starting to shave some time off my half marathons, running this one in under 2 and half hours!

2010 - Seattle Rock and Roll - 2 hours 11 minutes

Second year of the Rock and Roll, same course from Tukwila to Seattle and same group of ladies.  At this point we had visions of marathons in some of our futures, including Lindsey, who actually acted on the vision and ran the 2010 Seattle Rock and Roll marathon.  Seeing her finish immediately started an email chain between a few of us and before we knew it the 2011 Chicago Marathon was on our calendar.  I would definitely say this is the race that fueled the desire to try a marathon.

Lindsey finishing the marathon STRONG!
Still ticking time off the half marathon clock and after finishing in 2 hours 11 minutes, I'm starting to think about that illusive sub 2 hour half...

2011 - Seattle Rock and Roll - 2 hours 3 minutes

Hey, I was blogging then so you can all go read about it here if you want!  I had semi-dreams about running this sub 2 hours but wasn't expecting too much since it is such a crowded race and finding our groove in the beginning can be a little tough.  Although the 4th year running this race felt a lot like the previous years, in 2011 I wasn't just going to taper off my running after this race like I usually did.  Marathon training was in full swing after June 2011 and I didn't stop until October!
It was our 4th running anniversary!
Of course you all know the end to my sub 2 hour dreams and they came true this year at the Mercer Island Half Marathon in March.


Well to be determined of course!  This year the Rock and Roll race has some big changes including a new start and finish line with an almost entirely different course.  While I can't say I'm excited about running in South Seattle the course doesn't look half bad and Katie, Lindsey and myself from our original 5 ladies will be running again this year.  Of course, being part of this awesome blogging community has made my excitement for this years race go up about 100% and I can't wait to meet so many new ladies, reunite with my Mt. Si Relay crew and meet my Nuun Ragnar teammates!

So what are my goals for this half?  I don't have any :).  I got my sub 2 hour and that is good enough for me this year.  Will I still run my hardest? Probably...why else would I pay an insane amount of money to run on city streets ;).

On a weather related has NEVER rained during this race so knock on wood it keeps up the streak. I'll be back later this week with an official forecast from some experts at NOAA...stay tuned!

Question: Whose running the Seattle Rock and Roll?  Are you going to the blogger meetup at 3:00PM at the expo on Friday?  

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