Monday, March 26, 2012

Race Recap: Mercer Island Half Marathon

I won't hold you all in suspense any longer...I DID IT!  I crossed the line of the 2012 Mercer Island Half Marathon in 1 hour 56 minutes 31 seconds.  I owe a ton of credit to my awesome friend and official pacer, Sonia!  She wore the watch and kept us on pace and didn't tell me that I actually had almost 13 minutes to finish the last mile :).
This is Sonia, you should hire her as a pacer :)
Not only was Sonia my pacer she was also my breakfast cook, I know I'm a lucky friend!  We started the morning super early with a fuel filled breakfast of eggs and yogurt.  I also had one of my oatmeal pumpkin protein bars about an hour before the race.

Sonia and I met up with two of my friends from college, Carol and Lisa, and we hung out in the warm community center before lining up to start.  The weather was race PERFECT...sunny and in the 50's for the entire race.  We were in the shade most of the time so I never got too hot.  The race started promptly at 9AM and you literally run around the entire perimeter of Mercer Island.  There are HILLS, but there are also a lot of DOWN hills so I felt like they evened out for the most part with the exception of a doosy of a hill at mile 11, that just isn't cool.
That would be a hill from mile 11 almost to mile 12

The goal was to try and stay under 9:00 pace to leave room for slowing at the end and I used the time I built up during the first half to take it slower on some of the uphills and then used the downhills to kick it up a notch.  At mile 10 when Sonia told me I had over 30 minutes to finish the race in under 2 hours it finally felt real and totally doable.  She refrained from telling me my time for the rest of the race which was smart on her part...I probably would have slowed down :). I felt strong for the whole race and when I approached the finish line seeing 1:57 on the official clock I was SOO excited.  I had my doubts for sure but I knew I would disappointing in myself if I didn't at least try from the start and I'm really glad I did.

Instead of boring you with my thoughts during every mile I just break down some highlights/lowlights in bullet form:
  • This race is REALLY well organized for being on the "smaller" size as far as races go.  They have parking all over the island, packet pickup was a breeze, and the warm community center to wait in before the race is worth the price of registration alone.
  • I didn't run with any music or garmin...crazy I know!  I knew I would be running with Sonia the whole time and my garmin doesn't work anymore so I went sans technology.  
  • I love my Nike Free shoes more than ever now since they glided me through a sub 2 hour half with no pain!
  • Going uphill and downhill for 13.1 miles is ROUGH on your legs, quads burned on the uphill, knees burned on the downhill. If you don't train in the outdoors in Seattle you probably wouldn't be prepared for the hills in this race.
  • The finish line area was open to anyone so there were spectators getting samples and food which made it VERY crowded and I got pretty claustrophobic in the finish tent trying to find water.
I really don't have too many negative thoughts about this race...PERFECT weather, PERFECT running buddy, PERFECT PR!  I still can't believe I ran that fast for 13.1 miles, especially when only 4 short years ago I crossed the finish line of my first half in 2 hours 35 minutes.
    In totally unrelated news you MUST watch this video if you live or are from Seattle...HILARIOUS and they nail every stereotype pretty well!

    Question: Who else raced this past weekend? 


    Xaarlin said...

    Congrats on the great time! That elevation profile looks scary. :)

    I ran the shamrock shuffle 8k. It was fun as always :)

    Ricole Runs said...

    Finally the post I've been waiting for!!!! Congrats congrats congratulations a million times! This is so awesome, you Earned it!! How did you feel? Spent? Could have gone faster? How was the weather? How sore are you? You rock!

    Ricole Runs said...

    Here's what I think is going on with this (but I'm not positive), but this happened to me. Go to the blogger settings front page, where it says "live on blog" and "mobile". At one point in the past month blogger automatically turned on that mobile function, It appears that the mobile function reverts back to the regular commenting settings and then the same for everyone who comments after (which is why it's showing up as blogger commenting right now even though I'm on a PC). So if you disable the mobile version it should work. I think!