Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Race Recap: 2013 Seattle Half Marathon

Hey guys! I didn't pass out on the side of the course or even have to walk (that much!).  On Sunday, December 1 myself, Meghan, Becky, Nicole, and Lindsay all ran the Seattle half marathon.  I have never run this race before but have heard great things about it and boy did it live up to all the hype.  It is a smaller (~7,000 half runners) very local race. I absolutely love that the winners of the half and full are always from around the Seattle area and that I saw so many people I knew along the course out supporting their favorite runners.  Many thanks to Robyn, Joyce, Holly and Mason, Meghan, and Sarah for coming out and cheering!

So...Sunday morning my alarm went off at 5:15AM so I could consume my regular breakfast of eggs and toast with a side of Nuun Kona Cola well before race time.  Leading up to this race all I was thinking was that this was probably a bad idea being severely undertrained and ran through every excuse in the book not to run...but I sucked it up even though the thought of sleeping in like someone else was very appealing:

The weather forecast called for 90% chance of rain and super windy conditions but the temps were in the mid-50s so I decided on shorts with compression socks, long sleeves, Ragnar Ambassador singlet, and Nuun hat to keep my head dry.  It was pouring when I went to sleep the night before but not ONE drop fell on our heads during the race...THANK YOU WEATHER GODS!

I drove over to Meghan's house and she drove us down to the Seattle center where we easily found free street parking blocks from the start, used the lovely indoors restrooms at QFC and made our way over to meet Becky and Lindsay near the start.  We stayed nice and warm inside a coffee shop literally a step away from the start line.

Becky and Lindsay
Becky and Lindsay left to find Nicole and Meghan and I snuck in the start corrals and lined up near the 2:15 pacer. The goal was to take the first half ridiculously slow since we were sooo undertrained and since most of the hills were in the second half.

It was a beautiful morning with the sun coming up, the Christmas lights still being on downtown, and NO RAIN! 

The running itself was pretty uneventful. Meghan and I kept a 10:15-10:20 pace for most of the first half just chatting along the way.  The course takes you straight down 5th avenue downtown and then you go into the I-90 express tunnels (so gross in there, hot, humid, sweaty...eww!) and then you travel north on Lake Washington Blvd.  We stopped there to use a public restroom and ended up running into Lindsay, Nicole and Nicole's friend Jordanne when we got out. We ran together for a little bit all taking a nice walk break on a huge hill leading up to Madison Ave.  

Nicole, Lindsay, Jordanne
Meghan and I kicked it up on the Madison hill and ran the rest of the way up it and then began our trek through the Arboretum. I found this part really fun actually...I liked the winding hills and beautiful scenery and shockingly at this point I was still feeling pretty strong.  My hips and IT bands were getting pretty tight and Meghan and I were doing much chatting at that point but we kept each other motivated by just being next to each other.  We both said we probably would have walked more if we weren't running with each other...yeah for running buddies!

After you exit the Arboretum you have a couple miles to go and you get wound around near I-5 and then make your way back to the Seattle Center via the South Lake Union area.  My legs were hurting at this point and actually started to go a bit numb and tingly but I just tried to ignore it knowing we had such a short distance to go.  According to Meghan's garmin we picked up the pace quite a bit at the end and we both sprinted past tons of finishers in the chute to finish in about 2 hours 15 minutes!

Meghan and I cruising to the finish (courtesy of @sarahchan215)
After you finish you are directly funneled into an indoor recovery area which is quite genius considering the temps for this race are usually much colder/rainier/snowier then they happened to be that morning.  My only very small complaint was that the recovery area with all the food/drinks and stuff for runners was open to the public and pretty crowded. I prefer a small are just for runners to gather post race fuel and then exit to meet up with friends and family.  We did find some chocolate milk and pretzels pretty fast so I was happy!  

Jordanne, Nicole, Lindsay, me, Becky, Meghan

Overall, such a fun course with great friends and Meghan and I both surprised ourselves with how well we did. I haven't ran a half marathon that slow since 2009 but I didn't care...I'm just going to call running 13.1 miles after not running that distance since Ragnar a win! 3 days post race and my legs aren't feeling too bad...a little stiff still but no extreme soreness or injuries to speak of.  

Many many thanks to Meghan for hoofing along next to me for the whole race and Jennifer who I bought my bib from!  Even though I've been a part of this awesome running/twitter/blogger community for a few years now I'm always surprised and thankful for how supportive everyone is and how much more fun I have at races now that I know so many people.  

Shout out to Nuun and Ragnar for being awesome companies I get the privilege of being an ambassador for and who have both helped broaden my running buddy community in ways I could have never imagined.  

So that's it for racing in 2013...the year of fun running and relay running for sure!  Looking forward to what 2014 has in store.