SURPRISE!! I ran the Seattle Half Marathon yesterday after registering last-minute. I’ll get to that in just a second, though. Let’s rewind to Saturday.
Saturday morning, we were continuing our Thanksgiving weekend up in Mt. Vernon, enjoying plenty of quality family time. We took some family pictures and Joe and the pup and I, of course, had to have one taken of our little family. Now if only Lola could be trained to look at the camera. 🙂
In the early afternoon, we took the pup to a local playfield to have her burn off her energy and for us to burn off the Thanksgiving turkey and mashed potatoes. Lola absolutely loves to run and play fetch. Look at her go!
Once she was sufficiently tired out, we headed back to the house for a delicious lunch of leftover turkey sandwiches (topped with cranberry sauce!) and packed up to head home to Seattle.
Why were we heading back to Seattle at 5pm on Saturday? Well, because I finally pulled the trigger and decided to sign up for the Seattle Half Marathon! A few days ago, I had decided that there was a desire in me to do yet another race before the end of 2012. This is on top of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon that I’m running this coming weekend.
Back-to-back-weekend halves? Sure, why not?! I love running and racing so it sounded like a feasible idea. So, we got into Seattle around 6pm and headed straight to the expo at the Westin Hotel in downtown for registration and packet pickup.
And I proceeded to register, pay up, and receive my packet. It was officially done! My very first time signing up for a last-minute half marathon. Felt pretty badass.
The technical tee (made by Brooks) was a nice bright color and had a good fit.
Of course, I was excited to arrive home to package from Oiselle for their new Runfinity Scarf. This is the scarf in Poppy color, is the same fabric as my favorite — the ultra-cozy Stripey Long Sleeve Scoop Neck Tee, and has a hidden Start and Finish graphic on the scarf.
After settling in at home, we headed over to the Capitol Hill neighborhood to meet up with some friends at 95 Slide. I kid you not, their spice-dusted tater tots are some of the best ever. I’m a self-proclaimed tot expert, so I have experience in these matters. 😉 They made for good carbo-loading on combination with one of my fave IPAs — Ninkasi Total Domination IPA, a Eugene hometown brewery.
Of course, my outfit choice included the Runfinity Scarf and Oiselle’s Born + Raced in Oregon tee. This tee is a 2012 style that’s still available on Amazon for the amazing price of $7! They have many different states available, though make sure to hurry as they’re a limited item.
After 95 Slide, we headed to Boom Noodle where I had a decent veggie yakisoba dish (not pictured).
Went to bed around midnight, but not before assembling my race outfit and essentials.
Sunday morning came and I got up at about 5am to make a bowl of oatmeal with mashed banana, chia seeds, cinnamon, and a dash of vanilla. One of my standard pre-race meals.
Showered up — do any of you ever take a shower before a race? I do because it helps me to wake up. I don’t do it to clean up as I’ll just get sweaty anyways.
Joe was such a sweetheart and dropped me off near the start line at about 7am, so that I could quickly meet up with some members of Oiselle (including Jacquelyn, Meghan, Sally, Kristin, Suzie, and I). Picture borrowed from Oiselle’s Facebook.
With race start time at 7:30am, I was surprised that there weren’t more runners lined up. But, that ended ip being because of the different start times. What was interesting (and welcome!) is that they staggered the start times to be:
This was definitely necessary as there were no assigned corrals for the race, which ended up being a negative for me… more on this in a moment.
After saying good-bye to the other Oiselle birds, I made a quick pitstop to the porta potties, even though I had gone wayyy too many times at home. Doesn’t hurt to be cautious.
Well, by the time I was able to use the porta potty, there was only 5 minutes before start time of the half mary run. There were hundreds more people lined up and, in my mind, I needed to get in and lined up quickly. I chose a point that I thought would be decent as the start line was very visible to me.
Well, that ended up being a negative for me as I spotted the 2:30 pacer up ahead of me. What?!?! I had intended on running around a 1:45 half, so starting behind runners who intended on running at least 45 minutes slower than my time was going to be troublesome. Unfortunately, I was already packed into the crowd and the gun had already blown, so I went with it. Besides, this last-minute half was not meant to be PR-crushing (but nice to have). 🙂
As soon as I crossed the start line, my energy was spent zig-zagging left and right, dodging other runners, hopping onto the sidewalk to bypass the crowds, etc. As a runner/racer, this was not an ideal situation to be in. But, I made the best of it and managed to continually squeeze through the crowds and keep on going.
The Seattle course is known for being hilly and as soon as I hit mile 7.5 or so, at Madison, where Galer connects with Lake Washington Blvd, I thought I was going to not make it. Physically going up that steep, crazy hill was the toughest part of the course. Mentally, I told myself to keep on going, no walking. This was despite many runners stopping to walk.
I’m happy to report that I was able to get up that ginormous hill on Madison with absolutely no walking. Actually, there was no walking at all for me during the whole race! Only 2-3 quick stops for sips of water.
By the time I reached mile 10, I had sufficiently run up enough hills and was finished with that. Joe and the pup were waiting for me on Boylston Ave to spectate, right by our house. Seeing them made me so happy!
The last several miles I had spotted another Oiselle team runner, Suzie Banzer, whom I had met before the race. I could spot her from the orange Every Mother Counts singlets that the Oiselle team had been wearing. If you’re not aware of Every Mother Counts, it’s an initiative to raise awareness about maternal health. Check out this Oiselle blog post about Team EMC Seattle.
Back to spotting Suzie — she and I, during the last several miles of the course, would silently push each other to go faster, go stronger. As Suzie told me, I was her rabbit and helped push her to a course PR of 9 minutes faster year over year. So awesome!!
Once I crossed the finish line, Suzie and I chatted for a bit.
And then made our way into the finishers area indoors where we spotted other Oiselle birds. From L to R: Andrea, Natty, me, and Suzie.
Joe then came to pick me up and we headed to Barrio in Capitol Hill for a post-race brunch with Oiselle. So much fun meeting/getting to know everyone!
For brunch, I started off with Caffe Vita coffee with a shot of Bailey’s. Yum.
And for my meal, I decided to go for it and order the fried chicken and waffles. Man, this was amazing. Almost too pretty to dig into.
The brunch was so much fun and I’m happy that I get to be a part of such a strong, amazing group of runner ladies.
I’m also so very thankful to have the best fiancé and support system in the world. Every race I run, he is always there to cheer me on, help me recover, etc. thank you, Joe!
He also supports my crazy picture-taking requests. What a good guy. 🙂
Also, check out the sweet medal. Very cool dimensional medal.
Now to relax a bit this week and fly to Vegas on Friday to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half. Now… I’m treating this as a “fun run” as well, but it doesn’t hurt to run fast (and start in the appropriate corral/placement!) Can’t wait to get there as Joe and I are flying with our friends Sarah and James, and meeting up with Becky, Christy, Clarissa, and Patty (a hilarious Oiselle teammate)! Partaaay in Sin City!