I have a thing for matching people. Brooks made it possible for me to do so at a race so as you can guess, I was pretty happy about that.
I woke up at 5:40, ate a bagel, changed and met the girls at 6 o’clock in the lobby. We walked to the starting line (a little less than a mile from our hotel) and went into the VIP tent for a little while. I ate some grapes there and got excited to get back to the area after the race for massages and post-race celebrating.
We then walked over to our corrals and took a million pictures because that is just part of a blogger’s responsibilities;)
I’m always amazed how many people are there at Rock’n’Roll races and how they are able to organize everyone so perfectly.
This race offers a marathon, 1/2 marathon and 8k. The 8k sold out!! We all started right at 7:00 a.m.
One thing I love about doing this race is that Seattle gets light SOOOO early during this time of year. I love that because it is bright for all of the pre-race activities too. Sunlight wakes me right up. I don’t love starting races when it is still dark outside because it makes me feel like I should be in bed with about 10 blankets on top of me.
The coolest part for me was the fireworks that went off from the startling line when the elites started.
And then we were off:
The first mile is downhill which really helps to get your legs moving. You then get an uphill and you run through the city for a bit. There is one tiny portion that is an out and back (like .35 miles worth) and the turn around spot gets a little congested but other than that the entire run is a big loop kind of a thing. There are parts where you are running alongside to the marathon course and portions where they cut off a different way but everything is perfectly marked.
The first 5 miles did not feel great for me. Whenever I travel I make sure to eat all of the food and treats and obviously our nutrition affects how we feel so it took me a few miles to feel feel good.
Right around the 10k you pass under the Brooks guitar man. At this point I was feeling a lot better… just in time for my favorite spots:
Running by Lake Washington is my absolute favorite part of the entire race. It is shaded and on a gorgeous path that runs right along the water for a while.
I SPY RUN HAPPY!!!!!
Running through the Memorial always gives me huge goosebumps. If you run this race make sure to take in every second of this part because there is nothing like it. This part is what makes it one of my favorite races.
The two parts that I don’t like about this course one bit—> the two tunnels. I don’t know why but they feel like they go on forever (I think the first one is like 3/4ths of a mile) and they are just really hot and stuffy. I always slow down in them even though I want to get out of them as soon as possible ha.
Maybe the views for the rest of the race spoil me so when I get in the tunnel I just get extremely bored.
You run along the interstate for a bit (with some ups and downs… FYI this course is hilly!!!) and then you come back to some water views. Running along the water is the best. Whether it is the ocean, a lake, a river or a pond… doesn’t matter. I just love running by the water.
At about the 10 mile mark it started getting hot. I had water or gatorade at most of the aid stations but I didn’t take any gus. When I’m not ‘racing’ I don’t really need anything during the 1/2 and instead I just take 500 pictures and listen to all of my favorite songs. PS I can’t say it enough—> this course is beyond beautiful. There is so much to see and a ton of variety along the whole thing.
There is a great (I’m trying to start using positive words with hills instead of the normal words I use to explain hills;) hill at mile 10 that will get your legs burning but there are a lot of spectators at that point to keep you motivated to get to the top.
I started feeling the best that I had felt all day at mile 12 so I sped up a bit. I didn’t run the tangents well at all so when 13 miles beeped on my garmin I still had a bit to go. The end of the race is tough. You go down and then UPPPP a short and steep hill but man, I was so out of breath on that uphill and couldn’t recover my breathing to give any sort of speed for the last stretch to the finish line. Turns out I should probably run up hills or something more than just once a week on my trail runs.
My splits from my garmin—> 6:54, 6:54, 7:15, 7:09, 7:09, 7:05, 7:10, 7:14, 7:46, 7:08, 7:07, 7:12, 6:43, (7:18 pace for last little bit… I didn’t do great with the tangents an weaving so I had more to go).
I’ve gotten really good at asking strangers to take my picture.
After the race it is just like a big party. The weather was perfect and so people were just hanging out and celebrating for a long time.
At the VIP area I was able to get a killer 10 minute massage and dig into a fruit parfait. They also had hot dishes to eat too but I just needed something cold and refreshing.
Our group had three PRs!!!! I seriously adore these girls and I look forward to our yearly trip so much because everyone is so nice/drama free/happy/hilarious.
The medal and I loved having my name on the back of my shirt!
I wanted to use this race as a marker to see what my current fitness is by testing out what paces felt hard, medium or comfortable. Final conclusion—> I’ve got a lot of work to do in order to hit my goal in 16 weeks. I definitely wasn’t racing this race but my pace was not easy at all (is running every easy? I think there are easier runs but it is never ‘easy’ ). I felt comfortable at parts and had fun but I was definitely putting in work especially on the hills. I started to compare my current fitness to my fitness from when I ran my 1/2 marathon PR which was 11 minutes faster than Saturday but I had to stop myself from comparing. I wanted to take the last 8 weeks to recover from Boston and to do more strength training which means that slowing down is inevitable! It has been my off-season for speed so that I can be ready to train for my marathon starting now.
Comparing yourself to where you used to be is pointless. Focus on where you are now and put in the work that it takes to get to where you want to be.
I am confident that with my coach’s training plan and a whole lot of work that I am going to be able to slowly build up my strength and speed for St. George.
Time to get to work.
I’m really excited.
Marathon training is my favorite.
Favorite race distance to train for?
Most BEAUTIFUL course that you have ever done? Have you ever done a Rock’n’Roll race?
What do you do with your race medals?
Ever been to Seattle? Favorite city to go visit?