Mapless Adventures

A Runner’s Log: Seattle Rock’N’Roll Half Marathon

Back in December/January, I signed up for the Seattle Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon and in all reality it was a great idea, except I didn’t know about Mexico at this point. When I found out the exact detail of my Contiki Mexico Adventure, I realized that the timing would run right at the beginning of my 12-week training program and I wasn’t sure what my training would look like after my return.

Since December, I have been working hard to get back into better shape and loose some weight I’ve gained.  Prior to Mexico, I was able to run 4-5 miles easily, but my fear was all that hard work would be a waste. I say this only because I didn’t want to miss out of anything in Mexico due to training and Contiki tours tend to be very fast pace and quite a bit of night life. Luckily, by the time I arrived home from Mexico I was still in pretty good running shape and maintained my 4-5 mile runs without difficulty (after a week or two that is).

Here is where my training takes a turn for the worst. The month of May hit and everything in my life turned upside down. I was still able to run a few days a week but nothing to the extent I wanted. Reason being that my lease was up at the end of May and I began the house hunt. I knew I was going to be moving up to Seattle and was searching for a room vs. apartment. As I had an entire apartment worth of furniture, I also needed to start downsizing my life. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to house/room hunt, downsize, work full time, train for a half marathon, and editing nearly 5000 photos from a 2-week adventure before but let me tell you that 1 of the ladder became not as important as the others (running/training). My training slowly started to move further and further down the “Importance” list and before I knew it I was moving into my new home AND started job hunting/interviewing (let’s throw more onto my full plate).

Now it’s the beginning of June and my half-marathon is only 3 weeks away and the longest distance I’ve ran is 5 miles. Talk about panicking. Luckily, moving to the area that I did, I was able to get connected to a local running group and began planning more runs during the week. At this time, my stress level also dropped because I had found a new job within one week of moving north. I was able to build up my endurance levels to tolerate 9 miles consistently at 10:30 pace. I’m not the fastest runner, but I don’t mind. My goal became more of “I am just going to finish” vs. “I’m going to break 2-hours (my initial goal)”.

It’s the 2 days before the race, which means expo time! I didn’t know anyone running this race at the time of registration, but due to my recent joining of the SGLRG, I ended up knowing quite a few people running/pacing this race and one particular runner became my running partner. She got me through my first 8 miler run and knew we’d be able to help each other through this race. Unfortunately, due to an unexpected injury, she had to withdraw from the race, but still joined me at the expo. Have you ever been to an expo for a race before? If you have, then you know how much fun they are. If you haven’t, I highly recommend you go! We spent a good couple hours wandering around the various booth and purchasing some new running gear to get us through our races.

It’s race day now and I’m pumped and ready to go. I got to the finish line, which was located right next to the Space Needle and the Seattle Center, with plenty of time to spare and for a good 30 minutes I simply stared at everyone around me. I always forget how crazy starting lines are at the start of the race and how much adrenaline begins to pump through your veins. I was still in complete awe that I actually was going through with this. The Seattle RnR Half Marathon is not my first half, however it is my first half I sort of trained for (considering the last one I had completed 0 training for and signed up 2 weeks before the race- you’re welcome Beki).

The race started and I was off. Let me tell you a little bit about this course I ran. Not only was the weather absolutely perfect for a race, the course took you through downtown Seattle, headed south with the amazing Mt. Rainier in the foreground, through a beautiful neighborhood along Lake Washington, before heading back towards downtown directly next to the stadiums. After the stadiums, you run back through a little portion of downtown before entering a highway, which places you along the waterfront of the Puget Sound and winds back to the Seattle Center. Seriously, my description of this course doesn’t even begin to describe the actual perfection of what I experienced. This race was by far one of the most gorgeous runs I’ve ever done. The changes in scenery from start to finish was just spectacular. I did stop several times to capture some footage and images (because who would I be if I didn’t) but I came in at a reasonable time, due to my lack of training. I ran 13.1 miles or a half-marathon in 2 hours and 25 minutes, which took off nearly 20 minutes from my first attempt. It wasn’t exactly the time I wanted but it does give me another goal to achieve with my next race.

Yes, my next race. I have registered to race in the Rock’n’Roll Vancouver, BC, Canada Half-Marathon: Inaugural Year. I guess it really is true what they say, once you start running it becomes addicting. I have recently restarted my training and am on week 2 of the 12-week training program. Let’s hope I can manage to stay on track with this training schedule this time. I really am hoping to break a 2:15 half-marathon (and again, I am stressing that I’m not the fastest runner).

Oh, yeah…I forgot to mention that the day of the race was also Summer Solstice, which is a HUGE celebration in Fremont (a neighborhood in Seattle) and so after the race, instead of relaxing and sleeping, I started drinking and spending quality time with my roommates. This turned into a night out on the town and staying up until 2 in the morning. Talk about long, exhausting day. Good thing, I had all day Sunday to recover as I started my new job that Monday. Let me just emphasize, I really don’t like to take things easy. It’s “Go Big or Go Home” as my mother would also say!!!

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