It’s hard to know where exactly to start this recap, as this race has been a long time in the making, and something I’ve been looking forward to all year, and in a way, for years. I’ll start last Wednesday though. Tim and I flew out to Seattle Wednesday night (my birthday). We got to the hotel, checked in, and then went out for a quick drink. Thursday was American Thanksgiving,
which is a much bigger deal here, than Thanksgiving is in Canada. There wasn’t much open, so there wasn’t a lot to do. We walked around a bit, including walking to the Seattle Center where the race started. Friday, we shopped (it was Black Friday after all), and we picked up our race packages. Saturday we tried to keep a bit easier, with less time on our feet. We walked around a bit but also took in a movie in the afternoon.
I had been mulling over what to wear for this race for a while. The forecast was for rain on Saturday and Sunday, but a temperature of 10 Celcius. Even though the forecast was for rain, it never did rain on Saturday, this made me wonder if it actually would rain on Sunday. I laid both outfits out on the bed and took a picture, then polled a bunch of my running mom friends via Facebook, because as it happens, I’m not capable of making an independent decision. The votes split pretty evenly, but weighed slightly in favor of the skirt. I also was leaning slightly towards the skirt, thinking the temps were easily warm enough for the skirt, and if it did rain, I’d rather have less clothing on to soak up the water.
As you can see below, I did go for the skirt, and was glad that I did. Well until after the race when I was FREEZING. But I think I would have been cold in any case.
I took a couple of pictures from the start line as we were lining up. The space needle, and then one of Tim and I, and a shot of the crowd. The start line was really well organized, with very short porta pottie lines, and the pacers in the crowd that made it easy to seed ourselves.
And then we were off!!
Km’s 1-5 (5:34, 5:49, 5:19, 5:48, 5:41)
From the very start of the race my legs felt sluggish. We headed down 5th Avenue, and up a few slight hills. Going in, I thought that I would have to reign in my pace to not go out too fast, but I didn’t ever have to really hold back. I wondered if this was a sign that things were going to really break apart later, but I decided that I wanted to go for a 4 hr finish at the very least and just went with it. I tried to keep my paces between 5:30 and 5:45, but didn’t stress about where exactly they fell. The early part of the marathon seemed to go by fairly slowly for me.
Km’s 6-10 (5:57, 5:57, 5:20, 5:33, 6:39)
The paces in this section are a bit messed up. Km’s 6-7 were in the tunnel approaching the floating bridge across to Mercer Island, and km 10 was in the tunnel on Mercer Island. I think km 10 included an extra 200 meters or so where my GPS lost the signal. My legs actually started to loosen up a bit through the first tunnel, and I wondered if my initial sluggishness was just that they needed to ‘wake-up’. The feeling didn’t last long though, and I soon started to feel like the pace was taking effort again. Ah well, it was nice while it lasted!
Km’s 11-15 (5:34, 5:35, 5:41, 5:37, 5:29)
I didn’t feel too bad for this section. It was very flat, and was really getting scenic. The wind was noticible while we were on the bridge back, but otherwise, it wasn’t bad.
Km’s 16-20 (5:44, 5:37, 5:35, 5:31, 5:44)
We were headed out towards a park, and turnaround, we got a look at the leaders headed back towards the finish. I was still feeling tired but alright, the pace wasn’t coming easily, but also wasn’t too hard. I was looking forward to the halfway point where I could start counting down. Looking back at the numbers, I’m really happy with how evenly paced these km’s were.
Km’s 21-25 (5:31, 5:39, 5:36, 5:53, 5:36)
We had looped around Seward park, and were on our way back now, hooray! I also put my earbuds in somewhere shortly after 21 km’s. I had decided that I would hold off on listening to music until the second half, as a reward, and to give myself something to look forward to. I’m glad I did. It was nice to take things in during the first half, and also to really appreciate the distraction of the music in the second half. I’m starting to feel my legs more during this section, but am really focusing on keeping a positive mindset and pushing forward. I’m telling myself every positive motivational quote I can think of, and it’s working. I’m happy, having fun and running.
Km’s 26-30 (5:40, 5:43, 5:36, 5:36, 5:39)
Still really even splits going on. I’m pushing forward, really enjoying the music. I keep telling myself, I’m strong, way stronger then all of YOU (talking in my head to everyone around me), AND if nothing else, I’m much more stubborn than any of you. Which I am. Just keep running.
Km’s 31-35 (5:40, 6:01, 5:43, 7:04, 5:21)
Here is where the separate the women from the girls. This is what you’re made of, or so I tell myself. I run through the 20 mile mark at almost exactly 3:00 hrs, I’m thinking MAYBE just maybe I can get in under 4 hrs, just keep pushing. Which I do until km 34 where I meet the first ‘real’ hill. I turn the corner and see it, and decide to walk it. Good call IMO. It was steep, I walked as fast as my tree trunks for legs could carry me, and then tried to convince my quads to let gravity take them down the other side. I’m surprised I didn’t go ass over tea kettle, but I did make up a bit of time.
Km’s 36-40 (6:15, 6:02, 5:54, 5:50, 5:57)
I think km’s 36 and 37 still had some hills, and then around 38 we turned onto a street and right into the crazy headwind that had mostly left us alone so far. Well it decided to let us have it for these last few km’s. I ran along a cement wall barrier trying to stay out of the wind as much as possible, but there really wasn’t much escape. My pace also dropped off here, the hills had taken any last pep that I might have had out, and it was all I could do to keep moving. I kept focusing on moving forward, every step was getting me closer to being done. Somewhere in here (38-ish km’s) someone had a flat of Krispy Creme donuts… Um no thanks, blech!
Km’s 41-42.2 (5:39, 6:08, 5:58)
There was a bit of downhill in km 41, which I did my very best to use to my advantage. I couldn’t make my legs move any faster though, then km 42 had another uphill, ugh, just keep running! I was just running on pure mental power here. My legs were not happy, but they were obediently still putting one in front of the other. My kick at the finish wasn’t much of a kick, but I gave it all I had and was very very happy to be finished!
Final time:4:04:20. 775 out of 2117 overall (37%), 190 out of 765 female (25%), and 35 out of 118 AG (30%).
Going into this race, I really expected my time was going to be at least 5 minutes faster, but also didn’t really know how things would go. I haven’t run a marathon in 8 years, plus, I had taken a lot of cross training, or reduced mileage days during taper because of my ankle and achilles injury. Given everything, I’m honestly thrilled to bits about this race. The thing that I’m most proud of is my attitude and mental toughness. Being mentally strong has always been something I’ve been good at, and pretty proud of, and then at SeaWheeze in August I felt like I had been mentally beat down. It surprised me and really sucked. I had decided ahead of time with this marathon, that my primary goal was to not get angry and bitter during the race, that I’d be strong, but happy. I think taking this attitude really took a race, that might have been a tough slog and made it a lot more fun. I did not turn down a high five, I smiled at everyone who was cheering, and even when I was feeling tired, I kept telling myself ‘fake it till you make it’. I know for a fact that I left every ounce of energy out on the course yesterday, my legs are reminding me of that fact with every step I take today.
I am also thrilled and so proud of my amazing husband. He ran also, and also scored himself a huge PR. It has been an amazing few days away, and I’m so lucky to have a partner in life that I don’t always get to run with, but who ‘get’s it’ and supports my passion.