Women of Wonder 5k – 9/8/13

I’m only a month late on posting this, but I ran this inaugural 5k  earlier this month with my friend Laura, who ran it as her first 5k ever. Yay Laura! This race was created as a replacement for the very girly, very newbie-friendly Iron Girl 5k that has since become a triathlon (and which I ran as my own first 5k back in 2010). So everyone got a medal (I think this is the only 5k around here that gives out medals), you got a free brownie right after finishing the race (YESSSS), there was a wine garden, and plenty of girly vendors and free samples. It’s honestly a pretty fun race to run and due to the high percentage of new runners the average finishing time was around 40 minutes (meaning I somehow placed 10th in my age group even though there were around 1500 participants).

Since it’s such a lady-oriented race I broke out the ol’ running skirt I haven’t worn in about a year and which I feel kind of dumb running around my neighborhood in, but which I feel a little more comfortable in at a race like this. I also wore compression socks (which I normally wouldn’t for a 5k) because I hadn’t shaved in…. a little too long. Laura and I took a photo at the WOW backdrop that had been setup:

I tried out the Wave Sayonaras for this race (which I've only worn on the dreadmill thus far)

I tried out the Wave Sayonaras for this race (which I’ve only worn on the dreadmill thus far). I think I also need to get another running tank in a different color since I wear this one at practically EVERY RACE

The race actually went pretty well – I decided to go for it, and after the first mile of weaving around a thick mob of other runners and walkers (I’d started the race with Laura at the back of the field) I was able to let my feet fly a bit. I have kind of a problem holding a steady effort over the course of a 5k – I don’t know if it’s my own unwillingness to feel uncomfortable or a lack of training, or lack of speedwork, or all of the above – though I’m pretty sure 5ks (if you’re trying to race them) aren’t supposed to feel good, but are supposed to feel like PAIN and MISERY. Regardless I was definitely feeling all of those things since I rarely ever hold an effort-pace longer than about a half mile, and I tried to keep it going all the way through the finish.

I hate this photographer's watermarks. Srsly, ugliest evar

The look of death. Also, I hate this photographer’s watermarks. Srsly, ugliest evar

I did end up running the fastest 3+ miles I’ve ever strung together in sequence, though it wasn’t a PR:

I need to work on speed, methinks

I need to work on speed, methinks

I want to get faster. It’s been 3 years since I started running, dangit – a 9 min mile should be my easy pace by now, right? (Maybe not if you’re a lazy bum like I am?) Guess I need to do a little research and maybe start running hills? (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO)

One of the photographers hailed us right after the race, in our sweaty, red-faced glory:

once again with the crap-crap-crappy watermarks. They could at least make them a little more transparent

once again with the crap-crap-crappy watermarks. They could at least make them a little more transparent

Our friend Rachel caught up to us afterward (she’d come out to watch us run and juuuust caught sight us leaving the starting chute):

apparently when told to "make a face" I revert back to my days in Japan

apparently when told to be silly I revert back to my days in Japan

And of course, what better way to celebrate your first 5k than BOOZE:

NOT BEER.

NOT BEER.

Afterward we moseyed to a Starbucks across the street (fully packed with ladies in running gear) and went up to the roof to hang out for a bit, and upon which I actually got SUNBURNED from sitting with my back to the sun for about 15 min. Clearly I need to drag my pasty white self out into the elements more often.

Next up for me is the Victoria BC half marathon on Oct 13th – and while I’m definitely training better for this race than I did last year, I’m a little worried that the 2-month cough I endured this summer took more out of my fitness than I wanted it to (since I had to cut mileage down and couldn’t train as hard). I’m hitting 90% of my training at this point but I’m going to have to face some rain this weekend on my first 10-miler of this training cycle (NOT RAIN! I’m such a wuss)… which may be a good test for how the race may or may not go, if this current weather holds up… though the forecast is looking a little promising!

They say it (was) my birthday

Geez, I haven’t updated in about 10 years. But I’ve been doing things!

– I turned 34 in late August! (GAH! and aside from contemplating mortality and the thought of 40 looming in front of me, it was a pretty good day.) My best friends and I went to a newish restaurant in ye ole hometown and ordered a bottle of wine for the table, which was a first for me. We polished it off in no time…

My friends and I on my birthday (top) and 10 years ago in Japan.

My friends and I on my birthday (top) and 10 years ago in Japan, before I discovered the wonders of bangs. Now you know I color my hair.

– I went on a real vacation (for the first time in what feels like eons) with my best buddies in Ocean Shores. It was mostly overcast and 60 degrees and I skipped 5 days of workouts, but at least I got to ride horses on the beach. (Butt was SO SORE afterward)

My assigned horse was named Silver and liked to be on the outside of the group away from the others. Fine by me, I got to ride right by the surf!

My assigned horse was named Silver and liked to be on the outside of the group away from the others. Fine by me, I got to ride right by the surf!

Laurel and her horse Chester who was super competitive and wanted to pass the other horses.

Laurel and her horse Chester who was super competitive and wanted to pass all the other horses.

On the one sunny day we got, we did the obligatory beach shadows:

Hooo rahhh

Hooo rahhh! The creepy alien shadow to the right is my friend Maureen and her 1 year old.

– My friends and I met up with a girl we met in Japan almost 10 years ago on our missions trips – Chihiro, who happened to be in Seattle. It was so awesome to see her again. Amongst many other conversations we asked her what her least favorite food in America was and she said teriyaki, since we “make it so sweet!” Go figure!

the Japanese gardens are awesome!

the Japanese gardens in the arboretum are awesome!

– I saw Sir Paul McCartney in concert at Safeco Field!! I’m a huge Beatles fan so this was AWESOME. I’ve seen him a few times, and I swear he never seems to age… he has more energy than I do.

Sir Paul!!

Sir Paul!!

– I also picked up an annoying cough sometime shortly after the 4th of July that lasted for about 2 frakking months. (Can you tell I’ve been watching Battlestar Galactica?) I’m even now just in the very final tiny throes of it, but for awhile I was like a phlegm machine and coughing up stuff out of my chest constantly. The weird thing was there was no pain or other symptoms associated with it, and when I ran (after the first few minutes clearing my lungs) I would feel great for a few hours afterward. Just when I was convinced I was DYING OF CANCER or something, it started to go away. I have no idea what caused it, but at least I’m getting over it!

During coughing-horrible-phlegm time, though, I ran the Lake Union 10k, and while I’d originally planned to try to PR in this race, the cough made that kind of impossible, and I ended up running my slowest 10k ever. Ah well, there’s always next year… though to be honest I kind of hate the course. (SO MANY HILLS) The Portage Bay Cafe catered breakfast afterward makes it worth it… almost.

I think I need to switch up my race outfits, I've worn kind of the same thing since NODM. heh

Oo, thigh muscle definition, that’s a first. Also, I think I need to switch up my race outfits, I’ve worn kind of the same thing since NODM. heh

Tomorrow I’m running the new Women of Wonder 5k (kind of a replacement for the Iron Girl 5k which is now a triathlon) and I think I’ll bust out the old Running Skirt to switch things up a bit. I don’t plan on wearing anything with pink in it, though :P (save my shoes, but that can’t really be helped). I was always that girl that avoided the flaming pink Barbie toy aisle like the plague and went for the Breyer model horses instead. It’s true, I have never owned a Barbie, and that’s alright with me!

Adventures with a heart rate monitor

Tonight I decided to dig out Henry the Garmin’s heart rate monitor, which has been languishing at the bottom of my running drawer, and take it for a spin just for kicks, to see how close my heart is to bursting through my chest wall as I chug along my old running route. After 15 minutes of consulting the Garmin manual and then strapping the monitor awkwardly under my sports bra (you have to wet it before you put it on… weird?) I waited curiously for evidence that I do in fact have a pulse. Henry picked up the signal right away and said my heart was pounding merrily away at 82. Nervous, much?

According to the ol’ classic heart rate formula (220 – age), my max bpm should be 187, so I was curious to see where I’d average out. The results actually kind of surprised me…

strangely... consistent. And gerbil-ish?

strangely… consistent. And gerbil-ish?

There wasn’t really much variation at all. I basically ramped up to my workout heart rate and then more or less stayed there. The max I hit was 176, probably as I wheezed my way up the doozy of a hill in the latter half of the run, but I’m kind of surprised you can’t see huge dips and variations throughout. My heart is more consistent, and rodent-esque, than I thought.

yeah, I'm kinda slow.

yeah, I’m kinda slow.

On a side note, this was actually a nice run, and I didn’t really feel like death during any part of it – it’s been awhile since that’s happened! I focused hard on form and just running with “comfortable effort” (not pushing it, but not phoning it in) – which I thought I succeeded at but since my heart seems to have been cranking away the whole time, maybe I need to dial down the effort a little bit the next time out?

8 miles on tap for Saturday (Kentucky Derby day!) – I think I’ll focus on going slooooow and maybe I’ll wear the monitor again to see if I can succeed at this whole “easy run” thing!

The lost races of 2012 (race report catchup)

I apologize for the verbal diarrhea you’re about to experience, but since I was so terribly lazy and didn’t update on any of the races I ran for oh…. 6 months, there’s quite a few from 2012 I have to catch up on: the Seattle RnR half, the Lake Union 10k, the Victoria BC half marathon, the Green Lake Gobble 10k, the Jingle Bell 5k. Below are the brief race reports I posted on Dailymile after the races with a bit of extra detail and some photos!

The Seattle RnR half marathon 6/23/12 (2:21:17)

(there is a mini-writeup of this I did right afterward)

Wee! Glad this one is over. The undertraining started to show and I got pretty tired around mile 9, but chugged it to the finish. I did the same walk/run plan I used at NODM (taking a 1-2 min walk break at every mile marker and walking the hills if I felt like it), but I ended up walking quite a bit more in the last 3 miles. The new course also seemed a lot hillier than I remember from last year, and I ended up running almost 3/10 more than the measured course, ack! But it didn’t rain like it was supposed to (the sun actually came out at points) and I beat my time from last year, so I’m happy with that! Hopefully next year I can train a lot better!

heading to the finish!

heading to the finish!

I has a medal

I has a medal

The Lake Union 10k 8/19/12 (1:01:48)

My first 10k race! I was a little out of shape so I was just happy to go an overall sub-10-min-mile pace, though my next goal is to finish in under an hour… Just about biffed it during mile 5 on a steep downhill sidewalk but fortunately didn’t roll my ankle. Also allowed myself to walk some of the nasty steep uphill sections. Other than that I felt decent considering the shape I’m in, and though this was my first race in a running skirt and I felt a little ridiculous at first, I got over that pretty quickly. Was thankful for the overcast skies! The Portage Bay Cafe pancake breakfast afterward was well worth the price of admission.

derping across the finish line all skirted up

derping across the finish line all skirted up

The Victoria BC half with Laurel 10/7/12 (2:35:14)

Laurel’s first half! She did awesome! We stuck to her pace and took a 2-min walk break every mile, and a total of 3 GUs. The course was beautiful and mild, though it was pretty sunny out so it did seem to get warm… I kept saying I was going to pull my overshirt off and switch my bib to my undershirt but never ended up doing so. Due to the slower pace I felt pretty good the whole time and probably talked a little too much for Laurel’s taste (I need to find a fast friend to do a half with, so I can see how she felt slogging along with me blabbing in her ear the whole time). About halfway through we saw a full marathoner in a business suit… Craziness! (We later found out he set a world record!) Foot got a bit sore but made it through.

Pre-race. I wasn't trying to duckface, that was supposed to be game-face staaarre

Pre-race. I wasn’t trying to duckface, that was supposed to be game-face staaarre

perhaps the most flattering photo of either of us, ever

perhaps the most flattering photo of either of us, ever

le fin! I was feeling pretty sprightly and Laurel was like "NO I DON'T WANT TO SPRINT" hehe

le fin! I was feeling pretty sprightly and Laurel was like “NO I DON’T WANT TO SPRINT” hehe

There’s also a wee brief video of us finishing!

Afterward, on the walk back to our hotel, we stopped and had breakfast at Wannawafel. TOTALLY worth it. If you’re ever in Victoria BC, you must stop here.

And we didn't.

And we didn’t.

noms

noms

The Green Lake Gobble 10k 11/18/12 (1:01:29)

When I showed up for this race it was POURING and I briefly contemplated downgrading to the 5k, but knowing I was undertrained, overweight, and not likely to run fast anyway, I decided to just chug out the 10k and have fun with it. Even so my competitive nature got the best of me a few times but the rain lightened to a drizzle and it was actually a nice, if tiring, run :) I had volunteered to help out with packet pickup early in the morning and wore a fleece since I would be standing around for a few hours. I kind of forgot that I would need to bag-check it, so I ended up running to the start line about 5 min before the gun with fleece still in tow… worst idea ever, I had to tie it around my waist and it was a lumpy, sweaty saddlebag the whole time x_x

apparently I wanted to punch myself in the face? Also it was the worst decision ever not to bag-check my fleece

apparently I wanted to punch myself in the face? Also it was the worst decision ever not to bag-check my fleece

The Jingle Bell 5k 12/9/12 (29:24)

I will admit I allowed myself to phone it in on the uphills in this race (and there were some doozys)! I’m still a lil’ undertrained and overweight so I’m just happy to go sub-30 min. I did like the downhill finish!

No photos from this one… somehow I expertly avoided all the photogs!

Here’s to keeping up better in 2013!

Christmastime is here

Why yes, it IS right in front of the fireplace!

My tree says hello! It sits in the only real space we can cram it into in our tiny living room that’s filled mostly with the giant hand-me-down couch I obtained from my brother – squished between the coffee table and fireplace. We don’t generally use the fireplace anyway, so don’t worry, we’re not in danger of torching the house down or anything.

I love Christmastime – I love all the lights on the houses as I go chugging on by at my pedestrian running pace; I love blasting awesome Christmas music (for the 25 days out of the year I can listen to it, and yes I feel weird listening to it even the DAY after Christmas), I love choosing gifts and wrapping them. I go back to my hometown every year for Christmas and I love seeing my mom’s completely awesome transformation of the living room into a Christmasy palace lit by tiny glowing bulbs. I love all the food and snacks and warm drinks and Christmas parties. I also love it when it snows, but up here you have to take what you can get in regards to that (I think I’ve had maybe ONE actual white Christmas my entire life!)

I haven’t been blogging about running much but my runs have been a kind of threadbare maintenance shuffle lately. I’ve been averaging around 8 miles a week (lol) and about 2 runs a week. I know that’s a wee bit pathetic but it’s where I’m at. I really need a race or a goal of some kind to drive me to run more often. I’ve even been considering buying a treadmill so I don’t have the excuse of “but it’s so COLD and WET and DARK outside!” to keep me planted on my bum when I get home from work. I hope to start training for my 2012 half marathon season in February, but I really need to start building a better base back up before then if I want to improve on my races from this year…

Regardless, no matter how out of shape I feel right now, I’m still going to enjoy this December and experiencing Christmastime as only a runner can – step by step, pounding the pavement in the dark to the ambient glow of tiny multicolored lights.

On goals, WoW, and frustration

Before I was a runner, I spent a LOT of time on my arse in front of my computer. Since November 2004, when World of Warcraft launched, I’d devoted nearly all of my free time to playing that game and improving myself in an alternate reality.

If I wasn’t goal-oriented and progress-driven already, the 6+ years I spent playing WoW served to completely solidify that bent in my personality. WoW is all about goals. Everything in the game is designed as a tantalizing carrot dangling above you, serving to keep you ever reaching, ever striving for that next achievement, the next piece of gear, the next level, the next title, the next boss killed. I spent those 6 years in the game literally logging in as soon as I got home from work and spending 4 or 5 hours in-game trying to be as good as I could possibly be. It wasn’t enough for me to just contribute; I wanted to be the best at whatever it was I was doing. Of course in WoW, a game with over 11 million players (at least at that time), it’s hard to be the best at anything, but success could be measured in smaller ways – best in my guild, best at my tradeskills, the most funny titles, the most pets, etc. etc.

I think this goal-driven mentality crossed over into my running when I basically quit WoW at the beginning of this year to train for my first half-marathon (after all, I could no longer devote all my free time to raiding and gearing up when I had scheduled runs to do!). I wanted to see progress,  I wanted to improve, I wanted to see some kind of return for my efforts. And I did complete 3 half-marathons this summer, not fast ones by any means, but I crossed those finish lines with a huge sense of accomplishment.

I finished the 3rd on on July 17th. In the weeks and months since then I’ve felt a pretty strong sense of frustration about my running progress, or the lack thereof. I haven’t really gotten faster, and in fact in recent months have been moving backward in that department. Compared to a year ago I’m probably only about 30-45 seconds per mile faster on my average easy runs (maybe about a 10:15 or 10:30 mile compared to an 11). I’ve watched friends at similar running levels go on to become super speedy and achieve PRs I could barely dream of. The lack of personal progress has me FRUSTRATED.

Maybe it’s that WoW goal-driven mentality cropping up again, but I want to see results for the work I put into running, and to see basically zero progression almost makes me want to give up on trying altogether. The lack of a concrete goal at this point (I’m basically just running for maintenance; I don’t have a race to point for or a training plan I’m following) is probably part of it, but I wonder too if I haven’t just lost my running mojo, so to speak. A lot of my runs are miserable – I feel like I’m just dragging arse and not enjoying it much at all. Again, this could also be because I’m not really following a plan and am only getting in around 10-14 miles per week, I don’t know.

It seems a lot of people really only pick up the LOVE for running once they get into the extra long distances – basically, marathon training. That seems like SUCH a chore to undertake… so many miles! So much time!… but maybe that’s what I need?

Ben Davis is planning to hit Seattle next year on his 52-in-52 marathon bonanza. (The marathon he’s planning to do here is the Seattle Marathon, which is hilltacular so I’ve heard, blehhh…) One little voice in the back of my head is telling me to sign up and go along on the marathon ride. I’m just not so sure I really want to do that to myself… but maybe that’s just what I need.

Full circle

Sheesh! It’s been awhile. I have been running, though taking it kind of easy – I had a pretty relaxed and unharried month of easy runs following my 3rd half on July 17, and I think it was totally worth it. Monday I did my longest run since that half – a sweaty 5-miler.

This coming Sunday I’ll run with my best friend Laurel in her very first 5k, in the same race, incidentally, that was MY very first 5k a year ago! I completed it back then in a time of 34:02, which at that time left me dying and gasping at the end, and though I know I could run it faster this year, I’m going to forget about that and just enjoy running with my friend as she completes the same milestone I did a year ago. It’ll be exciting to cross the finish line with her! When we were kids we used to run all the time, usually pretending we were racehorses, ha, and I can’t wait to race with her again.

She was in town during my birthday week in late August and we walked/ran the 2.8 mile wooded trail in my neighborhood. It’s a pretty awesome trail I hadn’t been on for about 5 years (I used to run/walk it with a then-boyfriend back in 2006, but after we broke up I didn’t feel comfortable running the trail alone) with a lot of varied terrain and viewpoints, not to mention mostly shaded, so even though the day was pretty warm (we were sweating pretty bad just on the walk over to the trail) I felt great once we started to jog. Laurel is more an on again/off again runner and we ended up running probably around a mile and a half of the total trail, but it was awesome and the dirt surface felt great under my feet after a year of pounding on concrete on all my runs.

I’ve also lately kind of come to accept the fact that I’m not fast, and I likely will never BE fast, and that’s OK – as long as I’m out there running and enjoying it, I shouldn’t fret that I’m not too much faster than I was a year ago – in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter. Maybe I will never run a 25-min 5k or a respectable half – but I’ll still be finishing races and that’s what’s important. I think some things COULD potentially improve my speed – eating better, dropping that last 10-15 pounds, starting speedwork – but even if I never get my comfortable “easy” pace below a 10 min mile I think I am happy just running. If I do eventually end up getting faster… bonus!

One thing I am NOT looking forward to is having to return to the treadmill this fall/winter once it’s too dark in the evening to run outside… I either need to suck up my fears and just run in the dark (and get a running rain jacket maybe) or suck up my pride and hit the dreadmill. UGHHHH…

the Milkman 5000

This was a race I couldn’t resist – the Milkman 5000, Aug 20th at Emerald Downs.  The last mile of the race was AROUND THE TRACK, and as a huge horse racing fan since my youth I couldn’t pass up the chance to fulfill a childhood fantasy! I wasn’t expecting just how tiring running a mile in deep dirt could be though, haha, and had a much slower race than I wanted (that and it was HOTTT that morning… and the race started at 10am, ack!) but the experience of trotting my way around the racetrack, unshaded as it was, was pretty awesome. There wasn’t an official photographer (it was a pretty small race) so I was left to my own devices, mostly getting blurry mid-run pic as well as a video in which you can hear me panting like a freight train. With the heat and track running I ended up finishing in 31:24.. not my best showing, but worth it for the experience!

Runners milling around before the race

extremely flattering self-portrait chugging around the (unshaded tiring hot) track

Folks finishing behind me

After the race they gave away free general admission tickets to the track, so the next day my friend Laurel and I returned to watch the big race of the season, the Longacres Mile!

Laurel and I camped at the finish line

the winner of the Longacres Mile - Awesome Gem

Both days were hooooooooootttttt but well worth it!

See Jane Run half marathon recap

I was a little short on training for this race due to my gimpy sore foot, so beforehand I was a bit nervous about how well I would do – I hadn’t gotten in much training at all since RnR. I didn’t want to try to shoot for a new PR or anything and re-injure myself; I mostly just wanted to enjoy the race.

I decided to wear my new running underwear (henceforth dubbed “runderwear”) – yeah, I’ve been wearing cotton ones this whole time! For shame!

The day of the race I was up on time (somehow), staggered into my outfit, chugged some coffee, and caught my pre-ordered cab at 5:30. It turns out I was a liiiiittle overzealous on the whole getting-there-early thing as there were literally only 2 other racers there when I showed up – the three of us and a bunch of groggy volunteers who were still in the process of setting up the vendor booths and check-in areas. Since I apparently had time to kill I wandered over to the empty portapotties (most of which were still zip-tied shut) and tried to do my morning pre-race business if you know what I mean, then moseyed over to the Gasworks park lookout toward Seattle and snapped some photos.

Seattle at approximately 6am

"the sun is up, the sky is blue, it's beautiful, and so are you"

sleepy self-portrait in front of the skyline (kind of)

I returned to the portapotties (still empty at this point) and was able to get ye ole pre-race-business done finally. When I re-emerged there were a handful more runners wandering around the grounds. I realized I probably could have slept another half hour or so and still had plenty of time… curses!

As race time drew near the bathroom lines exploded into behemoths of epic proportions. That’s one awesome thing about being early, I guess – I did not have to deal with that craziness at all.

photo from the See Jane Run facebook page

I checked my bag and wandered around freezing until the somewhat weird 80’s style warmup began.

you can see me in blue just over the shoulder of the woman in purple, awkwardly doing the warmup

Then without much fanfare (or pace markers, or staggered start, or etc) we were off like a raging stampede of buffalos!

annnnnnd we're off

Since we weren’t really organized in any way, the start was a mess – walkers mixed with runners (agh!), slower folks in front of the speedy folks, 2000 ladies crammed onto a 5-foot-wide path. It was a bit frenetic. There were a pair of sisters right in front of me in matching pink-skirt outfits that I followed for awhile – I only realized after reading recaps online that it was Tall Mom on the Run and her sister, who was running her first half! I followed them across the Fremont bridge and down underneath to the first out-and-back portion of the course.

I hate out-and-backs – something about them is just kind of mentally depressing. Add to that the fact the racers coming back the other way were fighting upstream against the massive wave of the field behind them and it was a bit of a mess. I realized this when I saw the “official race vehicle” bicycles coming back at us with the speedy ladies directly behind them. Eek! the concrete was also kind of uneven on this part of the course and I found myself staring at the ground, trying not to stumble over it.

Eventually though we were back up on the roads, diverting off to the sidewalks heading south toward the bottom of lake union. These miles felt OK, my foot wasn’t giving me any trouble and my energy seemed to be fine. I took Gu number 1 (chocolate mint flavor…. mmmmmm) at mile 4.5, and realized in glancing at Henry the Garmin after I’d finished it that it took me .3 miles to eat the whole thing, heh! (I do like the delicious distraction…)

The first course photographer I’d seen was around this part of the race…

choo choo, here I come (in the background)... I guess the bendy-leg thing happens all the time >_>

why do I always look so stumpy

I gotta work on that wack stride of mine…. I don’t even know how I manage to run like that >_>

Around mile 5.5 we looped around the bottom of the lake and started heading back north. I was using the same mental trick I employed at RnR – counting down the first 10 miles and treating the final 3.1 like a final 5k. We hit mile 6 – 4 miles left in the first 10! I was still feeling pretty good at this point and there were some spectators along this part of the course cheering.

Around mile 7 there was a nasty hill going up to the right onto some residential streets – I let myself walk it, and then flew down the hill on the other side. I was starting to feeeel it and when we hit a looong uphill slog of a bridge right about at mile 8, I could feel the wheels starting to fall off. I walked up the whole long bridge, which was about 4/10 of a mile. Once we reached the top, though, there was a nice long downhill awaiting on the other side, and I let myself fly down it.

Somewhere around here we ended up on some funky back roads, and I really started to feel the fruits of my undertraining over the last 3 weeks. The roads were a bit uneven and we chugged down into an alley and back up, and I could feel the energy seeping out of me. We ran by Gasworks park and the mile 9 marker. At 9.5 I chomped down my final Gu – chocolate frosting flavor, yesssss. Mile 10 passed – onto the final 5k!

I was puttering along on fumes at this point and allowing myself 1 min walk breaks at the start of each mile (though I may or may not have taken one 2-minute break). We were on the final out-and-back of the course, heading up the Burke-Gilman trail. Again, I despise out and backs, and in a race it’s even worse because you can see all the runners ahead of you, and keep anticipating seeing them turning around, and it seems to take FOREVAR for that turnaround point to come. I just kept chugging along, telling myself “slow running is better than walking” and pleading with my body to keep going.  The turnaround finally came around mile 11.2ish. I followed a lady in a blue tank top for awhile who was keeping up about a 10:45 pace, and tried to get myself to stick with her, but lost her when I opted to walk through the mile 12 water stop. FINAL MILE!

Oof, this final mile was rough! I wanted to walk sooo badly and people on the side of the road chanting “you’re almost there” wasn’t quite helping when I could see I still had a half mile or so to go on the Garmin. I tried to summon a finishing kick as we came around to Gasworks Park again only to discover we had to run THROUGH the park to get back to the finish line. GAH! A little hill right after we entered the park didn’t help at all and I felt my energy sapping again. I could see the finish line off in the distance. I was slowly gaining on a girl in front of me but I didn’t think I would catch her before the finish line – until a guy on the sidelines called out to me “pass her! pass her!” I glanced at him and kicked it into high gear. He gave me a thumbs up as I flew past her and on to the finish. Thanks, random guy!

le fin!

Gosh I was tired! It wasn’t my fastest race, but not my slowest either – I clocked a 2:31:26 (strangely, my Garmin time and chip time were identical! woo!) for 13.18 miles.

They had a photog taking post-race photos and in spite of the lessons learned at RnR, I did the ridiculous arm-thing again:

self what did I tell you

I snagged post-race water and food and moseyed to the champagne area. The champagne was extremely delicious right after the race… I will have to remember this ;D The vendor booths were good and I happily took advantage of the free ART massages being offered. The only spot available when it was my turn was the table out in the rain, but I couldn’t have cared less at that point! The massage was awesomeness and worth every minute I spent laying there getting drenched.

All in all it was a pretty good race, there were some things that could be improved (more portapotties, a staggered/organized start, no out-and-backs on a 5 foot wide trail, avoiding some of the rough/weird side streets and alleys) but there was a lot of good about the race as well, and I totally dug the chocolate and champagne at the end. The race shirts were also awesome (A great purple color and nice fit). Not sure I’d do the race next year unless they improve some of the more negative aspects.

delicious rewards! photo from the See Jane Run facebook page

See Jane Run half marathon complete!

Just a quick note to say I completed this race yesterday morning! I was a little short on training the last few weeks due to nursing my sore foot, and my undertraining started to show around mile 8-9, but I got ‘er done. It wasn’t my fastest race, but also not my slowest – I finished in 2:31:26 for 13.18 miles (per Henry the Garmin). Incidentally, I also qualified for the Half Fanatics with this race! :D

I’m now going to rest/heal up over the summer and maybe attack some races in the fall… I’d like to actually start doing speedwork and complete a half in around 2:10-2:15. Maybe someday I’ll even try to go sub-2…

Full recap coming soon!

the start and finish line @ Gasworks Park