Seattle Rock n Roll Half Marathon 6/21/14

This is the first time I have prepared for a race and to leave town from the airport on the same day. Michael’s 30th high school reunion in Southern California just happens to be the same day as the race. When Anne said she was not able to make it up to Seattle to run with me (torn rotator cuff!), Michael really wanted me to meet him after the race to go to the reunion with him.

I was really stressed out trying to figure out what to pack, and the logistics of trying to squeeze a shower in after the race and before my flight.  I woke up at 3:45am, in time to say good bye to Michael, leaving for his 6am flight to SoCal. I had everything laid out last night as “flat Shelly” so getting ready was easy!

flatshellySRR2014

I ate 2 packets of trader joes oatmeal (flax seed/cinnamon spice) with raspberries, my smoothie with greens and vitamin mix, and just realized I forgot to eat the banana I bought … Oops … I also made some tea instead of coffee, thought that might be better this morning.

I left the house at 5:20am, and it looked like it was 10am outside (I will never get used to the long days in the summer in Seattle!). The sun was out and the sky was clear, but the temperature was a brisk 46 degrees – about 10 degrees colder than last year! Perfect to start the race, I hate running in hot weather with the sun out!

I found parking easily and stopped to used the port-o-potty near the street. The weird thing was they were mostly all locked – less than an hour before the race – wtf?!

locked

I met up with Anna from Sole Runners – we took the space needle before pics, used the portables (wait time was only a few minutes!), and got into corral 11. Everything was so smooth – and the day was just spectacular!  I will probably buy the pictures when I get made an offer that isn’t eleventy billion dollars, for now here is a screen shot of the proof of me and Anna …

before

It was very cool that Anna recognized Luis from Born to Run standing next to us in the corral (running the full) – we introduced ourselves, said we were both signed up for the 2015 Born to Run 50K, and asked if we could get a picture with him – he was so cool! I can’t wait for that race – just a little nervous about the distance!

b2r

The race started at 7am – right on time! I sure missed Anne, and wished she could have been there with us! We started about 7:15am and after a couple miles I said I was going to slow down so I didn’t burn out too early, Anna and I would meet up at the finish line later – and hopefully I will finish in time for a shower! She said it was no problem to use their shower in the hotel.

I was feeling great, and trying to keep my heart rate below 180 – and preferably below 170 as much as possible. It seemed like my pace had to be around 11 minute miles to be in that range – so I was just not going to worry about a finish time, just didn’t want to be physically drained after the race, or risk any problems with getting to the airport due to injury or soreness from pushing too hard.

The course was the same as last year, with some gradual hills, and a few steeper ones getting on the freeway and getting out of the Lake Washington shoreline. It was such a clear and beautiful day, and not hot – just perfect! The views of the mountains were spectacular.

lake

downtown

I know my race challenge always begins at around mile 9, and #14 was no different. I was making really great time, hitting mile 10 before 2 hours – I really wondered if it was going to be possible to beat my Long Beach time, I just didn’t know if I could get through the last few miles that fast, due to the hills I knew were there and a struggle for me.

Running on the viaduct was really great, and I overheard somewhere that this was going to be the last race with that opportunity. I felt lucky to be part of it!

viaduct

sound

meandsound

I got to mile 12 at 2:30 race time (2:15 with my corral) – and made use of every downhill part to make up time. I ignored my heart rate for this part, and it was around 185ish, and I could really feel that! The awesome coincidence happened again with The Final Countdown coming on during that last mile – that is 4 in a row where that has happened!

The last eighth of a mile or so has a significant hill – which is unavoidable from any approach to Seattle Center so I just had to suck it up. I was so wishing I could be asleep at this moment! I ended up speed walking the hill, I was just too tired to run it at that point. I tried to push harder the last .1 to the finish – and saw my time as 2:33 on Runkeeper. I will take it, much better than other recent races!  Again, I will probably buy the pictures at some point, but for now here is a screen shot of the finish line proof.

Finisher

Anna was at the medical station getting ice, she guesses she finished around 2:15. We got Anne a shirt and I got my Pacific Peaks heavy medal with Bigfoot on it – love it!

medals

It was 10:24 and I did not have enough time to take a shower, so I walked to my car and was bummed because I was smelling really ripe and did not want to be ‘that’ person on the plane. When I sat in my car, I got the most horrible and painful cramp in my left inner thigh! It was a major Charlie horse and hurt like a. MoFo! It took about ten minutes to calm my leg down with stretches and breathing, then I raced to the airport.

While I was driving, I was trying to be efficient with time so I could get to the parking lot shuttle quickly and make it to the gate on time. I took my Half Fanatics shirt off and put the RnR race shirt on – but my running bra was wet with sweat and that was not going to work well. I have a hard enough time getting those things on and off without a shirt on, but trying to do it stealth while driving was contortionist-o-Rama! Then I tried to get my compression pants off, that was NOT going to happen while driving! When I got to the parking lot, I parked in an area where I didn’t see anyone, so I opened my door and the passenger door, stood in between them, and then removed my running pants and put on yoga pants – if anyone saw me, hope you enjoyed the show!

Then the shuttle guy drove up before I could get my regular bra on – I just put it in my backpack, got my suitcase and boarded the shuttle. It was 11:30 and my flight was boarding in 10 min – and the driver kept stopping to pick others up in the parking lot! I was dropped off at 11:45 and ran to security (bra-less, that was “bouncy”!) and got in the TSA PreCheck line, that was not moving due to dealing with 2 people in wheelchairs … Really?! It was 11:50 and I was really worried! Finally I got to the metal detectors and forgot I had my ‘I believe in the Blerch’ pin on my hat – so I beeped … ugh! Fixed that, and ran to gate C10 and saw they were still lined up to board the plane, whew! Then I got ice and water in my cup (dumped out before security – I seriously effin hate that!). I saw a hallway with pay phones and vending machines, and went behind the last one and put on my bra, with a few WTF looks from people (move along, nothing to see here …) – then I was the second to last person to board!

I barely made my flight, but I did get on the plane. Thank God for TSA PreCheck!  I walked in as my flight was boarding, then set the beeper off with my Blerch pin I forgot was on my hat. All was fine after that, including it being no big deal that my liquids were in a gallon ziplock in my suitcase, and it was full – and I had the full size spray bottle of beach hair in the suitcase. I ran to the gate and here I am in the airplane typing this post! And just because it was such a rare sight, here is an awesome picture of Mt. Rainier from the airplane – wow!

rainier


14 Races in 2014

H1-2014I saw several new year resolution follow ups on Facebook this week for 2013, some of which were talking about goals last year of running 13 races in 2013.  Some people met their goal, others didn’t.  I thought about making some sort of commitment like that for 2014 and was thinking at first that I would commit to finishing 14 half marathons in 2014.  Then I was thinking about my first full marathon planned at the San Diego Rock n Roll, and thought it might be better to commit to 14 races finished in 2014, either full or half marathon.  So, there it is – I’m committing to it here, and I already did on Facebook.

14in14

So my tentative plan to meet my goal is as follows:

March 8, 2014: Half Marathon – Lake Sammamish Half, Redmond to Issaquah, WA
March 15, 2014: Half Marathon – St. Paddy’s Day Run, Tacoma, WA
May 18, 2014: Half Marathon – Portland Rock n Roll
June 1, 2014: *First Full Marathon* – San Diego Rock n Roll
June 21, 2014: Half Marathon – Seattle Rock n Roll
July 13, 2014: Half Marathon – See Jane Run, Seattle, WA
July 20, 2014: Half Marathon – Chicago Rock n Roll
August 2, 2014: Half Marathon – Tacoma Narrows Half
August 23, 2014: Half Marathon – Lululemon SeaWheeze, Vancouver, BC
September 14, 2014: Half Marathon – You Go Girl, Tacoma, WA
October 12, 2014: Half or Full Marathon – Long Beach, CA
October 26, 2014: Half Marathon – Vancouver, BC Rock n Roll
November 16, 2014: Half or Full Marathon – Las Vegas Rock n Roll
November 30, 2014: Half or Full Marathon – Amica Seattle

I have the 2014 Rock n Roll Tour Pass that I won, which is awesome, but the travel expenses are still a factor.  I will do more of those races if I can make affordable travel arrangements, but at this point I’m not sure.  Chicago is on my wish list for July 2014, which would also be a wonderful trip with my daughter, Brianna, to the Art Institute – I sincerely hope I can do that!

I will post revisions on my schedule as they come up, but so far this seems doable.  There are other local races I can sign up for this summer/fall if I can’t travel or a race sells out.  I really wanted to do the OC Half Marathon in early May, I just don’t know if I can make it to SoCal twice in 30 days, and I really want to do the San Diego Rock n Roll, if I have to make a choice.

The commitment to a challenging physical training schedule will be great preparation for qualifying for Boston in 2016 with my brother and sister-in-law, and for Everest in 2017! I should be able to narrow down what I need to work on to finish a marathon in 3:55 after all these races in 2014.  How cool would it be if I am able to improve to that level by this time next year?  WAY COOL!

Stay tuned …