When we arrived at the start line it was wild! Packed! You could just see the excitement walking around. We wondered around for a little bit, I think we were looking for a short Honey Bucket line. No such luck. The lines were SO long! Longer than I had ever seen before in my life! The lines rivaled those found at Disney Land. Ridiculous. I decided to forget it and wait as long as I could and hope for a short or no line along the course. We headed to corral 14 to try to find Mom of the Littles friend.
I saw a tent that boasted Bagels and Fruit. Dude, I was starving! I grabbed a banana and scarfed it down and chased it with some water. Not too much though, I didn’t want to have to pee. We waited for a few minutes in corral 14 and didn’t see our friend and decided to head to corral 8, our starting place.
Ah, corral 8. It felt cozy and inviting. We saw the corrals ahead of us moving forward and we inched forward. It was almost time to run. Like I have said before, I had no expectations for this run. I wanted to do well but I wanted to feel how it was going to go. I didn’t want to go out too fast like I have a tendency to do. I often take off really fast. I guess I’m trying to get out of the pack, but in a race this size that is NOT going to happen. I new I had to hold back. At least for the first mile.
Finally it was our turn to go. Our corral was released and the madness began! The three of us, me,RED and Mom of the Littles, trotted off with the sea of peeps. My rule is to not swerve or weave or pass too much. I try to either hug the center line or the outside. This cuts down on extra distance. G.Money chimed off Mile 1: 9:18. I was glad that I had held back a little but new that I had to make up for that in the miles ahead if I wanted my sub 2 (and I did want it!). RED and I chatted back and forth and she was taking inventory of her knee and back. She was worried about some pains that have been bothering her over the last couple of weeks. Never a good thing in the first few miles of a race.
Miles 2 and 3 passed by (8:39 and 8:54) and I was feeling really good. I felt this way before, on my birthday half and reigning PR. i recognized the feeling my legs were having, my lungs were working efficiently, my shoulders and neck were relaxed and not tense. My hip was…well, I could feel it. That was weird. I haven’t had any trouble with my hip since OKC. This was not a bad pain just a feeling to let me know “Hey you have hip”. Somewhere after mile 3 RED said she was going to slow for a second and I told her, “Ok! You’ll catch me!” And I kept going. Soon after I saw Kerrie T.!!! I made a B-line for her side of the street and was so excited to see her! You would have though she was about to hand me a $1000 or something! I was that excited! I came running toward looking for a High 5 but alas, her hands were holding a camera! “Oh yeah baby! Photo OP!!! Sweet!!” Here are some of the pics that Kerrie snapped as I ran UP that hill!!!
After I passed by Kerrie and carried on my way the guy behind me in the black shirt and his friend kept yelling, “YEA! GO AMANDA!!” It was pretty funny, they were just jealous they didn’t have a cheering squad like me. So we laughed about it and soon enough I was the ones lauging because they couldn’t keep up. He he!
Mile 4: 8:31. Around Mile 5 we got into the part of the course where Sea Fair Triathlon is held. I was familiar with this road, on a bike. I came around a corner and headed down a seriously steep hill and turned again to see the Patriot Guard Riders and the road lined with American Flags. Oh boy. Hold it together Amanda. If you aren’t familiar with the Patriot Guard Riders then click HERE to read about them. They have been present at all of the military funerals I have attended and I am all too aware of the reality of their services. I swung to that side of the street to give them all High 5’s and to thank them for being there. Holding back tears while running is hard, it messes with your breathing and your pace, it messes with everything. At the end of the line of the leather clad men and women there was a line of women holding what seemed at the time like a 100 flags. I found out later it was 40, to represent 40 fallen soldiers of the 5th Brigade. I also found out through Jessica’s blog, (Mis)Adventures of an Army Wife that there was a group of women running in honor of these men and even some of the wives who lost their hubbys. Talk about WoW! Humbling. It really puts things in perspective, for me at least. Getting out there is hard enough and I applaud these women for taking their lives and doing amazing things with them, for being strong and proving to themselves that the ARE strong. What better way to do that than to get out there and run a long, long way? =) And if you want a picture of what I saw at mile 5.74 click HERE (now I did NOT see these elite athletes as I was running, they were long gone). Mile 5: 9:07.
After I gave about 60 people a high 5 I found myself settling back into my pace and decided this was a good time to eat a few Chomps. As I dug into my Chomp bag and stuffed a few into my mouth I realized that I had just used the same hand that gave all the High 5’s. Gross. I wondered for a split second if I might have just swallowed a germ that would make me sick, so sick I couldn’t even finish. But the though was fleeting and I shoved another Chomp in my mouth. Mile 6: 8:19, that’s what I’m talking about!
This part of the course was kind of ho hum, although it was along the beautiful lake. I just kept thinking about how nice it would be to be on a bike, doing a triathlon. Before I new it we came to the hairpin turn leading to a steep incline that took us us to I-90. I remember that during the tri i almost died on this turn, I’m not much of a bike rider. I then realized that I was happy to be running up the bridge and NOT on a bike. I felt like KatyPerry’s Hot then Cold song. I passed a good number of people on this small hill, YAY for hill training!! We split off from the full marathoners and headed into the dreaded tunnel. I hate running in tunnels. First of all you lose GPS Satellites so G. Money was mad at me. It stinks like sick BO. It’s dark. It’s loud and echo'-y. It is just annoying. So I ran fast, at least I felt like it was fast, just so I could get out of there. Gave new meaning to The Light At the end of the Tunnel. Mile 7: 8:38. This was the downhill slide. Over halfway…my pace felt good and I felt good. I could see Quest Field!
The last half of the race was rather uneventful. This is when I really started to think about my dad and how this race was dedicated to him. I knew I was running well and that this was going to be a sub 2. I wanted to believe it would be a PR but I couldn’t be quite sure. I would find out soon enough. When I felt tired or a twinge of pain I thought about my dad, about his road ahead. I was going to battle with him, blow for blow, step for step. Whatever I was going through, emotionally, mentally, physically was not comparable to what he was facing. So for my dad I ran…i could not allow myself to slow down. Not this time.
Mile 8: 8:46 Mile 9: 8:57 Mile 10: 9:08 Mile 11: 8:54.
It was about mile 12 when I ran right past the front door to the hotel that we stayed in. I thought for about 2 seconds that I could just head in there and take a shower and lay down. But then I had ran past and it was too late. Not far to go…Mile 12: 8:27.
I wondered if I would ever get to the finish line. This race felt SO long…but finally I could see it. Mile 13: 8:24. People were lined along the way! I got chicked. But this girl chicked me WAY TO SOON! Noob mistake, or not. She just underestimated me and my skilz or she bonked at the last minute. As I got chicked I chicked a few others then I decided that I should go ahead and put that girl out of her misery. I realized I had some kick left and turned on the afterburners (ha! I am a super dork). In all honesty I felt kind of silly because I was running so fast! You would have thought it was the State Cross Country Meet or something. I was going so fast that I couldn’t stop even after I crossed the line (in front of the girl who chicked me…Chick and be Chicked sucka!). I slowed down but it took a bit of time. I had managed to come to a walk just in time to receive my medal. I did it. I knew the gun time clock said 2:03 or something so I knew I had gotten a sub 2. I managed to check G. Money and realized it was a new PR: 1:55.33!!
What a run.
And in case any of you want to see a map of the course and think about this race for next year here you go…it was a great course and not too hilly at all, especially for a Seattle run.
And here we are in front of our hotel:
And there you have it, my first novel! =)