Sunday, November 29, 2009

RIP Seattle Half

Where do I begin? It all began at 5:10 A.M. I woke up, reluctantly. The plan was to be on the road by 6. I got dressed and milled around for a while then I got my Little Buddy out of bed at 5:50. AN the RB, my cheering squad leader and babysitter, arrived just before 6. She is so good at being on time, me…not so much. I sliced up an apple for the road and made some toast and added some peanut butter. We were on the road by 6:15, no biggie.

Like a noob I took the wrong exit, the exit that all the other noobs took. If I had been smart we would have exited earlier and missed all the traffic. I was getting nervous about making it to the start. But it is a chip start so it doesn’t really matter when you start as long as you are close. Parking was crazy so we parked illegally for a few minutes so I could put on my shoes, get all my stuff together and snap a quick pic.

I made my way to the Porta Potty (or Honey Bucket as these weird Pacific North Westerners call it) line and lucked out in finding a Porta Potty without an official line, so I obliged in making a line and only waited about 1 minute. Thank goodness!

I jogged to the start and made a few warm up attempts, something I don’t normally do. Then I shouldered my way through the wad of people and got kind of close to the start, significantly closer than last year. I got my Garmin ready and before I knew it it was time! I walked to the starting line amongst thousands of people! When I stepped on the timing pad I started my watch and began to jog. I was completely overwhelmed by the number of people out there, running. As far as the eye could see, straight up the street was a sea of people…It was beautiful. I was so proud to be one of those people, a person taking my life and my health and getting it under control, a person who cares about myself and strives for a goal. A person who is up and running at 7:30 AM on a Sunday. I thought about those who were at church and I realized that I am using a gift and an ability that God gave to me. It was awesome.

I ran and worked at keeping my pace under control. I had adrenaline rushing through my veins, I could feel it pushing me to run faster.

Mile 1: 8:36
Mile 2: 7:57 (what on EARTH? That was NOT in the plan!)
Mile .41: 3:50 (on track for about 8 min mile).

That’s right, mile .41. I got ATTACKED by some SERIOUS Garmin Gremlins. I have no clue what happened but my poor Garmin was smoking and completely went nuts. I have a feeling maybe it had to do with thousands of other GPS/Garmin devices all around but I have no evidence of that. I spent a good half a mile jogging and trying to get the watch back on track and finally reset it around mile 4.

Mile 4: 9:16.31
Mile 5: 8:33.11
Mile 6: 9:17.82
Mile 7: 9:57.14
Mile 8: 10:38.9
Mile 9: 9:57.10
Mile 10: 10.23.66
Mile 11: 10:11.22
Mile 11: 10.10.39
Mile 12: 10:02.41
Mile 13: 9:57.14

And this is not completely accurate since I had to restart up my Garmin mid race. And look at those times! I am ALL OVER THE PLACE! What happened, aside from pooping out at mile 7?

The OFFICAL overall time was 2:08.05

So I accomplished goals C and D. I beat last year’s time AND I finished.

Somewhere around mile 8 my eyes were drawn to the crowd where I saw AN the RB and my Little Buddy waving all crazy like! It was awesome! They were hootn’ and hollering! I was so proud and it made me almost cry. I was on emo control for the next half mile, trying to hold back the tears. I have finished nearly every single race wishing The Hubs could see me finish (this one was no different) but the next best thing is to have my awesome friend and my Little Buddy there. It was great!

There came a point around mile 9 where I wondered to myself, “Why am I doing this?” I felt like I was going to throw up, I had to pee, I was tired, my arches were screaming…and the hills kept rolling. I wanted to quit. I saw no purpose in completing this race. I lost sight of my why. I had to look inside and remind myself why I could not quit, why I had to keep running, why I had to finish and do my best. This became a race against myself, not the thousands of people around me. When life gets hard I don’t quit. When I want to lay down and burry myself under a pile of leaves I don’t, I dig deep and keep going. Quitting does not make the problem go away, after all I would have had to get back to the finish line, and my ride home, somehow. I did a lot of self-evaluation and reflection during this mile and I realized that I am strong and I can do whatever it is I put my mind to, and as long as I do my best it is all I can ask. If I gave up on this race I would have been giving up on myself and setting a trend I am not willing to accept. I cannot do that, not now.

Around mile 10 I started to feel pretty good and actually came out of my thoughts to look around at the scenery. This is when I noticed I was running up the hills that I walked up last year. Not only that but I felt pretty good, or at least OK! Wow! It was hard, but not as hard as I remembered it being last year. I began to feel confident that I would in fact beat last year’s time. I kept on going and ticked off another mile. Mile 11 is always a tough one for me, three miles to go. Nonetheless this mile passed uneventfully. Mile 12, ah sweet mile 12 how I love thee, kind of. I kept telling myself, “Barely a mile left!” I thought about all the marathoners and how they have twice as far to go. I wondered if I really do have a marathon within me, I’m not so sure. I just had to go one more mile. The middle half of that last mile was down hill, a welcomed reprieve. But then there was an uphill (and I mean straight UP) just before a jog around a corner where people lined the street and sent us running down a shoot into a stadium…the FINISH LINE! I saw AN the RB and my Little Buddy cheering me on! It was wonderful!

I have only been more excited to cross a finish line once and that was last year at this same race. But today I had done it. 2:08.05. Not my best time but not my worst. I am laying the Seattle Half to rest (RIP), I have made my redemption. I came. I conquered. I climbed my Everest, twice. The lessons learned when we push ourselves to the limit are lessons not easily forgotten. With each half marathon I run I learn a little bit more about myself, who I am, what I am made of, and my character. I am not a quitter. I may not be fiercely competitive with those around me but I am in a constant battle with myself, to push myself to new levels, whether they be physical, spiritual, or mental. Today I became stronger.

7:15 AM getting ready to head to the start:

Yipee! I did it! SO glad to be DONE!

And again, how I reall felt, I have seen this face before! :)

At the finish line...

I got to meet Kerrie T! She did awesome too! It was so cool to meet her! I was thinking about her during the race and wondered if somehow we were running close to each other! I love this picture and our Superman Capes!

Today I am grateful for:
Finishing this race.
All of you, my bloggy followers and readers, you were with me each step of the way!
Dont forget about my Asics Visor giveaway (HERE)! I wore it today and it was awesome!

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  1. Great work. We've all had those moments when we realise that fun and run should not ever be used in the same sentence. But how good is it to beat down those voices that are screaming at you to stop and how good is it to say I did it!

  2. Congrats on a great race and kicking butt! You can totally run a full marathon!


  3. Congrats on a great race and great time!! You surely can run a marathon!

  4. Great Job! All of the determination you showed in this race just proves that you can totally do a marathon!

    Funny about your Garmin ... mine did the same thing at mile 18 of my marathon ... I had a mini freak out in the middle of the race!

  5. Great job on the 1/2! You totally rock!

  6. Awesome job! Your time totally rocked! You should be proud of it and your effort. If more people had even half of your resolve and determination, we'd all be better off because of it. Too bad you can't bottle it up and sell it because you'd make a fortune.

    I ran a half (way slower than you) and am training for a full. There is no doubt you could tackle the training schedule and run a full, if that's what you want.

    And Kerrie is awesome! That's a really great picture with the two superheroes in front of the space needle.

  7. Congratulations!!!! You rocked that race! You are such an inspiration!

  8. Congrats on a great finish! I have to admit, I sat here for a minute trying to figure out why you had a .41 mile ... then I moved on and read the next paragraph!

  9. Congrats girl! Great race recap!!! You did awesome and so exciting that you kicked those hills' butts from last year!

  10. Hey I call them Honey Buckets because it is the Brand name I grew up with.. :p

    Way to work through it! I know that you have a Marathon in you, mainly because of what you said, you keep going and don't give up.

    So proud of you for toughing it out when your body wanted to quick. I ALWAYS have to pee in races. DArn Garmin Gremlins...UGH!

    Hills and Hills amazing what that can do.

    So I have an idea...if you can get a sitter in the next few weeks you and I will run 13.1 timed...I will work on my pacing and we will get you a sub 2 hour. What do you think? No pressure. I may even make you a little medal.. LOL!! Maybe we can get Kerrie and Zoe to join in.

  11. Awesome time! You did it and that is what matters most. Tech is just tech... but you rocked that race!

  12. Congratulations!!! Those are some impressive times too! WOW. I'll be lucky if I do my half in 5 hours. LOLOL

  13. You have a great attitude! It is always nice to place amoungst your peers but running for most of us mortal runners is really about a journey to better ourselves and those around us through our influence.

    Great job on an early was dark!

  14. This was a great report- awesome job! I really like how you made the reference to all the people who choose to be healthy and active; for me, that is what it is all about. A healthy, active and happy life. :)

  15. You are like a running hero to me! Amazing race!!! Congrats on beating last years time!

  16. Congrats on the race! Way to conquer the course.

  17. Great job on the Seattle Half! Awesome that you beat your time last year!!! Woohooo!!!!!

  18. Amanda I'm so proud of you! YOU DID IT!

    Loved reading your report!

  19. Congratulations and thanks for the awesome play by play! The race route is literally about 12 doors down from my house at one point and I could hear the cheering of fans all morning! It must have been insane at the finish.

  20. You did so awesome! Love your recap -- it made me smile. I was thinking about 26.2, too. *sigh* Thanks so much for meeting up with me! Okay, what's next? Mercer Island? :)

  21. Congratulations on a great PR! Sounds like a tough course. Glad you could dig deep and pull out the PR. WTG!!

  22. Congratulations on the PR! I knew you could do it!

  23. Great job! Sorry about the Garmin gremlins. Yuck!

  24. Congrats!~ I am going into my next run clinic targetting longer distances so while it is is exciting as well.

  25. WTG - You did start out pretty fast! I know I have to fight back that urge on long races.
    Awesome smiles!

    Hope to see you at the Eugene Marathon (Half) in May 2010 ; )

  26. Congrats on a great race! You both look amazing in your capes too! And for the record my Garmin pulls that same sh%^!

  27. Do you know why you were doing this? Because you are alive, because you can.

    Every weekend I race, and when miserable weather conditions, rain, wind, cold, snow, we asked: Why are we doing this? The unanimous answer is the same: Because we are alive, because we can. We have a gift, and no matter if we are fast or slow, we can do it. So we do it. And more beautiful when we do it for those that really can't.

    Congrats on your time. Seeing your splits I am happy I didn't shoot for my dream goal....

  28. Amanda, you rocked it! I'm bummed I didn't get to meet up with you and Kerrie, but I'm glad that you two got a pic together!
    Congrats on an AWESOME HALF! It was a tough one! :)

  29. I have an award for you on my blog :-) Check it out!

  30. Omg, that's an awesome time! What a great run you had. Very fun pictures; I can see the excitment in your smile! Congrats!

  31. You're an amazing lady. I never imagined myself doing like that. I admire you for that. We don't know each other but through your posts, I am being inspired. Thanks so much! More power and Goodluck!

  32. You have a great blog here, keep it up and more power!


You're pretty much awesome!!


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