Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Seattle Half: I have a PLAN!

I have been thinking about my Seattle Half Plan. Last year was a serious mess. I had no plan and no idea what I was in for. This was my first BIG race. While it was my 4th half marathon the others I had run were smaller, maybe 1000 people, at the biggest. Seattle was different. It was big. We are talking at least 15,000 people. So I made some serious Rookie Mistakes. I was corralled in near the back of the pack at the start line. I thought the pack would clear out, at least a little bit after they started the walkers. I thought at least half of the wad of people in front of me were walkers (WHY they start the walkers only 5 minutes before the runners is BEYOND me). When I heard the countdown for the walkers to begin I got ready to move forward. Unfortunately the wad did not budge. I waited, and waited. And waited…the wad did not move. At least 5 minutes passed and I decided I had to climb over a barricade and elbow my way into the road where the race was to start. I heard the countdown to begin our run and still it was like trying to swim in a can of sardines.

When there was finally room to begin running I RAN. I ran fast. WAY faster that I was supposed to run, faster than I had trained to run, faster than I was able to run. My pace for that race should have been around 9:30/mile. My first two miles were run at about an 8:15 pace. Big FAT OOPS. All I could think was, “I need to clear the pack!” “I have to break out of this wad of people!” It never happened. There were just too many people. I kept running, fast, so that I could break out of the pack and I thought certainly it would thin out, sooner or later. It didn’t. Not to mention I weaved my way through the crowd and most likely ran 2 miles in the first mile simply due to weaving. By mile four I was pretty tired and I hadn’t really even hit the hills yet.
But this year…THIS YEAR I have a PLAN and a new wit about me. I am running smarter this year. Here is my plan:

Beginning of the race: Get towards the front early. I won’t hang back and make the mistake of waiting for the walkers to clear out, they won’t. I will be up toward the front.

First mile: I will try to settle into my pace (if possible) and not go out too hard too fast. I know I cannot clear the pack. I will not weave like I did last year. A small amount of weaving is ok, but I will not let it get out of control.

Mile 2: Hold my pace and focus on breathing.

Water stations: It seems to work best when I actually walk through the water station. This way I actually get to hydrate and not inhale the water. In the long run this helps. (I am talking walking no more than 5 or 6 steps, just enough to drink then it is back to running).

Mile 3-13.1: Enjoy the run! There are a lot of mind-blowing hills that could easily psych me out,
but I am going to focus on my pace, my legs, my breathing, and my training. The hills will not defeat me this year.

This is my plan as of now. I may add to it as this week progresses and early next week but I feel like I have hit on the major areas that really doomed me last year.

12 Days Until Seattle Half!
Today I am grateful for:
Early morning snuggles with my Little Buddy.
My cozy Ugg boots.

Run Happy Peeps!


  1. You've got this girl!!! Good job having a plan! Plans are important! Just remember to stick with them! :)

  2. Love the PLAN.. Now this weekend lets get a STRONG training run and confidence booster for you..

    Do you think 2 Marathons in consecutive months is too much?? Hmmmm.. I am not Maniac but I really want to support Shelby and help her through the 26.2.

    YIPPEE you are going to do Tacoma :) And the Fleet Feet Program.. I am sooooo EXCITED!! I will need you to teach me all about T-Town in prep for the big Marathon redemption..


  3. Sounds like a good plan! I love my cozy Uggs too....guess it's time to break those out!

  4. Great plan! I am definitely taking your advice for this race, since you're a veteran...and I'm a newbie. :) Thanks for sharing the plan.

  5. Sounds like a good plan to me even though I don't have any experience with a half.

    I did walk through the water stations last run I did and that was so much better than drinking some while running.

  6. Last year's race sounds like a disaster! I had a similar experience with getting stuck behind people and knocking into walkers on my way out. That was awful, so I definitely feel you on that one.

    Your plan sounds like a good one. And you could even stand to walk a little longer at the water stations early in the race. That would do you wonders towards the end, you'd be surprised. Regardless, your plan sounds strong.

  7. Sounds like a plan! I decided early on that every race taught me something and it seems that you learnt your lessons from last time. Good luck.

  8. Oooh thank you for sharing that information. I am doing my first ever half marathon in February. I hadn't even thought about stuff like this before. I don't know if I would feel "worthy" of starting at the front of the pack, however, I don't want to get stuck back with a "wad" of nonmoving people either. LOL

  9. Okay, Amanda. You probably just saved me from being stuck in the back! Dude! I'm feeling a tad nervous now as I did not realize how BIG this race is! When are you going to the EXPO?

  10. Sounds like a really good plan! Weaving can really drain the juice! Good luck!!

  11. Let's hear it for PLANS. Isn't experience great?? You are going to ROCK your race, and I'm soooo excited for you!

    Hugs from Orlando....

  12. OK if you do Tacoma I would be sooo tempted to toss out time (BQ) goals and run with you.. Or maybe we could have a time goal together?? 26.2 is sooo lonely, would be so much more fun with a friend.. Hmmm!!! I thought you wanted to do OKC?

    If you sign up for Fleet Feet tell them I told you about it because we will both save 10% or $10.. Hello!

    I am excited for Saturday.. May have to be 8 because I have a birthday party to go to...yes another one. Wowee!!

  13. I LOVE plans! Sounds like you learned some good lessons and you'll be putting them to good use!

    PS - At least call yourself a hot mess (in reference to last year). All the kids are saying it. :)

  14. Yay! Looks like a good plan!
    Trying to clear the pack by running too fast is a mistake I always make. If you can avoid it you'll have a great race!

  15. Hi Amanda, I found your blog and enjoy reading your journey and look forward to reading more. Good luck in Seattle!!!!


You're pretty much awesome!!


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