Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rock n Roll Seattle 5 Style

I had high hopes for Seattle RnR. Coming in to it I had visions of beating my course and standing half PR by a few minutes. After all I had been running in temps at least 35-40 degrees hotter and humidity around 60-80% higher. Why couldn't I PR? I should PR. Or so I told myself for the week leading up to the race. And I still think I could have, if conditions had been perfect. Let me explain.

Are conditions ever perfect? I think they are, occasionally. Last year's Seattle RnR conditions were perfect. Weather was good, my legs were fresh, my mind was right. Everything was just right. This year things were not wrong but I was not 100% right. I hate making excuses but traveling makes it really hard to have a good race. Anyone else agree? Is it ever a good idea to attempt a major goal for a destination race? I think it can be if done correct....Anyway, I flew into Seattle LATE Tuesday night. Actually it was EARLY Wednesday morning. I got back to The ORC's house and to sleep after 2 AM. Wednesday night I stayed up late just the same. Thursday the same...Friday I got to bed a decent hour, probably asleep by 11. While my to-bed schedule was off my wake-up schedule was still normal, I was getting up early in the mornings. I am a person who needs my sleep but I didn't want to waste any time I could have with my friends. I had so little time and as The Hubs puts it, I can sleep when I'm dead.

The second thing that may have affected my race performance in my nutrition. I have been eating six times a day, small meals consisting of protein, carbs and fat. Traveling just throws that all off. Not to mention I wanted to hit up all my favorite old restaurants. I drug poor Jessica ORC to Joy Teriyaki, Silk Thia, Katie Downs, and The Ram. Lots of eating out and little good-for-me food. I tried to make good choices but it's just not the same.

The third factor was just plain old mental exhaustion. Seeing old friends and go,go,going was fun and dazing! But I had little down time to focus on my upcoming race. I was having fun each and every minute, one day at a time and my race plan and goals were really pushed back until it got closer. But before I knew it, it was race day! I was ready, but not really. I was excited to see everyone and I was caught up in the fun and the photos and just being there! It was so much fun! I had on my smiles but not my game face. My game face is necessary to dig within and get focused. It happens rarely but when it does the results are usually pretty good. It is a mental state that takes effort for me to find and sometimes even when I try I just can't get there. Saturday I couldn't get there...BUT that is ok. I had a great time!

Here I am with RED at the start. Yeah, my nose is a little red because I got a little bit emotional when I was mingling with all the others who were running for DetermiNation. I met a lady who is a 4 time survivor. Absolutely inspiring. Her passion is raising awareness and working to find a cure. There were a lot of other stories and so many people who have been affected by cancer in one way or another. I felt so proud to be a part of DetermiNAtion and the $1550.14 raised!


Here are some of the crew who met with us at Corral 6 for the pre-race photo op:


We were having a great time but time was ticking away and it was almost 7 o'clock. Everyone dispersed and headed to their respective corrals. We all wished each other well and new we would meet up again at the B at the reunion area.

Mel, Blonde Ponytail and I headed into what we thought was corral 7 but once in we discovered it was actually corral 6. Oh well...we settled in and waited for the start. Mel had loaned me her toss away jacket, I was FREEZING just as I figured I would be. I was so grateful for the jacket! It was warm and cozy and felt like a ginormous, soft, warm hug! It wasn't until I gave it back to her when corral 4 was starting that I saw her kiss it and toss it. A hug from her dad! She shared it with me!


Our corral start came pretty fast and we were off. The plan was to start off nice and easy so as not to go out too fast. Our first mile was 9:03. Perfect, nice and easy. We were taking in the sights and the people. We were almost to mile 1 when I saw Jessica ORC!! She is so good!! We waved and she cheered!! We continued on, making our way through the crowd. Mile 2 passed in 8:47. I was feeling good but still taking it nice and easy, no where near our 8:24 pace for a 1:50 PR. I think it was somewhere in the beginning of Mile 3 where I said, "Hey guys, in case you are wondering THIS is a hill." Yeah, who put that hill there? Last year I ran, or floated through the course. I didn't notice hardly any hills at all. But this year I noticed speed bumps and mole hills. Mel and Blonde Ponytail laughed a little bit and we continued on completing Mile 3 in 9:08. Still on track for a decent finish.

The miles were certainly passing by pretty quickly. We were just watching all the runners and spectators. We passed mile 4 in 9:04. I'm actually bad at recaps, I should wait and read Mel and Jess's recap so I can remember all the cool things that we saw. I do remember things but I don't really remember where we were in the course. It's like going on a cross country family vacation and remembering the Grand Canyon but not remember where it was or when I saw it...Either way, we saw two people dressed in human clothes with very strange heads. One had a Chicken head and the other was a donkey or something. I was fixated on the chicken head. It was so bazaar looking. And he was dancing and hopping around acting like a looney! It was funny and I just started to think, who does that? We also saw, off to the right hand side, sitting very quietly and still, a cute couple. They were sitting in lawn chairs side by side. But they also where not human, they were donkeys. Or were they goats? Whatever they were it was funny. It was also around this time that we saw the chick with long, flowing blonde hair and it was down, flying around and not put up. How do people do that? I don't get it? Doesn't it drive them nuts? We finished Mile 4 in 9:04.

Blonde Ponytail would inch ahead of us every once and a while, mostly on the uphills, which there were a TON of. Then we would catch up, or she would slow, either way. At some point our nice and easy start just kind of turned into a nice and easy race. I felt bad, like these two should just go ahead and race, run faster or do their best. I was doing the best I could at the time. I just wasn't feeling it. I was tired, my glutes were cramping and I felt starving. This just wasn't turning out to be my race-day. But Mel and Jess didn't want to go ahead, they wanted to run with me! Mile 5 must have been hilly, we came through at 9:26.

I think it was Mile 6 when we saw Amy. Mel was saying, "Is that Amy?" and they stated waving and she got some sweet pics as we ran by! Mile 6 was completed in 9:00.

We knew Chelsea would be around Mile 7 so we made our way to the other side of the road and started looking out for her. Sure enough, she was right where we suspected and she snapped a few great shots too! As you can tell I was started to fade...sig pose came busting out mid race, a few times. We finished up mile 7 in 9:08.


I couldn't believe how fast the miles were passing. I also was wondering where Run to Remember would be set up. Last year they were at Mile 5 as we came down a hill and rounded the corner to Lake Washington. They had the Freedom Riders flags lining the road. While I loved seeing that it is also overwhelming and I had a hard time last year maintaining my composure. Part of me was relieved they were not there, the other part wondered why not. It wasn't long before we saw them, the small photos of uniformed soldiers every five feet or so, killed in combat. Then they had the people, in their blue shirts, lining the road holding a flag. One for each soldier lost at Ft. Lewis. I couldn't hardly look. It is just too much. I worked to get my breathing under control, which is hard to do when you are also trying not to cry. We made it through Mile 8 in 9:18.

We finally made out way past Lake Washington and up the steep hill to the freeway that would take us to downtown Seattle and the finish line. We entered The Tunnel of Sweat and Stink. We saw EMZ flying by on the other side, approaching her Mile 12. We cheered for her and I couldn't help but feel someone starstruck and awe. She looked so strong and like she was running on clouds. I wish I could run like that. Sigh. The tunnel is probably the worst part of this race and there really is no way to avoid it. It is long and hot and stinky and loud. I was getting hotter and stuffier by the minute. We couldn't get out of there soon enough. I feel like my miles are all confused and mixed up, I haven't uploaded my stats to Garmin yet, so I don't know where we were but I feel like we came out of the tunnel at Mile 10. We finished miles 9 and 10 in 10:13 and 10:10. What happened? Hills and hottness happened.

Downtown Seattle was in sight. We were on an overpass and Mel must have been trying to entertain herself. She took out her phone and snapped this shot:


How is THAT for running form? UGH!

We were having a good time! It was so nice to spend some QT with Mel and to get to know Jess Blonde Ponytail. We chatted a lot and I pretty much remained in the middle, an Amanda sandwich. It was awesome. We completed Mile 11 in 10:01 and headed closer to downtown. With 2 miles to go I was feeling ok but it was starting to sink in that not only would I not get a PR, obviously I had given up on that around mile 3, but we weren't even going to go sub 2. What has happened to me? More on that later.....

The streets were lined with spectators. I was actually surprised by all the people out watching. It was pretty cool. I had been getting a lot of cheers along the way for my DetermiNAtion jersey. Apparently there were only four people who joined them from out-of-state, me and Sarah were two of them. They may not have recognized me but I felt the love nonetheless! Mile 11 and 12 completed in 10:01 and 9:52.

Around Mile 12 I told Mel and Jess that this mile was for my dad. While the whole race was dedicated to him I wanted to really spend some time and tap into myself, my thoughts and y reason for running this race. While I chose this race specifically because of it being in Seattle and being able to see my friends my true reason was for my dad and for ACS. I I thought about my dad and what he is going through, about his treatment and how he still smiles, about he has spent a week with my son, his grandson, despite his chemo treatments and how crummy he may be feeling. This mile, this last long mile was for him. I could at least do it for him. Around the time I was thinking I would like to walk I saw an American Cancer Society coach for DetermiNAtion wearing his cowboy hat, just like my dad wears. He was running against the crowd saying "Run with your legs, run with your heart! You can do this!" And he was right, I could do this. I had to do this.....I kept going. Soon we left the viaduct and rounded the corner. "I may have a stride but I don't have a sprint." I tried to finish strong, I finished as strong as I could. We gave our best finish line poses and I hear Jessica ORC yelling at me!! YAY! She made it to the finish! I waved at her and then there we were, crossing the finish line! 13.1 Miles in 2:03. Not bad for being a hilly run. And where did those hills come from again?


In Honor of My Dad!

Bringing it home!!!

J-Ninja and Jessica ORC! J-Ninja came out from NC and ended up not being able to run due to her ITB. Total bummer.

RED, Sarah and me!!

Group shot Sig Pose of course!


What an amazing group of women! I had a wonderful time in the PNW and loved every moment of being back with my Running Posse. I am so excited for them all to come out to NC for the next race! Ok, so maybe I am delusional but a girl can wish. right?

Final Thoughts:
  • This was the BEST Inaugural Running Partner Appreciation Day EVER!
  • Running races with friends is fun! I enjoy having the company and the distraction! It certainly makes the time and miles seemingly fly by!
  • I didn't turn on my iPod at all. I wanted to be able to hear and interact with Mel and Jess and others along the course. Music helps me get into the mental zone and to ignore pains in my body.
  • All my PR's have been done while racing solo. Coincidence? I don't know. No clue. Maybe? I think I get psyched out for some reason when I run with others. I think I also get whiny and scared. There is certainly something mental that goes on upstairs when I race with others. I need to try to figure it out.
  • I am no longer in any sort of hill condition. I need to find some hills and abuse them. Royally.
  • Swimming and biking does not translate to running. I have my work cut out for me.
  • I am happy with my time but to be honest I wish I could have done better. Especially given this race was dedicated to my dad.
  • I had a wonderful time and was reminded just how good I had it living up in the PNW. Between the races, routes and Running Partners I was spoiled. I hope I can recreate, not replace of course, what I had there with new running partners in NC. I am slowly building my NC Running Posse with J-Ninja, Sarah and Andrea when she moves out in August. I am well on my way to a second group of amazing Running Partners. How awesome it that? TWO supportive, amazing running groups.

What's next? Raleigh Triangle Sprint Tri. I am currently flying high above TN on my way to NC. Tomorrow I hit the pool and the road. Back on track with my diet and routine...There are races to run, PR's to break and set.


  1. It was great to meet you (brief though it was!) I think it's funny that your 'comfort pace' is a good minute+ faster than mine :P
    You should know that you, Mel, Stacie, Jess, Kerrie, Zoe, Jill...you're all amazing runners and huge inspirations to me.
    Hope you have a wonderful reunion with your family :)

  2. Great recap Amanda. Even though you didn't get a PR maybe it was meant to be for you to run this race with your friends :)

    Love the sig poses! Wish I could have met up with you all at the race but it was an emotional one for me too running with wear blue run to remember.
    Glad I got to meet you at the dinner tho!

  3. Wow, what a great recap. I read most of it...I did! So wonderful that you have relationships with so many of these runners. Loved that you ran together. And love that you ran for your dad. So many details here that I enjoyed...the part about Mel kissing the jacket/hug from her dad...so sweet.
    You are gorgeous in all of these pictures. I have not read many of your posts but I'm looking forward to from now on...life gets busy and i get way behind on blogs! You've certainly inspired me though! Great job and glad you had fun doing it.

  4. Still a ROCKSTAR!! Check out my latest post...shout out to you!! (I still don't know how to "tag"!!)

  5. Not every race has to be a PR, right? That's what i've learned. You had fun and the pictures show it :)

  6. Amanda!! I got a little teary-eyed reading your post. You are amazing girl and have most definitely been an inspiration and motivator to me ever since you moved here :) I look forward to many more races to come & many more "PR's to break and set" with you! Congrats on an awesome race and raising $ in honor of your dad for a wondeful cause.

  7. Congrats on your race! Sounds like it was an emotional one for you - thank you for your fundraising!

  8. Congrats Amanda! So much to be proud of, and not a bad way to celebrate RBAD!

  9. Looks like you girls made the best of those hills and lived it up right! Well done on the fundraising efforts too! DetermiNation is such an awesome organization!

  10. For those of us who are competetive with ourselves (aren't we all???) a PR feels necessary, but it sounds to me like you had a GREAT time! You've been homesick and hopefully you made some emotional deposits to help get you through the next set of months. I'd say your dad is DELIGHTED with your run....you RAN! Way to go!

  11. awesome recap. I live in Nashville where heat/ humidity and hills are always prevalent... I don't think its something that is easy to get used to (if ever)
    Great to see the strong relationships that can be built through running, you're very luck to have those people in your life

  12. You did an awesome job in so many ways!!! And I love all the pics. You all look so cute. :) GREAT JOB!!!

  13. Congrats! Super cool you had those people to run with. Great job!

  14. I also shot for and missed the sub-2:00 Seattle RnR half on Saturday...my time? 2:03-strange! A wonderful race, a beautiful route and still a great 'time'! Congrats to you and yours!

  15. Sometimes having fun with your friends is more important than a PR. You guys looked like you had a blast. Way to go.

  16. Great race, Amanda. I'm proud of you. A PR isn't that big of a deal, not when you're running for your dad. I mean, you got out there, you raised money, you ran for your dad--that is truly a beautiful thing.
    Cheers and happy running,

  17. Not for a moment do I have ANY regrets whatsoever about the race. I am SO thankful I could run with YOU and MEL. I had an absolute blast!!!

    You remember so many things! You and Mel are stellar with race reports!

    Proud of you and hope you are adjusting to NC life again. GOOD LUCK this week as you prepare for your job.

    Thinking of you!!! (insert sig pose)

  18. RNR Seattle seems like it was such a blast...minus the hills... So fun to be able to hang out with so many great ladies!!! This tough one will make your upcoming races feel like cake. For sure. :)

  19. I think you did great! I loved reading your recap. It sounded like you had a lot of fun running with Mel and Jess.

  20. Hi! I got here via your "if you like White Diamonds, you'll love..." links at the bottom of newer posts.

    Thanks for saying it is harder to get a good time running with someone else. I ran my first race ever on Sunday, and with Hubby on the course I just couldn't run my own race. Totally thought that was just me.

    Anyway, I love your blog- and thank you!

  21. Did you know that you can shorten your long urls with BCVC and make cash for every click on your shortened links.


You're pretty much awesome!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails