Rock ‘n Roll Seattle Recap: Aka My First Half-Marathon

First, I wanted to say that I ran my first half marathon. Yay!

Since this was my first official half marathon, my only goal was to run the entire time and not worry about pace or finishing time. I mostly stuck to that goal although there were a couple of times when I walked on the mountains hills on the course. I ended up finishing in 2:19, which I’m happy with since I was expecting that I’d finish around 2:30.

So here’s a recap of the race and the events leading up to the race:

I left work in a frenzy around 1 PM and headed over to South Lake Union to check into my hotel. Even though work was crazy that day, I’m glad I left early to miss the worst of the “I-can’t-drive-in-the-rain-even-thought-it’s-always-raining” traffic. As I made my way over, I saw a fellow blogger, Tricia, tweet and ask if she could have a ride over to the expo. Turns out, we were staying at the same hotel. Great meeting you, by the way!

The awesome wall of sparkles

It was my first expo experience and I might’ve been a tad excited about all the free food samples. Mixing 20 different protein bars and coconut milk ice cream into your stomach within a 1-hour period is probably not the smartest thing to do the day before a race. I couldn’t help myself. How could I possibly resist a Snicker’s energy bar or an almond milk ice cream sandwich? Aside from food, I purchased a sparkly headband and a pink pair of Brooks PureCadence since I love my blue ones so much.

My hot shoes

I walked over to where the blogger meet-up was going to occur and then saw some work things blowing up over email and had to make a few phone calls. By the time I went back, everyone was gone. I ran into Julie, Adrian and Laura at the expo though. Laura & I wandered around for a bit more and then we headed over to dinner with Stacie, Allison & Lauren. I was tempted to order a wine flight but given that I had to wake up at 5am and I already punished my stomach enough between sample overload and my bagel dog lunch, I reluctantly passed. After dinner, I headed to the hotel and met up with a friend of mine. Staying in a hotel near the start of the race was such a brilliant idea. It meant I could sleep in until 5 AM instead of waking up at 4 AM.

Blogger dinner (L to R: Allison, Stacie, Lauren, Me & Laura)

I didn’t sleep well at all that night and kept waking up every hour to check the clock. Finally got up at 4:45 and headed to the bathroom since I’ve read in several blogs “You can’t PR if you don’t PRP (pre-race poop).” I must say that I was getting a little stressed about that it wasn’t going to happen for me but that’s a little TMI. The hotel had a runner’s breakfast for $4, consisting of a bagel and peanut butter, trail mix and chocolate milk. Yum. G and I then headed to Seattle Center and met up with some blogger peeps. Unfortunately I missed the big group photo but had fun anyway hanging out with my friend G, Stacie, Julie and Adrian. I decided to hang out in their corral and start the race with them instead of heading back to my corral in the nosebleed section. It was probably a smart move since a lot of people in this corral were running pretty slow anyway. When it was time to get moving, I was pumped. I turned my music on and had it on full blast. I was so thankful that it wasn’t raining. I really did want to get soaking wet while I was running. I’m a wimp when it comes to rain and cold.

My friend G & I. My extra large throwaway shirt makes me look extra large.

The Space Needle before the start of the race

Adrian, Julie, Stacie & me before the race. We all wore matching shirts designed by the extremely talented Julie (aka TriGirl)

Showing off our shirts

The start of the race

Miles 1-5

The first few miles went by really quickly and I kept checking my watch to make sure that I wasn’t going too fast. I was between a 9:00 and 10:00 pace the entire time which is ideal for me. I was really surprised at how many people stopped and walked during the first mile or two. I’m also really glad I didn’t have to use the bathroom since the porta potty line at mile 1 or two was super long. I was trucking along, reading the signs on the side of the road and then I turned the corner and the energy of the race seemed to drop. Up in front of me was a dreaded mountain hill. I ran up the hill but I felt like I was barely moving and going downhill, I was scared I was going to faceplant in front of everyone. A very brave girl whizzed by me as fast as she could down that hill.

Miles 6-9

The run along Lake Washington Blvd was very pretty and we ran past some military tributes which was very touching. My iPod was driving me crazy since it would only play the first twenty seconds of a song before skipping to a new song. I think my sweat/body was screwing with it; once I clipped it to my fuel belt, the iPod worked just fine. This stretch of the race also took us through the I-90 title which was dark and humid. I wasn’t a fan and wanted to get out of there asap so I picked up my pace a bit. After exiting the tunnel, we ran towards the Viaduct and the slant of the interstate was driving me crazy. The marathon winner ran by me on the right and he looked like he was flying.

Miles 10-12

After climbing up to the Viaduct, we were rewarded with amazing views. At this point, I was ready to be done but the nice views certainly helped. I was so excited that mile 12 included a downhill and I thought we were going to end on a downhill. No such luck. There was a bitch of a hill right before the end and my hopes of sprinting through the finish line were quickly dashed. It was more like jog-of-death up the hill.

Overall, my first half was a fun and amazing experience and I’m definitely hooked on racing. I avoided races for so long since I thought training for them would be stressful and take the fun away from running but I have to say that I’m pleasantly surprised. My next half is the Lululemon SeaWheeze on 8/11 and I don’t have a goal time yet since I want to see how I do between now and August.

The after photo.

Here are some of the gems the race photographers caught:

No idea

The only “normal” photo from race day

I’m also starting to train for my first marathon which is Marine Corps in Washington, D.C. Does anyone have any newbie marathon tips to share?

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Random Friday Facts

Haven’t done a Random Friday Facts post in a while so I’m definitely overdue. Plus, this week has been insane and I don’t think my brain is coherent enough to type real sentences at the moment.

1. I think I might sign up for the Point Defiance 30k with some Twitter peeps. I didn’t even know 30k was a legitimate race distance. Some of my badass Twitter peeps (ahem, RicoleRuns) have signed up for a 50K (!).

2. Every work week should be a 4-day week.

3. I’m trying to convince a college friend to go to Jordan and Oman with me in November, post Marine Corps Marathon. Even if she bails, I’m still going.

4. I can’t wait to buy a road bike but I’m terrified of trying clipless pedals and falling over and breaking a bone. Why are they called clipless pedals since you clip into the pedal?

5. One of my work BFFs and I are going to work out a lot and drink a lot of wine next week. My idea of a perfect evening.

6. I was tempted to Google the photo of the guy who had his face eaten off by zombie dude. My husband told me I would have nightmares and never sleep again if I did.

7. Related to #6, I’m a big fan of The Walking Dead but I could never understand how the zombies were able to eat/rip through flesh so easily. Now I know it’s not that hard.

8. I’ve been stalking the Oiselle site for months and finally made my first purchase: A pair of violet Roga shorts.

9. Signed up for the foodie pen pal thing and I have no idea how I’m going to stay under a $15 budget. This is the most exciting thing to happen in my life in the last week.

10. I’m planning a Hills of Doom workout on the Tolt Pipeline trail next Tuesday. There will probably be tears. And swearing. At least I’ll get to wear my cute compression socks.

11. I’m addicated to neon compression socks from Zensah. Already have neon pink and neon green but I need more colors.

12. The stupid snow needs to melt in the mountains so that I can do some real hiking.

The end.

My Weekend in Training

I had a pretty productive weekend running-wise and am feeling much more confident about Rock ‘n Roll Seattle than I was a couple of weeks ago.

On Saturday, I met up with Dawn, Genajuade and Katie for a 7.5 mile run through Marymoor Park in Redmond and on the Sammamish River Trail until we hit Redhook Brewery in Redmond. We met up with a few more folks at Redhook and then enjoyed our much deserved beers and treats. My treats = a big, fluffy pretzel and a pulled pork sandwich. Running seems to bring on the HUNGER. Since it was hot and I didn’t want to develop the dreaded shin splints, I took it fairly slow, average a 10:30 pace with some miles at a 9:30 pace. I think the entire Eastside was out on the Sammamish River Trail; it’s great seeing so many happy, active people out on a nice sunny day. My face was one giant salt lick by the time I was done.

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On Sunday, the hubs and I were supposed to go to Bainbridge to visit our favorite ice cream place (Mora) but we realized that was the day of the Chateau Ste Michelle staycation event, full of food trucks and billion-dollar cars. If there’s one thing I can do well, it’s eat so a mini food truck rodeo is just my thing. I filled up on pulled pork sliders, a pork taco and kimchi fried rice from Marination Station. I then got a scoop of chocolate peanut butter ice cream from Parfait. Yum.

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Random cat in a stroller

I didn’t have any formal running plans on Sunday but since I was a glutton all day, I decided to check out the Redmond Watershed Preserve trails in the evening. There were lots and lots of hills and while I haven’t checked my Garmin for official elevation gains, my legs were getting pretty sore. I managed to run up every single hill, albeit very slowly. I also wore my new neon pink compression socks that I had purchased earlier in the day since I think they help with the shin splints during hill work. And they make me go faster (and look awesome). Total mileage on Sunday was 3.5.

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I didn’t run today but hubs and I went to breakfast in Ballard and then headed over to Woodland Park Zoo since it was on the way home. Hubs was wearing his Fitbit and said we walked 4.5 miles throughout the day.

I’m so not ready to go back to work.  Did any of you have a sweat-fest this Memorial Day weekend? By the way, I’m hosting a weekend 8.5-ish mile run on the Kirkland waterfront this Saturday and a Hills-of-Doom run (aka Tolt Pipeline Trail) next Tuesday evening if you want to join.

Oh, and this happened. Poor kitty:

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My Current Playlist

Sometime Around Midnight – The Airbone Toxic

Sway My Way – American Pie Soundtrack

I’m one of those people that can’t run without music. The faster the beat, the faster I tend to run. You’ll notice below that there are several songs about asses in the mix (ahem, Shake Ya Ass) and I find those songs to be particularly motivating. 

Several of the songs below have very explicit lyrics so if your ears are easily offended, please avert your eyes and pretend you never saw my playlist. Are there any songs that I should add to my playlist?

P.S. – some of the songs below are cool down songs and I’m too lazy to separate them out.

Barbie Girl – Aqua

We Used to Wait – Arcade Fire

It Goes Around the World – ATC

Sail – AWOLNATION

Not Your Fault – AWOLNATION

Suga Suga – Baby Bash

Lighters (feat. Bruno Mars) – Bad Meets Evil

Girl – Beck

Crazy in Love – Beyonce

Halo – Beyonce

Just Can’t Get Enough – The Black Eyed Peas

Boom Boom Pow – The Black Eyed Peas

Let’s Get Retarded – The Black Eyed Peas

The Bad Touch – Bloodhound Gang

Piece of Me – Britney Spears

I’m a Slave 4 U – Britney Spears

Circus – Britney Spears

Till the World Ends – Britney Spears

I Wanna Go – Britney Spears

How I Roll – Britney Spears

Up ‘n Down – Britney Spears

3 – Britney Spears

The Ghost Inside – Broken Bells

Grenade – Bruno Mars

Break Ya Neck – Busta Rhymes

Jerk It Out – Caesars

The Time – Cardio Workout Crew

Evacuate the Dance Floor – Cascada

F** You – Cee Lo Green

Murder She Wrote – Chaka Demus

Wicked Game – Chris Isaak

You Make Me Feel – Cobra Starship

Look Good in Leather – Cody ChestnuTT

Audience – Cold War Kids

Louder Than Ever – Cold War Kids

Dream – Cranberries

Keep Up – Dark Lotus

Memories – David Guetta

Without You (feat. Usher) – David Guetta

Grapevine Fires – Death Cab for Cutie

Jumpin, Jumpin – Destiny’s Child

Survivor – Destiny’s Child

Loverboy – Dirty Dancing

Party Up – DMX

I Need a Doctor – Dr. Dre

Mercy – Duffy

Shake That – Eminem

Love the Way You Lie – Eminem

Rhythm Divine – Enrique Iglesias

I Like It (Feat. Pitbull) – Enrique Iglesias

Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You) – Enrique Igelsias

Dirty Dancer – Enrique Igelsias, Usher

Glamorous – Fergie

Jump (feat Nelly Furtado) – Flo Rida

Right Round – Flo Rida

Wild Ones – Flo Rida

Dog Days Are Over  – Florence + The Machines

Times Like These – Foo Fighters

Helena Beat – Foster the People

This Fire – Franz Ferdinand

Tongue Tied – Grouplove

Tonight Tonight – Hot Chelle Rae

You Can Do It – Ice Cube

Living’ It Up – Ja Rule

Down on Me – Jeremih & 50 Cent

No Air – Jordin Sparks

SexyBack – Justin Timerlake

Summer Love – Justin Timerlake

LoveStoned – Justin Timberlake

What Goes Around – Justin Timerlake

Back That Ass Up – Juvenille

Body Shots – Kaci Battaglia

I Predict a Riot – Kaiser Chiefs

Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs

Your Love is My Drug – Ke$ha

Take It Off – Ke$ha

We R Who We R – Ke$ha

Blow – Ke$ha

Grow a Pear – Ke$ha

Born This way – Lady Gaga

Marry The Night – Lady Gaga

Bad Kids – Lady Gaga

The Edge of Glory – Lady Gaga

Paparazzi – Lady Gaga

Telephone – Lady Gaga

Just Dance – Lady Gaga

Doo Whop (That Thing) – Lauryn Hill

I Want You to Want Me – Letters to Cleo

Shots – LMFAO & Lil Jon

The Mummers’ Dance – Loreena McKennitt

The Show Goes On – Lupe Fiasco

4 Minutes – Madonna & Justin Timberlake

La Isla Bonita – Madonna

Moves LIke Jagger – Maroon 5

Hello – Martin Solveig

King Without a Crown – Matisyahu 

What’s the Dilio – Mest

Help I’m Alive – Metric

Time to Pretend – MGMT

Electric Feel – MGMT

They Don’t Care About Us – Michael Jackson

The Garden – Mirah

Starlight – Muse

Knights of Cydonia – Muse

Shake Ya Ass – Mystikal

Danger (Been So Long) – Mystikal

Popular – Nada Surf

Say It Right – Nelly Furtado

Turn Off the Light – Nelly Furtado

Promiscous – Nelly Furtado

Backseat – New Boyz

The Way You Move – OutKast

Hey Ya! – OutKast

Ms. Jackson – OutKast

F**kin’ Perfect – Pink

Raise Your Glass – Pink

Major Time – Peter Schilling

Shake Senora – Pitbull

1999 – Prince

Feel the Noize – Quiet Riot

Don’t Stop the Music – Rihanna

Shut Up and Drive – Rihanna

Disturbia – Rihanna

S&M – Rihanna

Only Girl – Rihanna

Rude Boy – Rihanna

Umbrella – Rihanna

Get Busy – Sean Paul

Temperature – Sean Paul

It Wasn’t Me – Shaggy

Hypnotize – System of a Down

Dynamite – System of a Down

Shut Up and Let Me Go – The Ting Tings

That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings

Spark – Tori Amos

Sing – Travis

Beautiful Day -U2

OMG – Usher

Yeah – User

Holiday – Vampire Weekend

A-Punk – Vampire Weekend

Boom Boom – Venga Boys

Glad You Came – The Wanted

My Doorbell – The White Stripes

Black and Yellow – Wiz Khalifa

Cough Syrup – Young the Giant

In da Club – 50 Cent

Love Song – 311

I Broke My Butt

Now that I seem to be over my shin splints, I guess my body decided it needed something else to complain about. Last weekend, I ran 5 miles on the Powerline and Sammamish River Trail and I think the hills are what did me in & led to a pulled muscle. Given that I haven’t been sticking to my training plan as rigorously as I should’ve been due to all my vacations, I should’ve taken it easy. My husband was amused that I needed his help to sit down and get up for two entire days.

Because of my pulled butt muscle, I skipped the Seattle’s Best 15k since I’m not very good at taking it easy when it comes to races. Instead, I ran an easy and slow-paced 6 miles on the flat Sammamish River Trail. I was really bummed that I had to skip the race and miss out on meeting up with Erika and Allison. And speaking of races, I’m also a total dolt because I didn’t realize the West Seattle 5k was *this* Sunday.

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My goal for Rock ‘n Roll Seattle is to run the entire 13.1 miles; no goal time since it’s my first half marathon. I will have a time goal for the Lululemon SeaWheeze half in August. Speaking of the SeaWheeze, it’s about 75% sold out. Still time to sign up, RunBirdieRun and RicoleRuns. No pressure but if you don’t come, you’re going to miss out on a kick ass Vancouver weekend.