See Jane Run Seattle Half Marathon Recap

Stretching at Seattle Greenlake Running Group

Social stretching

I ran my first half marathon of 2013 on Sunday, along with fellow Ragnar ultra teammates Robyn and Lauren. By now, I was supposed to have run 2 or 3 half marathons in 2013 but my work and personal travel plans kept getting in the way.

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of joining the Seattle Green Lake Running Group for my last run before the half. Sara and I got there a little early and ran 3 miles around the lake before joining the group before a second 3 mile lap. I left my Garmin in my car so had no idea where my pace was and kept speeding up to 8:30 and 9:00 min miles, which is fast for me and not necessarily what I wanted to do a couple of days before my race. I didn’t run or work out at all on Friday or Saturday in order to allow my legs to rest.

Pre-race: I skipped the expo since some evil person decided to close both the 520 bridge and 405 N, pretty much creating traffic hell for us Eastsiders wanting to go over to Seattle. I decided to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn (5:30) and head over in order to beat traffic and find a parking space. I wore my Oiselle Winona tank and my gray roga shorts and it’s probably the most comfortable race day outfit I’ve ever worn. I also decided to carry a handheld water bottle rather than my usual water belt which was a bit risky given that I’ve never run more than 5 miles with my handheld but it was fine for a half marathon. I would’ve been grumpy if I had stupidly run with a handheld for a full marathon.

On the way over, I hate some peanut butter crackers and a cherry pop tart. Not the healthiest pre-race meal but I didn’t feel like eating oatmeal. I was able to grab a space right at Gas Works Park which is nice since I haven’t figured out the whole parallel parking thing.

It was a gorgeous morning and I’m so glad that I got there early to enjoy the scenery. Another plus: the lines for packet pick up and the honey buckets were non-existent. The line got pretty long toward the start of the race. I knew it was going to be a warm race since I didn’t need to wear my jacket at 7am. I ran over to my car and dropped my jacket off so never used bag check. I ran into Julie and her husband before the race and chatted with them for a while.

Seattle view from Gas Works park See Jane Run Seattle Porta Potties

I lined up in the 9-11 minute mile group and cranked my iPod up while waiting to go. I wasn’t nervous for this race since I didn’t have any intention of setting a PR, given that Ragnar is coming up this weekend. My only goal was to run a consistent, even pace which didn’t happen. My pace was all over the place, ranging from 9:20 to 10:00.

The course traveled around Lake Union and was really scenic and flat, minus a short but steep hill around mile 7. As you can see from the map, there were a couple of out and backs, although I didn’t mind them since it gave me a chance to see the super speedy ladies, including the 16-year-old girl who won the race. I saw Robin early in the race and she was flying and placed 26th!

See Jane Run Seattle Course Map

Here’s a breakdown of how I felt during the race:

Miles 1-3: My legs weren’t feeling that great and felt kind of heavy, despite resting on Friday and Saturday. We got to experience our first out and back during this part of the race and I picked up speed when I saw the effort the fast ladies were putting in. I also got to see Lauren for the first during the turnaround. I think it was during this part of the race that I noticed the mileage wasn’t matching up to the signs.

Miles 4-6: The race started to thin out around during the middle miles. There was some decent shade in some areas which I definitely appreciated. My stomach started to grumble right around mile 6 which was a little annoying.

Miles 7-10: Lauren and her friend passed me at exactly 6.98 miles since she called out to me and asked what my Garmin said. We knew at this point that the mileage wasn’t adding up. I encountered the short, steep hill around mile 7.5 ish and it wasn’t that bad, except the downhill was a little scary so I slammed the breaks on pretty fast. Heading into mile 10, I passed the parking lot and the finish line. It’s always tough seeing the finish line knowing that you have 3 miles to go. I also saw Rira around mile 10 – seeing her perked me up and she also snapped this awesome photo. So much better than the “official” race photography.

See Jane Run Seattle Half Marathon

Miles 11 – 12.86: I was ready to be done with the race during the last couple of miles. It was getting warm and my sunscreen started getting into my eyes and stinging. I was very thankful to have Lauren and her friend right in front of me. I followed both of them the last couple of miles and didn’t even think about my pace. I’m not sure what the temperature was around 10am when I finished but the sun was out and my race was covered in salt. I also realized that I neglected to eat my sports beans which I meant to eat around mile 8 or 9. I need to be better about fueling during races. During Marine Corps, I didn’t start eating my sports beans until mile 15. I did stop at all the water stations and grab guzzle some water. By the way, great job volunteers!

When I finished, my Garmin said 12.86! It’s the first time I’ve ever run a race that’s been short. Grr. It’s a good thing I wasn’t trying to PR this course since it wouldn’t be a “real” PR. I finished in 2:08, which is behind my 2:06 time for the Labor Day Half and faster than my 2:17 at Seawheeze and 2:19 at Rock ‘n Roll. I’d like to run a sub 2:00 half at some point but I’m not going to attempt it until after Chicago so it will likely be a 2014 goal. I didn’t feel too tired after I finished, at least compared to the halves I ran last year which is a good sign.

See Jane Half Marathon Seattle Finish Line

Once I finished, I met up with Lauren and plopped down on the grass just on the other side of the finish line and started stretching and taking pictures.

Seattle See Jane Run Half Marathon finish

I eventually got up and wandered around to grab food and samples. I got a cup of pretzels, a bagel slice, peanut butter and my champagne glass with chocolates. Since it was so hot, I wasn’t in the mood for chocolate or champagne. After the race, I headed home and the journey was a cluster*(#$&. Remember how an evil person decided to close 520 and 405 North? Because of the closures, there was a ton of traffic and the route was extra long. Even though I had 50 miles worth of gas in my tank when I left my house in the morning, I was starting to run on empty and I realized I left my purse and wallet at home. (*#&$(#*&%(*#&%(*#. I made it to a gas station in Factoria and had to call my husband and ask him to bring my purse so I could fill my car with gas. I was starving so I started eating the See’s chocolates from the race which tasted great but upset my stomach. Thank goodness that the Shell gas station in Factoria has a nice, clean bathroom since I had the fun of being stuck in the bathroom for 25 minutes. Ugh. I just wanted to go home and curl into a ball.

See Jane Run Seattle champagne te

See Jane Run Seattle Half Marathon shirt

medal2

 

Here’s a quick summary of my thoughts on the race:

Pros: Scenic course, loved running a female-focused race, parking was easy, loved the chocolates at the end, like the t-shirt, great volunteer support
Cons: Course was only 12.86 miles (huge con), couldn’t find elevation chart on the site before the race, not very much crowd support (didn’t bother me but it might bother others)

Coming up on the blog: Ragnar Ultra with team Six Pack with a Rack and my first time at Jasyoga

Advertisements

Labor Day Half Marathon Recap

I was debating whether or not to do this race for a few weeks (will it throw off my mileage? Is trying to run/race during marathon training a dumb idea? etc) and I finally decided to sign up the evening before the race because 1) there aren’t that many half marathons 5 minutes away from my house 2) the course is pretty flat – a rarity around here and 3) Sarah posted an awesome picture of the race tee and I was instantly sold. Probably one of the most shallow reasons to sign up for a half but whatever. I woke up at some ridiculous hour so that I could get to Marymoor Park as early in the day so that I could register for the race.  They were running low on race shirts and I almost didn’t get one but luckily the XS fit. If they were out of my size, I might’ve just said nevermind 😉

I headed over to the Nuun tent and saw Lauren and she gave me an awesome Nuun tattoo which people at work thought was real. I also ran into Dawn and got to meet Megan and Andrea. I was also trying to find Sarah before the race but I’m a dufus and was standing by the start line for the kids’ dash instead of the real race. Whoops. Continue reading

The Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon. Yay!

When Lululemon first announced they were going to host the inaugural SeaWheeze Half Marathon on August 11th, 2012, it took me a couple of minutes seconds to sign up for this race. I’m obsessed with Lululemon (hence the blog name) and the race was super close to my birthday and they said it was going to be wonderful and fun. What’s not to love?

Image

When I signed up, I had never run a 5k or any race of that sort and up until Stacie convinced me to sign up for the Rock ‘n Roll Seattle half, it was going to be my first half marathon. Luckily, I had a blast during my first half marathon so training for and running this race was also enjoyable. The other thing that I didn’t anticipate when I signed up for SeaWheeze is that I would also be training for my first full marathon, but that’s another blog post. Continue reading

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?

What Training Plan?

I’m officially in the third week of half marathon training and it hasn’t taken me long to realize that I suck at following training plans. Part of the problem is that I can be stubborn and don’t like being told what to do & when to do it but the other problem is that I love some of my cross-training activities so much, such as spinning and hot yoga, that I’m having a hard time fitting some of the weekday runs into my schedule. On Monday, I was scheduled to run 4 miles and it’s also a day I have spinning so I hopped on the dreadmill an hour before class and then thought I was going to pass out and die during spinning. Since I sit in the front row and the Monday night classes are packed, that would be midly embarrassing. Considering how clumsy I am, I’m proud that I haven’t somersaulted over the handlebars yet.

So anyways, back to the training plan. I’ve been pretty good about sticking to the plan this week, especially since the cranky shins have calmed down a bit. I’ve included a copy of my plan below in case you’re curious. It was included as part of my half marathon core training program through my gym. I’ll talk about the program and how it’s going in a future post and you may even get to see some videos of my crappy form.

In other news, the cake pops that our super nice magazine partner sent us have finally disappeared from the office. Thank goodness. I was addicted to the cake pop crack despite the fact that cake pops do not agree with my stomach. At all. (And yet, I continue to eat them despite repeat sprints to the restroom).

Some cake pop porn for your viewing pleasure: