Guys, I loved the Seattle Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon so much! What a great race. I would definitely run this one again!
Ok, let me give you a little rundown…
The race offered 3 different distance options this year– 8k, half marathon, and marathon– so even more runners of varying abilities could participate. Love this. The race started and finished at Seattle Center, which was especially cool for an out-of-towner like me. Good morning, Space Needle!
The race started at 7:00 AM, so our group met about an hour beforehand to walk over together. We had access to the VIP tent, which was amazing because bag check was a breeze and the lines for the porta-potties were short. And there was coffee! Yay!
Before I knew it, we were lining up in our corrals and it was race time!
The first few miles of the race were kind of rough for me. You’d think with all of the excitement of race day, I would have been pumped up, but I felt horrible and cursed my not-so-great Spring training. My training consisted of three 10-milers, a few mid-distance runs (5-8 miles), and some short runs with Quinn in the jogging stroller, but it was so inconsistent. Some weeks, I’d run 2 or 3 times and, other weeks, I’d maybe run once. Life was crazy, so my training definitely took a backseat. I was worried the race would be a total disaster, but then I started to feel quite a bit better. I also came up with a gameplan, which made 13.1 miles seem a lot more manageable. I guess my head was finally in the game. I dunno what ultimately made me feel better, but here’s how I ran this race:
Miles 1-6: These were my “all day” miles. Basically, I picked a comfortable pace and trucked along. I didn’t listen to music and soaked it all in. I took a packet of GU at mile 5.
Miles 6-8: I planned to start my music at the halfway point of the race. It felt really good to jam-out with my tunes, and I picked up the pace a little. In addition to the usual Rock ‘N’ Roll bands and cheerleaders, there was a ton of a crowd support. I especially loved the long stretch of military personnel and other volunteers holding American flags. It was so inspirational to see.
How cool is this floating “RUN HAPPY” sign from Brooks?! Of course, I needed to stop and snap a pic!
Miles 8-11: These next few miles were my “do work” miles. I knew there were hills coming up, so I focused and pushed myself to get through them. I actually felt really good at this point in the race. I even blew by a ton of people and rocked some negative splits. I took another packet of GU at mile 9. Prior to this, I stopped at every water station for some sort of hydration (water or Gatorade).
Miles 11-13.1: Here’s where my feel-good attitude and negative splits came to a screeching halt. I started to lose a little steam around mile 11, but I was ready for a strong finish. I didn’t have a lot left in my tank, but enough to get me through the final mile. Well, I made it to mile 12.5, but there was a decent size hill between me and the finish line. My legs burned as I ran up it, so my paced slowed quite a bit, but I told myself as soon as I got to the top, I would sprint to the end. Um, yea, that never happened. My legs were done. So done. The final 1/2 mile of this race was easily the slowest for me. I don’t think I’ve ever had a finish like that. The photo below says it all. Haha! So much pain.
Anyway, I finished in 01:54:43 (8:45), which is technically a 13-second PR, so I’m happy with my overall performance. I celebrated with a post-race mimosa!
All in all, I really enjoyed this course. It was a great challenge with a variety of elements, and I loved how they kept my brain engaged for the entire 13.1 miles. I didn’t know what was coming next, so it made things exciting. There were all sorts of hills of various distances and inclines (and declines!), scenic views of Mount Rainier and Lake Washington, and running through interstate tunnels, which is something I had never done before. It was a really cool experience!
Post-race with the Brooks Running Blog Ambassadors! I’m so proud of us!