What a great day to run!
Jeff, Gypsy, Kelli and I waiting in the corral
We headed into Seattle around 4:30AM, rode a lovely school bus out to the start line...ironically, the start line is closer to our houses than the finish line. In essence, we DROVE to Seattle, DROVE back towards home, than RAN to Seattle, and then DROVE home. A little ridiculous but that's the way it worked.
Anyhow, the organization of the whole thing was great. The first few hours of the day were a lot like Disneyland, standing in lines, waiting for your turn to go. The race starts in waves so we had about an hour to wait until our corral was at the start line. Once we made it to the start line, they did a great job making us feel like we were the first group off the start line, with an official gunshot and everything.
The energy of running with so many people felt amazing and the first 2 miles flew by. It was easy to keep pace with those around us so we definitely chose the correct corral for our herd. After the 2 mile mark, we set the interval timer and kept going. Run 6 minutes. Walk 1 1/2 minutes. Never skipped a beat.
I felt really good through mile 10. I hadn't run more than 10 miles so I wasn't sure if I had enough in me to make it the last 3 miles. Fortunately, the race is plotted such that the last three miles put you on I-90, through the tunnel into Seattle, past Safeco field and finishing at Qwest Field with a lot of spectators cheering you on. Needless to say, I found the energy and we actually skipped two of the walking intervals in the last 3 miles. It helped to have the crowd cheering us on, yelling over and over again that we only had a little bit more to go.
Jeff, Gypsy and I crossed the finish line together - in under 3 hours! I admit I almost cried but had to focus on keeping my legs moving or else I knew I would cramp up. Kelli totally kicked arse, having not run more than 6 miles before yesterday and she was less than 5 minutes behind us (turns out she prefers to run alone and does just fine on her own!).
I really couldn't have asked for more from myself or my team. Having never run a 1/2 before yesterday, I wasn't sure what to expect but hoped for meeting our goals. Gypsy and I had previously walked two half marathons and, after the last one, I knew that I was ready to amp up the competitiveness and start running. I feel good about the training. Without Jeff and Gyp to keep me honest, I don't know that I would have trained as well as I did. I feel good about meeting our goals. Surprisingly, my body feels good today. Only slightly sore with a MONSTER blister on my foot. But nothing that a little stretching and the Shred won't knock out of me in the next few days.
I am not done running. For the next few months, running will be for fun. I'll go for a run because I want a glass of wine or a huge meal. I'll go for a run simply because it feels good when the run is over. I'll go for a run to stay healthy and strong. I'll go for a run because I want to; not because I have to. I have new goals, such as improving my mile time. In November, we'll run the Seattle Half Marathon and long runs will begin again this fall. But I'm not going to do more than two of these marathon things a year. It is too hard to work full time, be a wife and a mom, and train. I'm lucky to have the friends and family to support me but doing more of these in a year doesn't appeal to me.
If you think about it, two half marathons a year equals a FULL marathon and you can't beat that!