This weekend was a crazy busy weekend - but of course when the first plans were made, it was a wide open weekend! Does that ever happen to anyone else?! Regardless of the plans, I was excited for it all.
Sunday, was a typical race day for me - up at 4:45 am and driving to Seattle by 5:30! Who decides that races need to start so early? How about an 11 am start time?
I had been working on some speed work in the weeks leading up to this race, but wasn't planning on going for a PR this time. I had already signed up for my "PR" race for January 2014, so I was just going out to run my own race and finish strong.
When I started the race, I decided that I just had to stay within sight of the 9:00 pace group and I would at least maintain a time around 2 hours. I started strong (and probably too fast) but it felt good to be running on a brisk sunny day seeing areas of Seattle that I hadn't seen running since I was in medical school!
As I hit mile 5, my iPhone Runkeeper app went crazy again, and it was adding miles and having me run at speeds of 4:00 min per mile. That is very frustrating for any runner, because that constant pace in your ear at certain intervals helps you make sure you are on pace. I know I should buy a running watch - but I did order one about a year ago and they are finalizing the product. I should get it by the holidays. I guess that is one downfall with Kickstarter items, there isn't a guaranteed delivery date.
Anyway, I just continued on my run and tried to keep certain people in my sight so I knew I was keeping a constant pace (as long as they were too). At the GU stop, they had a clock up - I remembered seeing the mile 7 sign, so I figured this was just past the halfway point - and the clock read 1:12:36! WHAT? I know the 9:00 pacer did not pass me - how could they be that off on their pace? Well, that was it for me and my walks seemed to get a little slower and my head was spinning with frustration. At the 10.5m turn I saw the 9:00 pacer about 15 people back and realized that I had let myself slow down considerably. I decided that PR or not, those pacers were not passing me.
I started to run at a quicker speed and ignored all of the walk cues. I had the energy and I was not going to let them pass me at the very end. Just after I passed the 12 mile marker, my app let me know that my current running time was 1:50, which meant I could finish this race in under 2:00! I sprinted it to the end. When I turned the corner to the finish line, the clock read 1:56 (I started in wave 2)! I gave it everything I had and crossed the line with a new shiny PR (1:56:46)! I actually finished 4th in my age group as well.
I will admit that I shed quite a few tears on this course, I guess that is a new thing for me and my races! I shed a tear or two when I thought I had fallen so far off my pace at the half way mark, when I learned at mile 12 I had a chance to finish in under two hours and as I crossed the finish line!
Overall, I enjoyed this race course and felt, for Seattle, it was a pretty flat course. There were some hills between miles 7&9, the hardest miles for me in any half, but I managed to push through them. I was unable to make it to the expo, but I understand it was very small and did not have much to offer. The packet pick up the morning of the race was easy and quick with no complaints. I enjoyed running this course with a few loops so I could see and cheer on fellow friends.
Will I go for a new PR in January? I am really not sure. I will just go out and run a good race and finish strong and with a smile! For now, I am excited to run the Wine & Dine Half with my husband for his first half and #12 for me (#8 for the year)!