Saturday I joined just under 12,000 people in the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll run. Originally I signed up for the full 26.2 mile marathon around the south end of the city but decided to downgrade about a month before. I was struggling to keep up with training and life events at the same time.
Two years ago, this was my first ever organized run and at the time I had no idea that this would have me hooked on running. The second time around, I had a smile plastered on my face the whole 13.1 miles, even as the rain rolled in.
In the middle of June, surrounded by days of sunshine and warm weather, the runners on Saturday got a true taste of Seattle. As the weather changed, all I could think about was how much I enjoyed getting the sweat washed from my cheeks in the streets of my home.
Friday after work, my two running partners and I went to the expo. Packet pick up is always fun for me. I love that the run becomes a real even, rather than just mile I try to fit in after work. I love that I am surrounded by other people who know all the work it took to get there. I especially love seeing and finding all that fun stuff to show off my accomplishment. (I am totally a sucker for SWAG!)
After the expo we raced home to try and eat some dinner and get a good night of rest in. Even though I had set aside a solid 9 hours for sleep, after getting my outfit and gear together and finding all the essentials for a fresh start, I ended up with 7 and a half hours until it was time to get up and hydrate.
On the morning of the race! I woke up to find my fiancé already up, changed, and eating breakfast. He was so excited for the run that I felt a little behind. To avoid the 11,000 people in their cars we took public transit to a few blocks from the starting line and found my sister.
There are 3 things I look forward to on race day; the crowd/energy at the starting line, crossing the finish line, and all the sites in between. There were about 5 blocks of people lined up in their corals waiting to start and it took me a half an hour to actually cross the starting point. The sea of people was like nothing I had ever seen before.
The first 5 miles or so, the course took us up and overpass and along the water. I never get to fully soak in the sites I see every day, from my office or car window, while running. It always takes my breath away when I am standing on a highway among a sea of people, taking in the sky line. It was absolutely amazing.
Three miles to finish, I was feeling good and tried not to push too hard. Those hills at mile 8 were a real life saver to my thighs. My legs felt fresh and my heart was happy. As I rounded the corner to the finish line, I maxed out my speed for the whole .1 and ran as hard as I could. I grabbed a “race blanket”, my medal, and collected as much food and drink as I could hold before I went off to congratulate my friends.
Post-race I had mixed feelings; feelings of regret for not competing in the full, feelings of happiness for pushing myself to finish strong, and feelings of anxiousness. The 13.1 miles reminded me of why I love running. It was just the push I needed to make a stronger commitment to completing a 26.2 mile run before the end of the year. It reminded me to not doubt myself and to keep my eye on the prize.
2016 marathon – Here I come!