First things first, I was tired going into this race. Thanksgiving was busy, two of them back to back. All the food I consumed made it an uncomfortable night’s sleep that bled into the next two nights.
But, even though it was cold and damp we made a family trip downtown to get our packets. We went to the market and visited Le Reve for pastries. So amazing, worth the line! Then we checked out the remains of the Lululemon Black Friday markdowns. I got a pair of running gloves and a pair of Tracker IV shorts. They cost as much as a pair of full-price shorts! When I checked out the sales gal asked what I was going this weekend and I mentioned the Seattle Half. She pulled out a bag and said pick something. Yes, I got a free Run Fast Neck Warmer from Lululemon!
After that we went to the expo. The bib pickup this year wasn’t too bad, we got there early enough so the lines were non-existent. The only bummer is we still had to weave our way through all the vendors to get your shirt and goody bag. This year’s shirt was a way better color (red) than in years past as was the goody bag. After that we window shopped a bit more the headed home for some carbo loading.
The morning of the race was uneventful. I ate a banana then walked to the start/finish line with my dad. When we got there, there was very little signage and we got a bit confused trying to find gear check. It was in the same place it always is but it wasn’t on a map clearly marked. We finally realized our navigation error and made it up the stairs and dropped off the bags.
This race has some history for me- it was the first half marathon I ever ran and it was brutal. Flash forward a to this year and it’s still just as brutal. The weather this year was damp and I ended up layering my Nike tech hoodie under my singlet. It was and wasn’t a good idea.
The starting chute and the first few miles weren’t too bad. It’s a bit crowded going down 5th and up the Dearborn ramp but once we hit I-90 the crowds started to thin out. The first 7ish miles of this course are solid and not very hilly which makes it a bit easier.
I will say, running on 5th Ave and then onto I-90 made puts a spotlight on Seattle’s homeless problem. If you ever run a major marathon or half marathon in Seattle, you will unfortunately get a lovely tour of homelessness in Seattle.
I was running just fine for the first 7 miles; I didn’t feel too tired but I was getting cold. The rain and dampness wasn’t helping. My long-sleeved tech shirt had taken on more moisture and it was getting a tad uncomfortable. After a water stop at mile 7.25 the hills started. Galer street is a bit better than the old Lee street segment but it’s rough. I had to walk it along with everyone around me. Once that was over the Madison hill started. It’s a consistent gradual incline that kicks my butt every time.
This year, I was lucky enough to have a group of my Oiselle Volée teammates cowbelling halfway up the hill. That boost helped a lot and made it easier for me to get through the Arboretum.
After the short downhill of the Arboretum came the hard part- Interlaken. The hills that keep on giving. This is my least favorite part of the race but I managed to get through it. My dad hung in there with me and we got through the rolling hills. Thankfully the last mile is downhill and goes on an overpass with a beautiful view of Lake Union. Running through South Lake Union on Harrison Street wasn’t so bad except there were POTHOLES. Yes, my arch nemesis. I was careful and did not fall and safely made it to the 13-mile marker.
To make the last .1 easier there was a group of people giving out dixie cups of beer. My dad took one as we made on way to the last hill, Mercer street. After the last painful hill and a boost from more Volée teammates, we made it to the stadium! My boyfriend was there and took some finish photos which was awesome.
I finished in a decent time, slow for Seattle Marathon standards, breaking my goal of 2:20! In my honest opinion, most people who run this race are fast since the field is filled with ‘hard core’ runners due to weather and timing. I got my finishers medal, it’s alright, a space blanket and proceeded to walk up the stairs to get my gear check bag, painful. We then took an Uber up the hill and went to 5 Spot for brunch. I pretty much was glued to my boyfriend’s couch and watched the Seahawks and Sounders games with Joey, my boyfriend’s dog.
Overall I had a pretty good time, the weather got nicer as the race went on and there was much more course support than the last time I ran. I might run this race again, but honestly I really needed a reason to run longer than seven miles. This definitely helped me get over my mental barrier. I can run long just need to keep running so January and February won’t be so painful, and maybe I can finally get that elusive sub 2:05 PR.
Onward and upward! Let’s hope the weather in Seattle stays good so I can keep this training cycle running.