Sunday, November 25, 2012

Race Report: Seattle half marathon

This morning was the Seattle half - my third year in a row running it.  The weather was perfect for the race at just under 40 degrees.  All in the race was pretty good - I wound up running 1:36:36 (last year I ran 1:39 something and the year before was low 1:36).  Although it's not my PR (1:33:40) I'm happy - also, I wound up getting 7th in my division out of 651. 

The first 3mi I was in front of the 1:30 pace group meaning I was going 6:30s - way too fast.  At just about mile 3 when we were running on the freeway I saw the 1:30 pace group go blazing by.  Then at mile 9 I saw the 1:35 pace group trotting by - I so wanted to latch on to the group, but by then I was throbbing a little.

The course was nice except for a brutal hill towards the end starting at roughly mile 10 and going to mile 12.  Youch. 

 My mind definitely played tricks on the hills and the everlasting flats in between (I'm more a fan of rolling trails so flat is just as tough as hill for me).  Quotes like:
"The mind tires before the body"
and "Pain is just weakness leaving the body"
got me through a lot of the pain, but towards the end of the hill when I kept repeating "the mind tires before ..." I started thinking to myself "Yeah, and my mind is TIRED!"

Lessons learned:
Smells - Gah!  Smells were amplified while running - think being pregnant squared.  A woman who opted to wear wool (mistake) wafted by with her BO lofting right after for about 10 feet.  I didn't want to pass her because I didn't want to risk getting passed again and getting stuck in the waft zone.  At mile 11 (I know because the sign and smell were burned in) a man who opted for cologne on race day ran by smelling like a night club in London.  Not cool.

Neon - in.  Enough said, the starting line was filled with neon and the race certainly lit up the city with glowing greens, pinks, and yellows.  I dawned neon, too - love.

Peanut butter / chocolate power bar - not a good race food.  I ate ~90 minutes before the race because the last couple races I've been not-enjoying-breakfast-at-mile-5.  This bar sat like a brick, though, and even after the race I found myself burping it up.  Bleh.

Mind power - key.  This is the one I've got to work out more.  I ran into a couple runners from Green Lake run club and am going to try to join them on Saturdays again.  I think mind power is part training, part just being prepped to run any distance, and part ... well, I don't know - that's why I'm going to flex that one.

Running clothes - help!  I'm queen of dawning my old t-shirts and whatever spandex are clean.  Today I wore my arm warmers, running jacket, CW-X tights along with my (hands down favorite) Newton trail / road shoes.  I remember after a race during the summer, a woman stopped me at the finish line and said "if you'd been wearing real running clothes you could have won!" Weird comment, and I disagree, but the clothes do help.

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