Sunday, May 20, 2012

Seattle's Best 15K recap

Bright and early Saturday morning I got up to run another race. I signed up for the Seattle's Best 15K a loooong time ago knowing I could use it as a "training race" for the Seattle Rock-n-Roll half marathon. Luckily in the recent weeks I was able to talk my running besties in to signing up and running, too!

I picked up my friend B at 5:45 (also known as YAWN o'clock) and we headed up north to Seattle's Gasworks park. Parking was easy, we landed a spot right in the parking lot for Gasworks and packet pick-up was a breeze. We found our other friend, M, right away and hung out doing runnery things like stretching and running slow laps before the race started. As we were waiting around we ran in to a friend from our running class and it was nice to see another familiar face! I also made a last-minute decision to leave my ipod out of my fuel belt as the pocket was overflowing trying to hold a gel, my giant new car key and my ipod.

It was a small crowd, I think almost 400 people total. We lined up according to our anticipated pace, the gun sounded and we were off! I hoped to run the whole race with B, but she wasn't having any of me pushing her and told me to go on ahead, which I did just after the first mile. M had taken off from the beginning so I set my sights on catching up to him. We did a couple of 180* turns pretty early in the race and I caught up to M as well as watched my friend from class round a turn quite a ways in front of me. She told us the pace she planned to run so I didn't think I had a prayer of catching her, but in the back of my ever-competitive mind, I wanted to try!

I passed M at about the two mile mark and kept a fairly steady pace of about 8:50 min/mile (which, indeed, ended up being my overall pace for the run!). The course wound south along the bottom of Lake Union and then back north around the east side of the lake. I was feeling good but my stomach was on the verge of revolting a lot of the way. It also surprised me how easy it was to run without my ipod. I hoped I wouldn't need it if I was going to running along side my besties, but we didn't end up running together-- and I never really missed my ipod.

At around mile 6.5 I heard M's huffing and puffing coming up behind me, and then he passed me! Oh, man. It was game on at that point. We came up to a couple of short and very steep hills, the last one had a water station on it. I grabbed some water right as M stopped and then took off. I knew if I was going to beat him I needed to make my move! (I should note here that I don't think M was trying to race me as much as I was trying to race him. He just wanted to run a good race overall.) I blasted across the University Bridge and then turned left in to the home stretch. At this point I was averaging an 8:06 pace. Lo and behold, I aught our runner friend and passed her about 2k before the finish line. My last .3 mile was at a 7:28 pace, I was definitely booking it and I crossed the finish line strong.

I love this medal! It is very cool looking.

I finished in 1:22:26, M came in about a minute behind me and B came in about seven minutes later. We grabbed our post-race strawberry shortcake (!) and then took off for breakfast at my favorite breakfast spot. It was a perfect end to a fun race. B and M were chiding me a bit for being competitive, and I am beginning to realize that I definitely am. It is all friendly with my friends, of course, but I just want to keep getting faster during my races! This race I finished in the top third overall and in my division (just barely). I also finished 55/231 out of all the women running, which is the top 25%!

B and I had been kicking around the idea of running the See Jane Run half marathon in July that closely follows this course. It is a really expensive race so I *think* we mostly decided not to do it. I also wasn't too excited about running on the same course again. It was quite beautiful, though. We ran over two bridges, along the ship canal and then very close to Lake Union for the whole thing. It didn't hurt that it was a gorgeous and sunny day, too!

The only thing that was bad about the day was that, for some reason, by the time I got home my stomach was in full-on revolt mode. I ended up taking some medicine and curling in to the fetal position in bed for the next several hours. I was mostly fine by the time I got up at about 4:00, but I still don't know what was up. I wondered if my already sensitive tummy didn't like being refueled with a large coffee and mimosa with my breakfast . . . who knows!

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