The race, was amazing. I just couldn't believe how happy I was the entire time I was running. Those first few miles always take my body a little time to settle in. However once I found that stride a certain part of me just takes over.
Eve of the race: I set out all my clothes, packed my gear check bag, got my Dtag on my shoelaces & double/triple/quadruple checked everything. I also made the mistake of passing time by reading the medical pamphlet that stated I should eat salt packets after I was done running. Um - what?? Salt packets... I figure that must be for the really fast Kenyan's... I am pretty much turtle slow in comparison.
I watched this video a few times to laugh through the nerves:
Morning of the race: Wake up at 4:15 to have my pre-race breakfast of toast with peanut butter & egg+extra egg white scramble. Make my NuuN & get my trusty hand water bottle ready to go & in the fridge. Pack my super cute race pack belt with shot blocks & extra pieces of gum & my phone. And well to also get the bathroom business taken care of, because porta potties are my arch nemesis.
5:15am force Randy & Jack into the car to drive me to the start line where I was meeting up with my running friends. Hop out of the car in my super awesome pre-race sweats & waaaaayyyy too big fleece zip up that I was "donating" on the course.
Sometime around 6:15am I meet up with my friends at the gear check trucks to check our bags & hope in a porta potty line... sometime around 7:00am we realize we are in the handicapped accessible honey bucket line & we run off to another line.
After that business is taken care of (GROSS!!) we go hop in our corral & wait for our turn to start running.
8:00am - I realize we are at the start line... I then realize we are in the front of our corral... Um, what?! Wait! I am slow, I should not be in the front. Start to panic a bit because I forget to run my headphone wire through the pack of my tank top. Luckily Sara had me put together in no time. Suddenly we were off & running.
Mile 1: Had to stop to potty - I know but I just got all shy in the potties before the race & couldn't.
Miles 2-3: Pretty much uneventful, we were running through some industrial parts of South Seattle. As we turned to cross over I-5 I pointed out to Sara some guys that were off under the over pass peeing instead of waiting for the next bunch of honey buckets - dudes, they have it easy that way.
Miles 3-5: We started to run in more of a residential area - uphill. At the end of this leg you turn down to run down along Lake Washington... my stomach started screaming at me. I think I ate too early & I was starting to cramp up. My knee was feeling a little crunchy so I told Sara I was going to have my snack, some NuuN & walk down the hill & would try to catch up. I got to the bottom of the hill, turned & took off again - searching for Sara's blond ponytail. I also noticed just how far the I-90 bridge is from Seward Park.
Mile 6: Whoops! Should have stopped at those porta potties, my stomach was really yelling at me - in fact it was getting pretty shouty/stabby. However there was no place to stop, so I decided to push through & see if things would settle. Singing in my head, "Don't poop my pants, don't poop my pants."
Mile 8: Nope... better pull over & stop. I hoped in line & noticed the 5 people in front of me didn't have bibs on in fact, they were spectators. Hey! Jump out of line & let the racers go in front of you. So there went like 5 minutes. Took some water & took off running again. Wonder for a split second if I remembered to tie my shorts... I must have because I didn't flash anyone.
Mile 9: I start to see the flags for the fallen soldiers & I start to get a little choked up. The Run to Remember team was really large & it seemed like everywhere I looked I could spot someone running in their group. We turned to go uphill to catch the access path into the I-90 tunnels. This is also where the full marathon splits from us half-ers. They get to run the length of the I-90 bridge before turning back. So into the tunnel I ran & it felt hot & loud. I decide just to book it through the tunnel & once I see the sign for mile 10 I know I am clear.
Mile 10-11: I seriously started to question myself for a minute or two. The doubting thoughts started popping into my head, I wondered for a minute why I was doing this. Then I passed a walker who had to be close to my old weight. I remembered why I was doing this, because I can & I always wanted to. I checked my time, I didn't like it. I decided I better have the last half of that shot block bar & some more NuuN. I walked for a few minutes & then that voice in my head said, "Run Kristin it's what you want." I ran down the off ramp onto 4th AVE & I start scanning for Randy & Jack. Hey! Hey! I see them, wait I don't think they see me... I got really excited & started jumping up & down & waving my arms. They saw me - Randy was fiddling with the camera, I think to myself he better have gotten a picture. I will be so upset if I run this whole thing & there is not one picture I like. Jack starts screaming, "Go Mom & holds up his sign."
Mile12: I am starting to feel like I am almost there. Running on the Viaduct now - up the ramp I spot a runner with a remembrance tshirt saying she is running for her Grammy Helen. I ran right up to her & told her I had a Grammy Helen too & then kept on going. It was one of those tingly moments where I feel like Grams is right there with me. I see her face, her knowing smile & her twinkly eyes & that was all the surge I needed.
Mile 13: !!! Almost there, I just keep thinking to myself, one more mile, pick it up - kick it in - pick up your legs - run faster - push through your glutes. I turn the corner to run into the finish area & I sprint the whole way. I see the cameras & think, "Look cute, look up, smile, raise your arms when you cross."
I see the clock & it is 3:00:18 I feel like it is a sign, my first big race & I finish in nearly 3 flat... my first race every I finished in 38:00 flat. Both not fast by any means, but I did it.
I see my friend in the finish area & we grab bottles of water, Cytomax, bananas & head in to look for Randy & Jack.
After grabbing our gear we do some stretching & get some food in - I finish off a protein bar we walk around some more, I just keep telling myself to keep moving. We figure out what mile our friend is at on the full course & start heading to the finish line to cheer her on. I'm in awe over how good I feel. I mean I feel pumped, totally amped up. This must be that runners high. I would now like to apologize to the lady standing next to us as we were cheering... I must have been really loud when I was cheering for .
me, sara & kacie
Post Race: Sara drove us home as Randy & Jack bussed down from Bellevue rather then deal with parking. It took us awhile to find her rental car in the garage. Randy took a nap! I was the one who ran & he napped. Honestly when we got home I was too amped up to sleep. I worked on editing some pictures. Had a peanut butter sandwich & a well deserved beer. Finally got a 45 min nap in before heading up to Woodinville to meet Sara for a post race burger at Teddys.
Will I do it again? I am already committing to another half on Labor Day. It's not so much that I am addicted, I think it is that I figured out how to have my cake... and eat it too.