I’ll never again take the sunshine for granted.
I departed from Seattle on a gray, wet afternoon. Up until the race, my runs had been wet and chilly. I packed my warm weather gear — a running skirt and a t-shirt.
Arriving on Friday night, my boyfriend and I headed to a great pho restaurant in his area, which was perfect for some healthy carboloading. After all, if I was unable to stick to my runs the week of the race, I might as well fuel up, right?
On Saturday, I had a great time at the expo. They’re pretty much run-of-the-mill expos, which huge product marketing efforts. One product I kind of fell in love with was the Mamma Chia drink. It was refreshing and very hydrating. Loved it! I’ll definitely try to stock up when I find them here in Seattle.
This time I actually took advantage of the pre-race discussions and even got a chance to get my race bib autographed by Deena Kastor herself! It was pretty neat being able to see her in person. I’ve only read about her online, in magazines, and seen her in documentaries (like Spirit of the Marathon).
So, after dinner and race prep, I slipped into a fitful night of sleep. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I’ve raced but I still get weird and nervous. Why? I know exactly what to expect and I’ve gone out for 13 mile runs before. For some reason a race atmosphere is exciting but also nerve wrecking, but mostly fun.
I arrived on race day feeling pretty good about my abilities. I didn’t think I’d be very fast (I was right) but I definitely felt prepared. Especially having run the race the year before, I knew what to expect from the course. What was different this year was that my boyfriend was running with me. He had decided to run the 5K since he had done little to no training, and then part way through the race he then decided to do the whole 13.1. It was kind of a bummer to me since I was actually thinking about downgrading to the 5K distance, but since he was doing the half marathon, I decided to stick to it. I was a bit worried that he would hurt himself but things ended up fine. I was happy to have run into my bestie as she ambushed the race to cheer us on. I finally hit my stride after the 10K mark and it all felt great from there.
The day was beautiful and a bit warm. It was definitely much different than running in Seattle weather. I passed by all of the familiar parts of town — downtown, USC, the bridge, and more — and it was such a beautiful and clear day that I got to really take in all of the sights (and smells!) of Los Angeles.
I’m never sure why but he journey back to the start/finish line always seem much, much faster than the journey away from it! The next few miles passed like a breeze and before I knew it, I had my finisher’s medal around my neck!
Along the way, what kept pushing me was the thought of running the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in Arizona in just a few short months. I still have $800 to go for my Dress for Success fundraiser, and many, many more miles to put in.
I really want to get comfortable with distances beyond the 15 mile mark. Now that I had a comfortable 13.1 out of the way, I want to put in the time to get really comfortable between miles 15-25. I think that will definitely serve me when I aim for a 50K next year. (To put it in perspective, a 50K is 31.07 miles.)
My next race is the Rock ‘n Roll Half in Las Vegas. Can’t wait to run that course again! To reward my awesome happy-go-lucky finish at this race, I splurged on the Rock ‘n Roll Tour Pass so that I could tackle more races for less money in 2013. You’ve been warned!