Snohomish Women's Run Half Marathon Race Recap

So, yeahhhhh...  This didn't go at all the way I'd hoped or planned, but I did cross the start and finish line of yet another 13.1 mile race - my sixth, to be precise.  I have been reminded, and have reminded myself, of the accomplishment in crossing any finish line.  Now that I've got that out of the way, this was a well done inaugural race with a lot of nice touches.  Things that sucked pretty much had to do with me having an off day and my personal preferences when it comes to a race.

First off, the shirts and personalized bibs were great.  The tees are cozy and have a great (not unisex/boxy) fit.  

I was also lucky to snag a parking pass during packet pickup from Dawn, since she was unable to run.  I parked right next to the start/finish.  Major score, as I guess there were supposed to be two buses to shuttle folks who parked offsite and only one showed.  My friend Meghan said they were pretty packed and people were waiting around a half an hour to get on the bus.  This delayed the race by at least 20 minutes.  But really, I find it a rare occurrence when a race starts exactly on time, so this hiccup seemed to be pretty well managed. [Edited to add, the race directors told me it was only a seven minute delay - so I guess it just felt like 20!] 

As we lined up to start, runners going any faster than 2:10 were very, very sparse.  This was a small race (about 500 peeps), which is great (zero dodging and weaving at the start), but can also be a drawback (more on that later).  And, there were pacers...  I'm sure they are a help to people (obviously), but to me, they are the worst.  Again, this is my problem, not the race's.  But it's just another thing to mess with my head and they usually run completely even splits, which is not the easiest for me to do. 

Per my plan, I wanted to run the first four miles without looking at my Garmin.  I cheated once, around mile two, and just kind of kept my eyes on the 2:00 pacer, figuring I could just linger a decent distance behind her and probably be doing a 9:30ish pace.  Bad. Bad. Bad idea.  So, yeah, even splits for a two hour goal are around 9:10 minute miles.  That's not where I wanted to start out and I started to feel the wheels come off as early as mile TWO.  I should have looked at my Garmin and just slowed down my pace much sooner.  Alas, I kept my eyes off it for the first four miles and I fell into the trap of my last Seattle Marathon.  Now, I would have tried to lose the pacer/not go anywhere near her, based on my prior experience.  But, with such a small race, there was no escape.  I did my best to distract myself and just tried to get comfortable for miles four through eight, whatever pace that might end up being.  Aaaaand that's when the course just got really mentally tough.  There's no access for spectators and there just weren't many runners around me.  I started to feel like I was on a really tough training run and the adrenaline of race day, which I rely on pretty heavily, was completely MIA.

The course is indeed beautiful with views of the Snohomish River and farmland, and we got really lucky with a sunny morning.  But I started to feel like the sun was beating down, as you're pretty much on an open road out and back for most of the race.  The pretty views only went so far when I'd look ahead and be able to see nearly two miles ahead of me at all times.  Eventually, I started to feel nauseous, and that's when I decided to walk.  I could run a slow pace through tired and leaden legs.  However, the pukey feeling I did not want to ignore.  So, walk I did.  And I certainly had moments where I thought about bagging the whole thing.  But, I kept making little goals to keep me going: run through this song, then take a walk break.  Run to that water station, then take a break.  Finally at about mile 10, the course goes on to a trail.  This was so nice to finally be out of the sun, see some people and be almost done.  However, it seemed like the worlds longest out and back.  There were times on that winding trail that I seriously had thoughts of cheating and just turning around!  Not to get a better time, just to be DONE.  Since there weren't many runners around and the trail had lots of twists and turns, it would have been totally doable.  I had a good laugh with my friend Meghan about it, who shared many sentiments about what a mentally tough course this was, as she totally had the same thoughts.  But, of course, I could never bring myself to cheat.  And a few bigger goals crossed my mind: try not to get a personal worst.  When that went out the window (for people who must know, I finished in 2:20:25 and I haven't even downloaded my Garmin stats), my goal became: finish without any cramping like Eugene and don't do anything to sacrifice my healthy leg.  I accomplished that goal and crossed the finish line feeling only sore toes and slightly ill.  Plus, I managed to pull off a smile for the camera.

From Snohomish Women's Run Facebook Page

The medals are awesome, so I'm glad I didn't bail.  

yep, I needed a drank.

Post race treats were also great: Kind bars, Luna bars, these amazing sea salt crackers and big vats of peanut butter or Nutella to slather on top and an array of what looked like petit fours.  But I was feeling too yucky to eat anything more than a banana and some of those yummy crackers.  My one ask would be for water bottles at the finish.  Having to wait until the post race area, get in line for a cup, then bend my aching body over and fill up my water at the cooler seems like an unnecessary process when water bottles are just as easy (easier?) to throw away/recycle. [Edited to add, there were apparently water bottles available - guess I just got passed over? ]  

I probably wouldn't do the half again, but it's a good course for a 10K.  It's the same route as the Snohomish River Run which I enjoyed and might have to make some room in my calendar for again it this fall.  And as for the half marathon distance, I'll definitely run some for fun, but the idea of shooting for a PR is on hold until next year at least.  I have been contemplating what that race should be, and I'm thinking I might have to revisit the scene of my PR...


  1. Way to push through even though you were struggling. Out and back courses are tough mentally:/ At least the shirt and medal are cute thought!

  2. Nicely done! I've run the fall 10K course the last two years (and still remember meeting you that 1st year!) and knowing it's out-and-back and what the views are, I don't think I have the mental stamina (or desire) to do the half, so huge props to you!! I'm so sad I'm injured and wasn't able to run this inaugural 10K. Love the medal!

  3. I'm proud of you, I don't care what time you ran! Your race is coming someday soon!