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.
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|
|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...