This is my 5th year running this race. For those of us who have run all of the Seattle races,we were given special bibs and we had our name on a banner at the expo. Our bibs allowed us to start in the corral of our choosing.
Jeff will one again be running the half marathon (his 5th year, too) even though he tells me he's never doing it again EVERY time. He once again signed up for next year at the expo.
Literally as we were still on our driveway about to leave for the expo on Friday afternoon, I received a call from my step-mom with devastating news. My step-brother's daughter, Jordyn, died from a drug overdose at noon. She was 19, just a few months older than my older daughter. My heart was heavy all weekend as I thought about the circumstances and the pain my family was experiencing.
|Jordyn with her brother|
Jordyn was a beautiful girl, loving and left behind many friends and family.
Jeff and I went about our weekend, faking our way through the experience, keeping emotions tucked away so we could get through the race. The expo was packed and after picking up our special bibs and packets, we tried lots of free samples before heading to our hotel, Travel Lodge. This is a couple blocks from the start line and completely worth the money to be so close for such an early start race.
I packed leftover pasta this time and was so happy not to have to hoof it around Seattle looking for an overpriced restaurant to find some decent carbs. I need to remember to do this more often. It was so relaxing to sit back, eat our homecooked food while watching a movie. No waiting or tips required.
Lights out around 10:00 and the alarm set for 5:00 a.m. My earplugs were in and I was able to sleep fairly well once I let my mind stop asking impossible questions about Jordyn. I immediately went downstairs to find some food (the hotel opened it up early for runners) before getting my race gear ready.
The morning flew by and by 6:40, we left our room for the start. I again missed the Marathon Maniac picture which was at 6:15. I chose corral 4 and Jeff moved back to 7. My emotions were welling up and I kept squashing them back. Found Larissa and met a fellow blogger. Just as were were to start, my tears couldn't be stopped and I grabbed Larissa's hand and asked her to pray for our family as my brother's daughter had passed away. I hadn't meant to do that to her just before a race but my heart needed a release and I knew she would understand. Thank you, Larissa, for being my rock on race morning. I couldn't share with anyone else what was going on until all I knew that the news was given to everyone that needed to know first. I haven't seen Jordyn in years but the pain is still there as I consider my own daughters and the void that would forever exist without them.
My goal was to finish in 3:40 or better. I tried to run the first half smarter than the last race. The weather was close to ideal, a bit on the warm side but I loved it. I don't have a lot of mile specific memories but here's what I do remember:
The tunnels, while providing shade, also provide a cantered surface, especially the Mercer Island tunnel, which makes running uncomfortable. I couldn't wait to get out of that tunnel! I also lost reception in the tunnels on my watch. I somehow locked my Garmin and somehow unlocked it a few minutes later; how I did either is a mystery. I was passed by a guy wearing a Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz costume. I passed him later as I also passed the guy dribbling two basketballs throughout the entire marathon. Imagine listening to bouncing basketballs nonstop and you will know why I made an effort to get by him.
The bands were good and the cheer squads but, in reality, you only hear them for a a minute as you approach and run by them. Most of my race was solo as I wasn't keeping pace with other runners or friends. It was great seeing some Maniacs on the out and backs. I know I was not feeling great and wished I had more pep in my legs. My half marathon split was about right for a 3:40 finish.
I tired the second half, took a couple quick walk breaks up some hills and felt faster as I passed half-marathon walkers. Finally I made the last turn onto Mercer and up the dreaded finishing hill. 3:42:19 chip time and as I made my way through the finisher's area, my arms were overloaded with bagels, smoothies, chocolate milk, water and just as I placed my bagel over the top of a water bottle, I found my beloved waiting for me with Pedro Infante. This guy is so fast and so sweet! He promised to outrun me to the finish of Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon in July since I was faster than last year.
I realized I wasn't feeling great and we made our way to the beer garden where I gladly let Jeff have mine. Sharon, Erik, Brian and Melissa (future Ragnar Relay partners) were all hanging out and soon we made our way back to the hotel where they allowed us a late checkout. Red Robin was our next stop before heading home and resting up for the next day's run, Bellevue Ghost Marathon.
Yep, already signed up for next year!
Chip time: 3:42:19
Clock time: 3:45:34