In January 2013, I signed up for the Seattle Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon. It was a great idea at the time, except I didn’t know what the No Regrets Contest Win would result in.
When I found out the exact detail of my Contiki Mexico Adventure, I realized that the timing would run right at the beginning of my 12-week training program. I wasn’t sure what my training would look like after my return.
In December 2013, I started working hard to get into better shape and loose some weight. Prior to Mexico, I was able to run 4-5 miles easily, but my fear was all that hard work would be a waste. I say this only because I didn’t want to miss out of anything in Mexico due to training and Contiki tours tend to be very fast pace and quite a bit of night life.
Luckily, by the time I arrived home from Mexico, I was still in pretty good running shape. I found that I maintained my 4-5 mile run speed, give or take a few seconds.
Here is where my training takes a turn for the worst. When May hit that year, everything in my life turned upside down. I was still able to run a few days a week but nothing to the extent of what I wanted.
My lease was up at the end of May and I began house hunt in a new city. I would be moving up to Seattle and contemplating what type of housing I wanted to live in. I was searching for anything from a room in a house to an apartment; ultimately deciding on a room due to expenses.
I also had an entire apartment worth of furniture so I also needed to start downsizing my life. I was trying to room hunt, downsize, work full time, train for a half marathon, and edit nearly 5000 photos from a 2-week adventure. My training became lower and lower on my importance list.
Before I knew it, I was moving into my new home and starting to job hunt/interview.
Seattle Green Lake Running Group
It’s the beginning of June now and my half-marathon is only 3 weeks away. The longest distance I’ve ran during my training has been 5 miles. I am starting to panic about this half marathon.
Luckily, moving to the area that I did, I was able to get connected to a local running group, called Seattle Green Lake Running Group. I began planning more runs during the week and meeting new people through the group.
At this time, my stress level also dropped because I had found a new job closer to my new home. I was also able to build up my endurance level to tolerate 9 miles consistently at a 10:30 pace. I’m not the fastest runner by any means, but I don’t mind. My goal became a finish focus versus a time goal.
Seattle Rock N Roll Expo
Two days before the race, I headed to the Rock N Roll Expo to pick up my race packet and explore the booths. It’s crazy to think where I started this training at. I didn’t know anyone running this race at the time of registration, but by joining SGLRG, I ended up meeting a few people running/pacing this race.
One particular runner became my new running partner. She got me through my first 8 miler run and knew we’d be able to help each other through this race. Unfortunately, due to an unexpected injury, she had to withdraw from the race. She still joined me at the expo and helped me navigate. We spent a good couple hours wandering around the various booth and purchasing some new running gear to get us through our races.
Race day is finally upon me and I’m pumped and ready to go. I got to the start line which was located right next to the Space Needle and the Seattle Center. I gave myself plenty of time to spare and for a good 30 minutes I simply stared at everyone around me. I always forget how crazy starting lines are and how much adrenaline pumps through my veins.
I was still in complete awe that I was actually going through with this half-marathon. The Seattle RnR Half Marathon is not my first half, however it is my first half I trained for. The last time I ran one, I ran one with two weeks notice and no prior running training.
The race started without any hiccups. The weather was perfect and the course took us through downtown Seattle, headed south, with the amazing Mt. Rainier. It weaved us through a beautiful neighborhood along Lake Washington, before heading back towards downtown directly next to the stadiums.
After the stadiums, we ran back through a little portion of downtown before entering a highway. The highway took us along the waterfront of the Puget Sound and shot us back to the Seattle Center.
Seriously, my description of this course doesn’t even begin to describe the actual perfection of what I experienced. This race was by far one of the most gorgeous runs I’ve ever done. The changes in scenery from start to finish was just spectacular.
I did stop several times to capture some footage and images, but overall I came in at a reasonable time. I ran 13.1 miles in 2 hours and 25 minutes, which took off nearly 20 minutes from my first attempt. It wasn’t exactly the time I wanted but it does give me another goal to achieve with my next race.
My Next Race
Following the Seattle Rock N Roll Half Marathon, I decided to register for the Rock’n’Roll Vancouver, BC, Canada Half-Marathon: Inaugural Year. I guess it really is true what they say, once you start running it becomes addicting.
I have recently restarted my training and am on week 2 of the 12-week training program. Let’s hope I can manage to stay on track with this training schedule this time. I really am hoping to break a 2:15 half-marathon.
The day of the race was also Summer Solstice, which is a HUGE celebration in Fremont, a neighborhood in Seattle. After the race, instead of relaxing and sleeping, I started drinking and spending quality time with my roommates. This turned into a night out on the town and staying up until 2 in the morning. Talk about long, exhausting day. Good thing, I had all day Sunday to recover as I started my new job that Monday.