As you may recall, I had yet to complete a 20 mile long run since my first marathon in April. This was important to ensure I was both physically and mentally ready to “Rock It” in Seattle. On the first Saturday in June, I was able to get a slow, but steady 20 miles run despite the 80 degree heat. I did slow down to about a 14 Minute mile, but that’s just the smart thing to do in this warm weather!
With the 20 mile run behind me, I was able to relax a bit and start tapering before Seattle. The next weekend though; I had the opportunity to run with my friend Stephanie, who was planning to run Grandma’s Marathon on the 18th. I don’t run with anyone, but my iPhone, so having a fellow runner to help pass the miles was awesome! Although there were points were I didn’t feel my best, mostly due to the warm temps, we got through 14 miles in about 3 hours and time certainly passed very quickly!
With all the running done and logging about 170 miles since my first marathon;, it was time to spend the week packing my bags and fly to Seattle on Thursday June 16th. Packing is the easy & fun part because it does not involve heat, humidity and helps me think through what I’ll need and make sure I’m totally prepared, not only for the trip, but the race itself.
I arrived in Seattle on time Thursday morning, with no issues, but it did take a bit to find/figure out where to get Uber in the airport. The airport had a designated area in the parking garage that I was able to find, but it’s definitely not as straightforward as KC.
I ended up using UberPOOL, which allows you to share the cost of the trip with someone else who is going to a nearby destination. This worked our really well, because my fellow rider had arrived for the half marathon. We passed the time talking about running, which is always good! I continue to be amazed at how open and friendly the running community is. We all enjoy learning and sharing about the joys, challenges and hardships that running brings.
After getting checked into my hotel I headed to CenturyLink Field where the expo was held. This was only about a half mile away so it was an easy walk. However, it is very frustrating to navigate downtown Seattle, because half the streets are straight and the other half follow the river so that means your GPS App goes crazy!
The Rock & Roll marathon does an excellent job in setting up their expo and Race in general. There are three main areas. First you get your Bib/timing chip, then go to the next station to get your shirt/goodies and then head in to the Expo to “shop”.
I spent a lot of time at the expo, just cruising the booths and seeing what was there. I always find this kind of fun, just to see what’s on the market. Thursday seems to be a great time to go just because things were a lot more calm. I went back Friday, to meet a friend and the expo was much busier and I was very glad I already had my race gear!
After getting my marathon bib etc. I headed back to my hotel to lay everything out and make sure I was totally ready to run on Saturday. This was pretty straightforward as I had already prepared most everything. So I filled my hydration bladder with water, bottles with NUUN, flipbelt with gels/protein bars and attached the timing chip to my shoe.
With the race prep behind me, it was time to enjoy Seattle a little. I ate pretty well and got to see Pioneer Squire and Pike’s Market, get some coffee (Starbucks of course) and just relax; although I ended up walking about 7 miles on Friday. This is normally not a problem for me, but with a marathon the next day I hoped I hadn’t overextended myself.
My “quick peek” at Seattle was great, but I’d like to go back someday and get a better view. Friday night I had a great pasta dinner at the hotel and then headed back to my room to get some rest before my 4:30 AM alarm.
I slept pretty well and awoke promptly at about 4:30 feeling good and my legs didn’t mind their extended use on Friday. It took me about 45 minutes to get ready by 5:15 to walk the roughly 1.5 miles to the Space Needle where the race would start. My original plan was to walk to the start on Friday, just to make sure I knew where I was going, but I had no trouble getting to the start by 6.
I walked around Seattle Center, used the Porta-John and was also able to visit with a gentleman, who had lost count as to how many marathons he had run! He thought it was in the hundreds, but I could definitely tell he still loved running and wanted to help people in the process. I certainly want to help and encourage others as I continue to run as far and as long as my Lord and my body will let me (Hebrews 12:2)!
As the start time got close, I had to find my way into the corral; I ended up in corral 18 instead of my assigned corral of 29. My marathon adventure finally started at 7:45. The weather was perfect for a run! Overcast in the mid-60s and a slight mist. No overheating on this 26.2!
The course was absolutely beautiful and I was able to take pictures throughout my run and enjoy the scenery. The other thing was, I felt great and was able to keep my R/W/R ratio of 1Min/30Sec throughout the race! There were times of course that I thought I’d walk more, but I really felt good and was able to stay consistent overall. The only trouble I had was the hard concrete on the bridge; which made my feet sore, but now I know Hokas next time! Although I did not chat with anyone on the run; the amount of people, bands and good aid stations kept me motivated. It was also great to run through the blue mile at 6 & 18, where they had folks with American flags and posters of veterans.
Even though the last miles were harder, I was able to finish in 5:39:51, about 2 minutes faster than my first marathon! I had hoped for 5:30, but I’ll do that this fall at the KC Marathon. All in all, my adventure to Seattle is one I hope to repeat! With two marathons under my belt, I have learned marathons are hard no matter how hard you train, but the rewards are greater than the pain & the personal satisfaction can help improve other aspects of life! So peek running to finish!
Until next time!