Super Jock and Jill
71F / 22C
Total Time = 9h
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = /
Breakfast of oatmeal and blueberries with a mug of earl grey tea. Just focused on remaining calm and not thinking about anything. This was my first half marathon.
Picked up my goodies and did some very light stretching. I don't like to stretch too much before a run when my muscles are "cold."
So what did you do today? Me? I ran 13.1 miles.
I'm sorry. It still stuns me that I do this.
So today was my first half marathon. I had signed up for it about three weeks ago. Originally I had planned to do a half marathon in November at the Seattle Marathon. I joined SeattleFit (of USAFit) and found that I was already running the mileage that the full marathoners were, so I decided to keep doing their mileage and decide later if I wanted to switch to the full marathon. So one of the activities on our schedule was to participate in the annual Super Jock and Jill Labor Day Half Marathon. (Super Jock and Jill is an AWESOME running store in Seattle.)
So today was the day! I got up dark and early and downed a granola bar to get things going. After a hot bath in which I was hoping to relax my back muscles that had been spasming for a few days, I had my pre-race meal of oatmeal, blueberries, and tea. I was really relaxed this morning, for some reason. I knew the nerves were there, but I had decided in advance that all I really had to do was get to the start line. That meant that between now and the start line was immaterial and anything after the start line was immaterial. So I just chose not to think about it.
See, denial CAN be a good thing!
We headed out about 7:00. Roy was running the 4+ miler, so we were both dolled up in our running togs. I decided against wearing my new Brooks because I wasn't sure if the back problems were a coincidence or due to new shoes, so my Adidas happily went with me. Before going I locked Charley Horse firmly in his corral with an admonition to stay there and not move. He likes to accompany me on races. I even discovered that he can SWIM during the Danskin Triathlon. Stupid horse.
We got to the site and grabbed our goodies. The half marathoners got an AWESOME Brooks running shirt made of Coolmax with the Super Jock and Jill Half Marathon embroidered on the arm. Now these shirts go for about $45, so this alone was worth the price of admission! We then perused the vendors who were setting things up. I decided to grab a little packet of Jelly Belly "JBz" chocolates and take them with me. They're cool! They are like M&Ms but every one has a different flavored candy coating. I tucked those into my running belt, affixed my race number (1165), did some light stretching, and got in the bathroom line for the second time.
You know it's funny. John Bingham warns in his book, "Marathoning for Mortals" that as soon as you get to the marathon you need to get in the bathroom line. Then when you're finished, get BACK into the bathroom line again. The man in a genius! Talk about nervous bladder! The line by time three was HUGE and we worried that we might not make the start line in time, which would be a bummer because it's a "gun start." Fortunately we did.
Five minutes before the start we made our way back...back...back to seed ourselves among the 11 minute milers. The half marathon run and 4 milers start together, so Roy and I could hang out with each other for the first two miles. A "gun start" means that the clock starts for everyone at the same time, regardless of when you actually cross the start line. (Other races your timing chip marks both a start time and a finish time.) It took about 30 seconds or so to get to the start line. There were a LOT of people there. I'd say nearly 1000 starting all at once in two traffic lanes.
The first .25 mile was uphill a little bit. As soon as we crested the hill the view was amazing! Below us was this neverending line of people all out there to celebrate health, fitness, and raise money for the Puget Sound Blood Center. Above us were hot air balloons floating low enough to watch the start and marvel at the nuts out running. The sky was a brilliant blue. The fog had just burned off leaving a clarity that can only be found on crisp Fall mornings. Birds were singing in the trees, men were peeing at the side of the road, it was a good day to be alive.
Yeah, not even a mile in and three men had already pulled off to take a pit stop. Definitely one of the classier moments of the day! At least it gave us a chuckle! Perhaps these gentlemen had not read John Bingham's advice!
Roy and I ran together laughing and joking for the first mile. "Woo hoo!" I yelled as we hit mile marker one. "One down! Twelve to go!" Hey, I'm a glass if half full kinda gal! As we hit mile two we could see where he would have to veer off to run through the park on the Samamish River Trail. We said our goodbyes and "I love yous" and he took off on his run while I continued on mine.
The day was glorious, as I said before. Our trail took us from Woodinville into Bothell, through the University of Washington Bothell campus, through the Cascadia Community College campus, through neighborhoods, downtown, along a river, over a river, along it some more. The air was fresh and warm, but not too warm. The trees still held their full compliment of leaves so we were shaded as we passed under them.
My goal was to run no less than an 11 minute mile average. I had never run this mileage without stopping before so I wasn't sure what I would be able to accomplish. I set Dude, my Garmin Forerunner, to warn me if I fell below an 11 minute mile pace. I set my heart rate monitor to warn me if my heart rate got too high. I was a beeping and a bleeping for 13 miles! I'm sure I drove some of the other runners crazy. (Actually, Dude is very quiet. You can hardly hear him, and I did try to keep my HR in control so it was really only on the hills that it went off for an extended period of time.)
And hills! There were hills, but you know what? I love hills! I'm good on hills! Hills ROCK!
Okay, I'm lying. Who loves hills? But I do well on them and tend to just greet them with "It is what it is." After all what's the option? Go around? Float? Stop? You've got to take them head on, so I did and found that every time we hit a hill I passed people right and left.
At each mile Dude would let me know how I did and I was astounded to find that not only was I hitting sub 11 minute miles on every lap, but was hitting mostly sub 10 minute miles. Now I know there are runners out there who would scoff, but I'm a relatively new runner and speed has never been my talent. I'm Stamina Girl not Speedy Girl. We started our run at 9:00 a.m. and without fail every single mile marker came on a ten minute marker!
At mile one I felt good. At mile two I felt better. At mile seven I realized that I had only a 10k left to run! I felt AWESOME! At mile nine I had only a 5k left to run! Woo! I find that breaking those long runs down that way makes them seem more doable.
The on-route support for this race was awesome. Many high school cross country teams were out at water stops. What neat kids! For many of them, this was their last day before school started and there they were out handing ME water! I made sure to thank them and tell them how much they rocked at every stop. In fact, I think it is SO important to be sure to thank race support. Without them, we wouldn't be able to be out there. Let's hear it for race volunteers!
At mile 11 I was marveling that I had only 2 miles left to go. My friend, Karen, had said she'd be at mile 11 to cheer me on so I took off my headphones to look for her. Unfortunately I didn’t see her, but that was okay. Things happen. I just decided to keep going. I took inventory (checked all components to see what was going on with them) and realized I was still feeling pretty good except some soreness in my right knee, gluts, and hips. Nothing major.
Suddenly who was running with me but Charley! Damn that horse! He must have escaped the corral and hitched a ride into Bothell! I shooed him away and told him to jump in the river. I took inventory again, everything was still there, and checked Dude. I had about a mile and a half to go and was feeling good! Yeah, things hurt, but I only had a mile and a half to go!
Woo! Mile 12 marker! By this time we were on the Samamish River Trail running along the Samamish River. It was BEAUTIFUL! As I ran past a bridge I thought that it would make an excellent Pooh Sticks bridge. Perhaps if you waited long enough, Eeyore might float by on his back! Okay, so I was starting to get a little punchy about mile 12.
I woo-hooed as I passed the mile 12 sign and rounded the bend. A mile left to go! Oh look! There are some people up there with signs…how neat. I just think that is the COOLEST thing to see family members cheering on their loved ones. I’ve always been a little sad that my family can’t come to my events. (Not that they probably would anyhow…but maybe for something like a marathon they would.) As I got closer the sign came into focus, it said “Go Tory?” “Go Tory?” GO TORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was for ME! Oh my gosh I nearly started crying! Suddenly the pain was gone and my big goofy grin got bigger and goofier! There was Karen! Not only had she come to cheer me on, but she had made a SIGN! Her girls were screaming “Go Tory! Yay Tory!” and I was yelling “Oh my gosh! You guys are so awesome! Thank you SO much!” I almost ran over to them, but then remembered I was running a race so I should probably continue! And who was with them? Roy! He snapped pictures and cheered me on and called out that he loved me. Wow! That was JUST what I needed to finish strong!
Up the hill, around the corner, “Plant five!” (I give high-fives to plants when I run…yeah, I know. I’m strange.) Big smile! Burst of speed! Passing you…passing you…more speed…hey, is that Lisa Griffiths volunteering? More speed, into the Redhook Brewery…people are cheering, I’m grinning and someone is calling my name over a loudspeaker and WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! I just ran a half marathon!
I stumbled a few feet past the finish line and took off my timing chip, handing it to a volunteer. (Thank you volunteer!) and went in search of water! Water! Tears filled my eyes because I’d done it and I get all oogey and weepy at finish lines when I meet a new goal. I grabbed some water from a guy “Bless your soul, that is JUST what I need!” and found Roy in the crowd. I was tired, but not TOO tired. In fact, I was feeling pretty darn good!
After stretching, snagging more goodies, and inhaling an apple we made our way back towards the car. I thought I’d missed my chance to thank Karen as Roy said he thought they were going right home. Nope! She was still there! I went down and gave her a BIG hug! Thank you SO much for doing that! That was WONDERFUL! And you know what? Not only had the sign said “Go Tory” but on the other side it said “Go Roy” so Roy had a cheering party too when he passed them on the 4 miler! What neat people! They didn’t need to give up their holiday morning to do that, but they did. That just meant the world to me.
So now I’m recovering from my post-race sushi feed (mmmm sushi). I’m feeling great! I am looking forward to the marathon in November, hoping I can finish feeling good like I did today. I’m a little intimidated by double the mileage, but hey…let’s think of it as three 8 mile races separated by two 1 milers. Yeah, that’s not too bad! I can do that!
ü Mile 1: 10:15
ü Mile 2: 10:10
ü Mile 3: 9:45
ü Mile 4: 9:49
ü Mile 5: 10:13
ü Mile 6: 10:07
ü Mile 7: 10:09 (gnarly hills on this one)
ü Mile 8: 9:47
ü Mile 9: 8:34 (woo)
ü Mile 10: 9:52
ü Mile 11: 10:08
ü Mile 12: 9:52
ü Mile 13: 9:55
By the way, Dude said that the course was actually 13.4 miles, so double woo on that!
What would you do differently?:
Things went very well. I don't think I'd do anything differently except not bother to try the Cola flavored Clif Shot they gave me at mile 7. That was NASTY!
Grabbed water and found a warm spot to stretch out carefully. I'm a big fan of post-run stretching!
What limited your ability to perform faster:
First time doing this distance in a race so I went out slower than I could have. Since my stamina was still strong at the end, I think I could push it more next time. However my knee and hips may beg to differ.
Excellent race! I want to do it again next year. The scenery alone is worth it, but the course support was phenomenal.
Last updated: 2004-09-05 9:00 PM Running
02:10:08 | 13.1 miles | 9m 56s min/mile
Age Group: /
Course: Meandering course from the Redhook Brewery in Woodinville, to Bothell, and then back through the Samamish River Trail. Beautiful course most of the way!
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5