Monday, November 26, 2012

Seattle Marathon Race Recap

Secondary Title: "I'm Faster Than I Thought I Was"

Remember when I said I wasn't "racing" the Seattle Marathon and using it more as a training run? Yahhhh, it didn't exactly happen that way.

Backing up, I woke up nice and early, ready and excited for the marathon. It was fun going in just trying to do the miles and not worry about time. I got dressed in the brightest outfit I could manage. Seriously, I must have looked like a giant watermelon.

I made it out to Seattle Center and froze my balls off (if I had them), waiting for the start.

Brrr I'm cold! Someone turn up the heat!
I was going back and forth on whether or not to run with my Camelbak. On one hand, there were frequent water stops on the course, so why would I need it? On the other hand, I could have water whenever I wanted and it could carry my fuel. Decision was made to run with my Camelbak. And now I'm pretty certain I will be running every race with it. Except for 5ks and 10ks. But, who knows, maybe I'd get thirsty!

Haha, please note the kissing couple in the
lower right corner. #specialmoments
The race started off pretty crowded. Although I have to say the Seattle Marathon did a good job of starting the marathoners after the half-marathoners. I can't imagine what a mess it would have been if we had all started together!

Mile 1: 8:27
Mile 2: 7:40
Mile 3: 8.28

I started out with the 3:45 pace group. I pretty much lost them first thing. I was trying to spot a friend and wasn't paying attention. Oh well! Don't ask me why my second mile was almost a full minute faster than my first and third. I guess my legs just needed to stretch out!

I went into the race thinking I would just stick around an 8:30 pace and then if I felt good after the half, I could speed up a little.

That didn't happen. I see all these people around me going fast and I get jealous. So I just ran. Probably with a goofy smile on my face. I figured I would probably hit the wall, but in the moment I didn't care.

Mile 4: 6:19
Mile 5: 10.05
Mile 6: 8.26
Mile 7: 6:55

I name these miles the "Allison is a schizo and can't pick a pace miles". Granted my Garmin definitely went off a little going through the tunnel, so the pace was probably off for some of these.

I thought I would hate going across the bridge, but I didn't. Sure, it was windy, cold and loud. The express lanes were split in half and you ran across on one side and then back on the other. On the way out, it was pretty neat to see the leaders flying past in the opposite direction. And then on my way back, I got to see all the people in back of me and cheer them on a little. I got lots of strange looks for my watermelon costume.

One guy even yelled at me: "Nice socks 2001!"

I gave him a fist pump in return, obviously.

Mile 8: 8:20
Mile 9: 8:19
Mile 10: 8:14
Mile 11: 7:55
Mile 12: 7:59

I was feeling great coming off the bridge. I had run along Lake Washington Blvd several times before and also around Seward Park, so I knew what to expect: flat and boring. Actually, on a nice day it's a lovely view, but it was super foggy yesterday, which meant you could hardly see past the shore.

I took this as an opportunity to play.

By "play" I mean go faster. I just wanted to RUN! Again, I knew this meant I was going to hit a wall, but I didn't care. In times like this all I am thinking about is having fun in the moment, which was just what I did.

All of a sudden I encountered a huge group of people and couldn't figure out why so many people were all grouped together! Then I spotted the 3:40 pacer and decided I had to pass them.

Hello Competitive Allison. Welcome to the party! I was certainly just channeling Prefontaine.

Mile 13: 8.11
Mile 14: 8.23
Mile 15: 8.18
Mile 16: 8.16

We circled Seward Park and I finally started feeling a little tired. Until that point I thought I could have run for days! I stopped to use the restroom which really ticked me off. I hate peeing during races. But I knew I would be more comfortable if I just went. I think I only lost about a minute, though.

We ran back along Lake Washington Blvd and it was fun to see people going the other direction again. There was a fair amount of spectator support around the Lake, which was nice to see. I gave some high fives and big smiles to thank the cheerers for coming out in the freezing cold!

Mile 17: 8.32
Mile 18: 8.24
Mile 19: 8.23
Mile 20: 8.35

I really started feeling the miles around this point. It seemed like we were running along Lake Washington for a trillion years and my neuroma was hurting pretty badly. Every time I stepped on just the smallest pebble, my foot would get what I like to call a "nerve shock". Not fun. I just tried to keep enjoying myself.

It helped that there were some hills, which I think killed some people, but I loved! I was getting tired of running flat. Woah, what a weirdo, where does all this hill love come from? (probably a little mountain named Tiger)

Mile 21: 8.44
Mile 22: 8.31
Mile 23: 8:59
Mile 24: 8:29

This was where I was expecting to hit the wall, but I never did! I felt great except for my neuroma. The hills slowed me down a little, but my muscles were happy for a change.

I'd brought my ipod with me and had it stashed in my pocket the whole race. It was around mile 22 that I took it out. I wanted to zone out. There was a lot of huffing and puffing around me and I was getting sort of annoyed with it, so I figured some sweet tunes would cool me down. I had a grand old time just lip syncing to the lyrics, although I'm pretty sure the spectators all thought I was bonkers.

Mile 25: 8:17
Mile 26: 7:54
Extra Mile: 7:41

I was still feeling great by the end. I was ready to be done, but still feeling awesome. I started turning my legs over and passing other people, which only spurred me on. By this time, my Garmin was way off on mileage, almost by half a mile. Way to not run the tangents, slugger.

I tore into the stadium and finished in 3.40.01 according to Garmin.

Official results say 3:41.28, which is more accurate, I'm sure.

I felt great afterwards, if not a little stiff. In the back of my mind, I was thinking about how I was going to have to run 5 more miles in a few weeks. Eeek!

I'm pretty certain my awesome time today had something to do with the neon green compression socks I was rocking.

I'm very proud and astounded with my time today and how great I felt! Now in the back of my mind I'm thinking about what I could do in Eugene in March. Boston qualify, perhaps? We will see what happens.

Thanks for a great marathon Seattle!


  1. Great job! Those are fantastic mile times :)I love the hills in this course (although I'm really sore today from them).

    1. Thanks! Great job to you too!! I love the hills, too. It's a nice change of pace.

  2. WOW Congrats!! I ran the Seattle Half twice and loved the course!!! A BQ is totally in your future. Especially since you rocked such a hilly course!

  3. I just signed up for this one on a whim! Visiting my Dad for Thanksgiving so it works out perfectly. How are the hills though....I'm coming from Chicago!

    1. Good luck! You'll have lots of fun. There are the normal amount of hills. Some people complained that it was super hilly, but I don't remember it being bad at all!