We spent the early afternoon with my mom and her boyfriend and had dinner number 1 of turkey, mashers, and apple pie with cinnamon ice cream...yum! Then we went and joined Marks family for dinner #2. All the same fixin's. Good thing we paced ourselves. The food was our much needed carbo load for the next two days at the Seattle Marathon Expo.
At the expo the legs killed. Calf cramps, aches, stretching, repeat...ouch! We luckily got a hotel room comped at the Westin for 2 nights so it made life a bit easier. The expo is always fun to meet some new vendors (loving the SPI Belts) and to see all the racers getting ready for the big day. The Seattle community is really very small so it is great to see runners I had not seen all year, and then those that I see nearly every day too!
Bri and I had a great time sporting the newest pink and white Gracies Gear tops and the ever popular Bondi Band hair decorations! I also had a marathoner who couldn't resist the great head gear.
Sunday was the big day! Big day as a coach and an athlete. Mark and I were nervous of our individual performance because really we have been some lazy fools, enjoying life, doing nothing structured and working like crazies. And two, because we are always shot after working the expos. I was super excited though to be racing with all of the TNM athletes (15+) that were out there on race day. I truly enjoy watching athletes race, but too, it is also fun to be "part of the action".
We were running late as usual, got to the race start, I had to go potty for the umpteenth millionth time, Mark needed to get front row seating. So we quickly went our separate ways. I let him know ahead of time that it would be okay if he wanted to run a little faster, that I would let him have this one!
With 7 min to race time I couldn't find any of the athletes I was hoping to run with. Instead I was in a panic mode trying to figure out where I could even get into the start coral. It was BUSY...herds of spectators standing around, confused people and who knows what. I pushed near the start line to get next to the fenced off area and jumped over the fence. I look to my left and see the man who was so anxious to get to the front right next to me...yep..it was Mark :) I once again explained to him that I was not going to start at a 6 min mile pace, so he could go right ahead.
As I stood up front, my run coach (who is also the announcer for the event), was talking with all of his athletes, talking pace and such. "Oh 5:30's or so", "6:30's I plan on holding", blah, blah. I know I have mentioned before but I am the odd ball out in this group. He looks at me and says "what's your plan?". Really, he wants to even acknowledge he knows me, does he really want to hear my goal in front of all these "runners". This could be the end of his career if they hear what I have to say. I whisper my goal time of 1:40. Nope, no joke, that would give me a 5 min Seattle half PR. He promises to announce that as my time at the finish, no matter what I finish in. Good coach!
I started out smart, smooth and under control. I knew I would get passed alot in the first three miles, I was all for it. The more that passed the better. They can zig zag passed me all they want, I just dont want to play frogger with others! I felt strong the whole way, had some minor quad cramping issues, but really nothing to complain about. After my second 1/2 of a gu I had a little colitis issue, but nothing that held me back. I ran and ran. I was fast on the flats, fast on the downhills, and literally killed on the hills. The same two people would pass me on the uphills (the girl in the black lululemon capris and the red dri fit and then the girl in the red Nike tempo track shorts with a white dri fit top) and I would repass them on the flats. Luckily the last 2 miles are a bit more of a downhill/flat so I finished ahead of my new two no-name friends :)
I was ecstatic to see a 1:38.55 as my finish time. A 7 min PR on this course. I can not walk today...but I wouldn't change it for the world. Mark had a 1 min PR. If I stay on pace this means in two year I can beat him!
My 2010 training started today and this race was exactly what I needed to finish off my 2009 race season.
I am thankful for the amazing Thanksgiving day we had with both families, I am thankful to have legs to run, feet to stand on, and friends to smile with. Happy holidays.