First off - Thank you to my friend, mentor and the best coach ever Colleen, who ran with me and helped me complete my very first half marathon today. I would not have been able to do it with out her help over the last couple of months and her encouragement today helped me finish with a time I am proud of.
Now on to the race - The day started very early - I woke up at around 4:45am - showered, ate a bagel, and headed over to meet Colleen. It was dark, cold and even snowing on the drive over.. Yeah go figure snow in Seattle. Kyle and Bman stayed and had breakfast while Col and I headed over to the race start, found parking pretty close, figured out if we punched a hole in the clothes check bags we could wear them to stay dry till the start. It was VERY cold (I was shaking uncontrollably) - we went and stretched out a bit in the center house where it was warm and dry. We headed to the start line 5-10 min before the start and lined up. It was a little warmer and some daylight - I ate half a bag of sport beans.
Once the race started it took us a bit to cross the start line/timing mat and we were off. The first mile or so was super crowded and thus slow - it was neat to be running through downtown in the middle of the road. I felt great - more worried about being run over by some one or navigating though the slower people than anything else. The rout then narrowed and went up a ramp on to the express lanes of I-90 which made it more crowded and the roadway was very wet, with a river running down the sides. We also got to run through the tunnel - it was nice to be out of the rain but it was very warm with all the people and everything. I had a gu - which seemed to take me forever to get down - but I needed the energy. We saw Kyle and Bman around mile 5ish or so on Lake Washington Blvd (I think). Col handed off her fuel belt and I gave up my hand warmers. I felt good and we were back on pace for a 2 hr finish time and we kept it till the long hill at mile 8ish. Yuck it was slipper and steep and just bad. I had a really hard time and used a lot of energy getting up that hill - luckily about half way up was my Mom and Jerry were there with a big sign and tons of cheers for me to make it the rest of the way up.Though after that my left leg was kind of tight and I was slowing down.. I kept trying to stay with Col but I would fall back... It never really felt like the road leveled out - either we were running up or down never flat.. So I never really felt like I got any energy back. On the downs my quads and calves hurt, on the up my hamstrings and calves hurt.. I tired really hard to ignore it and just keep going - which I did but not as fast as before. By this time I was slightly behind the 2 hour finish pace so the last mile Col tried to help push me to pick up the pace to meet my goal of 2 hrs. I did ok till the very last steeper hill going under 99 - by the time I got to the "flats" I was tired.. The last quarter mile was really hard and I just wanted to finish. Kyle, Bman and Futa were near the entrance to the stadium and my mom was just inside. I tried to run faster but I was only able to step it up like a half a gear - but I tired.
My final chip time was 2:01:49 - the clock time was 2:03:00.
The guys had our dry clothes and we got some food before we headed to breakfast.
To be honest initially I was really disappointed in myself not being able to pick up the pace so that I would have made it in 2 min earlier. When I came back to reality I did good and I'm very happy with what I was able to do. It was the first time I have ever run that far with so many hills and bad weather. I tried my best and I can be proud of that :) Best of all now I know can do it and where I stand. If I keep up my training and continue to get stronger it is just a matter of time before it will be easy :)