Speed, just like most things in life, is all relative.
Yesterday, at the Rock and Roll Seattle Marathon, I was faster than some, but not nearly as fast as I could have been. As you remember, my A,B,C goals were 3:20, 3:25, and 3:30 respectively. Alas, it wasn’t in the cards for this one. But, like I’m a fan of saying
Place: 481 / 4080 overall; 60 / 310 Division (my Age Group is evil)
If you use the Rock and Roll measuring stick, the expo was average size. However, because I was able to meet up with a few people I knew, I spent more time and had more fun than I have at any other expo.
First, I was able to meet mega-blogger Frayed Laces. She’s having a bit of a rock-star couple of months: Not only is she fresh off of a Kona qualifying tri, she is a Brooks sponsored athlete (although that was a while ago), is GU sponsored…and was still upright at the expo immediately after a red eye flight! I am not sure I could do ANY of those things! She was super nice and even gave me a Run Happy water bottle!
Next was Meb Keflezighi. He’s fast…and SUPER nice. That is what I love about runners. Both Ryan Hall and Meb were the nicest of guys.
Finally, I was able to meet Brad Nelson. He is a metal fabricator by trade and makes some pretty sweet looking marathon metal hangers. Check him out if you are in the market. I think that I’m going to get one to hang all of my RnR medals on.
Here is all of the loot that I grabbed at the expo. I had tweeted back and forth with the marketing rep from SofSole so when I stopped by to meet him face to face he let me have a few insoles to try out. Review in a few weeks after I’m able to give them a shot.
I’ll give you two guesses who arranged all of the stuff all “purdy like”.
Yes, my wife is in full on pregnancy nesting mode:
Disclaimer: Since I didn’t meet my A, B, or even C goal, this next section isn’t going to be all unicorns and rainbows. I’ll leave the rainbows alone, but if I would have saw a unicorn on the course I would have hog tied that little son-of-a-bitch and rode him to the finish line
I had heard horror stories of people showing up late to races or having to wait in a HUGE line for the shuttle bus so I decided to get there early – 4:30 early. That meant that I was at the starting line at 5:00am. Ugg. I took a little nap under a tree hillbilly style and headed over to the corals to look for Amanda @ RunToTheFinish. It would seem that fate has us meeting at a different race, because we sure couldn’t put it together this weekend. (Totally my fault)
The gun went off and the race started off great. I was hitting my mile splits (7:38) and chatting it up with Rock and Roll James who is running ALL of the RnR events this year. We ran along one of the lakes in what was the prettiest part of the entire race. I was a bit concerned because we were hitting a few rolling hills that I hadn’t marked on my pace band. No worries, though…right? Does the pope poop in the woods? WRONG. He uses the gold plated pooper in the pope-mobile.
Half Marathon: 1:41 (7:43 pace)
The wheels came off. It was right at about mile 13 that it hit me. It was a feeling that can best be described as a combination of my stomach trying to escape out of my throat and my lower GI being punched by Ali. I had felt bloated all weekend and was having “regularity” issues for 3 days straight....I guess something was up after all. Probably the worst thing that could happen to me during a race. After about 90 minutes running my body said to stop running.
This picture at mile 14.5 seems to capture how I was feeling.
Even the dude in the black shirt thinks I'm hurting!
Unfortunately, that is what I did. I stopped running and I became one of those guys who started to do the
30K (18.6 mi): 2:33 (8:12 pace)
The remainder of the race was a combination run/walk that plunged my pace from 7:30ish to 9:00ish. While I was running I was still maintaining my 7:40 pace however after 6 or so minutes I would feel like I needed to barf so I would stop and walk it off. Honestly, I just wished I could have barfed and got it over with! But, no barf would ever present itself. Bummer.
Miles 15 - 26 were all on interstate which was a bit frustrating. That meant that the spectators were few and far between. We were still given awesome views of the Seattle skyline and more hills than I thought were possible. The course was a lot hillier than I had anticipated. For the record, if you are going to be running San Diego and Seattle and want to know which one to go for a PR on? Go for it at San Diego. While San Diego has a hill or two, they are all pretty gradual. Seattle has rollers the entire way.
24 mi: 3:23 (8:28 pace)
At least I could have a LITTLE fun with it. At mile 26:
So, I finished with a wimper and grabbed my free MGD 64. I'm not a fan of MGD 64 beer normally, but without fail they always taste good after running a marathon. But, as an indication of how bad my stomach was, I only finished HALF OF THE BEER. Half!??! I'm as amazed as you are.
As bad as the race was, I do have to admit that looking back I still had a good time. I really do like running and I realize that not all of the races can be PR busting unicorn riding good times. Just like I tweeted as soon as I got back to the hotel: "For the record, still had a fun time....just had 25 more minutes worth of fun time than I would have liked!! :)"
Honestly, that is how I feel about this race. Not ANYWHERE close to where I wanted to be.....but I lived to race another day. Afterall, doing well in a race is all relative - whenever anyone asks me if I did well in a race I'll always tell them that I met my #1 goal: I didn't die.