Warning: This is going to be long! 🙂
The race started right on time. We started by heading down 5th right into the heart of downtown. Since it was still dark outside, the trees were still twinkling with Christmas lights.
Less than a mile into the race, the hills started. I knew right away that this was going to be a rough day. I just focused on keeping a slow pace, which is SO hard for me to do at the beginning of a race, and told myself to tackle the hills one at a time.
Before I knew it, we made our way through downtown and were heading for the on ramp to the 90. At this point, we were a little over two miles into the race and I knew one thing FOR SURE. I had overdressed. In typical Skipping In Seattle fashion, I got hot (and not in a rawr way) FAST. This marked the first (of many) walk breaks.
I stripped off my jacket and my mother in law tied the sleeves behind me. We were good to go once again.
We entered the tunnel that I have heard horror stories about with the RnR Seattle race. Only, for me, I had no complaints. It was quite nice to be shielded from the wind and rain even if only for a brief period of time. Plus, a lot of it was downhill! Major score.
Right around this time, I mentioned to my MIL that I pretty much stuck to the Galloway method during all my long training runs. During training, I would walk for 1 minute every mile. We decided to try out running 10 minutes then walking 1. I lost signal in the tunnel, so she kept track for us.
In hindsight, I kind of wish I would have kept track for us because it would have helped keep my mind off of how much the hills sucked. It would have given me a job to focus on. I think I made it through about 3 rounds of this run walk plan before it all went to hell…
This is when the miles all start to blend together. Sorry in advance if I am a little off.
Around mile 5, there was a large group of people lining the sidewalks all holding huge american flags. Many of the people were even military. It was the most inspirational sight ever. I totally got choked up. They also had pictures of soldiers who had fallen. I seriously wish I had taken a picture. It was breathtaking. The sight absolutely motivated me to keep going.
Around mile 7, we got to a hill that was SO steep that I have no idea how anyone could run it. It was more like climbing than anything else. This hill did me in. About halfway up, my quad started cramping. That cramp never left the whole rest of the race. If anything it just intensified. It was rad.
Finally we made it to the Madison hill that I had been hearing so much about. Dang, people weren’t kidding. This thing was a half mile climb. It felt like it was never ending. This is, however, where the BEST spectator signs were.
“Chuck Norris never ran a marathon”
“Black toenails look good on you”
“You’ve got good stamina. Call me for a good time”
Oh yes, they were rad.
We continued to chug along. I’d run as much as I could and then walk when the cramping got to be too much. Around mile 9.5 I had to make a porta stop.
There is something about running with someone that just brings you closer than you ever though you would be. This was an actual conversation we had.
Me: “Uh oh”
Me: “I have to fart but I’m not sure it’s fart.”
Yep, that convo prompted the porta stop. The best part of all is that it was totally like normal conversation. Runners are a rare breed.
Around mile 11, we ran across a freeway overpass and we just HAD to stop for a picture. My PR was shot at this point, so we just were gonna have fun with it.
Next came mile 12. I LOVED mile 12. It was like this:
Yep, downhill for the win! At the very end, we came to the last hill that we would have to face. I wanted SO badly to be able to run up the whole thing without stopping, but the cramp in my quad wouldn’t let me. It hurt and it hurt BAD! I was SO close to being done though.
Once we made it to the top of the hill, we came around a corner and into the finishers chute. I had survived. I did it and I had my amazing MIL by my side every step of the way. She was so patient with me. Love love love her.
Well, it wasn’t pretty, but I did it!