Monday, March 22, 2010

Mercer Island Half Marathon Recap

We'll see if I can get this post written before my the end of Super Why on PBS, and therefore the end of my quiet time.

It was great to get out of town this weekend and have a much needed kid break. My mom came through and blessed us by keeping the kids so my husband and I could travel alone. We stopped in North Bend and met a couple of friends for shopping. Well, the girls shopped and the boys headed on their way for "guy time" aka video games.

After shopping, we headed to Mercer and picked up the race packet. Hubby was a little mistaken in the directions, so it took a while to find where we were supposed to be. Oh well. I got my packet, that was the important thing. I looked at the map, but did not take the time to drive the course. I knew the course was hilly, and at that point figured ignorance was bliss. I'm not sure if it was the right call or not, but I like to think I slept with less stress.

Going into the weekend, I was coming off a two day migraine. Not fun, and I had missed my last two training runs. I was still head achy Sunday morning when I woke up, but it wasn't a migraine anymore. It did make it hard to eat breakfast, well that and nerves. I am not great about eating before a race, although I know it affects my energy later on.

We got to the race in plenty of time. In fact, too much time. Time to stand around and get cold! I did get to meet fellow bloggers Mel, Jill, Kerrie, and Zoe! Good thing Mel stands out in a crowd, she was easy to find. :) I chatted with Mel and Jill while we waited, and waited in line for the bathroom once more. We headed to the start, and realized how packed the start was. Oops! Should have gotten down there sooner. It was crowded!

It took a few minutes to cross the start, and off we went! I ran with Jill the first mile and part of the second, then lost her in the crowd. It was hard to weave around so many people! This was by far the largest race I have ever done, so I wasn't used to weaving around people the whole race.

The first 6 miles went great. I was relaxed, holding a good conservative pace I could keep, hoping for lots in the tank for the second half. The support at the water stations was good, although with so many people it was crowded. Then there was the people who just stood there drinking their water blocking the table. Um, keep walking people!

Mile 7, I really started feeling those hills. Ouch! My calves and left hip really started to hurt. I started trying to do the math in my head to keep my mind occupied, and to push up to the top of each hill telling myself I would get a rest on the downside. Then I tried to push hard until each water stop, promising myself I could walk through the water stops.

Mile 10 I was getting tired! This is normally when I bonk unfortunately. I was still doing okay, my legs were just starting to feel heavy and my hip hurt. Then we started up the big hill. It just didn't end. Most of the people around me were stopping to walk. That was hard enough to push through, but they were walking in the middle of the road, without much room to get around them. More people weaving. Trying to weave around people when everything in me wanted to stop and walk too was HARD. I wanted to stop.

I kept running, but it turned into a shuffle. My feet weren't wanting to pick it up! Miles 11 and 12 felt like forever. Just keep moving! I knew if I stopped to walk, it would be all over. At this point, my sub 2 hour was out of reach, but I still wanted to push hard.

My last mile was slow-a 10:something. I didn't mark the split. Finally going up the hill into the finish corral I gave it the best kick I had. However, the people in front of me were not going as fast. I tried to move around a couple of girls in front of me, but they were not overly cooperative. Oh well.

Finish time by my watch: 2:04:21 9:17 Average (13.3 miles)
chip time: 2:05 9:30 Average

Walking up the big hill to the tent was horrible. My calves were a knotted mess. I was proud of my finish time though. It wasn't the sub 2 hours I was after, but I know I gave it the best I had on the toughest course I have ever run.

things I learned:
  • Hills are HARD!
  • Eat more breakfast, even when it doesn't sound or taste good.
  • Even if it feels cold at the start, don't wear a coat. It was in my way the whole race
  • A big race means weaving around people-and that you will run further then 13.1
  • I need to keep working on picking up the pace on the last few miles of long runs when I feel tired.
  • Eat afterwards even when I don't feel like it. I make this mistake after most races, and always pay for it with a sick stomach.

Things I did Well:

  • I did not start out too fast
  • I kept pushing myself to the finish
  • I did well on the uphills until the last one and passed a lot of people. It made me feel strong!
I am sore today, but it is a good sore knowing I gave the race everything I had! The only soreness that concerns me a little is in my left foot, the bones on the outside of my foot are sore. Hoping it is just from the race, and nothing more serious.

Next up:
A 10K race in May, and hopfully one in April too if i can find one.
Seattle RNR Half Marathon in June

Training plans to come.


  1. Congrats! Sounds like you raced well. And super cool you got to meet up with everyone!

  2. What a great race and FANTASTIC time!!! I'm so proud of you! Love your analysis!

  3. Congratulations! Great time! Sounds like you had a good time too!

  4. It was so fun meeting you. Hope to see you over here for more races! Great job on your run. That was a tough course! Glad you had a fun weekend with no kids those.

  5. Kasey, I can't believe I didn't say hello and introduce myself at the porta potties! I'm so sorry. Completely rude on my part. :( I'm so glad that you did so well!