Standing at the start line, looking at all those people was amazing. I was so glad that I decided not to miss the opportunity to run this race. Everyone started clapping and cheering-oh, I guess someone sang the National Anthem. I didn't hear it at all! Oh well. And we were off...
For such a big race, the wave start went smoothly. It was crowded sure, but it didn't seem like we were having to weave around people much at all. People watching at big races is awesome. Crazy costumes, like the dude in a polar bear costume, a couple of Elvis'-one with a fanny pack carrying a stereo. Then there was the guy with the blond mullet to the middle of the back. Zoe, Cassie and I tried to decide-wig, or real? I'm thinking wig, although can you say hot and itchy?
At around mile 3, we heard loud cheering. There was Kerrie and her cowbell! It was so great to have someone cheering for us by name!
Before we knew it, 6 miles had flown by. Wow, that is the longest I had run in 3 months. My muscles were starting to feel it a bit, and I was glad when Zoe suggested a quick walk break. I didn't want to be the first to ask to walk! The walk break was short but helped, and we were off again.
The hills weren't nearly as bad as I expected-not anything like Mercer Island! I was feeling much better than expected, and so far no pain in my shin. Running along the lake was beautiful, and we joked about wanting to go for a swim. There was a line of 40 (or so) soldiers holding American Flags. What a beautiful sight! I almost got choked up. As the wife of a veteran, I know the scarifies are HUGE but so worth it.
Up the steep hill to the freeway was really crowded. I wanted to run up, but was caught behind a group of people walking. Zoe charged up the hill, and waited for us at the top. Marathoners went right, we went left into the tunnel. The tunnel was LOUD and SMELLY! Ugh! I am not one to feel claustrophobic, but running in the tunnel made me want to get to fresh air, fast! Funny looking at my garmin for this section-I sped up a LOT! I got out of the tunnel and was thankful for the sea breeze while I waited for Zoe and Cassie to catch up.
This was the first race I have run with friends the whole way. I've started with people, but always got caught up in my own race and didn't stay with them. It was so fun to enjoy a race with other people, and to not give my watch more than a glance. No stress over pace, splits, finishing time. At times I could feel myself wanting to be caught up in the race, but I am so glad I stayed with Zoe and Cassie.
Mile 11 there was a steep downhill into town. Okay, THAT HURT! Shoot. Well, the damage is done. I was not going to quit! After that point, I could feel my shin the rest of the way. Zoe said let's run the rest, no walking. I didn't know if I had it in me. On to the viaduct and I wanted to walk in the worst way. Right when I was seriously considering it (it helped that there weren't any spectators right there) Zoe says, "Come on Kasey, You've got this!" It was what I needed, although I didn't know if I did have it! Downhill off the viaduct I was saying "ow ow ow ow" every step. The guy next to me gave me a funny look. Now I just wanted to be DONE!
We curved around toward Quest, and I kicked it and started picking everyone off I could. (chicked 4 guys) I didn't know where Zoe and Cassie were behind me, I just wanted to finish hard. Mr Garmin said 6:30 pace. Not a bad kick for being so out of shape! I heard my husband and my friend Joy cheering for me. I did it!
It felt great to get my first finishers medal, and to get my picture taken with Zoe and Cassie. Never has a half been so FUN and stress free. Maybe I should go into more races unprepared. Well, preferably with a lot more miles of training. Nice to know I can do the distance without training though. Of course, walking on Sunday was painful! Ouch!
My in-laws were laughing at me hobbling around Sunday and Monday, to which I said-
Totally worth it!