Seattle Half 2014: cold, smiles and friends

It was a little frigid when I woke up this morning.

But, I knew it would be cold since we got snow yesterday!

Cold, cold, cold!

Cold, cold, cold!

I’ve always said I prefer racing in cooler temps than hot ones but today was a little much.

But, I wore gloves and a ear-warmer headband and set out for my one and only race goal:

to finish with a positive attitude and a smile.

I’m happy to report that I did both.

There was a little mad dash to the start area and Mo and I didn’t have time to push our way forward closer to the start line. We ended up starting the race with the 2 hr. 15 min. pacers, which was obviously much slower than we ever would intend to race.

We didn’t freak out about it.

We passed slower folks and walkers when it was appropriate. We didn’t do too much weaving. We chit-chatted throughout a good portion of the first half of the race.

Yes, it was cold but it was also beautiful.

Hello, Seattle!

Hello, Seattle!

Even the hill up Lake Washington Boulevard wasn’t bad. The hill to Madison was also manageable. And, the big hill up actual Madison? Yes, my legs felt it but I was in no real pain. I was running with my friend and we were killing the hills. When we got to the downhill and turned into the Arboretum, another runner turned toward us and said, “I’m running with you guys!” I assumed that this was a compliment since we looked strong. He didn’t run with us for long because we kept picking off runners.

When we approached Seattle Prep (our high school alma mater,) Mo looked at her watch and calculated that we may be able to break 1:50 with about 2-ish miles away from the finish. I didn’t really have high hopes to do so since the last several miles we had really picked up the pace. My Garmin had lost satellite signals when we went in the express way tunnel of I-90 at the beginning of the race so my time/pace was all off on my watch. I wasn’t really paying attention to time at all!

We zipped down the steep downhills as we got closer and closer to the Seattle Center. The only time in the race I started to feel a bit uncomfortable was this part, this last mile.

I saw Bryce right outside the stadium and gave my glamor wave — or did what I hoped was a wave but I couldn’t really feel my hands (even with the gloves!) As I turned off of Mercer, a stranger yelled, “Good job, young lady!” I thought, “He thinks I am doing a good job and that I am young!” I was back to being in high spirits again. It was time to finish this cold, cold, race and get my warm, warm clothes back on.

Once my shoes hit the turf of memorial stadium, I took a few paces to “gain composure.” (Prior to the stranger cheering for me I got a whiff of what smelled like pizza and it made me feel like throwing up). But, after a second or two in the stadium, I got on my horse and full-out sprinted to that finish line.

And, as I crossed it, I made sure to smile. My mouth was the only part of me that wasn’t numb or frozen.

I did it. I finished with a positive attitude and a smile.

SPXC alum all finished and done!

SPXC alum all finished and done!

I used to think a good race meant PR’ing. You can’t PR them all. In fact, your goal shouldn’t be to PR them all.

Sometimes, racing with friends and celebrating with them afterwards is even better.

The Portland Marathon two months ago was a rough one for me. I’m glad I decided to do the Seattle Half to end 2014 racing on the right foot.

Seattle, we did well.

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