I am writing this recap after 2 weeks. Talk about laziness!
My training for this race had been extremely injury-plagued. When I started training, I was just coming off a injury my Achilles Tendon. A few weeks into training, my left IT Band started giving me a world of pain. I also had a week off training because I sprained my ankle while I stepped on a pine cone. Jeez!
My confidence for this race was very shaky. I had not run for 2 full weeks before the race to let my IT Band recover a little. The night before the race I colored my nails a deep plum color(almost black). I think it was my way of making myself feel good and making myself believe that I could do this. May sound silly but it seemed to work on race day!
Amit and I drove down to Aneeta and Kaushik’s. The race start was just a mile away from their apartment. So we parked around their apartment and walked together to the start line. The official race start was at 7 and we reached at 6:50ish. We had to wade through huge crowds and ask at least 10 people for directions to Gear Check. By the time we got back a few corrals had already taken off. Amit was in corral 23 and I was in corral 32. Aneeta and Kaushik were in 42. As I waited in my corral, I turned on my music and tried to zone out. I was nervous about my injury and also about the fact that I would be running alone and not with Amit this time.
When my corral started, I started off slow for like 0.25 mi just because there were just so many people around me. There was no way I could go fast. But as soon as we turned onto a bigger road, I got some space and I tried to run at a comfortable pace. Unfortunately, with all that adrenaline, I was running much faster than usual. I made the CARDINAL MISTAKE of going too fast too soon. Aaargh! x-( I started feeling the effects of it as early as mile 3. I got some serious side stitches coz my breathing was all out of whack. I had to stop and walk quite a few times between mile 3 and mile 5. I was already feeling that I would not make my stretch goal of 2:20. I still knew I could achieve my realistic 2:30 goal though. As I turned onto Dakota street at around mile 5, we were greeted by a ginormous hill which was NOT there in the elevation chart for the race. I still don’t know how and why they missed to tell us about that hill. the uphill was impossible and I had to walk. Unfortunately, the downhill was so steep that I had to walk there too. I saw some people trying to run downhill and I could see them struggling to maintain balance and trying not to topple. This is when we turned onto Lake Washington Boulevard, the most scenic part of the course. I ran by the cool serene lake and that calmed me down a little. I ran past people holding American flags and pictures of soldiers who sacrificed their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was very moving. Like last year, I found myself wiping my tears after I passed that segment of the course. After we got onto I90, I had established a pattern. Run for as long as I can, and then walk till I feel ready to run again. But I found that I was not pushing myself too much to keep running. As soon as I felt like I could not run more, I would just start walking. Big Mistake! I think if I had pushed myself a little, I could have shaved off at least 5 minutes off my time. Anyway, by the 11mi marker, I was completely beat. I was just super disappointed in myself knowing that I was going to be short of my goal. I really thought I could do it, but when I realized I could not, I just gave up! I was miserable the last 0.1mi. I had to dig deep and collect all the strength I had to run that last stretch. I crossed the finish line with a time of 2:34:01. I looked for Amit. Atlast I saw him and I immediately broke down. It was just a flood of emotions, disappointed that I did not do well, elated that it was over, relieved that my IT band held up and did not cause any issues.
Amit had finished his race in 2:23:52. He was a little disappointed but was satisfied with his effort for the most part.
The race had some good post-race food, including bagels, bananas, sliced fruit, Jamba Juice Smoothies, Chocolate milk, energy bars. I tried to chew on a bagel but I could get only half into my stomach. I drank a lot of water and chocolate milk. We waited in the finisher area for Aneeta and Kaushik to show up. They finished in 3:00:45. We were so happy for them. We clicked some pictures and collected our bags from Gear Check. Then we walked over to their apartment, had some leftover rice and lentil curry that they had in the refrigerator. We drove back home and iced, showered and slept. I was pretty sore the next day but I recovered within a few days.
The race organization was great. Rock n Roll races are so great. They are crowded but they still have everything under control and do a wonderful job of making the runners feel great before, during and after the race. They had changed the course this year, but since I ran the full year, I do not have a good comparison. But I would still love to run this race again next year.
P.S: Even though I did not do as well as I wanted to, I think my painted nails helped me a little on the way. I really wanted some company during my drag miles. But when I cringed that Amit was not running with me and he was not there to cheer me on, I looked at my nails and smiled. So they helped