I woke up just about every hour through the night to see if it was raining (it was) so I was quite impressed when the morning forecast improved to only 40% chance of showers.
We get ready and walk down to the monorail for 5:30 am. It's damp but really quite nice outside. Ah sea air!
We're sitting right behind the driver because trains! This is cool, we can see the Space Needle in front of us getting bigger. First item on arrival agenda - Space Needle selfie.
Done. Second item on arrival agenda - find VIP. Awesome, indoor and outdoor seating (under a canopy), clean portas, food (I don't eat much pre-race, sad face) and lovely heaters by the outdoor tables. The ground is wet and puddly from overnight monsoons but it is not currently raining - hurrah!
After Kev heads off to the start corrals I find Carleeh (our socks match!) she's a Rock n Blogger and really fun to hang out with. This makes me feel much less nervous about the impending marathon. Finding my best dude Ryan gets rid of my nerves completely. Silly arse.
As I walk over to the start they are announcing a 15 minute delay so I backtrack and check out some of the Chihuly glass sculptures. Here's an awkward selfie with one. Triffids! Run! My feet are soggy from the wet grass oops.
The rain starts sprinkling a bit while we inch toward the start line. I start 35 mins behind gun time. I'm not thinking about pace, the course time limit is 6 hours and I'm confident I'll have no problems with that.
We run through town then enter a tunnel, it was just like this only with more people. The lights above me keep going out; one, two, three in a row. That happens twice so I run faster.
|28 Days Later|
We pop out onto the top level of I-99 with views over the sea and the big wheel then head back into town after an out and back. The 8k leaves us shortly after and I spend a few moments envying those little sprinting bastards.
There's a lot of support and entertainment down Rainier Ave. This water stop was not scary at all.
My IT Band has been bothering me a bit since mile 4, it's causing a niggly pain on the side of my right knee. It's currently fine to run through but I'm very happy to see each mile click off without it getting any worse. This definitely helps me stay in the moment and just be grateful I'm moving forward.
At mile 9 we reach an exciting moment.
I am not sad at all about this and move into the right lane toward Seward Park. Miles 9-15 are incredibly pretty, to make up for this it rains steadily the entire time.
I'm walking through water stations, fueling with Clif Bloks, Salted Caramel GU or Tailwind then having a cup of water. As a result I actually feel really good. I cross the halfway timing mat at 2:40. When I look at my watch and see 3 hours I do not have a meltdown and I'm just fine knowing there's a good couple hours left to go.
We rejoin the Halfers on Lake Washington Blvd though they have the road split into two lanes so we're not getting in the way of each other. At mile 16, everyone around me quietly and respectfully runs the Blue Mile.
The Half leaves us for the last time so we can climb onto I-90, a floating freeway across to Mercer Island. Oh look, portas with no line up - excellent. There's a fabulous breeze as we cross the mile and a half long bridge with 3 lanes of traffic shooting by on either side. At certain points on this course I really feel like we're getting somewhere, this is one of them and I celebrate by singing (badly) along to my iPod for a while.
We enter a tunnel at the east end, it's about 3/4 mile long and on quite a slant. Another painkiller for my knee - why not! We emerge into daylight and trek to the turnaround point. Now it feels like we're on the way home. The water stations along this freeway/tunnel section of the course are heaven. As we exit the tunnel the course marshals are turning runners around and we see the sweep vehicle, that's somewhat alarming. I wonder if the 15 min start delay cut into the course limit?
|Surface park, tunnel full of runners below|
Now there's a climb into the I-90 tunnel at the west end of the bridge, and it sucks. I realize if I don't start running I'll never get out of it. The mile 24 sign greets us at the other end and a pretty nice downhill. I've been running around the same group of people since before halfway, and our little clan makes its way over the last 2 miles together.
Destination: Centurylink Field. By this time there are far fewer runners!
There's one last little climb onto the ramp by the baseball field then we're home. Marathon 7 is finished in 5:32:29.
Worth the wait, I think so. Now let's go and find food!
*I am a member of Rock n Blog for 2016 and was given a complimentary Tour Pass, however all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.