My husband and I ran the Seattle Amica Marathon (the half marathon race) today. We signed up for it somewhat late as we had thought we wouldn't do it again--last year was miserably cold, wet, and windy. Then a friend asked if we were doing it and it got us thinking that we should give it another try before writing it off for the future.
The weather this year was much, much better. It was dry, although a little foggy and definitely cool, so the race had that going for it. The weather last year made me forget the other not-so-fun aspect of the race: HILLS. It is in Seattle, after all, and that is synonymous with hills. I either need to move somewhere flat or do a lot more hill work if I'm going to keep running around here!
The closer we got to race day, the less enthusiastic I was about running this one. We got a bit of a late start out to head to the race, and deep down I was halfway hoping we'd get there too late to do it. We got there in time to find parking, porta potties, and a place well back in the crowd, though, so I resigned myself to the fact we were definitely going to run it. Here are our traditional pre-race pictures:
It was cold waiting to start, but we didn't have too long before the race got going and we made our way up to the start line. We decided to go with our run a mile, walk a minute or two pattern as long as we could, and so the first mile went by quickly, especially since much of it was downhill. I started feeling better about doing the race. When we hit some of the worst hills, though, we both opted to walk more.
I had no great expectations for setting a PR with this race. With all the hills and with the amount of running we've done recently, the most I was hoping for was to finish in about 3 hours. We were doing pretty well until about halfway through, when my hip began bothering me and my husband was having some trouble with his ankle. It wasn't debilitating, so we both were able to continue running most of the time, but we were definitely slowing down. There were times when I could have kept running but he needed to walk, and vice versa.
In the end, we were able to finish in just a hair over 3 hours, 3:02:50 was the official chip time. I was a little disappointed we couldn't push it to finish in under 3 hours, but then I went back and looked at our times from last year; we shaved about 13 minutes off our time, and that's without really training well for the race.
I am glad we did do this one again this year so we'd have a better experience with it, but I'm not at all sure I'll do it again. I may volunteer instead!
This is probably our last half for the year; we did one in December last year, but I'm thinking we need to take some time off to enjoy the holidays and put together a real training plan. We want to do a full marathon next year, and that's going to take some serious work if we're going to do it well. We will be doing the Disney Tinkerbell Half Marathon in January, and it would be nice to be well rested and actually properly TRAINED for that one!