New PR at Kirkland Half-Marathon

The day started out fairly warm and sunny and waking up to views of Lake Washington, downtown Seattle and the brilliant Olympic snow-capped mountains standing sentinal sharply over the lake.  Awake at 5:15 AM, I had the usual trepidation about what the race would bring.  Not having trained really at all the last month (except for two good runs last weekend), my two main goals were: 1. To Finish and 2. A fantasy to break two hours.  And have Fun.

I was somehow able to accomplish both and post a time of 1:52:58 in the Kirkland Half-Marathon, which is a new Personal Record (PR) for me – which translates to a pace of 8:36/mile.

Today is Mothers Day and I thought about my mom during the middle part of the race and decided I needed to write a separate post in honor of my mom who passed away about 5 years ago, and I would have called today to tell her about my feat and of course to thank her for being such a good mother and grandmother to my boys.  There were lots of mothers on the course (and people holding up “Go Mom” signs along the way.)

After a good breakfast of my favorite bars (Sweet and Salty Almond), a toasted cinnamon bagel and a banana and tea, I was ready to head out to the start at Juanita Beach Park.  I knew about how to get there and as I got closer, I followed the cars that seemed to be heading to the same place.

The race was supposed to start at 7:30 (for the half-marathoners) – other distances had different start times.  I got there early and waited around in my car to stay warm and then got in the port-a-potty line at about 7:15.  At 7:29, I was still a number of people from a vacant one, but then they announced that the course was not ready and the start would be delayed about 15 minutes so that worked out good for me.

Having some great music to run by – which always helps – I did the first 3.3 miles in 30 minutes which was my goal and then did the next 3.4 miles in 30 minutes so 6.7 miles on the hour which was on pace to break two hours.

Then overdrive just kicked in and was able to do more than 3.7 miles by the next 30 minutes so about 10.4 miles in 90 minutes.  My main goal now was to break 1:55:00 if I could – but there were a number of hills to come.   (The overall course was never really flat, all on concrete/asphalt, and a good number of hills up and down).  I just cranked on the last couple of miles and was somewhat surprised to see that I had just broken 1:53 by a few seconds. I’m not sure where that places me in age groups and such, but to put it in context, the winning time for the half was 1:09:00 – which is sub six-minute miles

When I was refueling after the finish, a guy (a young guy I should add) came up to me and said, “Dude, I was chasing you through mile 11 and then I just crashed”.  Small amount of peacock feathers from me, but humbly saying “Oh, thank you and congratulations on finishing”. :-)  It’s a wonderful feeling to pass people coming in and knowing you have reserve energy to draw on.

It was just the motivational boost I needed to finish in the time I did with all of the new work responsibilities and to be able to recommit to an aggressive training schedule again.