By this point, most of the people who sporadically check out my fledgling blog will have sussed out that my race on Saturday (the Snoqualmie Valley Half Marathon) did not go as planned. Unfortunately, I absolutely had all of the information necessary to see this kind of an outcome before I stepped up to that starting line, but as an invincible 25-year-old with a stubborn streak I decided to ignore every single warning bell I heard the week prior to my third half marathon.
Warning Bell 1: Hiking Poo-Poo Point with my family
My family's annual Father's Day hike was six days before the race! Just like I wrote in my last review post, the hike was amazing and so so fun. What I did not include in that post was the fact that as soon as we started descending, my left knee started giving me grief each time I had to bend it as my right foot stepped forward.
I was thanking the powers that be that I'd purchased my first pair of trekking poles the night before; I was leaning heavily on them.
But whatever, right? It was just a one day thing. That pain would go away!
Warning Bell 2: My Taper Week Training Runs
I managed to squeeze out two training runs between the hike and the half. On both runs my knee started acting up again at around 1.5-2 miles into the run. Awesome.
No worries! I'd give myself the day before the race off! It'd totally be all better by then!
Tolt-McDonald Park, the venue for the race, was bustling when I arrived 1.5 hours early to check it out. People were setting up tents for Zico and the Red Cross, volunteers were peanutbuttering some Seattle Bagel Bakery treats, and everyone was just grooving.
The race was small (500 half marathoners, and I should've remembered how many 10k runners... either way, not a huge race) and on a gravelly trail that went out-and-back through the Snoqualmie Valley. Just as they advertised, it was flat and FAST.
In fact, my starting pace was pretty killer! Had I maintained my average pace from the first half of this race, I'd have PR'd it by about 4 minutes.
You've got it.
Well. 13.1 miles is quite a bit longer than 3-4 miles. I learned that the hard way.
So I made deals with myself. Just make it to that tree. Don't worry that people are passing you. Turn off those earphones. You don't need someone in your ear telling you your pace is slowing down. Walk through the water stations. Eat some of that salted caramel Gu. That stuff tastes freaking ridiculous.
By the end, every single step was agony. I envisioned myself crossing the finish line and bursting into tears of relief at just being done.
My amazing, supportive, so so wonderful parents were just in front of the finish, and despite the fact that I know I shouldn't have run the race (and despite the fact that they still would've been proud if I hadn't finished it), I'm glad I had the chance to run/limp past them and cross that finish line.
I hobbled over to Zico, grabbed some carbs, and smiled with relief when my parents decided to play chauffeur so I didn't need to walk back to my own car. Because apparently that 0.5 miles looked like it'd kill me.
Now I'm looking forward to registering for this race NEXT year, because I am going to kill it on the course.
Final Time: 1:57:49