08 May 2012

Cinco de Mayo Half Marathon Recap

Ready to head out the door!
Wondering if I survived my double half marathon weekend??  Indeed I did!  Sunday morning my alarm went off at 5am and I hopped in the shower to wake myself up.  I got myself geared up (went with the pink socks) and had some espresso and a bagel with almond butter and a bit of honey.  Sorry Jillian Michaels, but I had to switch my diet back for a couple of days to a more "race friendly" one.  I brought along a banana since the race was still a couple of hours away and once Alyssa arrived we snapped a few photos and hit the road around 6:40am. 

Random sidenote:  We were about 10 minutes away from Snoqualmie when I heard this terrible beep come from my bag in the back seat of the car.  You know, that beep your Garmin gives off just before it dies?  Ya- THAT beep.  I calmly asked Alyssa to hand me my bag (I was driving), dug out my Garmin and sure enough it was turned off.  It was fully charged at 6:30am, and now at 7:30am it was dead.  I tried all of my fancy moves to bring it back to life but the truth was I would not have my trusty Garmin for the race.  I was planning to run with my Iphone so once we arrived I downloaded the Map My Run application just to have something- but I really didn't know how to use it or know the accuracy of it.  More on this app later. 
My dead Garmin.  It was really strange not having it!
The race was about an hour away but we made really good time and scored a front row parking spot at  Mt. Si High School -totally worth getting up a half hour early!  The weather was overcast and chilly so we wandered around and figured out the starting area and stayed warm in the gym.  That was one nice thing about this race- we were able to hang out inside the warm building and use actual bathrooms before the race.  Pretty soon Paul joined us- he is Alyssa's boyfriend and this was his first half marathon!  I always enjoy seeing somebody complete their first half- I remember feeling so exhausted and accomplished at the end of mine almost 2 years ago! 

Hanging out in the warm gym!
There was a 15 minute delay before the race started so we hovered inside the doors until the last minute, then walked to the start line and before we knew it we were off!  Paul, Alyssa and I stayed together for the first mile or so, then Alyssa started pulling ahead.  She wanted to finish around 2 hours, I was shooting for 2:05-2:10 (I needed functional legs for Sunday!) and Paul was hoping for 2:15-2:30.  This race is flat as a pancake- if you are looking for the nicest, easiest, prettiest sub-2 hour half marathon course in the Seattle area this is your race! 

Moments before the race started!
Paul, Alyssa and me- ready to get going!  Wonder what I am looking at??  Hmmm....
So without a Garmin I have no clue what my mile splits were, and one big bummer about the course was the lack of mile markers!  So without a Garmin and without very many mile markers I just basically ran by feel.  The Map My Run app was not very accurate- it kept telling me that my pace was around 8-8:30 which I knew wasn't true.  Believe me, I know what an 8 minute mile feels like and that is NOT what I was doing out there!  The only helpful thing that kept happening was the voice would override my music and tell me how MANY minutes I had been running.  So I could kind of gage my progress when there was a mile marker.  Other than that, no clue whatsoever what my pace was which was really strange- good thing I didn't really care about my time for this race!

Paul was doing great and we kept playing leap frog- I was poking along through the water stations and he would pass me, then I would pass him, then I would stop again at the aid station and he would pass me.  Around mile 7 or so he got ahead of me and stayed there for nearly the entire rest of the race.  We were in this beautiful neighborhood with mountains in the background and I could just imagine living in any of the houses - they were stunning.  I took a few photos while running- I am not very good at it and I gave that up quickly!  At mile 9 I took a quick bathroom break, got some water and took a gel.  Then came mile 10- I think my ipod said I had been running for 1:37 minutes or something at that point so I knew I would be finishing under 2:10 and that made me happy. 

My attempt to take pictures WHILE running.  Sure is pretty there!
I can't even explain why my face looks all flared up and crazy.  Good thing I stopped
taking photos WHILE running after this one!  I am going to practice and master this skill, just wait and see! 
After mile 10 there were no more mile markers.  NONE.  Boy did that mess with my head!  At one point I was sure there was only a mile left and I was picking up my pace, but then we came to a bridge- and I swear that was at mile 2 on the way out!  So did we have 2 miles left?  Or just one?  I kept waiting for the mile markers but then all of a sudden I could tell we were back at the school.  And I heard them announce Alyssa as she finished.  And I could see Paul up ahead- within striking distance!  The final quarter mile of the race is a lap around the high school track and I was actually kind of excited about that.  I caught Paul at the entrance to the track and put on my fastest sprint.  I felt him on my heels but that only lasted maybe 100 meters.  I passed several people including one girl, then sprinted across the line racing a very tall guy.  As I crossed the finish line the announcer said "Tiffany from Tacoma finishing very strong"- Heck ya!  Paul finished right behind me a few seconds later, totally blowing his goal finish time out of the water by a good 8 minutes!

We wandered around for a bit, had a bagel and some water and waited for the results to post.  I actually forgot to look at the clock when I finished so I really didn't know what my time was!  My official chip time is 2:06:42 with an average pace of 9:40.  Not too shabby for just running easy and not having a clue what my pace was the entire time!  We left pretty soon after that, I wanted to get home to watch my daughter try out for a select soccer team and rest my muscles for Sunday's half marathon!!  By the way- the AVERAGE finish time for the half marathon was 2:02:41 out of 485 finishers.  Told you it was a fast course!!   
Half number 1- CHECK!



  1. Great job running by feel........I think I'd be lost without my trusty Garmin, so I'm doubly impressed!

    Great report!

  2. Love that self picture while running, great job babe!!!!

  3. Fantastic time for your "first" half of the weekend. (FYI, it was almost exactly the same time as my Saturday half, weird).

    I hate running without my Garmin. I feel your pain.

  4. You did awesome! Sucky about your garmin but you rocked it without it!
    My face looks the same if I try to take pics while running, I think moving while taking a pic makes the image distorted?

  5. Great recap of the race! :) And i you did an awesome job "staying calm" knowing your garmin was dead.... and love the self picture. I know you will master that soon.. ;) I thought this race was a fun one, but like you said few mile markers.. so even i didn't know how much longer to go, even tho i had my iphone(nike plus gps).

  6. Nooo Garmin Noooo!!! I HATE it when Garmin fails you! Awesome race, you are definitely my hero for racing twice in a weekend! And adorable outfit!