Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Get your Rear in Gear - WA

March is Colon Cancer Awareness month, and to honor that noble cause, I ran the Mercer Island Rotary Half Marathon for Colon Cancer Awareness.  I've tried a few versions of this post, but there's no way to make it pretty.   Lack of training and a bad stomach will catch up with you, even if the conditions are beautiful and you have great company.  Would I run the Mercer Island Half Marathon again, though?  Absolutely! (and I might have to to redeem myself....read on).  Let's just say there is a bit of irony in this post given the charity that hosted the event.

First, the good news.  Theresa & her sister gave me a tour of beautiful Mercer Island, complete with a shopping trip to Nordstrom's.  Found a great pair of shoes that I'm kicking myself for not buying.   We stayed in the lovely Residence Inn Seattle/Bellevue.

This is mostly a local race, which was evident when we arrived at the incredibly new but quiet Residence Inn.  I think that's the first (and probably the last) time I'll sleep in a bed that has never had another guest sleep in it.   I don't think we saw any other out of town guests at the hotel, although this was supposed to be the "official" hotel for the race.

My training had been lagging before Mercer Island.  I got stuck on a flight two college boys with either raging hangovers or nasty cases of the flu.  The guy next to me on the flight went to the bathroom on the flight and promptly passed out.  When he came back (20 minutes later, with help from the flight attendant), he had a cold compress on his neck.   Luckily he didn't pass out my direction for the rest of the flight, but I was ready to jump out of my seat at a moment's notice if he started to look bad.   I went back to talk to the flight attendant, who said he was burning up.  Maybe I can trace my stomach problems to being stuck next to someone sick, or I could blame my truly horrible performance on just bad preparation.  Either way, I didn't set any PRs.

The course had quite a few rolling hills, especially miles 0-5.  For someone who has been (lazily) training on flats, not a good way to start out.  I had hoped to get a head start with the walkers who started out at 7:30am.  I figured if Theresa & Carol went with the runners at 9:05 we'd be done at the same time,  but they wanted to start at 7:30am.   My stomach had been doing flips the night before, and after the first mile, it started doing cartwheels.  Theresa, aka "Miss Positive" starting doing running leaps while she & Carol passed up the walkers, waving and smiling (and pulling real estate brochures) while they passed everyone else plodding along.  For me, it was downhill from there....

By mile 9 I was passed by the first runner.   I started to send text messages to Theresa that she & Carol could go home, shower, and come back to get me by the time I'd get there, but I just kept getting happy but demanding texts back that said "RUN".    Love it!

Some stats from the race (Half Marathon portion):
Half Marathon Run participants: 1,620 Avg time:   1:59:12
Half Marathon Walk participants:  212  Avg time:  3:31:38

Thanks to Carol for hosting, and for both ladies for your wonderful family stories!   Now if I could only have gotten a picture of the three of us in front of the giant colon at the pre-race expo.....

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