Rachie and I enjoying post-race celebrations at the Oktoberfest Half Marathon 2007
One of my Seattle BFFs dating back to the Days of Yorn recently ran the Capitol City Half Marathon in Olympia, Washington and agreed to share her story with us. Rachie's recently decided to open her blog, party for one, to the public. It is a riot. My fellow Aquarian has caused me to spit coffee through my nose on more than one occassion :) Enjoy, and be inspired! :)
How to *PR at Your Half Marathon
Step 1: Two weeks before your half marathon spend the entire weekend boozing, sneaking cigarettes, staying up all night acting like a drunk, slutty bridesmaid at your cousin’s wedding.
Exhibit #1: Drunky McDrunkerson Bridesmaid - it’s to be expected.
Step 2: Get a horrible chest cold immediately following the wedding weekend due extreme exhaustion and liver/lung abuse. Please note, this step is very important and is made easier if you’ve been sneaking occasional cigarettes and boozing for the better part of your adult life.
Step 3: Stop running and eat lots of comfort foods so you gain a couple of pounds. A little extra chub goes a long way!
Step 4: The night before the race, share a hotel room in Tumwater, WA with a wild animal of a 2 year old nephew and a crazed older sister who drives you to drink red wine and eat greasy pizza as “carbo loading.”
Exhibit #2: Wild Animal Nephew - Don’t let the smile fool you.
Step 5: Wake up with a mild hangover and a case of the runs from aforementioned greasy pizza carbo load . . . and yes, still coughing your lungs out.
Step 6: Run your PR!! WOOOT!
So . . . I always like to keep a half marathon on the calendar to keep me focused on my runs. I opted to sign up for the Capitol City Half because I heard it was a lovely course, my pal Kris was running it, and my sister was supposed to run it as well, and . . . frankly, I felt the need to redeem myself after a disappointing Mercer Island Half in March (disappointing in this case = 2:17). I had fully expected to PR - the good kind of PR - on Mercer Island. I didn’t, however, expect or train for the abundance of hills on the course . . . which is pretty dumb considering it’s my eff’ing hometown. Duh.
As is obvious by my step by step guide presented above, redeem myself I did not. It was my worst time EVER. I haven’t received the official results yet, but the clock said 2:28 when I shuffled my hacking lungs across the finish line. (UPDATE: official results are 2:28:16) I’m not sure why I care about a decent time. It’s not like I’m fast in any sense of the word . . .well, okay, maybe one sense. . . but I digress. Then I realized what it was: thanks to the internets our race times are forever immortalized in google searches and sites like athlinks.com. I am vain and I care what people think of me in an intense sort of way. I don’t want anyone to search for me and see a horrible race time. Silly, right? No one else cares. I know this in my head . . . but still. Not to mention, it’s also vain to assume anyone is stalking me online – but hey, it’s the era we live in and I’m realistic like that.
On the flip side, it was a beautiful course. The word on the street was true. My misery was somewhat mitigated by the harbor, boats, mountains, trees, stately homes and buildings, and most of all, the awesome residents of Olympia who came out in droves to cheer. My favorite being a middle aged dude in a bandana supplying the runners tunes via his awesome synthesizer. The weather also cooperated and was absolutely the best I could have asked for . . . Cool, slightly overcast, no rain, no wind. Simply perfect. I have to admit, even though it’s my state’s capitol, I haven’t seen much of the city nor spent any time there since I was a Page in the House at the tender age of 16. I loved getting to see it all from the perspective a runner – taking in each and every street and corner for 13.1 miles. I’ll do this race again for sure (and not just to redeem my time and bruised ego). Olympia pretty much rules.
Exhibit #3: Olympia is so lovely!
*the term PR, commonly referred to as your best time, was in this case, my worst.
OH and PS: BEST RACE SHIRT EVER!!