So lets begin with RACE day since I know that's what most of us bloggers want to read about when someone has just ran a race!
Woke up at 4:17am, 3 minutes before the alarm was to go off. I had slept great which was nice. I love to sleep, if only there was a marathon for that. I woke up feeling good and ready. Got breakfast which consisted of a banana, 1/2 wheat bagel with PB and some coffee. Took a warm shower, which I have to say is not normal for me to do, but I loved it. Woke me up and got me going even more. Tried to relax and think about the 26.2 miles ahead. My dear friend Kate who was running the last half with me came over at 5am to give me a good luck hug. Isn't she sweet. She has ran 4 marathons and numerous half's and was a huge encouragement and support through this whole training process. My sweet hubby woke up early to take me and my friends to the starting line. First up was to pick up Jamie who is a local friend of mine and she was running her first half marathon and will be running her first FULL at this years Seattle Marathon! Next up was Zoe (plus 1), Mel and Marlene. Thank to Mel we had a shortcut to bypass the 28,000 people trying to get to the same place. We got to the starting line with NO PROBLEM...Nicely done.
Good luck HUG from Kate!
Zoe, Mel, Marlene, Jamie and me
Next up was bathrooms. Thanks to Brooks I got a VIP bathroom pass along with Mel and Marlene so we got to bypass the craziest lines I have EVER seen at a race for these great bathroom (it's all relative). They had butlers walking around with silver trays that had gu chomps and mints. The TP had the brooks logo...very classy. Very much worth my BROOKS purchases (and Diana's...thanks DIANA) at the expo. Highly recommend this if you have it available at your race.
Marlene and Mel enjoying VIP!
And me too...
After our VIP treatment we went over to meet up at Corral 6 for our bloggy meet-up. We ran into our great blogger friends. I was so excited to meet the Team in Training crew from Kansas. Lucky for me they were in corral 18 with me...so nice having friends to start with. It was so nice to meet so many bloggers face to face. That whole thing made this so much more fun! Many of us were running this as our very first marathon which was also so exciting. We were all pumped
Great group shot of some of us bloggers. So much fun have a group of friend running the same race!
Julie, Ashley and me
Me and Steph
Made another quick bathroom stop and headed to Corral 18 to get ready to go. It was so sweet that a few of my bloggy friends came up to me before they left for their corral and wished me luck and gave me a hug...so sweet. Thanks you guys! I found my TNT gals in corral 18! Luckily they saw me or I think I would have missed them. We were all so pumped. It was great chatting with them as we were moving to the starting line. It was great that they were about my pace so figured I could run with them for part of the race. Always nice to run with others. We were yelling, hooting and hollering...we were READY!
The corrals in front of us!
Corral 18 in the HOUSE!
Hannah, Michele Madison, Stephanie and Yvette
Behind us...that is alooootttt of People!
Here we go...That is the starting line!
And we were off! I was so excited! It started off kind of slow and there seemed to be so many more people than last year. Madison and I were running the same pace so we started running together. I was going to do the run/walk like I had trained in my long runs but was really looking forward to running with a new friend too. We were going at a very decent pace and before we knew it...mile 1 had come and gone. It was so much fun because a gal yelled and said, "Hey Jill...I read your blog". I had a bib made by Races2Remember that had my name and blog address and it also said FIRST MARATHON! You kind of forget about it until people yell something. I loved it. I ended up seeing her through out the race and later found out her name is Shelby...So shout out to SHELBY at Run Towards Him - Isaiah 40:31...it was great seeing you on the course. She did a great job! It was time to meet up with my support crew...we moved to the left and got to run into them...so fun seeing friends and family.
Andrea, Megs and Bec...Best support crew around!
Madison and I...running our FIRST MARATHON! Can I get a WOOT-WOOT!
The next few miles seemed to fly by. We were on our first hill and I saw a GREAT sign that said "Enjoy your VICTORY LAP"..I loved that sign because I had heard that from my friend Kerrie and looked up and it was Kerrie holding the sign...NICE! I wold have been so sad if I had missed her. Kerrie has become a running buddy of mine so even though she couldn't run this one...it was great having her as a VERY supportive spectator! THANKS KERRIE...You ROCK! Because your running and it's so easy to miss people...I would start CLAPPING whenever I saw someone I knew to get there attention...it probably looked really silly but it was my first instinct. So I would clap and yell.
Mile 3.7 (I think...) Feeling good!
We had a few more hills to go up and then it was down to the most beautiful part of the course. We got to run along side the water with a great view. The weather could not have been better. It was overcast and in the high 60's...perfect. Madison was running with Team in Training, which is an AMAZING group. I have thought about doing a race with them because of the amazing stories I hear from people who have ran for them. The support they have is unreal and every time you see a coach from TNT they would yell...GO MADISON...and they would do that to every TNT person and then each of the TNT runners would yell "Go Team" and there are a lot of them out there. It was exciting to run with Madison and experience what a TNT runner get to experience. Had our first bathroom stop at mile 6 because we thought there wasn't a line...wrong, but figured we had stopped might as well use the the time. Got back on course quickly and we were keeping a very steady pace. Ran into Diana's husband, James. It was so funny because I did my yell/clap/yell and said "HI JAMES" and after I said that all the gals running around us yelled "HI James" It was cute and sweet. So fun seeing people on the course. Last year I didn't see anyone I knew so this was a wonderful change. We got to see my brother, Jason and his family around mile 8! Thank you Jason for wearing a BRIGHT yellow shirt. I saw him first and was so excited to see him.
My cute niece, Natalie!
Helllloooo FAMILY! So good seeing you!
It was onto the I-90 bridge at this point and up a short, steep hill. This was the first place that the half and full marathoners split. They headed into the city while we headed onto i-90 bridge. I had taken a gu a few miles back and was feeling good. Trying to get so many people up a very small held made it hard to keep the momentum but both Madison and I made it up the hill and at the top ran into Mel and Marlene who had just finished the bridge, It was crazy, perfect timing. Madison had her camera with her and has a ton of pictures that will have to come at another time. She got a great picture of this reunion..can't wait to see it. This is where the race would get mental because you could see 2 miles ahead of you and there was a turn-around point so you saw all these people ahead of you. It was awesome to run on I-90 bridge, but it was so mental so I just focused on people watching so I didn't have to think about how far I had to go. Being able to see how far is no fun. We got to the turn around point and headed back...nice. As we were coming up to the tunnel I told Madison I had to start my run/walk. I usually start this at mile 3-5 so I was really off my plan. I felt bad having to let Madison run ahead on her own but she really wanted to run the whole way so we said goodbye but I knew I would see her on the course. It was fun running with a new friend and getting to know her. Great memories.
I was hoping to see Diana from Done the Run. We were really hoping somehow the timing would workout that we would both come into the tunnel together and run the rest of the way until we had to split up. I looked and hoped but I never saw her. This is when my stomach started cramping which worried me a little bit because it was only mile 12 and I still had a long way to go. I stopped at the bathroom hoping that would give me some relief, but no. Just wasted time! Shoot. I was heading into the city and I knew my support crew would be there with food and I was hoping that would help. I started getting a little down at this point and couldn't believe how early that it was happening. The hard part is that I felt GREAT, my legs where feeling strong, I had no leg or hip pain. The only problem was my stomach. I came off the off-ramp and ran into my friends. Had a drink of Gatorade, switched out my water bottles, had some pretzels and oranges. Hoping that would help my stomach. Don't you love my sweatyband? That thing didn't move at all during my marathon. I'm SOLD on those things...they are the BEST!
Even with a crampy stomach...the oranges tasted great!
See you all on the other side...12.5 miles to GO!
Since you might be tired of seeing pictures of me and my orange shirt...check out the crowds at the finish line. Majority of the runners, 24,000 of the 28,000 runners are HALF MARATHONERS. So the finish line is very crowded at this point.
That...is a lot of peep's!
Next up was to meet my dear friend Kate who would run the last half with me. I wouldn't say I was hitting a wall, but I was not feeling great and I still had a way to go. The good part was that I was over halfway and I just had to suck it up and push myself. I was so excited to see Kate. Right after I saw her I ran into my brother and his family again...so GREAT!
Mile 14.5 or so...Kate and I
We were getting ready to run onto the Alaskan Way Viaduct and some race officials were checking for the shoe tags, which Kate didn't have and they were pulling people off the course but luckily we got by them...whewww...Not sure what I would have done if they had pulled Kate off. We were headed out to another tunnel and the bridge with the biggest hill on the course. My stomach was not doing well!
This is getting way longer than I thought. Tomorrow I will continue...Miles 16-26.61