Sunday, August 5, 2012

Race Recap: Seafair Torchlight Run

Wow, I can't believe how long it took me to get this recap out!  I'm usually so excited to recap I get it out the very same day.  Though to say my week has been busy would be an understatement.  I've been fairly absent from blogging and Tweeting as's just been one of those crazy weeks!  Now that it's over, I can finally talk to you about my 8K run during the Seafair Torchlight Race.

So first off, something different about this race was that it was an evening race.  The gun time was 6:30pm, my first ever race that wasn't in the morning.  So I was nervous about how to hydrate, what to eat (what not to eat) and how to spend my day leading up to the race.  I kept to staying around the house that whole day, drinking lots of water and eating stuff that didn't have too much fiber.  Finally it was time to get to the Seattle Center before it got incredibly crazy busy with all the people coming downtown for the parade (there is a huge parade that started right after the last person crossed the start line).

So I got to the Seattle Center and the place was definitely hopping!

Long line for the porta potties already!  Though  people never seem to remember that there are actual public bathrooms open at the Seattle Center that is cleaned frequently and ALWAYS empty.  It's nice to know so you aren't waiting in a long line for a stinky Honey Bucket.  Eck!

View of the post race beer garden hosted by Michelob Ultra.

Now it's time to get ready for the race!  This is my second 8K I've done and I prepped for it a bit more than I had my first, so I was feeling more confident this time around.  The "starting gun" this year was the cannon from the Seafair Pirate boat, it was a pretty cool way to start the race.

Then we were off to run through the streets of downtown along the parade route crowded with thousands of people.  I for one didn't like it.  I'm not a fan of running along routes with crowds because when you stop to catch your breath, or if you need to adjust something, people heckle you.  I'm in this race to race myself, not the marathon runner who is a serial short distance race runner to get the free prizes.  So that part bothers me and I want to be in the zone running the race without people crossing the street right in front of you.  I almost tripped three times because spectators were running from one side of the street to the other through the race! So inconsiderate, just WAIT!  Anyway, I digress.

Around mile 2.5 there was a water station, boy I couldn't wait to get my hands on some water!  It was hot that day and I was so parched!  At that point I also took my mocha ClifShot, much earlier than I had planned on.  But I felt my energy starting to drain and I didn't know if we were going to have another water stop on the course, so I took it.  I'm glad I did because we turned the corner and had this ramp to climb.

Ugh!  It was tough, I had to walk it, the grade was just too steep for my fatiguing legs.

However that climb did give us a pretty incredible view! 

Then we had this next incline on the course. Seriously Seattle, are you trying to kill me! These inclines on this course are brutal! 4 total hills in the last 2 miles of the run. You guys play dirty!
A look at where I had come from and a pretty view of the skyline.  From this point on there was one more water station where they had water and Nuun available.  Thank goodness! I was thirsty and the electrolytes were appreciated!  Then there was the second to last hill to the finish.  Anyone living in Seattle knows the hill going from Western to 1st Avenue on Broad, it's one that makes you a bit nervous if you have to stop on it in a stickshift car!  It's pretty steep, EVERYONE was walking it.  I tried running and got about 1/3 to 1/2 way up then had to stop. Then you turn the corner and go up the final hill to the finish, luckily it was right at the top.
Don't I look delirious?  Yeah, I felt it too.  I was nasty sweaty too!  But I had finished and I was proud of myself.
The view of the beer garden afterwards, the line was huge and the area was packed, nonetheless, I went in and claimed my free Michelob Ultra.  I could only get through about half of it, it was just too much after that run.

So the synopsis from the run: 
- My time was pretty similar to my first 8K, 1hour and 2 minutes.  Not terrible, but not great either.  I kept around a 12 minute/mile pace.  Though with the more running I had done I hoped it would have been a better time, so I was kinda bummed about that.
- It was an evening race and it was my first.  I realized that I don't like late day/evening races. I don't feel as fresh and energized to pour myself into it.  I felt myself not giving all of my energy to this race and I was surprised at myself for this.  I didn't feel fatigued as much as I usually do after races.  So I was wondering if my endurance is getting better and I just didn't push myself enough, or I conserved my energy too much by not pushing it.  I don't know, something I'm still trying to figure out.
- Big crowds along the route; not a fan.  I've got enough pressure with all the faster runners running around me and picking me off, I don't need more from the crowds of people watching on the sidelines.

Overall, it was a fun experience.  It taught me a lot about how far I've come and also highlighted some very apparent holes in my training.  Mostly, I need to get going on the longer distances and I need to incorporate tempo training to get faster.  Anyone have any suggestions?  :) 

Now I'm looking forward to and training for the IronGirl in Seattle on September 9th.  I'm running the 10K, so I'm working on getting a consistent base of mileage so I don't fade so quickly during this race and I can't enjoy it a bit more.

Question for you:  Do you have any races coming up that you're training for? Have any tempo training suggestions?

1 comment:

  1. I'll be running the Chicago 1/2 the same day as your IronGirl. I'll be in the race zone with you that day.