Rise and shine! It’s race time!
I woke up Saturday morning feeling great. I love racing on the west coast because the 5:30am wake-up call really feels like 8:30am, plus the early morning sun aides in the illusion that it feels later than it really is.
The Brooks ambassador crew met downstairs at 6:00am, which gave us plenty of time to walk to the start before the 7:00am gun time. Seattle Center was a mad house, but we managed to drop our bags off at gear check and make a quick dash to the porta potties before go-time.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle is made up of three distances: the marathon, half marathon, and 8K. The 8K was just announced a couple of months ago and is brand new for 2015. Since the distance is so brand new, there wasn’t a lot of information regarding the 8K online or at the expo. A lot of the directional signage on race morning only referred to “marathon & half marathon” runners, which made it really confusing trying to figure where to start the 8K. I went with the flow and headed with everyone else to the corrals. Luckily it was comforting to see other green 8K bibs when we squeezed into corral 5.
By the way, how cute are the custom tees the Brooks Running crew designed for us?
It says “When I Run, I Run Happy Brooks Blog Ambassador Trip 2015” <3
The race started exactly on time at 7 and the Rock ‘n’ Roll crew was diligent with releasing corrals every minute and thirty seconds. It was a really smooth and efficient start, especially when I heard a rumor the start consisted of close to 40 corrals!
Pretty soon it was our turn. 3-2-1 GO!
I waved good-bye to my Brooks friends and concentrated on not gunning it right out of the gate. The good news is the first mile was pretty much downhill and I felt amazing. All of the tightness and pain I felt yesterday were gone. It’s amazing what some rest and a good night’s sleep can do for your body.
When I did eventually run into some uphill stretches, I slowed down and walked them. I was surprisingly really content with walking a good portion of the race. I thought I might feel some pressure with having to run or push myself, but there wasn’t any. I was just happy to be out there running when I could and just enjoying the race.
I had my first porta potty stop around mile 1. I can’t tell you how thankful I was to have all the porta potty options on the course. Thank you, Rock ‘n’ Roll for making this pregnant runner a very happy (and much more relaxed) woman.
The course continued through downtown with some great shade and minor hills.
I hit the 8K split around mile 2 and waved goodbye to the marathoners and half marathons.
The 8K course almost makes a u-turn and merges with the last 3 miles of the marathon/half marathon course. I couldn’t believe how much the crowd thinned out after the turn. I went from being surrounded by thousand of runners to only a handful.
It was actually really peaceful on the 8K course. There was a very relaxed vibe with many runners walking, taking photos, and just enjoying the breathtaking views Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle is known for.
Since we were the ‘early birds’ on the tail end of the marathon/half marathon course, the majority of the remaining aide stations we passed were still setting up. It wasn’t a big deal since I had no problem grabbing my own cups of water or Gatorade off the table, plus there weren’t enough of us to result in any rushes or large crowds. All of the volunteers were really great and still offered smiles and encouragement while filling the remaining cups on the table.
After taking a cup of Gatorade that didn’t settle well around mile 2.5, I was happy to see another porta potty at mile 3. This may be my first race where I’ve ever needed two porta potties stops before the 5K mark and I was again thankful for their availability.
One of my favorite stretches from last year’s race was I99 with the gorgeous views of the water and Seattle Ferris Wheel. I was thrilled I was still able to take it all in on the 8K course.
Plus, a fellow runner was kind enough to take a photo for me. Seriously, I love how laid back the 8K is.
I walked up the last big hill on I99
Then cruised into the tunnel that would take us back into downtown.
At this point my left foot started going numb for whatever reason when I started running. I was taking lots of breaks to try and stretch my foot out, which really did make a difference. For the last mile or so I would run for a good 2-3 minutes, then stop to walk and stretch the numbness out, then try running again.
I really never had a point where I was like “oh my god, when will this race be over?!” but I did start to get a little antsy in the last mile. Besides the numbing in the foot, I felt great. I was proud of my pace, proud of the amount of running I was doing, and truly just happy to be part of the race.
With the finish line almost in reach, I saw the pace truck for the half marathon drive by on the left and the male lead for the half marathon go speeding by. Whoa. He was going to finish 13.1 miles faster than I was going to finish 5. You go, man.
Finally I hit my own final stretch to the finish line. Again, there was no desire to kick it up. All I wanted was to finish strong, with a great big smile on face.
At 23 weeks pregnant I finished the 8K in 1:02:47 with an average pace of 12:38. Definitely not my fastest race, but still one of my proudest.
I really loved the 8K distance. It was the perfect middle ground for this pregnant runner and Rock ‘n’ Roll did an amazing job executing it. Thank you, Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle, for a great race!
Baby’s first medal!
I went straight to the massage tent and enjoyed a blissful 10 minute post-race massage. The massage therapist was amazing and actually specializes in prenatal massages. She was able to relieve some of the tightness in my neck and back which was amazing.
I was also able to cheer on the rest of the Brooks Blog Ambassador crew as new PRs were earned, race goals were achieved, and smiles were shared all around.
The rest of the day was spent brunching (Portage Bay – my favorite brunch spot in Seattle!)
Quacking (Duck Tours!)
And mocktailing (Loulay’s for dinner)
Again, thank you Brooks Running for an amazing trip! I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings!