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Spoiler Alert: I DID NOT DIE!!

July 1, 2011
Finisher!

Finisher!

Before I go any further and detail my weekend… Race day was full of surprises, of which the biggest was that they were all of the pleasant variety. Despite my throw it to the wind swagger up to race day and a case of mild runners knee convincing me to reduce my goals to dragging my arse across the line one way or another… I met all of my original goals. I am officially a first time half-marathon finisher. I finished having ran that whole b*tch too (well I walked water stations but drinking liquid with ice and running take coordination not even I have and constitutes a choking hazard). And I finished in 2:29:08. That would be under 2:30 by who the eff cares number of seconds… it is under goal time and 5 minutes faster than Runners World predicted. TAKE THAT HA! So yeah I have been pretty happy (though my knees the next day OH SO NOT THE MUCH) and rode a high for the past week.

The Beauty of Seattle

The Beauty of Seattle

But backing up… the best decision I made for my first half marathon was to run it “at home.” I am a nomad, home is where I sleep on my pillow, but in the US if there is anywhere I consider home it is Seattle. It is my happy place, and I have my peoples. So running there even though I don’t live there anymore gave me a little bit of peace of mind against the jitters.

No Pressure...

No Pressure...

I landed Thursday and did my best not to get on Pacific time as functioning on East Coast time Saturday was my saving grace. I woke up Friday and went to the expo. I wandered aimlessly. I bought a race shirt and some socks. I got a magnet currently on my fridge. I tried GU chomps and immediately wanted watermelon ones for race day (hello tastes like jolly rancher goodness!). And I bought a new headset for my iPhone, all hail the snuggbuds. I am not sure that the remote changes the music all that well, but I sure do like how they fit in my ears.

Bravehorse Sour Cherry Pie... Instantaneous Grins!

Bravehorse Sour Cherry Pie... Instantaneous Grins!

Next up started my culinary madness of the weekend. So ummm if you live under a rock and aren’t aware of this. Seattle has some of the best food around. Bar none. Promise! So I met up with my friend Viv and we headed to Bravehorse Tavern. Fried cheese curds, housemade incredible sausages, fresh made pretzels, and a grin inducing sour cherry pie… YES PLEASE. Even better Viv’s friend is Tom Douglas‘ PR/Marketing Guru. So I got to go and take a tour through the back of the Dahlia Workshop and then was treated to a delectable macaroon. I love you Robyn and Tommy D!

Kate Mc Dermott... There Really Is An Art To Her Pies!

Kate Mc Dermott... There Really Is An Art To Her Pies!

But that was not enough for Viv. Nope she hosts incredible events in the “dorm” of her condo building, and I was invited to join for a pie demonstration from Ms. Kate McDermott the Queen of Pie herself. Who says you don’t start dinner with dessert?? I do 🙂 I also learned a lot about pie making in that brief time. Even better the hosts included me in the invite to dinner at Blueacre.

So Effing Good

So Effing Good

So at this point I should have given thought to “race fuel.” We were originally thinking to go get Beechers Mac and Cheese… but who can turn down one of the best seafood restaurants in town on the Pacific Coast which is notorious for their incredible seafood. If you can you are more insane than I. With a world champion oyster shucker at the bar, I was treated to some effing good oysters (no seriously they are, but that is what they are called as they are from Effingham), and I got MESSY with 2lbs of Dungeness Crab goodness. Might not have carb loaded, who the hell cares I was in foodgasm heaven.

I got home to crash out as we had a 4:30 am Pacific Time wake up call. Yeah I am not a morning person- so staying on East Coast clock meant Mr. Fitness Nut didn’t get much flack out of me. I had my breakfast of Chobani Greek Yogurt with chia seeds, an Odwalla green juice and Ezekiel with vegemite. And we were off in the chilly morning. Because the race is a one direction race you have to take a shuttle down to the start line. So while the temps were fine for running, me and my running shorts were not exactly happy with the 30 minute wait to get on a shuttle (later on they would not be happy with miles 11-13.1, lesson learned- BODY GLIDE next time!).

I Need Concealer At 4:30 AM

I Need Concealer At 4:30 AM

Once there I handed off my gear bag for UPS service. Rock n Roll series might cost more, but they run a tight ship. Mr. Fitness Nut needed to use a port-a-potty, so I decided it was a smartish pre-race thing to do too. And then we headed to the starting line… With over 28,000 people running that day by the time we got to the start line we were in coral 30. I crossed the start line almost an hour after the 7am start time with It’s me B*TCHES queued up on my  running play list. Showtime it is!

Ready. Set. Go. It's Race Time

Ready. Set. Go. It's Race Time

And before I really had too much of a chance to get inside my head and freak myself out with whatever it was that was going to be a head of me… It was time to go and I just ran with it. I had pre-planned where I was supposed to walk, and I tried intentionally to go slow or at least not feel like I was pushing myself.  But by the time I got that first “walking” point I didn’t feel like I needed it. Then I realised it was too late as I was getting close to the first hill so I had to keep going. My only rule pre-race was I would NOT walk up the hills. So up I went, down I went and on I kept going. Then I saw the 6 mile marker. I thought… I have run this before. I did this 2 weeks ago. I trucked right on. Mile 7-8 was where I started toying with myself and the idea that I could just keep going. My knees while not without some annoyance were not shouting. And as a former gymnast and dancer I know the difference between inflammation and injury. Why not push until after the hill at 9 miles? I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

Mile 12 B*tches... I Am Going To Do This!!

Mile 12 B*tches... I Am Going To Do This!!

Next thing I knew I was in the 1-90 tunnel and it was mile 10. From here on in it was all virgin territory… I had never run over 10 miles. But I have a competitive side (I joke that I am type A-) and my pride was saying… its 3.1 more miles. You can do this. So I kept pushing. By mile 11 I could see Safeco and Qwest Fields and I knew I would feel lame if I didn’t keep running. And run I did. Mile 12 was on the viaduct and while I was holding back a wee bit through out the race now I started to push. I had absolutely no clue what my time was going to be (I forgot to watch as we crossed the line) but I knew that finishing having run the whole thing was in my grasp. so I busted my arse right across that line with a sense of awe and accomplishment.

Post Race I Was A Woman On A Mission... For BACON!

Post Race I Was A Woman On A Mission... For BACON!

Post race I met up with friends, walked through the beer garden (no way in hell I wanted a MGD at that point) and then we headed back to the car to get to brunch at Anita’s Crepes. Because MAMA WANTS HER BACON… 🙂 It was also 2 hours post race and if there was not food in me soon I was going to tear off a car fender and eat that. Hunger it hurts. I spent the rest of the day bouncing. I went to have margaritas and chips with friends in the afternoon. Had a dinner at Pair with another friend who ran the race (survivors get to eat steak frites) and then slept at her house as in my rush to meet up with people post brunch/race… I got the wrong keys and was locked out of Mr. Fitness Nut’s place. No one ever warned me that running 13.1 miles wipes all of your braincells out!

Green Eggs and Ham Please Sam I Am

Green Eggs and Ham Please Sam I Am

Sustainable Sauced Up Venison On Order For Me

Sustainable Sauced Up Venison On Order For Me

Also let me just say that when I woke up that next morning…The profanities that flowed about any bending of the knee. Let’s just say they were plentiful and salty. My muscles had no soreness or strain, thanks to all my movement I believe, my knees- whole other story. But I was up and on my way to brunch at Jeff’s. Jeff is not only a runner who has done ultra trail races, he is one of if not my favorite foodie/oenophiles and definitely my favorite pyromaniac 🙂 Cheese, Ranier cherries, crackers and mimosas to start. Green (pesto) eggs and (black forest) ham followed by venison in a killer red wine reduction sauce. Yes please… it makes me oh so happy! It is also absolutely going to screw his daughter when she gets to college! Much time was then spent playing in the sun with his daughter, splashing Daddy from the pool and getting sunkissed. I then continued on to head south and have dinner with my honorary family (I ate way more this past weekend than the 1700 calories I burnt in the race, that is for sure!) and by the time I made it back (with keys this time) to Mr. Fitness Nut’s I collapsed.

Mountain's Out Weather = Toddler Splash Time!

Mountain's Out Weather = Toddler Splash Time!

On Monday with a certain amount of apprehension and dread I went to do a hydrostatic body composition test. I had hoped in the training for the half-marathon these 8-10 lbs I have gained living in NYC would have moved somewhere else or be leaner (yes I know. I loose weight in Italy and France eating cheese and bread and prosciutto and gain it in NYC drinking green juices and what not. Yes, I walk the hell out of both. I stand by my belief that it is the quality of the ingredients and food here in the states combined with perpetually elevated stress levels in NYC.). But I was also feeling puffy and well aware that my eating bonanza had probably not helped my cause. Oh well I was happy and what was done was done. Anyways I was in for a surprise again. While my weight was most definitely not where I wanted it to be, my body fat was WELL below what I had in my feeling flabby mind expected. I thought I was going to be 23-25% I am 18.4%. Not too bad, and now I have a starting point to attack the weight and tone over these next few months.

My Friend... Big Blue

My Friend... Big Blue

I then headed for my “work it out” exercise walking around my old haunting grounds with my old pool boss. Greenlake I lurves you. Even better, Big Blue (heron) followed me around the lake. I had been certain it would be too late to see him, let alone see him 4 times in the 3 mile walk. I heart Seattle something fierce.

Jeni Is Quite Splendid Indeed

Jeni Is Quite Splendid Indeed

After catching up with another friend (yes I was packed in wall to wall with love :)) we went to lunch at Local 360 and a Trophy Cupcake (disappointment that there was not a margarita one available- though snickerdoodle and hummingbird were good second options) and then I went to meet up with Viv again. She and Robyn had invited me to a book signing/ice-cream tasting/demo event. Salted Caramel Ice-cream. Oh hell to the mother effing yes! Jeni’s Splendid Ice-cream is exactly that and I had an absolutely lovely time. We all left with a copy of the book and I am now *this* close to buying an ice-cream maker 🙂 From there we went up to Serious Pie and I had what I think was one of the best pizza’s of my life that I am likely to spend god knows how long trying to recreate a half as decent version. Chanterelles and truffle cheese. BOW DOWN TO THE FLAVOR!

Seriously The Best Pie, Thanks Tommy D!

Seriously The Best Pie, Thanks Tommy D!

After gorging myself on the pizza I moved the car (oh the parking joys of Seattle and a rental car :)) and went to meet up with Mr. Fitness Nut as there was a concert to bounce too. Dropkick Murphys at the Paramount. I had forgotten how nice of a venue the Paramount is. I had a great time, but I won’t lie and say I didn’t feel old as I was ready for bed by the end of the concert. Burning the candle at all ends while having done major physical exertion was catching up with me.

Drop Kick Murphys

Drop Kick Murphys

I woke up on Tuesday, packed myself up, and then headed to UVillage to shop for a bit of reward gear (Lucy… you got some splaining to do on why there was so much in your sales piles I liked that were not discounted more deeply :)) I promptly realised driving into the lot- I had a flat tire. Piece of Crap rental car… A guy off duty at the Jiffy Lube kindly saved me $80 to have the rental car company send someone to mount the tire (caveat: Yes I know how to change a tire, but it has been 10 years and I had a flight in 4 hours- didn’t seem like the time for DIY) and thankfully the kid at check-in said the tire looked old so he wasn’t going to charge me the $75 for the tire either. There was a bit of scrambling to get to the airport. I got on my flight. I made it back to NYC and on Wednesday I turned 34. I think I started this year off right… and though I am giving my knees all the space in the world to get over themselves right now, I am starting to think about signing up for another race…

Kicking Into 34 The Best Way Possible

Kicking Into 34 The Best Way Possible

Guess I am going to have to start calling myself a runner now aren’t I 🙂

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