June 18, 2016
I figured I needed some punishment so I ran in the Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon on Saturday. Ok, the truth is I had been planning on running it since January but a broken collarbone in March put a small thorn in my training plans. I was also supposed to do the San Fran Half in April, however, my wife told me I couldn’t because it was only a week after my collarbone injury.
My strategy on Saturday was really to finish and have fun. I ended up taking 65 pictures during the run and sent most of them out to people to pass the time. I finished 35 minutes slower than my time in 2014. I attribute at least 10 mins of that extra time to the photo taking.
I really liked the route this year. The race started out at the Space Needle and then hopped on 99 south to go thru the tunnel and down the Alaskan Way Viaduct. I miss the days when the St. Pats dash followed this route cause it’s a great view and has the bonus of going downhill. After traveling the viaduct, the route turned into downtown and went by Kings Street Station. Right after the 4-mile mark the course for me got slightly boring. It heads down Dearborn St and Rainer Ave for 2.5 plus miles. It’s just city streets with not a lot of scenery. The music and cheerleaders do help though. Under one of the bridges on Rainer were some very cool drummers—I believe their name was Taiko. And farther down was a lively Mariachi band on one of the overhead walkways. The scenery improves again when you make the turn to start heading back and go past Seward Park and up Lake Washington to I-90. It’s always cool to see the people and flags on Lake Washington Blvd supporting the troops. Once you reach I-90, you head into the tunnel. Both times I did this race I thought this part would be horrible. You go up hill in a tunnel. However, for some reason it’s not so bad and I motored thru it with tons of energy. After the tunnel was a different story. I hit the wall and the lack of training was evident. In the last 3 miles of the course I saw five people down and being treated by medics. That is one thing I don’t remember seeing in the past years. I probably would have been one of them if I hadn’t stopped to take pictures and my extra-long water breaks. The final miles of the course wrapped around the stadiums and finished next to CenturyLink. I got some laughs when I stopped at the 13-mile sign for a picture with the finish line just a block away.
I wouldn’t recommend running a half marathon without proper training, especially if you’re not an experienced runner. I got by mostly because I put in a lot of miles walking, hiking and a few short runs during the last few months. But it still wiped me out. I was pretty much a zombie for the entire next day and spent most of it napping.
Below are the pics I took at the mile markers. They are a little dark. But it was a Seattle overcast day.