Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon Recap

 

So let’s do this, yes?

It’s taken me darn long enough to get this post up here.

Time to recap the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon and 1/2. This race was awesome, as I’m convinced all Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series races are. Running and racing in a new city is something that’s just  amazing and I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to do so.

Every race is different and this one wasn’t really the best day for me, but heck, I fell in love with Seattle and still fall more in love with running and racing every single time I cross a finish line even if it was a rough one.

Here we go.

 

I already showed you what the pre race night looked like. I did my usual no cheese veggie pizza with chicken and jalapeños. It probably wasn’t the best idea to eat so late at night, but Friday was such a long day and with the whole getting lost back to the hotel thing and all, well, I didn’t really get settled in my room until late.

I can never really relax and eat until I set out everything- the outfit, the race belt, the shoes, etc.

These are the usual gels and such I always have on hand for races.

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NuttZo for the pre race sandwich, Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator for afterwards, GU gels and a Vega Sport gel for the actual race.

 

I ended up going with the dot socks.

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It was by default actually since I practically cut my ankle off in the shower race morning. I had to go with the black socks. It wasn’t pretty friends.

(Not pictured, but full race outfit- Halo hairband, Handful black sports bra, Mizuno tank, Mizuno Jasmyn Sunset Skirt, Pro Compression socks and Mizuno Wave Sayonara shoes.)

 

I put my fancy wristbands on and left the Westin Seattle to walk to the start area about 20 minutes behind schedule.

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Um yeah, I’m just now noticing that the pace band was for the half marathon. Funny. I guess I never looked at it during the race.

 

I chugged some coffee and scarfed down a NuttZo sandwich on the walk.

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I wasn’t totally sure where to go, but someone told me to just walk straight and follow the people so that’s what I did.

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I have to say, it is really nice being close enough to walk to the start of a race. I always take that into account when I’m going somewhere and I don’t really know the area. Sometimes race logistics can be a bit overwhelming, so if you’re staying at a hotel that’s close to everything, it makes such a huge difference.

About half way there I realized I was starting to cut it close with giving myself enough time so I jogged the rest of the way. I didn’t realize the VIP tent was a little further past the start line. There were a lot of volunteers out and about helping people know where to go though so I stopped a couple times to ask a few of them to point me in the right direction.

I finally made it.

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Just like at the SUJA Rock n’ Roll San Diego Marathon, the hospitality lounge was awesome. They do not mess around.

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I was quick to hit up the coffee for a little refill and grab the second to last banana.

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Then I found Dan, the PR Director for Competitor Group,

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and my sweet friend Janae.

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She is so awesome. She ran a marathon just last week and then came out to Seattle for the half. She’s one of those people that you just can’t help but smile when you’re around her.

 

Before I knew it, it was less than ten minutes until the start of the race. I still had everything in my bag and needed to check gear, etc. Ugh. That always happens to me. I really need to work on getting my pre race act together.

I did my usual frantic scramble to make sure I had everything I needed and ran to the starting corrals.

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I got there with five minutes to spare.

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The perfect amount of time to get my music ready, listen to the National Anthem (which makes me cry every single time) and take a quick picture.

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The corrals were pretty crowded, but as soon as we crossed the start line everyone spread out relatively quickly.

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The first part of the course was along the streets through the city. The weather was gorgeous and I was feeling good.

It was pretty flat for awhile with a few downhill parts. There were bands every couple miles or so and quite a few people on the streets cheering us all on. It was a bit quieter and had less spectators than San Diego. It had a really great feeling though. It was like a big small race if that makes sense.

The one thing I really love about racing in a new place is being able to see everything during the race. Seattle is beautiful and I got to see all different parts of it in this race.

Here’s a map of the course from the actual race website.

image

[source]

Chris, the Run Westin Concierge did a really great course preview with a full description and pictures along the course. You can check that out here.

There is a good stretch of the run from about mile 8 or so until mile 15 that go along Lake Washington, through Seward Park and then back along Lake Washington. That part of the run is gorgeous. It was quiet and flat and got a bit narrow in the park, but I like quieter races like that. I feel like you can take in the surroundings a bit more.

One of my favorite parts of the race was the Wear Blue: Run to Remember. It was very similar to what they did at the MCM Marathon. The street was lined with people holding American flags to honor the service and sacrifice of the American military. There were also large posters along the way with with photographs of the Fallen. It was very touching and I tried to make a point to look at each one of the pictures.

I wasn’t feeling too hot at that point so it was a great reminder that running is a way to honor others and that so many other people have sacrificed so much just so we can have this freedom and this life.

 

After that there was a little climb on the course that led us to the freeway. Yep, the freeway. We ran over the long bridge, through a couple tunnels and then turned around and came back the same way. I think that was about miles 16-20. I’m not totally sure. It was a bit of a blur at that point. I do know the highlight of that whole section was seeing a mountain in the distance covered in snow. I just don’t see things like that here in Southern California.

 

Let’s backtrack a little bit. Here’s why things were a bit of a blur at that point.

Even though I felt good at that start of the race, things didn’t stay good for that long. I had had some foot pain that had been bothering me for about a week prior or the race. It was there right at the beginning, but wasn’t getting worse or anything. I had no plans on going fast, but my pace was normal and I felt very comfortable other than the foot issue.

Until mile 4. I immediately did not feel good and had to stop and use the port a potty. I was in and out quick style though and figured things would be smooth sailing from then on.

I was wrong.

I just kept gradually slowing down. My stomach was off. I felt thirsty. I knew I hadn’t had enough water the day before and had spent way too much time on my feet. I tried to hang on as long as I could with my pace, but it gradually kept getting slower and slower.

I stopped four more times along the course. I didn’t walk at all, but I did take my time to stop. I stopped to put my hair up in a bun, to stand and guzzle a full cup of water, to use the bathroom one more time and then at mile 25 to get out my darn camera.

 

That freeway portion of the race was LONG. When I finally felt like we were really headed towards the finish line I decided heck with it, I was going to take at least one picture along the course.

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Okay, maybe two.

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Notice the incline here. I kept waiting for a little downhill to let me just glide into the finish. That’s not the case in Seattle friends. Quite the opposite actually.

There was a little climb, a couple turns, another little climb……..

I’m fairly certain that was one of the longest miles of my life.

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Holy heck it felt so good to cross that finish line.

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The hills didn’t stop there either. Ha. Seriously though, after the finish I still had to walk uphill awhile to get to the festivities.

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At least I had some sweet bling.

 

My foot hurt the entire race, but with the other issues I had going on, at least I got distracted. The glass is always half full.

Smile

There are some races that you hit that point where you no longer have a time goal or anything and you just switch mental focus on just making it to the finish hopefully without walking. This was one of those.

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Dang I’m getting really good at those positive splits.

 

The walk from the finish back to the party was nice (besides the incline). They had all kinds of post race goodies for all the racers immediately upon finishing.

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Darigold Chocolate Milk,

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Dole fruit cups

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and PowerBars.2014-06-21 10.40.04

Again it felt like it took forever to get to the hospitality suite, but I had time to check everything out on the way.

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They were selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

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They had more signs for people who were running on honor of the Fallen.

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They even had medal engraving.

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I limped my way up to the VIP tent. Oh man was I ever happy to get there.

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I had been envisioning getting to that glorious tent since about mile 8 or so.

Just a quick little thing on the whole Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series VIP package. In full disclosure I was gifted my wristband, but if you’re going to race one of their races I think it’s definitely worth the money for the upgrade.

They have private bathrooms, heaters, places to sit and a special gear check so you don’t have to wait in line for your bags.

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They also do it up with the food both before and after the race. Check it out.

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(Those are French Toast sticks. Smart, huh?)

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I got there in between the whole breakfast to lunch transition I think.

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They even have a charging station. Brilliant.

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And a private bar.

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The mimosas were a big hit.

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So was the view.

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Since I was not feeling that well, I made sure to stick to my usual Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator first.

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They also have this massage and stretching area set up. The wait was too long for the massage, so I did a little stretching and foam rolling on my own until I could get in on a short chair massage.

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I wasn’t alone for long. Awan came over to help me out a bit. I told him I thought my calf was going to cramp and cramp it did.

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Worst calf cramp ever. No joke. It was so painful. You could just see it too. He was even yelling at his friend while it was happening to look over at my calf.

He told me he was going to punch me hard and I said just do whatever you need to make it go away. It was bad friends.

Then other things started cramping. My hip, my quad. It was then that he was telling someone to bring me water and Gatorade. Lovely. I was that girl.

I guess I was dehydrated. I knew I felt off, but I usually never have an big issue with getting dehydrated like that. Who knows.

After some stretching and a little chair massage all was good.

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By the time I was ready for food they had put some new sandwiches out so I got myself a sandwich

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and listened to the concert for a bit. The first band was the Presidents of the United States of America. You remember this song, right?

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I decided it was time to go meet up with the rest of the Westin crew.

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Found them.

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Look who was there to greet me. Mr. Pavement Runner.

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I had never been to the VIP Westin tent before so I had to check it all out.

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(That was the best dried fruit I’d ever had in my life by the way and I usually don’t even go for dried fruit. It was so good after that race.)

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Westin really knows how to take care of their racers also. They’re always focused on the well being of their guests and they do the same for runners. They had a lot of nutritious snacks out and even a little SuperFoods education.

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Before heading back to the hotel (I had a flight to catch), I said my goodbyes to Chris 

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and bumped into the famous John Smith, founder of the Competitor Group.

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It was a celebrity sighting.

As we walked back to the hotel, Sir Mix-A-Lot started playing and the party really got going. “Baby Got Back” yo.

 

Oh and random, but I forgot to mention Apolo Anton Ohno was there to run the half marathon too. I never saw him though.

 

A group of us left the party at the Seattle Center and made our way back to the hotel.

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I was pretty excited when I saw this guy and obviously had to take a picture for the boys.

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Ha ha.

Obviously we had to stop at that doughnut shop since it was also on our way back and all.

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It wasn’t until I got back to the hotel that I finally checked my GPS.

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It wasn’t working the first two miles or so of the course and the GPS on my phone was a good half mile ahead the whole time and said I ran over 27 miles by the time I got to the finish. Silly.

 

Every single race is a celebration. Every single time you cross that finish line, whether it’s your first time or your 10th, whether it took you 3 hours or 8, it’s a pretty amazing accomplishment.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll folks sure know how to put on a great race with so many wonderful volunteers. They also sure do know how to throw one heck of an amazing post race party.

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And that’s a wrap. I guess I didn’t really go with the “less is more” theme here. I just never want to leave anything out of the recaps.

Thank you Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series for the opportunity to race in Seattle. Next time I’m bringing the family. Oh heck yes I’m planning on coming back next year already.

Smile

Now I also need to scope out the schedule and see where I want to go run another RNR race next. They have races just about everywhere. Hmmmm….. maybe RNR Chicago? Ha ha.

 

What’s your favorite thing to read about in race recaps? (The course, how the race went, the goodies, etc. I‘ll try to not be so wordy if I know what you want to hear about. Key word is “try”.)

Have you ever run a Rock ‘n’ Roll race? If so, which one?

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Comments

  1. 1
    Laura says:

    RnR philly!!! I want to do the RnR Virginia Beach someday. I just like everything about race recaps…the outfits, pictures of the course, the post-race goodies, the medals, the overall experience…. 🙂

  2. 2

    Crazy how your body does different things on different races. Dehydration is no joke though. It will sneak up on you and really get you down! I’m glad you got to feeling better.

    I think we may do the R&R half in Savannah next year…maybe. Tony and I have decided on the marathon we are going to do this year though, finally! I can’t believe we’re actually doing it!

    Congratulations on the race! xoxo

  3. 3
    Sarah says:

    That’s Mount Rainier you saw! It is so beautiful 🙂

  4. 4
    Laura says:

    I like your race recaps the way they are. Very thorough! I hate recaps that are too short and I can’t tell if it’s a good race or not. Hope you are back to feeling better!

  5. 5
    Nicole says:

    I liked your race recap!! I’ve done the Seattle race for the past three years (did the half this year since I was dealing with some leg/ankle problems) and I always love it. This year definitely had the best weather. The freeway part definitely is a lot of mental work to get through……you’re alone on boring cement – thank goodness for volunteers at the aid stations for being out there to cheer you along!

    My brother did the Half, too. It took him 3+ hours to finish (he hadn’t run a mile in over five weeks)….I was so proud of him for finishing and not dropping out despite how tired he was. You’re right – whether it takes you three hours or eight, it doesn’t matter. It’s a huge accomplishment!

  6. 6

    Great recap Kris! Couple of things. Last 2 RnR’s took over on the freeway. Dislike, like, Meh…? Even with the stopping, that’s a great time! Hey, did you not go to Pikes to ‘catch’ any fish? =). Stay blessed, stay fierce!

  7. 7

    Run RnR Philly!! I’m doing it in September and it will be my first RnR race. I believe this event is only a half.

  8. 8
    Allyssa says:

    I don’t think you should make any of your posts shorter!!! And I especially like to hear all about the goodies 🙂

  9. 9
    Sheena says:

    That stretch along Lake Washington (and any race that does something similary with vets, fallen soldiers, TNT, etc) gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME. Last year when I ran RNRSEA 1/2 marathon, I bawled like a baby through that entire section. It was a sad and great feeling at the same time. It put things into perspective. It made me grateful for every step I was taking. It shook me to my core, yet was calming at the same time. It’s something that you just can’t quite explain until you’re running a race and then BAM! you’re in the thick of it. I make sure to look at every single poster that lines that section and read their names (if I can while I’m running) and at the end, send some positive thoughts into the universe for them and their families.

  10. 10
    Sheena says:

    Also, you’re my hero! Seriously though, I know this was a rough and painful one for you, but your races just continue to amaze and inspire me! You’re faster hurt than I could ever be 100% healthy and I love reading your race recaps. Also x2, I seriously need to check out the VIP option at some point. It looks like HEAVEN.

  11. 11
    kendyl says:

    LOVE your recaps. Don’t change a thing! “wordy” and all… 🙂 Be kind to yourself and heal your dang foot, girl! You’re in beast mode! Hope you are able to get some recovery so you can get back out there stronger than ever! Congratulations on your finish despite all the difficult components. By the way, I LOVE Seattle. I was born down here but grew up there and I miss the sight of Mt Rainier. So many amazing things to do and see up there. And did you get a load of drinking water out of the faucet? I swear, I took that for granted when I lived up there. Fresh water, unlike southern California’s nasty stuff! 😛 It’s almost too good to be true! Haha.

  12. 12

    Good golly lady! You always amaze me. No matter how hard the race – whether it’s the course, tummy issues, aches and pains – you’re time is insane and you always look happy. Sounds like one nasty cramp. Dehydration is no joke. Hope you’ve recovered my friend.

  13. 13

    Ahhhh you’re amazing!! Can’t believe you had tummy issues and slowed down and still did a 3:30! So inspiring! Yikes! I do not want a calf cramp…

  14. 14

    I don’t care how fast or slow you run, you are always amazing to me!!!!! LOVE the pics & how do you all look so great after running that far! I would look like something the cat dragged in!!!!

    THE FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. 15
    Kathy says:

    Nice!! Why don’t you pick a race in MN and then you can come and stay with me!!! 😉

  16. 16
    elizabeth says:

    Too bad you got dehydrated, you usually seem so good about your hydration.
    Do you still have the post marathon blues? How is your foot feeling? Any idea what is causing the pain?

  17. 17

    Wow, those VIP tents are super swanky.
    I always wondered what they were like.
    Sorry it wasn’t a great race for you, but I still think your time is AMAZING!

  18. 18

    I love race recaps – I think the details are fun. It helps give me a really good idea of the whole race experience. 🙂

    Calf cramps (really any cramps) are terrible! I’m glad you had people there to help you out!

  19. 19
    Kim says:

    Ugh – stomach issues on top of the foot pain?! And, yet, you are still awesome!!!
    I want to run a race as VIIP – oh, wait – I guess I just need to run races for awhile!!

  20. 20
    Bridget says:

    Awesome job! I’m curious…how was Seattle coffee?

  21. 21
    Sam says:

    I think your recaps are the greatest! I love the pre-race prep/post race goodies photos. I like seeing peoples’ set up rituals, and I’m always fascinated by what different races offer for Re-fueling. I really appreciate when you share your thoughts and memories mile by mile from the run with us- it’s great to get a glimpse into the internal monologue of such an inspirational speedster-running-diva. Your honesty and candor are delightful! Sorry to hear the race was so tough for you, I hope your foot is OK!

    I’m glad you liked Seattle! That course is awesome, lake Washington and Mt. Rainer are so pretty. Wear Blue gets me every time. That freeway part at the end is SO mentally challenging. I was right next to Apollo Ohno for that stretch though, which was a great distraction. There was a photographer on a motorcycle next to him the whole time, I’m sure they got mighty sick of the weirdo with a mustach photo bombing the Olympic athlete, flashing peace signs, and sticking out his tongue :).

  22. 22
    Amber says:

    Sorry to hear you had a rough race! I love your attitude though – crossing every finish line really is an accomplishment that I think many of us forget. Congrats on another finish & I loved the pictures, it looked like a beautiful day for a race 🙂

  23. 23
    DD says:

    Thank you so much. Your post is quite comprehensive and helpful. I am running a full RNR Seattle marathon on June 18th and heard it is brutally hilly. What are your thoughts? Just want to ensure I am well trained for my hill workouts. Thank you so much again.

    • 23.1
      STUFT Mama says:

      I honestly don’t remember it being very hilly at all. It was a good course. The last stretch on the highway was a little long, but I liked it!

Trackbacks

  1. […] me there getting a massage in the chair after my little dehydration issue at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon. That guy on the right is the one who punched me in the calf as hard as possible to make the cramp […]

  2. […] about the product before, but had never taken it. It actually came at the perfect time after the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon when I suffered from major calf cramps and dehydration post run. I was really excited to give these […]

  3. […] a 2015 Rock ‘n’ Blog Ambassador. I may need to go to Seattle again to redeem myself a bit after what went down last year. Ha. Actually, that was where I really saw the red flags that something weird was going on with my […]

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