Yesterday was an amazing day. I completed by 9th marathon in Seattle with one of my long term, bestest friends ever. It was her first marathon and truly an amazing event. Jen has been running half marathons for years and frequently expressed how much she “never wanted to run a full marathon.” Then something happened. She lives in NYC and signed up for the 9 + 1 Guaranteed Entry program for the NYC marathon. She did it and that was it. And of course, I agreed to run with her, as I haven’t ever turned down a race (unless an injury forced me to). The NYC marathon is one of the largest races on the planet that draws runners from across the globe. It shouldn’t be news to anybody what happened to the NYC 2012 marathon, so our 16 weeks of diligent training would not be put to test on the 26.2 mile course. Bummer!
But you know what? There is something really special about a marathon and the commitment to see it through to the finish line. It’s not just about the course and the day of the race, it’s about the momentum and perseverance it takes to get there. The race itself is like the icing on 16 layer cake. It’s the daily focus around nutrition, fitness, and rest. It’s about juggling a lifestyle that prioritizes all those above other aspects. That being said, it’s no surprise that only .5% of the populations (the 2011 marathon community consisted of just over half a million runners) actually goes through the process.
So with the effort involved and the flexibility of our lifestyles, we decided not to let the NYC Marathon cancelation derail us. We quickly registered, booked flights/hotel to and reached out to our other bestest friend who had just moved back to Seattle. 26.2 was bound to happen for us in 2012!
We arrived Friday night and everything was perfect. Our hotel was amazing (The Homewood Suites on Pike), the expo was easy, and the city is gorgeous! We had amazing meals (Lola and Serious Pie), slept, laughed and really enjoyed our time in the beautiful city with the best of friends. Race day came and we had no rain and just the 38 degree weather to battle. A taxi to the start line, easy bag drop and small lineup at the start – it was a dreamlike/complication free race day experience.
The course is nothing short of breathtaking. The first part is over highway bridges. With the thick fog, it almost felt like we were flying. Many miles are along Lake Washington, which is like a series of snap shots right out of Runners World. It is an out and back portion and unfortunately the back and a fierce headwind that was freezing. The last portion of the marathon trugs up what feels like a country road under a canopy of what can only be described of as Fall. Really out of a story book.
I didn’t set a PR, but I qualified for Boston for the 3rd time. Which was really more than I could ask for.
The point of the story is this: 1) Marathons are good. Not just for fitness, but a good test of determination. 2) Seattle Marathon is a well executed, good sized, overall great event. 3) My friend Jen did what she said she never would…meaning anything is possible if you just put your mind to it.
With all that said – do you have interest in joining the elite, small community of marathon runners?
I highly suggest you do.