Last Sunday, April 8th, we ran the Everett Half Marathon. If you’re a Pacific Northwest local, or have ever spent very much time here in the Greater Seattle area, you’ll know “spring” actually means “rain”. Sunday did not let us down. It rained. A lot. Other than that, the course was well marked, the volunteers and organizers were very nice and had everything covered perfectly. The sweatshirt is beyond cute and the medal is huge, really what more could you ask for? Sun…we could ask for sun.
When we run races, we don’t run together. The main reason being that Annie knows she can sprint faster than Lydia and would, if given the opportunity, ditch her last minute to finish first. Because of that, we will each share our individual race experience. Lydia will be in italics and Annie will be regular font. Enjoy.
The word “race” should be used very loosely. This was much more of a “don’t die and just finish” than a race for me. The trouble started at about 4:30am when I woke up to a child throwing up. She continued to vomit until I handed off puke duty to my husband and ran out the door at 6am. My pre-race game was totally thrown but we got to the race, took some cute selfies and were off.
I felt pretty good for the first 4 1/2 miles. I was slow, but I figured, “oh well, not a PR but it’ll be fun, anyway”. At this point I’d even taken off my sweatshirt! It was sprinkling but not really raining. I was feeling pretty good. And then it was the perfect storm…in every sense of the word. It started pouring down rain, the wind starting blowing, and my guts started…um acting up. It wasn’t fun.
The next eight miles were the most miserable of my life. (I’m kind of dramatic.) I somehow managed to finish, and was unbelievably happy to be done. I was soaked and thought maybe I was going to die but I finished. Eleven minutes slower than my last half marathon but I finished.
Just to clarify, my misery had nothing to do with the race, or the Snohomish Running Company. They were awesome. They had fuel stops about every two miles where they had Nuun, water, and energy gels. They had doughnuts and water waiting at the finish and did I mention the sweatshirt? I’m glad I ran this race because it proves I can run in any circumstance!
Where to begin? Well, I guess at the beginning. There’s nothing quite like waking up at the crack of dawn to nasty weather knowing that I’m about to go run 13 miles in it. In the weeks leading up to this race I was, shall we say, less than enthused. With the crappy weather forecast and the fact that it was a half marathon (not my distance) I wasn’t feeling it. In the end, although the weather was miserable and the distance was loooong, I walked away from it in a decidedly better mood than I expected…maybe it was the donuts.
Upon arrival, Lydia and I were pleasantly surprised to see plentiful parking and porta potties. Everything was located close to the starting line so we were able to sit in the car for awhile and pull gear together with the heater on! At this point in the morning, Lydia realized that she brought the wrong earbuds for her phone. She has the fancy “no jack” iPhone while I’m still struggling with my 2010ish model. We ended up swapping and I had corded headphones for the race. This may seem like a minor detail but it comes into play later in my story…trust me.
Shortly after pulling everything together we hit the porta potties, wandered over to the start, and it was time to go!! At this point the weather was grey, but not terrible, so things seemed to be clicking along okay. Then I made it 8 minutes into the race.
At 8 minutes, the three songs I’d listened to on my phone started over. That’s right, I quickly realized I had screwed up my playlist, only had three songs to listen to, and couldn’t control them because I was using corded earbuds with no buttons. To top it off, I don’t even know where these songs originated from, but they weren’t…um…”ideal” running songs (think slow instrumentals with zero lyrics). Now, I’m not a fast runner, 8 minutes of music divided into approximately 150 minutes of running means that I listened to each one of those songs almost 20 times *sigh*. Anyways, let’s get back to the race.
For a half marathon, I really enjoyed this course. It’s primarily flat with a couple gradual hills. There are a few bridges to run across with pretty scenery. It’s also an out and back, which I so prefer to loops. There were aid stations every couple of miles fully stocked with Nuun and Gu. My mission became to collect a Gu at every station because…hey…free Gu!!
Everything felt pretty good for the first 4 miles or so. Then the clouds opened up and the torrential downpour began. To add to the whole experience, the winds picked up as well. On my way back as I crossed the bridges, at points it felt like I was standing still. I was beginning to think I may just have to live on the bridge (I had enough Gu to survive for quite awhile). Eventually I did make it off, however, and finished up my last few miles of the race in soaking wet style. And, in case you were wondering, I listened to those 3 songs the entire time.
The details of this race were great. Everything was well organized, signage was plentiful and the volunteers were fantastic. I loved all the aid stops!! The medals are indeed huge, and the sweatshirts are something I’d actually wear (I’m wearing it right now, weirdly enough). Afterward there was plenty of food including the aforementioned donuts as well as pizza. The toughest part of my day was probably trying to dig my key out of my FlipBelt with numb fingers. It was a good 10 minutes of standing outside my car freezing while I tried to get my hands to work. All in all, this race was super fun…but next time I’m double checking my playlist.