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Seattle Marathon - RunMarathon

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Seattle, Washington
United States
54F / 12C
Total Time = 5h 13m 43s
Overall Rank = 638/
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 79/98
  • 00m
  • 26.2 miles
  •  min/mile
Post race
Event comments:

So I decided, once again, to re-enter my abusive relationship with the Seattle Marathon. I’ve run the marathon once and the half marathon twice, as well as ran support last year (16 miles) for people I had coached. Every year I finished battered, bruised, and beaten. Every year I say never again.

And yet I keep going back. “It’ll be different this time” I try to tell myself. “It’ll be better. The marathon didn’t mean to abuse me last time. It’s sorry. I’m sure of it.”

Friday we went into Seattle for the yearly viewing of the parade and lighting of the Westlake Tree. Our “Black Friday” tradition is that Roy gets up and goes shopping because he is not bothered by the disgusting actions of a few of the people on that morning. In an effort to not befoul the beautiful season of Christmas, I stay in bed. He text messages me to let me know where he’s at and brag on some scores. I then run or walk (if I’m doing the marathon, I walk) to the local Starbucks where we meet, drink coffee, share the paper, and then head into Seattle for the parade.

We watch the parade and then spend the day wandering around downtown Seattle. We went to the expo at the Westin and picked up my packet. It was busy, but wasn’t yet a madhouse. Note to self: Expo on Friday next year, if I forgive the marathon and do it again. (Who am I kidding? I’ll do it again.)

Saturday about noon I started feeling a little wonky. I thought it might just be something I’d eaten. We went out to our carbo-load dinner early at the Spaghetti Factory. Unfortunately by 5:00 p.m. I was in full blown pancreatitis. Oh man I felt MISERABLE! I live in denial so I tried to pretend I wasn’t sick. We got to our hotel in Seattle and walked down to the expo to pick up a knee strap I’d bought the day before (but received only an empty box). Unfortunately on the way back to the hotel I was feverish and shaking. DARN IT! Stupid Hank! (Hank is the name of my pancreatic tumor I had excorcised in 2003. Unfortunately he returns to haunt me about 8-10 times a year.)

I spent the next three hours crawling between the bed and the bathtub soaking in as hot a tub as I could to deal with the chills. About 10:30 or so I woke up feeling slightly better, decided I’d lay out my gear and get ready, just in case. I had called my friend, Marie, though to tell her that I probably wouldn’t make it.

Sunday I woke up and was ready to go when Roy stumbled out of the bedroom. “Are you sure you’re okay to do this?”

I looked at him confused. Why would he ask me that?

It was only then I remembered that I’d been so sick the night before.

Why would anyone question that I wasn’t perfectly fine?

I was totally fine. At least Hank had better things to do on Sunday. (Curse you, Hank!)

I gave Marie a call and let her know that I was a-okay and would meet her downtown for the race!

The day was heavy with fog and a mist hung in the air. You couldn’t even see the top of the Space Needle as you stood right under it. The weather forecast was for a warm November day, though. We figured the mist would lift and we’d have gorgeous views of the Sound, Lake Washington, Mt. Rainier, and Lake Union as we ran. Alas, the fog never did lift, but the weather could NOT have been more perfect for a run.

Marie and I started out together. We chatted with a few maniacs on the run. As we got closer to mile two I was looking forward to two things: Roy and Water (in that order). I was pretty dehydrated from being so sick the night before, and of course who doesn’t want to see the handsomest guy in the world on a marathon!

But alas! No water! There were NO CUPS! They had run out of cups before the marathoners even arrived. Apparently all the walkers and half marathoners were amazing cup hogs…or someone doesn’t know how to count. I mean they do COUNT the number entries, right?

Oh well. I got a hug and a kiss from Roy and he took this picture, and we ran on:

I had worn a long sleeve shirt under my Marathon Maniacs tank top, leggings, a running skirt, and a Santa Hat that said “Ho Ho Ho” on it. About mile four I could no longer handle the shirt. I stepped over near the side of the tunnel and Marie helped me quickly disrobe and re-robe, tying the shirt around my waist. Whew! What a relief! Who would have thought it would feel BETTER to run in a tank top in November in Seattle?

It was so funky running around Lake Washington. You literally could NOT see the lake. We ran across the I-90 floating bridge, which normally affords a fantastic view of Rainier (on a clear day) but all we could see was mist. From there we headed down to Seward park alongside the mist covered lake. You couldn’t see the water unless you really looked, and then it was gunmetal grey. It was an eerie kind of beautiful, though. Not the brilliant blue we’re used to, but shades of misty monochromatic bluish grey as far as the eye could see.

As we were coming into Seward Park we were nearly knocked off our feet by a “whoooooosh” as the front runner flew by us running in the other direction. Um. Wow. He was FAST! Seattle is NOT a fast marathon! Not by a long-shot! We cheered him on and then started counting. We saw (and recognized) Annie Theissen (yay Annie) who was the front woman and cheered her on. Sad to say the man was finished before we hit the halfway point, and she finished not long after.

Marie and I kept up running Mile:1 (mile long run, 1 minute rest) but with every run she would pull just slightly ahead of me. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with her so at one point I told her that if she needed to, she was more than welcome to go on without me. I would survive! I had my iPod!

We met some fun people on the route. TONS of maniacs! I tell you, being a maniac is fun. Every maniac you pass you high five or thumbs up or yell “Hey Maniac!” It just feels like you’re running with 100 good friends! We struck up conversations with a number of people, including one of my personal heroes Bob Dolphin. He rocks! I want to be him when I grow up! Roy will have to be Lenore, of course.

At about mile 17 Marie could no longer hold back. She was rearing to go and I was hitting a kind of bad spot. I’m not really sure, but my back was tight and my hip flexors were hurting. I just couldn’t keep up with her stride. (Of course the fact that she’s eleventy feet tall doesn’t help, since I am in fact, a midget.) She ran on ahead of me and finished a full 20 minutes before I did! Go Marie! You rock!

I ran along and came up on Lee, a fellow coach from Seattle Fit. This was the first time he was doing two marathons in a pretty short period, and he was hurting. So I stopped to talk and we walked and talked for quite awhile. It was nice catching up as I hadn’t been able to coach this year. Pretty soon Janet, one of my “Red Team” from Seattle Fit last year, joined us and we had a great time walking and talking.

After about mile 19 Janet and I were ready to run, so we bid farewell to Lee and I joined Janet for awhile in her 5:1s. The walk was enough to renew my strength and I was feeling good, despite the fact that we were heading into the nasty part of the route. As you run up Lakeshore Drive you suddenly hit this wicked little hill called Galer. It is straight up.

No. Really. It is.

So we scaled Galer and then you go onto Magnolia. It’s not really straight up, but it is up for a long way. A long long way. It’s one of those long unrelenting hills. It’s long. Really long.

No. Really. It is.

So we walked/ran up Magnolia.

Fortunately after the Wicked Hill and the Unrelenting Hill, there are the Twisty Hills of Interlaken that take you through the Washington Arboretum. The one thing this area has going for it is the fact that it is absolutely beautiful. Rain, shine, snow, sleet, dark of night it is just beautiful. You’re surrounded by this surreal faerie forest in the middle of the city. Janet wasn’t up to one more hill run, so I went ahead on without her. I was, at this point, feeling great and didn’t really want to walk any more.

So I went up and up and up. Then I went up some more. FINALLY came out on a level surface! I proclaimed to my recorder (I was recording the entire thing) that now it was all downhill.

Why did I say that? Because I have Marathon Amnesia. I have run this route five times (2 marathons 3 halves, or maybe it’s 4 times), and I know that it is NOT all downhill from mile 22. It is not all downhill from anywhere on this marathon!

We crossed I-5 and I was all “Woo hoo! We’re heading back into the city.” So we ran and ran and ran some more.

Then we crossed I-5 again. Oops, I “woo hooed” too soon, so I was all “Woo hoo! NOW we’re heading back into the city!” So we ran and ran and ran some more and I waved at the cars on the freeway and thanked the few spectators as we rounded a corner.

And then we went up and up and up some more. Again I had premature woo hooage. Dang!

FINALLY we crossed I-5 for a third time and I was all “Woo hoo! NOW we’re FINALLY heading back into the city!! Right?”

Fortunately this time we were.

Isn’t that little squiggly line cute? Yeah, I think so too. Precious.

As I ran along I-5 I took out my Blackberry and snapped a picture. Hee hee, the lady behind me is looking at me like “What a loser! She’s wearing a santa hat and she’s taking pictures on her cell phone. Doesn’t she know that I’m in pain!”

I sent the picture to my sister and my friend Wendie! Still smiling at mile 24!

Then I called Roybee to let him know where I was and that I was, indeed, still smiling at mile 24!

No. Really. I was.


The lady behind me, not still smiling at mile 24.

Finally some DOWN action! Woo hoo! Mile 24 takes you down for awhile along a lot of traffic, so you do get the down, but you also get a snootful of fumes. Ahhhh…who doesn’t love gas fumes on a lovely Saturday morning? I know I do! Yum!

Mile 25, however, more up. Oh yeah, the people who chose this course have a family tree that includes the Marquis de Sade, Vlad the Impaler, and I’m pretty sure the guy who wrote the Hamster Dance song. So up up up, then a little down…just to tease you, then Mercer Street. Mercer goes down then it goes straight up, because it is Galer’s twin sister. But at the top of Mercer, it’s the most wonderful site in the world (sing along with me now)!

The Number 26.

Angels sang, the skies parted (so we could hear the angels sing). I ran ran ran as hard as I could passing limping old men and little old ladies, feeling all “I am super runner, see how fast I pass that guy 20 years my senior! I ROCK!”

I could hear the music playing in the Memorial Stadium and I ran with a HUGE grin on my face. They called my name. I thanked JEsus for allowing me to run that day. I am so thankful that I have the body that allows me to pursue these crazy adventures. What a true true blessing!

As I crossed the finish line, they snapped my picture, then I saw right ahead of me my bestest friend from Pony Estates when I was 4 years old, Kathy! Her husband, Bashar, finished his first marathon just about a minute before I did! Woo Bashar! I hope he goes on to run more! Then I saw the bestest husband ever. He took a picture of Bashar and I both feeling completely triumphant!

What a day! I really did not think I would be able to do it. And you know what? This time the Seattle Marathon WAS better! Yes, it was hilly. Yes, it was hard. Yeah, it was a form of torture that would impress the Huns, but it was Seattle. It was MY marathon and I can’t wait to do it again next year.

Because next year, I’m sure it will be better. Right?

Last updated: 2008-12-04 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 26.2 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 0/98
Overall: 0/
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2008-12-04 1:23 PM

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Extreme Veteran
The Great Pacific Northwest
Subject: Seattle Marathon

2008-12-04 1:25 PM
in reply to: #1838763

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Extreme Veteran
The Great Pacific Northwest
Subject: RE: Seattle Marathon

Report with pictures at

 Runcast also available there (video of the race).

2008-12-05 6:25 AM
in reply to: #1838763

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Coeur D'alene, ID
Subject: RE: Seattle Marathon

Congratulations!  Really enjoyed your RR!  One of these days I'm going to come over for that sounds like a fun one.  Well, if a marathon could ever really be termed "fun"!

2008-12-05 1:32 PM
in reply to: #1838763

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Bellingham, Washington
Subject: RE: Seattle Marathon

Great RR Maniac!  Another marathon in the books.

I feel guilty now for not doing Seattle (would have been 4th year in a row).  But reading your report really put me back on the course.   So funny how you discribed does go straight up...

I learned to bring enough water for the first 4-5 miles.  Since the many walkers/half mary people do take all the water at the early stations...

Good job Marathoner.

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