See Jane Run Half Marathon Race Recap

I recently ran the See Jane Run Half Marathon and pleasantly surprised myself with a two-minute PR! I haven’t made it a secret that the last two months have been rough, so this PR feels extra sweet.

Christina and I got to the race about 45 minutes before it started. We waited in the huge line (one negative of a predominately female race) for the porta-potties. The line was long and slow, but it was the cleanest, least stinky porta potty I’ve ever used! Well worth the wait.

Starting in Gasworks Park

Christina and I have very different running styles. I wear a Garmin, obsessively glance at my pace every 30 seconds, and constantly think stress about pacing. Christina, on the other hand, doesn’t wear a watch and worry about pacing — she just goes. As a result of Christina’s freestyle running approach, I started the race a lot faster than I would have if I had been running alone. I spent the first half of the race thinking about what a foolish race I was running and how unpleasant the final miles would be.

Mile 1: 8:58
Mile 2: 8:27
Mile 3: 8:23
Mile 4: 8:39
Mile 5: 8:43
Mile 6: 8:36

Christina had to stop at the bathroom around mile 6, so I continued on alone. I took a GU and realized I actually felt pretty good. Maybe I wouldn’t bonk. Christina ended up taking another bathroom stop, so I ran the second half solo and at my own pace. But Christina’s pacing in the first half was critical to my PR. Thanks, Christina!

Mile 7: 9:13
Mile 8: 8:52
Mile 9: 8:35

I realized a PR was pretty much in the bag at mile 10 as long as I maintained 9 minute miles. For a brief moment I considered slowing down and taking it easy the final three miles since I had already exceeded my goals and expectations for this race.  But then I remembered my goal of one day racing an entire marathon — from start to finish — and staying strong in that final 10k. I decided that staying strong in the final 5k of this race would undoubtedly help me one day reach that goal.

And then I did a quick assessment of how I felt. Sure I was tired, but I wasn’t that tired. I thought about how tired I was in Vancouver and this didn’t even come close.  I was uncomfortable, but not nearly as uncomfortable as Vancouver. I thought about Marshall Ulrich and how he ran across the United States, averaging 60 miles a day. The pain I felt didn’t even come close to the pain he endured on a daily basis.

So I kept pushing on and reminding myself that compared to other races, I actually felt pretty good.

Mile 10: 8:42
Mile 11: 8:40

As the finish line came into sight, cheering spectators lined the side of the path. The perfect part of a perfect song was playing on my iPod. I felt strong, capable, and finally like a real runner. As cheesy and inadequate as it sounds, it was a perfect running moment. There are races and brief moments that make all of your hard work and sacrifices worth it, and this was one of those moments.

Mile 13: 8:37
Last .1: 7:47

hahha I may have felt OK, but I didn’t look OK!

Like any time-obsessed runner, stopping my watch the second I cross the finish line.



4 thoughts on “See Jane Run Half Marathon Race Recap

  1. Way to go, Speedy! Those fleeting moments of bliss are what bring us back for more and then more…. Ah, the “Glory” of the long-distance runner! When we add up all the hours and hours of just plain hard work, the sweat and discouragement, the questioning of our own sanity, the all too real suffering, the sacrifices; when we set all that beside those ridiculously brief moments of peace and profound meaning, the mathematics of our Sport seem cruel. But it is the Mathematics of Transformation. If we just wanted consolation, we could sleep in, we could eat chips and watch other people live their lives on TV … But no, we have felt the Runner’s High, we know that it is real (however brief), and we want more. We lace up our running shoes and we head out onto the trails and roads and races to see if we might be changed yet again into a larger and more expansive self, our own breath inseparable from the sky and our feet in rhythm with the earth. We run, as ridiculous and absurd as it may appear to all who do not run. We are runners while we run. And then we think about the run, and prepare for the next adventure. Maybe it will be a triumphant PR; maybe it will be a disillusioning disaster; like life, there is only one way to find out…. It is great to be in the river of runners with you, so very many way out in front, so many way behind, all moving at their own pace toward some ineffable dream.

    • Jim, you should (seriously!!!!!!) be a writer. Your thoughts are so deep and real and you express them with such clarity. I always enjoy reading your comments. Guy and I frequently comment on what a good writer Megan is. She has obviously inherited some of it from her father!!

      • Christine:

        Thank you for your kind words. Megan is indeed a fine writer. She still kids me about the critiques she received from me as a child. Ask her how gentle I was with her. And she had an English teacher in High School who was even tougher. Who knows, maybe someday we will coauthor a book: Our Journey to Boston. Evidently we would have at least one appreciative reader.

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