As November comes to an end and 2015 is almost upon us, I want to reflect on what a great running year it has been.
I achieved what I had not been able to do before. I ran my first 50km race, completed my First Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World and in total I ran 39 races this year for a combined total of 600+ racing miles.
This past weekend I ran my 8th full marathon of the year in Seattle (Seattle Marathon). It was a shivery cold day, and extremely foggy and windy. The temperature hovered between minus and plus one. The whole race was COLD! But I always consider runs like these as character-building. It was a tough, hilly course; the cold temperature and wind off the water made it a most challenging day indeed. But the tougher it is, the more I treasure what I have done! It really goes to show one can choose to tough out the elements if one wants to. Despite the weather and hilliness of the course, I enjoyed every single minute of this race. Words cannot describe my struggle during the latter miles, but I was able to hang in there mainly because I saw the Marathon Maniacs who were doing the Quadzilla (4 marathons in 4 days). That changed my perspective and gave me this renewed energy.
People around my pace were very friendly. I tried to make small talk with a number of them. One guy was wearing the “mission accomplished” jacket from the MCM marathon. I told him I ran that race too, and he said he like it a lot. Another guy was wheeling his son I am assuming in his wheelchair – so touching. And another gentleman, a father, walking the half marathon with his young son. Two guys in blue flowery suits ran the marathon, but other than that there weren’t too many runners in costumes. However, Sunday’s race would have been ideal to be dressed in a costume to stay warm.
Anyhow, the front runners were still dressed in their singlets and shorts. I saw many of the pace groups on the out and back part of the course, from 3:05, 3:15, 3:25, 3:45, 4:00, 4:25, 4:40. On a day like Sunday, I praise these pace leaders for being able to keep their pace flags upright. My hands would have been frozen. In fact, every cup of water I drank was icy cold. Quite a contrast from hot races like the ones I’ve done in California! Surprisingly though, I’d rather be drinking iced cold water than warm water. Maybe because of that, I was very well-hydrated. So much so, that I had to go to the bathroom twice. This seldom happens in other races.
Although I ran this race only 2 years ago, it’s funny how your memory seems to erase itself. All along I thought the route was going to be the reverse of the Rock n Roll Seattle marathon course, but it wasn’t. The last half was very different. Comparing the two, the Seattle Marathon seemed a lot tougher!
The whole course was tough, but the last mile was a killer. Just brutal. The finish line seemed so far and it felt like I would never get there. It was just hill after hill, and I was in quite some pain going up the last hill. Fortunately, the finish was really cool, because we actually finished inside the stadium, kind of like the Eugene Marathon! So despite the many hills, before I knew it, I crossed the finish line. I got my very hard earned medal 🙂
This year has gone by so fast; I had so much fun, overcame many challenges, and created so many happy memories.
I really couldn’t have done it without the unconditional support of my family. Thank you so much!
Before I close, I like to summarize with a few words from the running magnet I got from this past MCM marathon, which says “Always Earned, Never Given!” (see pic)
I will live by these precious words for a long time to come.