Good races and bad directions

Here we are at the beginning of another week, and it is definitely a fall-feeling week in Seattle!

Our temperatures had started to gradually creep back up and late last week we were back with 80 degree sunny days.  Saturday was also a beautiful day, although a little bit colder.  Mike and I went to the birthday party of one of my friends from work.  It was really great to meet his family and his other friends.  And it was amazing to hang out with his two dogs… a 10 year old Great Pyrenees (which is literally the size of a small bear and the most relaxed, laidback, sweet, amazing dog) named Cleo, and a 16-week old Corgi puppy named Benito.  Seeing the two dogs playing together was just amazing.  Cleo is SO motherly towards little Benito.  It is so sweet to see how protective she is of him.  They are absolutely too cute for words!

Sunday morning I had a 10k race planned.  The weather forecast called for clouds, but 0% chance of rain.  I got up, got ready to go, and literally walked out the door when I realized there was a misty rain going on.  Ok, no big deal.  The name of this blog is rainy day runner, right?  Not like I was going to let a little rain deter me.  Nevertheless, I did go back inside and change from a short-sleeved shirt to a long-sleeved shirt, and I also put on a running hat.  It was designed to keep the sun out of the eyes more than the rain off of the head, but I decided it might be able to at least deter much of the rain.  I had a couple mile walk/jog to get to the start line of the race, and the rain continued just doing its misting thing.  I was perfectly happy with that and figured it would keep me cool while I ran.  At the start line I picked up my race packet which I had forgotten to pick up the previous day because of the birthday party, and I headed for the start line.  I wasn’t sure what to do with the T-shirt they gave me since I was of course already wearing a shirt.  I considered just not taking a shirt, but it was a really pretty aquamarine color so I kind of wanted it.  I ended up stuffing part of it in the back of my running pants and letting the rest hang out behind me.  I had seen lots of other runners do that before, so I figured it was valid even though it probably meant that I would look like I had a plume sailing out behind me as I ran and it might even be comparable to running 6 miles with a giant wedgie.  I figured I was about to find out.  I met a friend from work at the start line to say ‘hi’ since we were both running the race.  The interesting thing about this race compared to other races is that this was a women-only race.  It was a little weird lining up and only seeing women around me… a little weird, but kind of cool!  The race horn sounded and we were off!  The race had both a 5k component and a 10k component.  I was doing the 10k, which meant I would do two loops of the 5k.  The first 3/4 of a mile was PACKED!  In the future they should probably consider using corrals to group runners of like paces so that they can get the event off and moving faster, but it was still fun and kept me from starting out too fast.  I started my running playlist and zoned out and started to cruise on auto-pilot.  After 3/4 of a mile the crowd thinned out a lot!  The rain also started to get more intense.  By that point I was already pretty wet, so I didn’t really care except when there were slight hills because my sneakers slipped a little on the pavement.  I just kept running.  I had ‘live tracking’ turned on on my Garmin watch so that if Mike was awake he could track my progress.  After I passed mile 2, Mike texted me and said, “Hey you ran the last two miles at 8min/mile pace!  You’re running fast!”.  That was fast for me, so at that point I deliberately tried not to slow down.  I tried to keep track of my pace on the Garmin but by the time I reached mile 3 the rain was coming down hard enough that my Garmin screen was wet and hard to read, so I just kept going.  When I passed the halfway point and started around the loop for the second time, the crowd had thinned out a lot and I could basically run at whatever speed I wanted.  Which was definitely nice compared to the much more crowded races I’m typically in.  As I rounded the west side of the loop around the lake I realized I was almost done, and kicked it into high gear.  When I passed the 6 mile marker I realized I still had a lot of energy, so I started running even faster.  My final time when I crossed the finish line was 51:05 and my splits are below.

1.0 mi 08:08 min/mi 00:08:07
2.0 mi 08:03 min/mi 00:08:02
3.0 mi 07:59 min/mi 00:07:58
4.0 mi 07:58 min/mi 00:07:57
5.0 mi 08:02 min/mi 00:08:02
6.0 mi 07:59 min/mi 00:07:59
6.3 mi 07:37 min/mi 00:02:16

I do not usually run that fast!  In fact, that’s the fastest 10k I’ve done to date!  My next goal is going to be to break 50 minutes (even though that means knocking more than a minute off of my time.  Given how much energy I still had at the end of the race, I really could have been running faster.)  I called Mike and he generously came and picked me up with two big towels since by that point it was pretty much pouring rain.  After a shower, I felt much more like a human being and less like a ball of rain-soaked race clothing.  (Moisture-wicking clothing only wicks to a point… after that it starts absorbing!  There’s everyone’s fun fact for the day!)

I checked the final stats for the race, and there were 283 participants in the 10k, and I was the 22nd to cross the finish line!  Shocking!  Again, I’m not usually this fast.  Except that this summer, somehow I have been.  I’m loving it!  🙂

Mike has been busy wiring ethernet through our house.  Well, I should clarify.  The ethernet was already in the walls, but wasn’t actually wired into the jacks… the phone cables were wired into the jacks instead.  Mike’s been taking out the phone wire (since we haven’t had land lines for over 10 years!) and is replacing them with ethernet.  That project alone has required three trips to Home Depot over the past week.  Sometimes I wonder if Mike mostly enjoys projects or mostly enjoys trips to Home Depot.  😉

In other news, Mike and I went to the Bellevue Mall on Saturday afternoon.  It was ok.  The Bellevue Mall is frankly not my favorite mall.  The whole ambiance just isn’t my thing.  However, one thing that I did very carefully was note our parking spot when we went in the store.  We were in section R1.  The Bellevue Mall parking area is big enough that it’s easy to forget where you parked.  When we exited the mall, I headed toward the right.

“Whoa,” Mike said.  “Where are you going?”

“To our car.”

“Our car’s this way,” Mike said, pointing in the opposite direction.

“Nope,” I said, sure enough of myself to be emphatic.  “It’s this way.  I took careful note before we went in.”

Mike shrugged and followed me.  I led him proudly to the area where our car was.  Except that the sign said ‘A4’ instead of ‘R1’.  What in the world??  I paused and looked around, trying in vain to get my bearings and hoping that there was an ‘R1’ sign around somewhere close by.

“It’s not here, is it?” Mike said.  “It’s back the other way.”  Apparently so.  I could have sworn (and would have sworn up and down if asked) that I knew where our car was, but apparently not.  After following Mike’s lead, we found our car several minutes later, but I was still convinced that somehow the car had migrated to the opposite end of the parking garage by itself.  There was really no other explanation for the car having moved.  And the ‘R1’ sign was moved as well, I guess.

On Sunday afternoon Mike and I went to a store that sold coffeemakers.  My job was to get us directions there since it was 20 miles outside of Seattle.  I had the GPS on on my phone and traced our progress up the I-5 interstate.  Once we exited the freeway, Mike made a left onto the street at the end of the exit ramp.

“Wait!” I said.  “We have to turn around and go the other way on this street.”

“Really?” he asked.  “I thought it was west of the freeway.”

“It looks like we should have made a right based on the map,” I said.  Mike shrugged, found a place to turn around and a few minutes later we were heading down the street in the other direction.  We’d driven about a mile when I looked at our GPS dot and saw that it was moving in the opposite direction of the coffee store.

“Aaaahhh!  You’re going to hate me forever!!” I said to Mike.  Possibly a little dramatic, but I felt it was warranted given that this was my second navigation mistake in the same weekend.  “We actually need to go the other way after all.”

Mike rolled his eyes as he looked for a place to turn around on the busy street.  “All right, Karena,” he said.  “But it’s important that you understand that we only have six hours until the store closes.  We can’t just drive up and down this street all day.”  I meekly sat back against my seat and decided that it was just not my weekend for directions.

I hope everyone else had a great weekend!  Mike’s and my weeks are off to a busy start… lots of stuff going on at work for both of us!  But at least it makes the days fly by!  🙂


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Filed under Birthdays, Life in Seattle, Running, Seattle, Weather

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