Monday, July 7, 2014

Four Seasons - Rock 'n' Roll Seattle 2014

"Friendship isn't about whom you've known the longest, it's about those who showed up and never left your side." - Unknown, but I'll credit it to Beth Austin-Deloria

After an A-Race, we enjoy a bit of down time. Even if we have a lot of races on our schedule, we make sure we're not pushing ourselves so hard that we either burn ourselves out or run into an aggravation that prevents us from racing at all.  With Susan's personal best at Rock 'n' Roll San Diego just a few weeks before, Rock 'n' Roll Seattle looked to be more of a social event than a race. We also note that this is the first time Ron got to Seattle not having any major medical issues.

Seattle was the first time we would see the entire group from the Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio/Las Vegas "Double Live" tour (also known as SA2LV) last November. Caryn and Al haven't been able to get out to the east coast races and Beth and Jim haven't come west. Knowing that we'd have everyone together again made the weekend special. Kamika, well, you never know for sure where he is, but he seems to always make an appearance.

Top to bottom, left to right: Ron, Susan, Al, Beth, Kamika, Caryn, Jim.
I'm fairly certain one of us knows the guy in the yellow shirt. 
The week leading up to the race, Jim had been having problems with a nagging calf injury and Beth decided to walk with him. She thought it would be just the two of them and everyone else going at their own pace.

That just wasn't going to happen because us Rock 'n' Roll Gypsies stick together, especially in the time of need!

Al was recovering from a high fever, Susan and I were planning on taking it easy anyway, so we ended up deciding to walk the whole race together. Caryn and Kamika may have had other plans, but they weren't pressing. Kamika DID have to pick up his pace a bit because his flight left an hour earlier than he thought.  He's been traveling a lot, so time zone brain may have been setting in. We were able to spend the first hour of the race together catching up.

The Half Fanatic/Marathon Maniac picture is always huge in the Northwest, birth of the Asylum.

Al and the elusive Kamika at Mile 1 or so.
The Party starts at Mile 3.
Susan and I ran (well, WALKED) into Mariano about mile 4. He caught our attention because he clearly had some training as a race walker, going at a mid 11 minute mile pace. He was self taught and extremely friendly, despite the fact that his team just lost in the World Cup. Susan and I paced with him for a couple minutes and this time I remembered to get a picture of him so I could find him later. He finished in a very speedy 2:30:47.

Beth was wearing her walking brace this race and carrying her running brace in her pack in case she needed it. Fortunately, she kept the running to a decent amount and was able to enjoy the race. We think she may have hit her word quota just as she finished.

Al and Beth doing the West Side Story thing mile 4.
Since Susan didn't actually see me last year when the hernia acted up, we decided to recreate it at the very same spot. I'm pretty sure Al was laughing last year too.

The Team Blue mile. Even last year when I was distracted, I got chills as we passed by over a half mile of flags, memorials and supporters of the fallen.
It's worth noting that while Jim was able to pick up pretty good race walking form (averaging just under a 14 minute mile), there's definitely a difference from running. Not only do you use different muscle groups (a reason we advocate using run/walk for longer distances), but it also tends to cause ... discomfort... in different areas. 

Waiting for Jim to apply some Body Glide. We shall forever refer to this as "Jim powdering his nose". Why Ron defaults to the Kevin G starting pose, he can't explain.
It wasn't lost on me how special this time is in our lives. It was the same feeling I had when I was playing volleyball with my older brother out of college and again playing hockey with both of my brothers after grad school. It reminded me of the line in the movie "Stand By Me" at the very end as the writer was finishing his book.

"I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve"......"Jesus, does anyone"?

Optimism. We has it.

I'll continue to cherish the time I'm able to spend with these special people. All of them are amazing in their own way. With any luck, our paths will continue to cross for years to come.

Six of the Magnificent Seven at the finish line. I'm guessing if you look closely, Kamika is lurking off camera to the right.
The race was held on the last day of Spring. On Sunday, Susan and I headed up to Mount Rainier for a day trip. We had seen the mountain from the course from so many different angles, but got a much better appreciation for it as we got up close. NOTE: If you're a Goldstar member, the day trip package was half off.

Shameless plug for the Rock 'n' Roll Series
 On the first day of Summer, we still thought it was Winter. How about that?

As for the fourth season? Well, no trip is going to be complete without shopping at Market Spice in the Public Market where spice is the variety of life!  The bag of crystallized ginger almost didn't make it through the plane ride home.

I thought about going into the race trying to at least better my course record. Being healthy for once was a novel concept. But I'm finding that being flexible keeps you open to making some memories that'll probably last a long longer than a course PR.

There's always next year, after all :)


Rock 'n' Roll Seattle has been in existence for six years under Competitor Group. The races offers both a half marathon (12392 finishers, 2:23 median finish time) and a full marathon (2220 finishers, 4:33 median finish time). Total participation was about the same as 2013. There were also several diversion points for the full giving distances 20.6, 23.9 and 25.2 miles for those not meeting cut off times. 

The course was a loop that started and finished at the base of the Space Needle, travelling south on 5th Avenue, Dearborn and Raininer before turning back north along Lake Washington, I-90, 2nd Avenue, the Viaduct and finishing on Mercer. Visibility was good and you could see Mount Rainier for a good portion of the first half of the course. Many people reported GPS reading well in excess of 13.5 miles. There was an explanation. Just move on. Get over it. Weather was a little warmer than normal the northwest this year, but for a June race, we were happy with tanks, short sleeves and extra hydration.

This was our third time in Seattle, having raced in 2010 and 2013. This was Susan's 65th half and Ron's 63rd. We each received our 4th Rock Legend medal, having done seven Rock 'n' Roll races in 2014. Susan will be doing her 50th Rock 'n' Roll event in Chicago in the third week of July.

A big shout out to our friend Shayne at CGI who ran her first half marathon after recovering from plantar issues. Shayne writes the #CGIEats blogs for the Rock 'n' Roll series, so check them out if you're looking for places pre- or post-race. She finished in the mid 1:50's on a course that can leave a lot of people swearing at the last few miles.

With the Rock 'n' Roll TourPass 2015 in hand, we've already signed up for Seattle next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment