Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Age Bracket Winner

Aw, the other day when I was looking at the Seattle Biggest Loser Half Marathon results page, I saw that my Alli was the only "14 and Under" girl to complete the event as a registered "Runner." (There were four girls 14 and Under who completed as registered "Walkers." - whispering: and all of them finished before my runner girl.)

But that is completely beside the point, this proud mama insists.

There are prizes handed out to age group finishers, you know. And in this event, prizes were awarded to both the top three Runners and the top three Walkers, separately.

I emailed the Biggest Loser event website the other day and asked if it would be possible for my daughter to receive her award. The website clearly states that winners must be present for the awards.

Happily, though, they are mailing my daughter her award. :)

Hi Julie,

Please send me your address and I can mail the award. It may take a couple of weeks as our trucks are in route to the next race and have the awards.

Thank you,
She is going to be soooooooooooooo thrilled. Shhhh, don't tell her, it's a secret. :)

And really, isn't it amazing to think that only FIVE girls 14 and Under completed this event? Regardless of time to complete, that is one helluva accomplishment for all of them!

p.s. - thank you all so much for your nice comments and feedback and support on my race re-cap post. I am very, very proud of my girl and we had a wonderful time at the event. It was so fun to be able to share that with you here!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Biggest Loser Seattle Half Marathon Race Re-Cap

Yesterday, my 14-year-old daughter and I completed a huge milestone together. She completed her first half marathon! We signed up for this event months ago, with great aspirations of going into it well-trained and ready to go. Well, that didn't happen. :)

However, we did have a wonderful time and we did complete that bad boy. My daughter feels an amazing sense of accomplishment and pride in her efforts. So much so that today she wore not only her race shirt, but also her medal to school, which cracked me up. I wish I had thought to take a picture!

I did take several pictures, though, including this one at the finish line:

So proud of my Bug.
This was the first year for the Biggest Loser race in Seattle. It was well organized, if more sparse than you would imagine for such a big name. There were a few people from previous Biggest Loser seasons at the start line, but they must have been late, because they weren't introduced until our heat was about to take off, and we were with the 15:00/mile pace group, toward the very end. It was fairly anti-climatic to have one guy from a previous season say he hadn't ever run a half-marathon, but he hoped to one day. And four, three, two, one...GO! Bah. Alli hoped that this one pair would be around after the race for photos but they were not.

As expected, Alli really got caught up in the energy and spirit of the event and went into her full athletic warrior mode. :) Ear buds in, determined look on face, We were not fast, but I have to say we were probably pretty consistent for most of the race. Incredibly, the longest she's ever gone is *maybe* five miles - she says five or six, but I am with her most all the time and I cannot think when she's exceeded a 5K.

We started off shortly after 8:00 a.m. as they released us in heats. They had a lot of pacers, which was great. It was a crisp and cold morning but it was totally bearable. Both of us decided to skip the gloves we had brought along.

At the starting line. I had tried to forewarn Alli exactly how long 13.1 miles is, haha.
For reference, I told Alli we were 14.2 miles from home to Gas Works Park in Seattle, where the race was held. That did give her a little pause: hey, this is long. She didn't let it get to her, though, and even by mile four, she was feeling pretty fresh.

This was a beautiful course. See the UW crew practicing in the background?
I had warned her that around mile 7 or 8 was when I have always mentally crumbled. It's so far, and you're barely halfway done. She was pretty chipper the whole way (well, until later...) and later admitted that at mile six she teared up because she was so tired and she wasn't even half way. I feel ya, sister.

She was getting a little tired of my pictures, but was a good sport.
By mile ten, she was pretty excited to finish, and the end was in sight. This part of the course was a looooooonggggg out and back, starting somewhere around mile nine and going until past mile 12. Myself, I like the out and backs because I am a people-watcher. :) I like to watch people running by, seeing all the different outfits, the different levels of fitness, etc. Watching runners and running styles is interesting, there's so much variety!

I tried to console her by saying now we only needed to run a 5K to finish, haha.
Alli really did so awesome. A half marathon is a long, long way. And her resolve never crumbled at all. If she teared up at mile six, I didn't know it. She said a couple times that she felt fine except her feet hurting so badly. My favorite was somewhere toward the end when she said that physically she felt great and could keep going, if only her body didn't hurt so much. I took this to mean that the spirit was willing, if the body was not.

We had a minor drama brewing throughout the race, in that Alli really hoped her dad would be at the finish line to cheer for her. She had talked to him about this for weeks and the best she could get out of him was that "he would try." He is a complicated person to describe, in that he is not an absent father, but he is awfully flaky. It is hard to get a commitment out of him until the last possible minute. On race day, I didn't say a word about him being there or not, and neither did she. At mile six or seven, I floated a balloon out to him by saying we were at mile six and she was going strong. His response, "Awesome." I didn't ask him if he'd be at the finish line because I knew I would be angry if he said no. Later, at mile ten, I texted him a status and again, his response was "Awesome."

I asked her to let me retake this picture and she said "No way," and took off.
Sometime after mile twelve, he texted, "We didn't miss you did we?" Sigh. Oh good, he is there. No, we were on our way. I told Alli he was at the finish line. She was happy. She would have loved for everyone we knew to be there, haha. I let him know when we entered the park so they could be ready.

Hilariously, my sweet Bug, who was so exhausted, kicked it in to high gear as soon as she saw the finish line. I would not have guessed she had it in her! She left me in the dust as I was texting and fussing with my earbuds.

It was cool to see my older son at the finish line, too (although there was a bit of me that bristled at why he didn't bring my younger son, too, who was just sitting at home with Greg waiting for us). I let it go. I think ex-husbands just irritate you, most times. They (X and the GF) were great sports, cheering for both of us and high-fiving us. Plus, I got to be elevated to super star athlete status in my son's eyes, who marveled, "You aren't even sweating!" Yes, son, I routinely blast out half-marathons without even breaking a sweat, haha.

Finish line. I cropped out the time clock. :)
Super proud of my girl, who says she does want to do more half marathons. When I have done them, I enjoy it so much and tell myself to do more, do more! I shall have to make myself capitalize on that desire. It is fun, and although it took us 3:57 to finish, it is a heck of a work out! I am feeling it in my hips today.

I was very pleased that Alli was already up and at 'em getting ready for school this morning. I was afraid she'd be super, super sore, but I guess she has youth on her side. :) She said she'll move slowly, and that if they are told to run in PE today, she will sit on the floor and cry until her teacher leaves her alone. I told her to tell him it's her recovery day.

Couple things from the race:
- On the last long out and back, we stopped for water on the out, but on the back, the water and gatorade, as well as all the volunteers, were GONE. Alli was bummed, and I had no alternatives for her. I felt sooooo badly for the people who hadn't reached the station for the first time yet....ugh. You can imagine at the tail end of this race, there were some people who really needed some water. Fortunately, there was one more water stop before the end of the race.
- The shirts and medals are very cute. I will have to post a picture later. The ribbon of the medal is a tape measure, haha.
- I expected more of a Biggest Loser type crowd there. There were surprisingly few kids or teenagers, I thought. Alli said it was because most kids were too smart to agree to run thirteen miles (this was somewhere between mile 11 and 12, haha). Most of the runners were, well, runners. A smattering of bigger people, but no more than I've seen at other events.
- It was very nice to see Lindsay and Stacie at the race. Lindsay came up to us before the race and wished us well and gave Alli a pep talk. On the first out and back, she was a great cheering section as she passed by, as well as on facebook later. :) We had registered on Stacie's team for the event but hadn't found each other before the event. We saw each other on the second out and back and she cheered us on, as well. It is fun to see people you know out there!