I made the skirt, got tons of compliments AND it didn't fall apart! #Winning
We got off super close to the race start and had a full hour to relax, use the honey bucket, stretch/warm up, take pictures, and drop off our gear bags. I was really excited to see Amanda from Runninghood for the second weekend in a row. She actually noticed me first. It must have been the skirt? :-)
After I caught up with Amanda, Cass and I headed over to corral #5 so I could meet up with Holly from Leaps of Faith who is running on the Nuun Ragnar team with me in July. Time for more photo ops of course. After I met up with them I took off to warm up. As I was warming up, I was texting Kim from (Just) Trying is for Little Girls. I really wanted to see her at the race. We met at the Girlfriend's 1/2 marathon last October and I have been following her blog ever since. I don't know how Kim and I found each other, but we did! Our photo is the bottom center one. Kim is currently in the process of running a 1/2 marathon in every state. She recently did a double 1/2 marathon weekend. How cool is that?!
With less than 10 minutes to race start I got into corral 1. I shimmied my way over to where there was room. I started to talk to the gal standing next to me who was super sweet. Her name was Angie (she blogs at Angie Blogs) and she had just run Boston and is going to be running the Vancouver Marathon in a couple of weeks. Next thing I know I also spot Amanda standing a couple feet in front of me. She came over and the three us chatted which took my mind off of the 13.1 miles I was about to embark on. I was planning on racing it, but knew in my heart if my leg/butt was bothering me I would have to back off. I was really hoping it wouldn't bother me, but it was still sore so I wasn't sure what to expect.
Once the race started I took off and was running about a 7:15 pace. I was feeling pretty good for the most part. Then the first hill hit, OYE. It seemed to take forever to reach the top. I was expecting it, but it seriously killed me, knocked the wind outta my sails. I don't know if I was running "funny" or what, but as soon as I hit the downside of the first hill, my leg started to bother me. Not good. I slowed down, a lot. Was running about a 7:30-7:40 pace. I actually had to stop and stretch it out multiple times when my foot started to feel numb. Then there were more hills, and more, and more. Seriously. Insane. I was actually beginning to wonder if I was in Seattle and not PDX!!!! About mile 7 I started to lose track of the miles because I really didn't care. I changed my game plan to finish the race at my easy pace of 8:00-8:30 miles. I felt that was realistic at that point in the race. I think it was around mile 10 that Amanda went by me. She asked if I was okay and if my leg was bothering me. She is so sweet, seriously love her. I hit the last bridge with about a mile left to go and my entire left foot was completely numb, but I REFUSED to stop with less than a mile to go. It definitely makes for an odd stride with 1 numb foot! I finished in 1:44:38 a 7:59 pace. Slow for me, but given the circumstances of my injury and still trying to recover from the Eugene Marathon I will take it and be proud. I have zero complaints about how I ran. Now I just need to focus on getting HEALTHY.
The picture in the top right corner (me looking down) is the annoying "heavy breather" guy who thought I was his pacer!!! I stopped 3 times at water stations just with the intent of losing him, but he still stopped right behind me. So ANNOYING!!!! I even ran to the other side of the road and he followed me. Finally when I stopped to stretch my leg he went by me and I didn't have to listen to him breathing down my back!
I forgot to mention that it rained for more than half of the race. No biggie really until I got to the end and was FREEZING cold. I had checked weather bug multiple times and it forecasted rain, but not until that afternoon. Go figure. I was not prepared for the rain. I had ONE long sleeve shirt and that was it. No pants, rain coat, or even sweatshirt. They had tons of snacks and treats for us once we got into the finish area which was great. However, since I am experimenting with eliminating gluten from diet to see if it helps my tummy issues there wasn't a lot I could eat. I was hungry and cold. They gave us a space blanket which was also great, but hard to juggle with all of the treats in my hand. The gear pick up area was the big EPIC FAIL for this race. It was a LONG ways (I heard EVERYONE complaining about this also) away from the actual finish area. No joke, I want to say it was over 1/2 mile walk from the finish to where our gear was. I actually thought I had missed it! As I was wondering aimlessly trying to find my gear I ran back into Amanda who had finished a couple of minutes in front of me. We were bleeping a few curse words because we were so irritated about where our gear was. Once we finally got our gear we went and sat under a tree where the ground was dry so she could ice her leg. I was thrilled for her that she ran a smart and awesome race. She is so talented and has so many great things going for her. I am so lucky and thankful to be able to call her a good friend. I can't wait to see what the future holds for her!
I hung with Amanda for a bit and then I went over to the beer garden to meet up with Jeremy aka "Hurl". He used to work with Cassie and is a VERY talented runner. He had just ran a 50K the weekend before and still ran a 1:30:xx at PDX. Totally incredible. Hurl and I hung out in the beer garden area and waited for Cass to finish. I felt bad for Cass her knee was really bothering her. I was so proud of her for sticking it out and finishing.
1/2 marathon #14 is in the books!
When Cass finished we had a mad dash to get back on the max so we could get ready for her bridal shower. I was a little bummed to miss the blogger meet up at Voodoo, but there just wasn't time and I was so cold. Cass and I were both freezing and craving SBUX....BAD. We went to SBUX and got some treats to take back to her house. We made Mr. Hoffert take pictures of us before we got ready for her shower. Poor guy...not really. I think that he secretly loves it. :-)
SBUX & our sweet finisher's shirts #HappyChicas
Goofing off in our Brooks t-shirts we won at the expo
Overall I give the inaugural PDX rock n roll 1/2 marathon 4 stars out of 5. I thought that expo was great, the course was great, the finisher's shirt & medal (the medal has to weigh over 1 lb!!!!) were awesome, the crowds & volunteers were fantastic, there was tons of photographers, & lots of snacks at the end. I got to meet up with some friends I hadn't seen in a long time, saw Amanda for the 2nd weekend in a row, got to meet Holly and even Angie. I had a blast!
What I thought was the HUGE EPIC FAIL was the gear check. That needs to be addressed for next year. The rain? Can't complain about that, it is Oregon after all.
Questions for you:
What is the big epic fail in a race you have ran? Did you address those issues with the race committee?
Have you ran a rock n roll 1/2 or marathon? What did you think?