Two weeks ago I realized that the half marathon I signed up for on 3/14 fell on the Sunday that we spring forward. My original plan was to get up early, drive to Portland (1.5 hrs away), run the half and be home by noon. Springing forward meant I’d have to get up even earlier than I really wanted so the hubby suggested I get a hotel room a little closer. I’m super thankful for that suggestion.
Saturday evening, I drove to Jantzen Beach and stayed in a hotel. I arrived about 9PM just in time to settle in for a good night sleep. First thing I did was change the clock. With race day, I’m already paranoid about the time and I didn’t want to wake up in the middle of the night and wonder what time it really was. However, I didn’t really fall asleep until after 11pm so I’m not sure if the hotel made that much difference. I guess it did in the sense I didn’t have to get up and drive the 1.5 hrs – probably a little safer.
Packet pick up started at 6:30AM so I got up about 5:45AM for a quick shower to wake up, put on my running clothes and was out the door by 6. First stop, Starbucks. I got my race day fuel – bacon gouda breakfast sandwich and tall hazelnut latte. By the time I found parking and made my way to the race area, I was ready for the port-a-potty. There’s something to be said about being the first one in the honey buckets…way different experience closer to race time. I’ll be honest, I took a little extra time to appreciate this moment.
It was raining when I started to line up to the starting line. A bunch of folks were huddled under the overpass – I figured the homeless folks weren’t super happy with us invading their space but figured the longer I stay dry the happier I will be. I started to look around to see what folks were wearing…some wearing garbage bags, fancy rain jackets, shorts, pants…everything you could imagine. I decided I was happy with my choice – capri running tights with my green patagoochie top and light rain coat. It was chilly but not too bad. As it came closer to race time, the rain started to get a little harder. At some point, I decided it was time to line up, stake my claim in the pack. I was going to get wet, there was no way around it so I might as well get used to it.
It was time. The anthem was sung, the horn was blown, ready or not it was time to run. I didn’t really have a goal in mind for this race. Just wanted to run, have a good time, and not be too slow. I started my playlist, started my watch, and crossed the starting line. Ironically the second song on my playlist was Crazy by Patsy Cline- (while I love me some Patsy Cline, the rendition I downloaded was actually by Steven Tyler & Hayden Panettiere) and I thought…am I crazy? Crazy for thinking this is fun? I was already soaking wet and still had about 2hrs of running ahead of me. I could still be in bed with my hubby, warm and dry. I decided running is a state of mind. Running is my crazy on the path to happiness.
I’ve run the Shamrock 15k twice before but the half is somewhat new distance to this race. It’s a good course. The only negative thing (which basically all Portland races do) is takes you through the industrial area. There are so many more beautiful areas to run in Portland so I’m making the assumption this is easy for them in terms of permits, road closures, etc. Once the out and back is complete, you start running through downtown which is always exciting! Great crowds, great music! Although this is where the gradual uphill starts. Up through downtown, up the switch backs, and then downhill the last 3 miles. (I don’t know Portland that well to know exactly where I was but it was near the Children’s hospital and the rose garden). The flat part is ugly, but it’s flat and you can go fast. The uphill, while challenging is absolutely beautiful. Downhill, just feels like a relief. At some point, I didn’t think it could rain any harder, but it did and it felt amazing.
If my memory serves me correctly, I’ve always walked at some point during the 4 or so miles of uphill. Not today. My legs felt great and although I slowed down, I kept going. I only stopped once for a few quicks sips of water. I crossed the finish line at 2:03. Soaking wet. I thought if this is crazy, then I’m ok with that. Half marathon is my perfect distance.
When I finally got home, my hubby mentioned I should have waited to check out of the hotel so I could shower. My response was I don’t need to shower today…I just took a 2hr cold shower! I will admit that the hot tub does seem to be calling my name…