We left Central Oregon at 8 p.m. on Thursday night. Certainly not typical for us but I wanted to get a good days rest on Friday and I knew the kids would sleep better on the way if we left at night rather than in the morning. Besides, they were eager to go, "Grandma & Papa miss me. I want to go tonight. I can't wait for tomorrow."
DH wasn't too pleased - I snoozed a little on the drive over - and he was tired himself. In retrospect, we should've waited. We didnt' arrive until nearly midnight! I apologized then and do so again here, publically, "I'm sorry, honey."
I had a difficult time getting to sleep on Friday night. I was actually a little nervous about the race. I had high hopes (wanting to finish in ~2:30) and was concerned about a few variables I hadn't quite anticipated (my nagging hip, a recent visit from Mother Nature that would prove to leave me drained, warmer temps than typical for the coast, and a hilly course).
We arrived at the start around 7:30 a.m., picked up my bib, and immediately hooked up with Bar and Kong. The kiddos stayed home with Grandma and Papa - they planned to pick apples and walk to the park. Fun for them - less stress for us. :)
Not only did I grow up here, but I taught for 6 years in the school district and DH was the pharmacy director before we moved to Central Oregon - so I saw many familiar faces in the small crowd. Several whom were former students (one of which went on to win!). I even bumped into my cousin (on my mom's side) and his family... their youngest was running the first leg of the relay option.
As families grow and circumstances force us to move away, it is sad that we often grow apart. I seldom see many of my cousins - if we are lucky we get together once a year at Christmas. Sometimes I catch myself wishing things could be as they were in the past - but even in the 1800s, many families that chose to emigrate on the Oregon Trail knew they wouldn't see the loved ones they left behind again.
The race was small - I'm guessing about 60 participants [I don't have an official count or results just yet - I'll post more as soon as I learn more]. The weather was beautiful - a little unexpected for a coast that is known for foggy, overcast mornings. After the start, runners proceeded through the park and under the bridge to the west side of highway 101 where they then proceeded south.
Kong and I ran together for a short time - we both had different expectations/goals - so we wished one another luck and then proceeded to run our own race. Shortly thereafter, I ran alongside another woman for the first 4-5 miles... she asked me almost immediately what my expected finish time was... when I told her, she said, "Oh. I guess I'll see you at the finish then." But she soon thereafter decided to stay with me... she said, "Since you are a local, I guess I'll try to stay with you so I don't go off course and get lost." We chuckled. For a while, she was even ahead of me - as I was watching my Garmin and trying to stay around an 8:15 pace. I lost her after we passed Fred Meyer and approached the first hill, Bunker Hill.
I saw my dad at 7-11 and got a big, encouraging hug. I was so happy that he came out to cheer me on. It certainly means a lot when friends & family support you. DH drove along the entire course, stopping periodically to take photos of Kong and I. Very cool!
He captured some great shots (and of course a few with horrid facial expressions - so I deleted those - no sense taking up space on the hard-drive). We just got a new camera (Canon Powershot S5 IS) so he played with the settings as well. The 'sports' setting allowed him to capture me 'in action' and so I've tried to put them together so I can analyze my running form.
At the 7 mile marker, I was running about 1 minute ahead of my plan. I hadn't reached the 'hilly' segment of the course yet so I was pleased with this. Just before the 9 mile marker, I started to get a little chaffing in my underarm area - new top! I should've known. I wanted to wear something a little flashy - DH had remarked during the Smith Rock 15K a few weeks back that he had a hard time finding me because I wore a white t-shirt like everyone else. So a few days ago, I treated myself. I wasn't able to find anyone with Vaseline or BodyGlide, but fortunately a bystander did volunteer her chapstick (I scraped off a bit off the top with my finger). Relief!
About 11-12 miles in and my back and hip started to really bother me. When this set of photos were taken, I asked DH if he had ibuprofen... he didn't but was able to get some from a friend who lived in the area... he met me a few miles down the road with water and drugs! :) I drank a little Poweraide at miles 3, 9, and 15... I consumed 3 Clif Shot blocks with a little water at miles 6 and 12. Just the boost I needed to stay strong, although my pace started to slip a little (typical for me - I always wane in the middle).
The hills come on in the last 4-5 miles. I was feeling very fatigued but hung on. A relay runner with a Eugene 1/2 marathon t-shirt passed me about this point and I really wanted to stay with her - I knew she was running on fresh legs but I decided I wanted to finish before her. I kept her within eyesight and finally caught her in Glasgow shortly after I saw my dad again (as I said, seeing friends/family along the course is a great ego-boost and motivator). :)
When I started across the McCullough Bridge, I could hear another runner breathing down my neck. I assumed it was the woman with the Eugene t-shirt, but the photos later revealed it was another woman. Her presence though, helped to assure that I finished strong. I had my usual strong kick left and pushed it to the end.
Unfortunately, I didn't achieve my time goal... I finished in 2:44:13 which put me in 3rd for my age division (average pace of 8:46). I don't yet know the overall results but I am very pleased with my efforts. It was a beautiful and challenging course. I will definately run this one again. As of yet, I haven't decided what will be my next big race. Stay tuned. :)