Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Portland RNR Half Marathon

Finished!  Stretched, showered, food, stretched some more and now it's time for a nap.  Congrats to @soultrain21 @knittybitties and @twomoreseconds who ran today too!

I can't believe it's been two weeks since I ran my first half.  I'm glad this trip was a vacation for us because we came back to lots of end-of-school activities and projects and just an overall busy time of year.

One last run. 97% humidity?  No thanks!  PDX here I come!

We had a wonderful time in Portland!  We went with friends; my friend and I ran while our husbands cheered us on.  My last run was Friday morning before we left and it was a balmy 73 degrees with 97%  humidity.  Yuck.

More Portland... I'll be running a half marathon down there tomorrow morning!

Portland is absolutely beautiful.  Now I love Texas but I will freely admit that there are prettier places on earth and the PNW is definitely one of those places.

Oregon is absolutely beautiful!

After we went to the expo on Saturday, we decided to rent a car and head up to the falls.  I've never seen anything like this.  The pictures don't come close to doing the scenery justice.  We hiked some and ate lunch and then headed back to Portland.

I think I'm ready. Now if I can just get some sleep...  #motherrunner #halfmarathon

We found an Italian restraunt and had pasta for dinner and then headed back to the hotel where my type-A OCD took over.


The weather the next morning was perfect for running.  Cool, a little overcast, and no rain.  I ate a banana and warmed up a little.  After standing in the port-o-potty line it was time to line up in my corral and we were off!

My target finish time was 3:05.  Yes, that's slow but I was good with that because I knew where I had come from in just 6 months before and I was/am proud of my progress. :)

Miles 1-6 were great.  I was even ahead of my 5 mile goal and I felt great.  Mile 7 started the hills.  Unfortunately, I cramped up in the middle of mile 7 and it was bad.  I've never had muscle cramps during an athletic event and I may have even secretly rolled my eyes at those guys who collapse dramatically on the basketball court with cramps. 

I get it now.  Leg cramps suck. 

I stopped and stretched and got the cramp somewhat under control.  I started to run again, still uphill and the cramp came back.  I stopped again, stretched and decided to walk for 2 minutes.  This kind of cycle repeated itself through mile 11 where the hills finally leveled off.  But then the downhills started and those weren't much better.

At mile 12, there was one last giant hill and by that point I had to walk up it.  I had my phone and texted Steve and told him what had happened but I was making it through OK.  I put my phone away and started running down the hill and didn't stop again.  I hurt, I was frustrated, and it was killing my competitive self to know that I was not having the race I wanted to but I kept going. 

I crossed the line at 3:10:38.  NOT what I wanted to see on my watch but I tried to focus on the positives like the face that I didn't quit even when I really wanted to.  I also enjoyed the first 6 miles, the race atmosphere, and the organization of the race.  Looking back at my splits pre-cramp, I was on pace for 2:55 so that makes me feel a little better knowing that I was doing really well before my meltdown.

I've found that it's all about looking for the positives when you are on a journey to get healthier so that is what I do my best to focus on. :)

After the race, we went back to the hotel, showered, ate, and took a nap.  Once we woke up we headed to the coast which once again didn't disappoint in the scenery department. 

Love this guy!  And I'm still in awe of how pretty Oregon is...

Steve loves the beach.  He also found a little piece of heaven in a salt water taffy store.  We ate dinner and headed back to the city.

Longest line for donuts I've ever seen...

We had a few things to cross off our list before leaving and Voodoo Doughnuts was on the list.  The line was out the door... no matter what time of day.  We gladly waited and walked away with a box of doughnuts that included maple bacon, butterfinger, oreo, captain crunch, and other crazy toppings.  We had a few drinks and ended up back at the hotel with the guys downing doughnuts in the parking garage.  You probably had to be there but it was pretty darn funny... ;)

Race details:
- Portland Rock 'n Roll Half marathon
- Very organized
- Wave starts that actually worked
- Great course support - water, gatorade, gu, and of course bands at nearly every mile

Will I run another half with the RNR series?

@soultrain21 and I were content to run San Antonio until our guys talked us into Vegas . Let the #stripatnight training begin!

Um... yeah!  My friend and I "talked" each other into this one and our husbands are thrilled to tag along to cheer us on in Vegas. 

So for now I'm back to focusing on the same things I've been focusing on: eating healthy, exercising, and taking care of myself.  I still want to get faster and I'll have plenty of time to do that among other things between now and November.

I've been reading Chi Running and I'll share my thoughts on that in an upcoming post...


  1. Hi Jennifer, Just wondering if you've stopped quilting? I've been reading your other blog for a while, but you haven't posted anything on it since the middle of March. Hope all is well. Congratulations on completing a half marathon.

  2. Great job Jennifer!! You're my inspiration!. I'm 54 and am doing a couch to 5K with my future daughter-in-law. I've never run before but now I'm hooked. Any tips or pointers or book recommendations would be welcome!! Also, you know I'm passionate about my sewing and quilting too! Keep running girl!!

    1. Awesome, Kiera! And how nice to have a running partner; I know that makes a big difference!

      Jennifer :)

  3. Great job on your first half!
    You will love Vegas. I did it the year before they moved it to a night time race. My husband & I got married during the 1/2 marathon. So, much fun!

    1. Thank you!!

      How fun to get married during the 1/2! What a great memory!

      Jennifer :)