Sunday, March 17, 2013

Weekend of Races, Luckython 5k/Shamrock 15k

Saturday morning my husband and I set off toward's Portland.  Our first stop, The Oregon Convention Center in Portland to pick up our Shamrock 15k bibs and shirts.  We enjoyed the sports expo in the Oregon Ballroom.  We left early enough to take our time and then stop for a late lunch before we ran at 4:00.

Off we headed for the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in Aloha to meet up with Tonya, Teresa and Brian for our Luckython 5k.  It was very cold, windy and wet.  We got checked in and then waited in the car for our friends.  Soon our friends came and we found a warm dry place to wait inside and got a few photos before our step out into the cold.  

Jerry at the finish
Uberthons did an excellent job at the start.  Because we were on a golf course, the path was pretty narrow for so many runners.  Uberthons started us in waves.  They would let so many people go, then we would stop and go, and stop and go.  It was chip timed so we knew our times would be right.  I was worried about the congestion, but to my surprise, it was fine.  I did do lots of weaving in and out through people but there was room to do this.  The golf course wasn't as flat as I thought it would be.  Go figure!  Lots of small ups and downs and tons of corners.  You have to slow down for the corners, but I felt good for the most part.  I had my Garmin so I could see where I was at mileage and pace wise in the race.  

Tonya at the finish!
5k's are not my choice for fact I normally don't even care for them.  I kind of hate them!  I signed up for this race for two very important reasons.  My friend Tonya had a birthday not too long ago and she LOVES 5k's...this was for her!  2nd reason, Uberthon's supports my buddy Lincoln who is in a battle with cancer.  They give to, and support Lincoln's family and I love them for that.  Lincoln's Dad Brian ran this with us today.  My last 5k was in November, and I did well, but it was so hard and I felt wiped out all afternoon.  This race was different.  I never really felt like I was dying.  It was hard, and I had to work for the time I got, but despite the rain, cold, wind, turns, and inclines I was feeling stronger than ever.  Every time I looked at my pace I was in the 7's.  We rolled around to the finish and I PRed (personal record) by 32 sec. with a time of 24:01 (7:43 pace).  I also placed in my age/sex with 3rd place.  Overall I came in 18th out of 180 people.  Best of all, I was feeling fantastic.  I was able to walk around and eat.  Visit with friends, and later, go to the mall with my husband.  I rarely feel this good after a race.  I usually can't hardly eat, have stomach problems and am very tired.  I was tired, but it was this runners high tired that was good.  Maybe I will do a few more 5k's this!

By the way, Tonya also PRed by 32 sec. coming in 2nd for her age group.  Jerry PRed and came in 2nd for his age group.  Brian completed his very first 5k for his son Lincoln!  I say...what a great day!

Teresa, Tonya, Me, Jerry and Brian
Jerry and I left the Uberthon's race and headed back to Portland for the night.   We would be getting up early for Shamrock.  We stopped at the mall and got some Subway and a few fun things at Dick's Sporting Goods.   We headed back to the hotel to plan out parking for the next morning in downtown Portland.  

waiting to start
taking off with the river of green
Sunday morning came fast.  We left the hotel about 6:30am.  Our race didn't start until 7:40 so we had plenty of time.  As we set out, we realized we had a near flat tire and started looking for air at a gas station.  The first gas station had air but the air machine didn't work!  Down the road we went to find another gas station. Thankfully the air worked this time.  I was slightly stressed but still felt like we had plenty of time.   We got to the waterfront and found a parking was full!  We found another, and parked way up top.   We still had some time and I really needed to use the port-a-john so we needed to go go go across the road to the riverfront.  It was a cold 37 degrees but felt like 33 with the cold wind.  We crossed over to the riverfront and got in line for the port-a-john.   It seemed like the line was moving slowly.  Finally, we got in the start line with about 15,000 other runners with 4 or 5 minutes to spare.  Shamrock did a wave start.  It seemed like it took about ten minutes before we got to start after our start....but it's chipped times, so no worries.  

The first couple miles were fairly flat warm up miles.  I had a side ache (very weird for me) but knew a side ache wasn't bad to run though.  It isn't fun, but I just tried to pretend it wasn't there, win it with mental power is what I say!  My warm up miles were pretty fast but I was feeling ok.  It was a constant struggle with the green river of people.  We went out a street and did a turn-a-round.  I tried to stay on the inside in hopes of seeing someone I knew.  Never did, but I did manage to run into a orange post while going around someone.  I was fine, but it sure scared the lady behind me.   

As I ran these first two-to-three miles I saw a man fully dressed in a green suite on a unicycle.  A muscular man fully painted dark green that appeared to be the Incredible Hulk.  A grown Man in a tutu and lots of fun costumes.  

On the turn-a-round I saw a man with the American Flag.  I wondered if he was running for the Army, Air Force or for our country.  As we started up our first hill climb I caught up to this man.  There were two men in blue shirts, one with the flag, but both together.  I cut through the crowd and realized they were running for our countries fallen hero's.  I ran up to both and thanked them.  I felt honored to run with these men.  Then I passed them!

We ran on up hills, down hills, but gained lots of elevation.  I was very thankful for the hills I have trained on over the last year.  My side ache was gone and I finally was feeling warmed up.  We were coming to a very sharp corner and I could see a green river of people running up a very steep hill through the trees on the other side.  As I turned this corner I looked up at a sign with an arrow to OHSU/Doernbecher's Children's Hospital.  I was overwhelmed with emotion.  All I could think about was my buddy Lincoln and his Mother Jenny who has inspired me over this last year.  I started up that very steep hill and prayed for this family.  I was amazed at the ease of this hill, kind of strange.  We flattened out again and then went up another hill.  This happened several times over about four miles.  Around mile six we hit the peak of the hill.  I was feeling good now!

When I started this 15k I didn't know what to set as a "goal." It's a hill run, and I've never ran a 15k before.  I do train on hills in Dallas, so I came to the conclusion that I might be able to pull off a 9:00 pace.  My first two miles were in the high 8:40's.  As we went up the hills I slowed down into the 9:00's.  As I hit the peak of the hill, my overall pace was about 9:14.  Humm, I thought, I can do this, it's all downhill or flat now.  I will not kill myself to run super fast downhill.  It's not worth the injury risk, but I will run faster!  

A runner's high kicked in and I ran two miles at almost exactly 8:00 mile pace.  The last 1.3 miles were ran at about a 7:32 pace (that's my 5k!) that's how we run negative splits!!!!  I was passing major people the last two miles.  This is how I have always wanted to run, but never can seem to get it right.  I have recently changed a few things in my training and I am seeing positive results.  

Me at the finish passing boys!!!
As I came to the finish line I looked up for Jerry.  There he was, taking my finishers photo yelling my name!  As soon as I crossed the finish I had to burp, but I thought I was puking.  Thankfully no puke came up and after the burp I felt ok.  My lunges were burning, I felt great!  I know, it's messed up.  I also saw Yolanda, a Hood to Coast team member.  She was waiting for Blanca to come in.  I stopped and talked to her for a minute.  Then I went though the line to have the time chip cut off my shoe and to collect my hard earned medal.  I felt like a superstar, a very hungry superstar. 

Jerry and I walked around for a little bit then got our free chowder. It was so warm and good.  I wanted more!  I saw another running friend, Jerrilynn who came in with almost the exact time as me.  Whoohoo!  

I just ran a 15k and I want food!
I soon became very chilled and wanted to go home.  We headed for the car, only a couple blocks away.  We got to stop for a nice lunch at DQ (lol) before heading back to Dallas.  Loved every minute of this weekend!

I finished the 15k at 1:22:03.  That's a 8:49 pace.  As you can see, I kicked that goal of 9:00 in the butt!!!!  My awesome husband ran the 15k in 1:13:13 and that is amazing!

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