Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Portland Half Marathon

About a year ago, a group of running buddies and I signed up for the Inaugural Rock n Roll Portland Half Marathon.  One of our friends had just moved to Portland, the race fee was around 50 bucks and we decided it would be a fun adventure. Turns out that it was, and the 13.1 run was just a smidgen of what we did.

We arrived at the airport Friday morning, bloody marys in hand and we were already singing ridiculous Muppet songs.  When we landed in Portland, I could see it was already a gorgeous city.

First view of the city from the MAX (train ride from airport to downtown)

Friday we checked into the hotel, walked around town and found some good spots for small bites & drinks. Then we headed to an insane 80's party at a place called Lola's Room. The joint was a huge old ballroom with a spring loaded floor, creating the best 80's dance moves!

On Saturday, the girls and I slept in and then went for a short 2 mile run. I always like to do a short walk or run the day before a race to keep loose & stretch.  After that, we found some yummy coffee and headed to the Portland Saturday Market.  We met up with the boys and enjoyed a lovely afternoon on the riverfront. The Saturday Market was sort of like a street fair, booths of random items and little food stands. Live music. Kids laughing. Sun shining.

 An eclectic collection.
 The girls enjoying a fresh strawberry lemonade & the warm sun

         Saturday evening, we rested and grabbed an early dinner. Everyone was back at their hotel by 7, watching basketball and reading. We had a race the next morning, although it didn't start until 8! Meaning we got to sleep in later than I think we ever have on a race day.  Super bonus! 
         Race morning, the whole group met up at the bag check area. Some of us planning on taking the race slow and a few wanting to run quite quickly. The weather seemed perfect, overcast and a light drizzle. 

        Let me say, going into the race, I had no goals for time but still hoped to have an enjoyable run. I had been battling allergies, tight chest and a cough since a few days before we left for Portland. Sunday morning I felt fine and Dave, Pat & I set out for a 2:10 goal including a lot of stops for pictures and chatting. It was a beautiful course and we were having a blast looking at the old houses and cool shops we ran past. Around mile 8, my chest got really tight and I was having a hard time breathing. I kept insisting the boys run ahead but they refused to go on without me.  Around mile 12.5 (ugh!), I finally stopped at an ambulance and was able to get some of the inhaler medicine I have at home. Thing is, I haven't used my inhaler in years and have never stopped at an aide station at a race. After a few puffs of medicine, my chest released and we zipped off to the finish line. Oh well, we did it...in the rain..while singing Muppet songs.

 Mile 8 or so, when the rain really started coming down
 Finish line foil wraps! 

We found an awesome breakfast place for celebration drinks and fuel after the run - The Original, a Dinerant (are dinerants the new thing?).

 My favorite post-workout meal - Tomato Soup. 
 Fancy mimosas & beef jerky bloody marys

           We all took afternoon naps, then off we went to the famous Powell's books.  I went to straight to the children's book section and found some "northwest" inspired stories for my classroom.         Then we enjoyed some pizza, beer and a night full of laughs.

  Deschutes beer sampler
The whole crew

         Our final day was spent groggily searching for a breakfast/lunch spot. It was pouring rain as we walked aimlessly from restaurant to restaurant looking for a place that 1) served breakfast and 2) could accomodate a group of ten.  In the end, we landed at a diner and ate lunch. Dessert was a visit to Voodoo donuts. Every donut is its own experience - some filled with different jellies, topped with crazy cereals and some even with bacon on top!
The "No-Name" - raised donut with chocolate frosting, rice krispies & peanut butter drizzle.
       We finished up our donuts at Stumptown Coffee, changed into dry clothes and off to the airport. After a few plane delays, we landed in San Diego late Monday evening and I dragged myself into bed almost dreading going back to work the next day.  It was a great trip, but I was exhausted. Don't you sometimes feel like you need a vacation from vacation?
Until next time, Portland!

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