Monday, October 08, 2012
I completed my fourth Half marathon yesterday. It was a great day for a race - just this side of cool and crisp in the morning, ending up in the sunshine when I finished. It wasn't too hot or too cold.
This was my first experience with the Portland Half/Marathon, and I was impressed. They put on a fantastic race (after 40 years they've worked out the bugs!). Let me back up a bit though.
We had a good productive weekend, putting in a total of 8 hours at OHS - 4 for dog walking, 4 for groundskeeping. We ran errands and wotnot, and I was feeling pretty good for Sunday. At least, until Mother Nature decided she wanted to give me a little something extra special for the day.
Ok, fine, I'll make the best of it anyway. And I did!
I was snappy and short at the house, but Bill was gracious anyway and drove me downtown. Were I him, I would have said no, but he's nicer than I am, fortunately. I got a bit weepy on the ride in, apologized for hormones and nerves, and bounced out of the car while still on the bridge (yes, Bill had stopped due to traffic being backed up) and walked over to my starting area.
I just happened to run into Roxit22222 at the corner! Pure luck, and I was glad to see her. We were in the same corral, although I was starting as far back as I could, knowing I wasn't going to meet my projected 3 hour time.
I dropped my bag (even though the line was long, it moved pretty quickly) and meandered toward the back of the crowd. A cheer went up at some point and we knew the first corral had been released out into the wild to take Portland by storm!
Finally, our corral surged forward, and I got a bit weepy again. It was time to go! It took us a while to get closer to the starting line. Another first experience - there were volunteers spread across the street that we passed on our way to the starting line. They were checking bibs to make sure everyone had one on, so that no bandits made it in with our corral.
I kept glancing around at the people in my group and wondering if I'd see any of them after we crossed the finish line. I didn't know how well or poorly I'd do, but I was going with a plan to alternate intervals with walking for as long as I could.
I interval-ed the first mile, then walked the next as planned. We were heading up an incline, so I stuck with walking and hot-footed my way up. My walks up and over Rocky Butte paid off. I didn't feel stressed or winded as we made our way along, and as soon as I hit the top of the rise, I took off intervaling again. We cruised back into downtown, then headed out NW. It seemed to take forever to get to the turn around, but once we finally did I was excited, knowing we were almost done.
I sent a few text updates to 4My2Kidz and Karen42Boys and my sister and Bill, keeping them apprised of my progress. The last one I sent before finishing ended with "boy I'm hungry!" LOL
I was a dolt and did not eat breakfast before leaving for the race. I had a banana, but I usually have either cream of wheat w/ p-butter and banana or waffles and p-butter, something substantial. I didn't do that this time, and was pretty ravenous even after my Honey Stinger chews and gummy bears along the way.
I interval-ed as long as I could, but finally had to accept that running took more out of me and made it harder to keep walking than just straight walking did, so I gave up the intervals and kept on jiving my way along. My music helped to keep up my pace and I repeated a few songs as the beat was just right. My body got tired, but I never once thought "Ok, I'm done" or "Why?" I just kept going, enjoyed the shade when I was lucky enough to cross through some, and made it back into downtown.
I've walked the 10K walk before, but I haven't done the Half. It was really much more emotional for me this time, having my name on my bib, people yelling it out, cheering me on. I got choked up as I rounded the corner to head up the street before the finish. I had done it, I was almost done, I hadn't quit or given up on myself, I had adjusted my plan and I had triumphed in spite of myself!
The finish line was sweet. A beautiful medal, a nice rose, a mylar blanket LOL all gratefully accepted. The photog said "Candy, hold up your medal" and my fingers felt clumsy and I fumbled with it, but finally lifted the bling. I gratefully accepted water, and chocolate milk and ginger snaps and grapes and part of a string cheese. I felt a little sheepish with the snacks - the Marathoners needed the recovery goods much more, but I figured I'd put in my 13.1 miles, I deserved a little of it after all.
I wound my way through the finisher's area, picking up my shirt and coin and pendant, passing on the sapling, or getting my picture taken. I wanted to find Bill and get my bag and sit down! LOL It was nice to slow down, and finally locate the Man for a congrats smooch and a 'I'm proud of you' from him. That was even nicer than the medal. Well, almost!
This was my fourth Half, but I think it was my best. Not time-wise (3:21:59) no, but attitude- and enjoyment-wise. I had looked forward to the race. I had prepared for it, but without going overboard, or shutting Bill out completely from my plans. I completed it by myself, but I wasn't totally alone. I was happy to do this race, and even happier to finish.
Monday, October 08, 2012
Ms. Poppy turned the big ~*1*~ on Sept. 30, and Bill and I were lucky enough to fly down to Texas to help her celebrate. My sister puts on quite the shindig! The theme of the part was Birds, as in put a bird on it!
The menu consisted of birds nests (made out of butterscotch chips and crunchy noodles) chicken salad sammiches, quiche, mini cupcakes, fruit kabobs, hummus and cheese dips to go with smoked salmon and crackers.
Auntie Sissy (that's me) and Uncle Bill helped with the decorating and some of the cooking.
I was charged with the very important duty of cutting the sammiches into bird shapes LOL
Poppy got her own cheese pie to celebrate turning 1! Yep, it was in keeping with the bird theme.
She wasn't sure about it at first LOL
but eventually go the hang of it!
My sister and I do not really look like we came from the same family. We may share a few features, but I tower over her. Most important though is the fact that we are so stinkin' similar it's frightening (for our husbands!)
We've visited off and on over the last couple of years, but for whatever reason, it was this trip where I really truly realized how alike we are. We're vastly different in many ways, but it was overwhelmingly comforting to finally realize and know that there's someone else out there so very much like me (crazy-making and all). I think I've been feeling isolated again, here with Bill and his family and our friends.
Out lil lovebug is growing up so fast. She's walking like she's been doing it her whole life and loves zipping across the floor at high speed (for her at least). It was well worth the trip and I can't wait until I can convince them to come visit us here in Portland. I may have even talked my sister into doing the Rock'n'Roll Half with me in May!
Thursday, October 04, 2012
I know, I still need to put up pics and a blog about our trip to Texas. And I will. Soon. Really.
First though, here's my birthday girl.
Magnificent Moonlight Millicent
If we had registered the girls with the AKC (yes, they both came with papers way back when) that was going to be Millie's fancy name. She has that lovely swirly gray/white/black brindle tiger-striping going on and she looks like she's beautifully lit by moonlight.
Millie's birthday is today. Maggie's birthday is Oct. 8. We have no idea when Bubbie's birthday is, so we're making it officially Oct. 6, so he can join in on the birthday week fun.
Each furbaby will get leave the siblings at home and ride in the car in the front seat to Petsmart so they can pick out a birthday toy all their own. (they usually do not get to travel without the other two)
Yes, they'll forget about the toy likely when they get home and the other kids get ahold of it, but it'll be nice for a brief time.
In other news.. This is going to be a busy weekend.
Tomorrow's my Friday off, so we'll go dog walking in the morning, then hit up packet pick-up downtown that afternoon.
Saturday we'll like do some debris clean-up at the shelter because high winds have brought down quite a lot of limbs and leaves.
Sunday I'll take Max downtown and participate in the Portland Half Marathon. I'm actually kind of excited and looking forward to it. I wore a little 13.1 pendant to work today to kind of keep it as a touchstone reminder of what's coming.
I'll be alternating between walking and intervaling, and I'll finish well and strong and on my own terms.
So, be patient a bit longer, and I'll share some Ms. Poppy time with you.
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