Okay, I'm going to try and make this short (ha! me write a short blog?!).
My husband and I had the fun of running the second Portland Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon last Sunday. We were really looking forward to this one for a number of reasons; last year I surprised myself with a PR in spite of the hills, but the best part of the trip was meeting up with Spark friends in person. Candy (CBAILEYC) organized a pre-race dinner on Saturday night and then an early morning photo session for race day. Great to see Gaye (GAYEMC), Renee (RENZYRD), and Robin (KASHMIR) along with Candy and her husband, Bill. Thank you, Candy, for putting that together--it really was the best part of the weekend for us! Here's a picture from Sunday morning before the race:
Saturday morning we drove down and visited the expo to pick up our packets, do some shopping, and listen to speakers. I always try to sit in on one of John "The Penguin" Bingham's talks if I can; he has tips for us back-of-the-packers and is just entertaining to listen to. He also manages to recognize people who come to his talks and chats like everyone is an old friend. We also listened to Kara Goucher; I'm just in awe of anyone who runs at that level!
Since I've been having some pain on the back of my heel (likely Achilles tendonitis, but I haven't been to a doctor for an official diagnosis), I took advantage of the free KT taping that was being offered at the expo. I figured it might just help me avoid hurting myself further. It did seem to help right away, so I bought some to have on hand for the future.
With the heel pain, I have been going really light and easy on running lately, so I didn't have a lot of hope this race would be another PR. The main thing was to run safely and enjoy it, and I'm happy to say that it was successful on both those counts.
The race went well for us; the weather was perfect, cool and cloudy. We had optimistically said we hoped to finish in 2:30, so we were in corral 16 not far behind the 2:30 pacer; with as few long runs as we had done recently though, we knew that was not too likely. The first mile we ran in 11:23; we tried to go easy, but the first five miles we averaged just under a 12 minute mile, so we stayed right there within sight of the 2:30 pacer for nearly the first half of the race. Then we came to the hills, and our pace slowed down quite a bit. So much for the 2:30 pacer; toward the end, the 2:45 pacer passed us. We ended up finishing in 2:52, which was about 7 minutes slower than last year.
I'm happy with that considering how few long runs we've done lately and the issues I've been having with my heel. Not everyone is a fan of the RnR races, but we enjoy them; we enjoy the bands and cheer squads along the way, and there are plenty of water stations along the way. We're already registered for next year's race and looking forward to Seattle Rock 'n' Roll as our next race.
PS: I suppose I should mention that a certain pink box from Voodoo Donuts came home with us. We enjoyed a couple and then froze everything in hopes we could use them judiciously over the next several weeks.