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The Portland Half Marathon – as it should be

May 22, 2013
Portland Rock and Roll 2013

Portland Rock and Roll 2013

I can sum up my 19th half marathon in just a few words – great weather (overcast with a touch of humidity), a lovely course through downtown Portland (well, except for the loooong uphill Hawthorne Blvd!) and the best bunch of girlfriends who just have a good time together. My time was consistently the same as the last couple of races, which I think means I am not getting slower! I forgot my race belt, underwear, and didn’t bring anything to eat along the 13.1 miles. This is the second race in a row I have not worn my Garmin watch to measure my pace. And I didn’t panic! Safety pins worked just fine for my race number and I did buy some honey for energy. And my time? Well, it was going to be what it was. I had tempo music and it did help my time to be consistent from mile to mile. There were 14,000 participants so there were more women in my age group – 131– than two weeks ago at the Tacoma City Half. I finished 98th. Along about mile 8, going up that long, seemingly endless boulevard, I considered calling our Designated Race Support person (newly pregnant, she is taking some time off from running) and asking her to come get me. 5-22-2013 6-46-56 PM It was the usual litany of reasons – my tummy hurt, my feet hurt, some older lady using two hiking poles passed me with a vigorous stride, while I was focusing on putting one foot in front of the other – but by the time I reached the top of this street I was over my pity party. Hard to have a party with only one! Besides, she told me later she wouldn’t have picked me up, she would have told me to just deal with it – so no sympathy there, either! Another girlfriend broke her little toe a couple of weeks ago, but was so determined to do the race she bandaged her toe and wore a sandal. She took ibuprofen and had a cane just in case, but she finished! I have amazing women surrounding me. Ten women together is a lot like herding cats – we just keep on talking and it takes someone with a loud voice to get us moving (yeah, that was me!). Although we weren’t finished debriefing from the race and were hungry, we had to check out of the hotel, and so we congregated in Vancouver, Washington, just over the Columbia River from Portland. We discovered the loveliest old-house-converted-into-restaurant that used only organic and local food and let us stay as long as we wanted. Food was superb. Recommend this place highly. Called Mint Tea, (see the link on the right) they even moved other guests so we could have our own dining room. They comped those people dessert for the inconvenience, another lovely gesture.DSCN1302 Along about mile 10, after my pity party, my friend Paula texted me the words,”It is about the journey.” I needed that reminder, and I do every time I wonder about my sanity doing these events. It really is about my journey! And I am blessed to have such a warm, encouraging, and vibrant group of girlfriends that are on their own journeys with me. Next race? I think I will do four more this season, starting with Vancouver BC in June, one in Olympia, WA, in July, and two more local ones in September. Staying on my journey.

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