This morning I ran the Portland Race for the Roses 1/2 Marathon.
Was it cold? Was it chilly? Was it challenging? Yes, yes and yes, but it was also REALLY fun.
Here’s how the race went down:
The Race for the Roses is a 13.2 mile race through, around, behind, beside and next to downtown Portland. The start and finish line was at the Portland Convention Center with a gigantic exhibit hall as a stagging and post-race area. It was a great idea as it was definitely cold and rainy outside.
Here’s a play-by-play of the action:
6:40: I Arrived at the convention center, pulled off my sweatpants and attempted to predict how many layers the weather called for. Rain jacket? No rain jacket? Pants? Shorts? It’s so confusing. I finally went with shorts, a t-shirt, a hat and gloves. As I heard another woman say, “it really doesn’t matter how cold it is outside, you’ll stay warm if you’ve got gloves.” I think she may be right. The gloves, the kind you can get at Target for $5, were great and I didn’t miss the jacket at all.
7:00 – BANG! Race Time! There is nothing like the feel of crossing the start line and finding your place in the pack. I don’t even complete the first mile before I realize my shoelace has come undone – one of those things you absolutely HATE to do while racing. I pulled off, retied the lace and was back on track.
Mile 1: 7:55. OK, I thought, that seems a little slow, but I did have to stop to tie my shoes
Mile 2: 7:03 Wow, that seems fast. Should I slow down? I’ve got another 11 of these to do!!
Mile 3 and 4: I have no idea what my splits were. I got caught up in a few conversations with other runners about the weather, about Boston and about our goals. “Are you running a 7:11/mile pace today?” one guy asked. “Umm, I’m not really sure,” I replied. He seemed surprised. “What’s your goal time?” he said. “I don’t know. I think I’m just out to have some fun today.” I said.
Mile 5: “Crap! I forgot to catch the split” I said. I’d been, again, busy chatting somewhat breathlessly to the runner next to me. The funny thing about chatting while racing is that words are omitted and sentences are reduced to only their most critical parts. “Think’sa gonna rain?” “Might.” “Looksalike blue sky”
Mile 6: 7:05 Again, forgot to catch the split time, but a gigantic man with legs like skyscrapers yelled down the split time to me. I think every one stride of his was equal to three of mine.
Mile 7: 7:16 I got half a Hammer Gel into me and knew that I should have eaten more sooner in the race. The gel sat well and gave me an extra burst of energy into mile 8 and 9.
Mile 8: 7:21. A big head wind and a uphill grade made this mile a bit more difficult.
Mile 9: 6:53 “You’re kicking ass today” says a runner as I move past him. “We’re making beautiful splits this morning,” I reply.
Mile 10: 7:27 The headwind is back. Damn headwind…
Mile 11: 7:29
Mile 12: 7:38
Mile 13.1: 8:00 or something close to that.
Notice something with the time? Remember to get sugar during the race, or else you will have a steady and unstoppable burnout at the end. Think that stopping to down some gel will cost you time? Yes, it will, but it will cost you more at the end if you don’t.
Time: 1:36:57, a new Personal Record by 2 minutes!
7th in my division
22nd out of 1240 women