My first official race of the year is in the books and it was a lot of fun.
The Heartbreaker Half Marathon is a three year old event. The first year it was held in downtown Portland and I ran it. It was a nicely put on event, but it was the same route that every race runs if they incorporate downtown Portland into the mix. If you talk to anyone who runs events regularly in Portland you’re likely to hear them say how tired they are of the route. I am no different, so I didn’t run it last year.
This year the event was moved out to Hillsboro. A suburb to the west of Portland. There are a handful of races put on in Hillsboro, but I’d never run any of them so I was excited to try out a brand new course – I’m happy to say I was NOT disappointed.
The weather people said it would be dry, but it wasn’t. A light misty rain that sometimes turned into a steady stream fell the whole time and it was flippen COLD! I had originally planned to wear my running skirt and this short sleeved warming shirt with my arm warmers – justifying that because I tend to get warm quickly and didn’t want to regret wearing too many clothes. When I let my dog out that morning, however, I felt a cold whoosh of wind and changed my mind – I put my running pants on underneath the skirt and changed to a long sleeved warming shirt over a sports bra, an ear warmer and gloves, but no arm warmers. Sadly, that was not enough clothes. I never warmed up.
The race started at 8. I met my girlfriend at Starbucks around 6:30 and got a scalding hot cup of hot chocolate (I’m almost one year coffee-free!!) then we headed out to Hillsboro. We sat in the high school gym for a few minutes after we got there to warm up and then headed out to the start about 5 minutes before the race started. While we were in the gym I realized I had forgotten my Garmin. I was shocked and a little upset I didn’t have it, because I always have it, but I decided since I hadn’t been running regularly it would do me good not to have it and obsess on my pace.
The course was beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. It was 13.1 miles of constant rolling hills that were never too long and always followed by a nice steady downhill. I LOVED it. I ran and listened to my music reveled in the joy running brings and watched the scenery of horses, cows, goats, a beautiful truss bridge and the cutest tiniest most loved house you’ve ever seen.
While I don’t run fast, I run faster than my girlfriend so I got to the finish half an hour before she did. That half an hour wait in the cold, when I had never warmed up to begin with, was brutal but once she got there and we went inside we were given a big hot bowl of oatmeal with a variety of mix ins (they even had bacon bits, which confused and grossed me out at the same time) – the oatmeal was warming and comforting and yummy.
I did not get a PR, but I finished the half in my normal time and I’m happy with that. It is a goal to improve upon that time throughout this year, but it simply wasn’t happening at this first event.
It felt good to run 13.1 miles without issue and remind myself I am very capable and truly do love the run itself. There are, after all, only 3 ½ months til my first marathon of the year.
Next up, the Champoeg 30k. March 2, 2013. 18.6 miles. I’m looking forward to it. Of course it helps that I’m going to do a 20 mile group run this coming Saturday – two weeks later it should feel like nothing to run 18.6. Right?! Right.