Sunday, October 19, 2008

Run Like Hell Half Marathon!

Today was our second ever half marathon -- the Run Like Hell Half Marathon in Portland. We started pretty much right on time (though it seemed to take forever to get to the "start" line...) but started along with the 10K runners. This was a little chaotic. I mean, why not just send the half marathoners first? But we headed off along the big street that faces the river, running through the Pearl district and then through some more actual warehousey/industrial area. Then we looped back (having lost the 5Kers along the way) and ran the other direction along the riverfront. At some point the 10K folks turned off, and we half marathoners were sent out and back along a long, slow, curving uphill. Oof!

Was thrilled to see the 7 mile marker -- at that point, I wasn't really sure where we were and wasn't sure if we'd even passed the 6 mile point! Up, up, up we went, keeping a pretty steady pace. Then we got to a water stop -- seemingly the first for miles -- and ended up staying there for 4 minutes or so in the Portaloo line. But we had chocolate Hammer gels (YUM!!!!!) and some water and then continued on up.

I know it's bad to say, but I was THRILLED to see how many people were behind us at that point. :)

Another mile went by, and then another, and then we heard a volunteer tell us that the turnaround was "just around the corner" and then it would be downhill all the way. Of course, the corner lasted forever, but suddenly, there it was. A friendly water stop (which had sadly run out of cups, but they were putting out their own coffee cups, bless them!) and then we were headed down.

We kept on with the same, steady 5:1 intervals that had gotten us to that point -- and both felt pretty good. Wil was faster on the downhills than I was, but we stayed together and suddenly we were at the 12 mile marker. Hooray! At some point Wil had told me what time it was and I was surprised that it was still that early. I mean, my goal was just to go a bit faster than the last half marathon (where we finished at 2:45:17), and, as a stretch goal, to finish under 2:30.

We turned the corner, saw the "6 mile" marker, and knew we only had .2 miles left. Unfortunately, it was the tiniest of uphills, and I was pretty much toast. So I did another minute of walking, and then was ready to go. There was the 13 mile marker! Only .1 of a mile left! And then we held hands and ran down the hill, across the mats, and done. Yay! I looked at the clock as we approached -- could that say 2:24? Knowing that it took us a couple of minutes to cross the start line? Really? Of course, the announcer couldn't see my number, and called out the wrong name for me, but who cares! We were done!!! I can't remember the details, but we finished in 2:21:16 -- smashing our PR.

We got a cheesy little medal, but then we got what we really wanted -- BEER! Hooray for the Red Hook beer tent, and for the nice man who allowed us to swap our food token for an extra beer because we're vegetarian.

We did a little dancing to the band, ate some bananas, drank some beer, and headed back to the Hotel Modera, which is gorgeous and lovely and has great front desk staff -- who welcomed us like conquering heroes.

Now we're showered and warm and ready to face the rest of our day. Hooray for Portland!


  1. Wow, and all I've done so far today is read the paper. Congratulations to both of you for a new personal best!

  2. Congrats on finishing and is such great time. That upcoming marathon has nothing on the two of you!