I was up at 6 am with AK this morning - he had work and I had the race. I met up with my friends TM and JG and we headed down to the waterfront. It was raining when JG picked me up but ceased as soon as we had finished constructing ponchos from garbage bags. We are very classy ladies.
We parked a few blocks away and followed some other runners down to the Morrison Bridge (one of the many, many bridges that cross the Willamette). We grabbed our numbers and joined the line to the port-a-potties. The main lesson I learned today is that runners are constantly waiting in line for a port-a-potty or simply give up and find a quiet bush on the side of the road. Again, we are very classy ladies.
We warmed up slightly (a few minutes of jogging around the crowd) and joined the mass of walkers and runners ready to go. We crossed the start line about 40 seconds after the official start time (no chips here). I paced with JG for the first half of the race. We kept it slow and steady. JG is pretty amazing - she's 62 and filled with more energy than I've ever seen. She used to be a race manager and was quick to thank the people set on the route to cheer and direct. About 10 minutes or so into the race we were lapped by the front runners. JG made a point of looking for the first set of women and cheered them on. Very cool.
At the turn around point I grabbed a cup of water (which tasted very much like the cup) and decided to try to pull ahead a bit. I would pick someone ahead of me to overtake and would start to increase my pace. I stayed behind one girl (blonde hair, black capris, red shirt) for most of this leg but overtook her on the hill back down towards the last stretch. At the three mile mark I could see (and hear) TM yelling and put everything I had into a final sprint. The worker/cheerleader at the end gave me a "Yeah, way to finish strong!" as I passed. I skidded to a halt right under the bridge and tore the bottom off my bib for the poor guy trying to collect and keep them all in order. With a bottle of water I started to walk a bit on the grass back down towards the water to shake out my legs. TM found me and told me that I had managed to do the race in 33 minutes and change. I really didn't realize that I had been going that fast. The only time we managed to time our run, I was running and walking and did the 5k in about 46 minutes. My goal today was simply to finish and finish in 46 minutes or less. 13 minutes less is good enough for me. It means I was pacing at between an 11 and 12 minute mile.
After collecting a couple handfuls of mini cinnamon buns (delicious!), we headed to JG's house for tea and the tastiest oranges I've ever had in my life. I had mentioned at some point in the race that I was an oboist (something in the conversation was about rhythm and timing). She asked if I could possibly teach her how to count music since she had a number of Irish penny whistles and music, but couldn't quite read the music. She showed me her collection and in about 15 minutes I wasn't overblowing the octaves and almost had the stupid C under my fingers (too many years of oboe and sax screwing me up). I'll probably do a little bit with her after running on Sundays, using whatever I can find in my collection of lesson books. Should be fun, if a little frustrating on both our parts...
That's pretty much the end to my exciting day. I scrubbed grout with an old toothbrush and vinegar (amazing results... if you can stand the smell) in honor of a houseguest who will be arriving on Friday. AK is sleeping off a cold and I think I need another cup of coffee.
It is that time of year again!
6 months ago