Sunday, April 05, 2009

Race for the Roses Half Marathon Report

The Race for the Roses is in the books! I will spare you the suspense and let you know that I missed the PR. I got pretty close though and am ok with it. I'll try to keep my report short-ish!

The course was lovely. It had just a gentle climb in the early miles but otherwise downhill/flat (with one major exception, described below). It was the most beautiful day ever with blue sky, sun shining, flowers everywhere, birds chirping. We ran over two beautiful bridges with great views of the river and the city. There was a boring industrial section but it only lasted a couple of miles. The race started at 7:00 (Ouch) so it was nice and cool the whole time we ran. It's about 70 out right now but it probably didn't hit 50 during the race.

I started off strong and easy and enjoyed the scenery. We started the climb after a couple of miles but it was not that bad at all and was over quickly. Then we ran down a gentle grade for a couple of miles through downtown and then it flattens out in Northwest. I was feeling strong still, but didn't feel like I could pick it up. Our splits were ranging quite a bit but we were averaging 8:00.

As the miles ticked by I stayed mentally strong but my legs and everything started to get tired. So the latter part of my strategy didn't really work out... the whole "picking up the pace" thing. It wasn't horrible pain or anything, but I just couldn't run any faster. Finally we did the last turnaround at mile 12 or so and I was able to speed up a little.

Unfortunately, we had to climb about a quarter mile up a steep pitch to cross the Steel Bridge at the very end of the race. I gave it all I had but that hill sucked my energy and slowed me way down by the top. I tried sprinting to the end but there was just like .1 mile left so there was no time. That last bridge crossing definitely cost me some time because I usually am a strong finisher. That's what I'm telling myself anyway! I saw Sarah, Amy, and Emily right before the finish and then I saw Deana and Dana as I crossed the finish line in 1:45:12.

I was so excited to see Deana and find out about the 5k! She had a blast and ran very strong. Her finish time was an incredible 27:29!! I'm so proud of her. Emily did awesome too and just missed placing in her AG. We finally strolled across the river back to our house for a quick shower then headed to brunch. Alisa and Amy and their husbands, Emily, Sarah, and Julianne all met us at Mother's for a super delicious brunch and cocktails. We had a blast! Then, Emily and Zach and I strolled down along the waterfront and through a street fair. Portland is freaking out with this great weather and everyone's just got sunshine coming out their asses, it's awesome. I'm completely zapped now but it's been an amazing and wonderful day. Missing the PR is not even close to ruining this day for me. Life is good.

Here are some nice little lists for your enjoyment:

Things that sucked:

- No PR.
- Getting up early and being so tired.
- That bastard sonofabitch Steel Bridge crossing in the final half mile of the race.
- Couple of blisters.
- Sharks lost last night (I'm superstitious about that, even though I try not to be).

Thinks I am happy about:

- Gorgeous spring day with friends.
- I didn't blow the race by starting off too fast.
- I didn't give up at any point, and I didn't walk at all. Good mental strength in rough parts.
- I didn't have any side cramps or tummy troubles.
- I took two Gu's while running without choking.
- I made a point to enjoy the scenery and Zach's company.
- Running my 3rd fastest of 10 half marathons (range: 1:43:40-1:54).
- Getting a second chance in Eugene in 4 weeks.
- Sharks are the best team in the NHL heading into the playoffs. :)

My splits are all over the place but I think the mile markers were off a bit. Zach kept his Garmin on autolap and they look a lot smoother.

mile 1 8:09
mile 2 7:19 (short?)
mile 3 8:10
mile 4 8:32 (hill)
mile 5 8:04
mile 6 7:49
mile 7 7:42
mile 8 8:13
mile 9 7:36
mile 10 8:13
mile 11 8:08
mile 12 8:05
mile 13.1 9:04 (8:12 pace) (bridge)

Official time: 1:45:12 (8:01 average pace)

17/255 AG (25-29)
87/1401 Females
342/2123 Overall

Thanks for reading! Congratulations to everyone who ran today here in Portland and all over the country. I'm looking forward to reading race reports! Thank You to Zach for running with me and helping me run strong. :)

Picture time!

Fuel for the two of us:

good luck flowers from Mom:

Soooooo early! (6:10 ish)

Temporary Tattoo from OMSI. It made me feel tough, yet was also educational:

Waiting inside Oregon Convention Center before start:

Alisa's hubby snapped this great picture at the start:

He also took this one on Broadway around mile 6:

After the race: Deana finishes 5k!!

Runner buddies:

On the walk home in the beautiful weather:

Medal and number:

Brunch at Mother's Bistro and Bar downtown:

Me and Amy:

Sarah and Julianne chatting in the cute bistro:

Alisa and Justin:



Having a beer with Emily at the street fair in the afternoon:


kristen said...

I was thinking of you all day today. Great job girl. 1:45 is VERY RESPECTABLE! And it looks like you placed around 15% OVERALL. That's amazing especially because there are so may awesome runners around there.

Thanks for the race report. Very inspiring. Great pics too. I'm glad you had such a fantastic day.

the gazelle said...

great photos & a great race report. It is so much fun doing races with all my portland buddies (almost as much fun as doing brunch & cocktails!)

Congrats on the great race time!

Billy Burger said...

Great job girl. I think you and I are at that stage where things kind of plateau and PR's are harder to come by. Therefore, it makes us appreciate them that much more. You're right there and I'm sure you'll have a kick ass run in Eugene.

Great race.

Sarah said...

Great report - and for the record, you didn't look like that bitch hill / bridge did you in! You finished so strong!!

and excellent pictures!

Ewen said...

Damn! I was looking forward to a slow suspenseful read ;)

Certainly looks like a perfect day - sunny, short sleeves and no snow.

Great run all things considered - it's not as though you've had a 3-week taper. And anyway, you broke 5 minute ks! 4:59/k average pace :)

Top shot of you and Zach in the crowd. Have fun training for Eugene. Track town, so surely it won't have an uphill finish!

aron said...

you are awesome girl... congrats on a great, smart, speedy race!!! i bet that was fun to run with zach the whole time on such a beautiful day. looks like it was a great day overall :)

can't wait to see you in eugene!!

Emily said...

Dude, you rocked it! What a fabulous race day in Portland. It was the best day of my life so far!!!


kelsalynn said...

AWESOME JOB JEN! I'm so happy for you! Sounds like a beautiful, fun, and challenging race! I'm sorry you missed your PR, but it sounds like w/ the bridges and hills, you were challenging yourself to hit a PR w/ all of that thrown in!

Few things- what's w/ the blisters? I don't get these ever... are you wearing cotton socks? I've seen pics of your bloody feet before and I am sooo thankful I don't have that problem to add to my ailments!

Mmm...Mint chocolate Gu... yum.

You WALKED HOME AFTER the half-mary? How far? You're crazy! We drove the 1.5 miles from our hotel to the start b/c I figured I wouldn't be able to walk.

Finally, HELLA fast as always in your AG, females, AND overall! Hells yeah! Rockin' it as usual!!

PS: Nice tat!

Sarah (lovINmytummy) said...

Great job! I just ran across your blog by happy accident. I also ran the half today AND brunched at Mother's. Oh, and blogged about it.

Just what I need, more blogs to read, but look at all of you!!!

Anonymous said...

You did great. I had to smile when you said "everyone's just got sunshine coming out their asses." This comment just made me happy, not sure why.

All the pictures are great too. The one of you and Zach is so cute and I love teh B&W one too.

Kim said...

impressive jen! way to hang in there - and youre still a rockstar to me! looks like you had a blast during and after by the pictures! you look great.

Alisa said...

Awesome race report. I think mine will be a little delayed...busy day today.

I love all the pictures! Glad Justin was able to snap some of you two!

Isn't it great to have a person to run the race with? I loved having Julianne (though I'm pretty sure she hated me around mile 9)...=).

Great work and I'll be in Eugene cheering for you! I hope the weather is as nice there as it was here.

Glorybelle said...

Wow Jen, definitely a gorgeous day up there. Makes me want to move there. I love Portland! You ran a good race regardless of finish time or PR. And it sounds like Eugene is more of your goal race anyway. I think you'll run great there. Recover well from this and then get back at it! ;)

Glad you had a great experience. It's races like these that keep us coming back for more with a happy outlook.

melinda said...

Wonderful race report! I am sorry you didn't PR but your list of Happy Things out weighs the sucky things, so that's great! Also, I would love to run as fast at you! Great race and good luck in Eugene!

Anonymous said...

great job on completing another half marathon and with a great time!!! sounds like a perfect race day! I love your and Julianne's smiles in the "cheers" pic..adorable!!!

Congrats :)

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

Even though you didn't PR, it looks like you had a great race and a great time. That's what it's all about. Great pictures, too!

Gotta Run said...

The best part of all of this is the family and friends that shared your victory with you. Love the medal!!! Flowers from your mom... how sweet. I would say that you more than hit a PR :)

Marathon Maritza said...

GREAT JOB! I know it wasn't a PR but DANG, that is fast!

My favorite part of the post? "everyone's just got sunshine coming out their asses"

God if I couldn't hear you saying that so clearly! Hahahaha! I miss you!

Great job on year ANOTHER kick-ass run. Seriously, you never cease to amaze me. You are awesome.

Susan said...

It looks fantastic there! Love the pictures. Congrats on a great race! You don't have to PR to still run an awesome race, and that you did. Can't wait to hear about Eugene!

Cindy said...

i love your temporary tattoo! nerd human is so awesome. i didn't see you sunday, but i'm sure it was because i was quite far behind you ;-) great race, jen! man, that steel bridge was truly a skanky bitch. i remember doing the 5k last year and getting passed by a 7 yr old on the ramp. i was so annoyed, but all i could do was dry heave and try to trip him (kidding about the tripping). i thought portland looked so pretty during the race!

Arcane said...

Glad you had fun!

Susan said...

Wow! What a great time! Now I'm going to have to visit Portland!

ShirleyPerly said...

Yes, little bugger climbs late in a race like that cost some time but you still ran very well. And how wonderful that you had good running weather and so many friends there too. Nice job, Jen!!

Petraruns said...

Great job girl and SO well done! In every race there are things which are beyond your control and I sometimes find I get that feeling - that I just cannot go any faster. Maybe it's true - at least that day? But you really stayed strong throughout - I dream of your pace - and you did brilliantly. Well done girl - you're doing great.

And that brunch just looks GREAT!

jb said...

Great work, and sounds like you have a good attitude towards the events of the day. Oh, and can I tell you how much I hate GU BUT how effective it is? I had to choke down a few during the AR50 to, uh, stop hallucinating, and YUCK but it made the trees stop turning into people :)
I PRed my 1/2 marathon time by 5 min last fall, but I think that another feat like that will be a long time coming. We just need to be patient and have fun running!

Nitmos said...

Well, you have high standards, which is great, but don't let that make you disappointed to just miss a PR. Great job! And great pictures! Rock on.

KK said...

Great job, Jen! 1:45 is a very respectable time even though you didn't get a PR. Those photos show a great day!!! Thanks for the bday wishes too.

Amy said...

I'm finally trying to catch up on missed blog entries from when I was in Fl. Great job in the race! PR or not it sounds like you had an awesome time and learned a lot. Loved the pics, like always.