One of the best days

Yesterday I was on such a high all day – it was a very nearly perfect day.

But, before I get to the perfect day, let’s revisit the previous days, shall we?

Friday I went to my last day of my part-time gig at OMSI. I was really glad to help them out -they are super fantastic! 🙂

After work, I rushed home to get a run in before our guests came over for dinner. I did 5 miles in about 55 minutes; and then got started on dinner. The architect made hummus and I attempted to make pita bread, but unfortunately, my memory wasn’t perfect, and I thought it only needed 1 hour to rise instead of two. So, we made baked tortilla strips & peppers for the hummus instead!

I made an asparagus risotto & some salad, and some chocolate chip banana bread for dessert. I also made some simple syrup for the French 75s. Of which we had many. According to wikipedia, the French 75s got their name because drinking one “felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm howitzer artillery piece.”  They were delicious. And deadly.

Saturday I didn’t feel quite as peppy as usual. I did very little in the morning, although I eventually hauled my ass off the couch where I was enjoying a Buffy marathon to go pick up my race packet. Just as I was leaving, I ran into her, and we chatted as we tried to navigate the convention center. On my way home, I accidentally stopped at Taco Bell -only the 2nd time in recent memory (i.e. probably 10 years) that I’ve done that. But – it totally cured my hangover! Yay for nasty tacos!

That evening, the architect & I had some pizza (what do you mean you don’t need to carbo load for a 5K?) and I went to be early.

I got up bright & early Sunday morning & got dressed for the race. I knew it was supposed to be nice, but wasn’t sure how nice it would be at 7 AM. I wore my capris, my lucky race shirt, and my green long-sleeved hoodie. I packed a little bag with a sweatshirt, gloves, camera & cell phone.

I choked down a clif bar & some water (it’s hard for me to eat that early, but I knew if I didn’t, I’d be miserable) and then drove my car to the nearest MAX station & caught MAX to the convention center.  I got there just in time to see the half marathoners start – although I didn’t see any of the peeps I knew were running the half that day.

I wandered about for a while, checked my bag, got my photo taken, and then when the group calisthenics started, I went out to the race chute. At that point, Emily found me, and I found myself starting in the 7 minute mile group.  I tried to be okay with everyone passing me at the beginning (I meant to start with the 9 minute mile people), and to remind myself that there was no reason what-so-ever to even try to keep up.

The first mile ran past the Rose Garden up to the Broadway Bridge, and mile 1 came at the bottom of the west side of the bridge. I left my Garmin on auto-lap, because I was afraid if I tried to hit the lap button while running I might accidentally stop the watch, and that would suck. Mile 1: 9:03 (woo!)

Mile two ran down broadway a ways, and then turned around to end up on Naito.  Between the Broadway & Steel bridges, there was a loud music station set up, and they were currently blaring “Rock Star” which had just finished on my iPod, so I took out my earbuds (which were not staying put well, anyway) and listened to the music. That was also the Mile 2 marker: 8:54 (FAST!)

Just under the Burnside Bridge, I heard the motorcycle on the course. Which seemed weird. But it turned out to be the police escort for the half marathon leaders…fortunately, they only passed me the once (they went further on Naito than the 5K runners), and I still finished first,  I think. We turned around & ran back Naito and then began the ridiculously steep & harder than I would’ve thought possible ascent up the Steel Bridge.

I run on hills a LOT. I’m known for it. I love me some hills. And I do have to say that was where I started picking people off – I tried really hard to maintain my pace (I have a steep hill Jedi mind trick – when the hill is redonkulously steep & I want to walk it, I start counting my steps [like 1, 2, 3, 4; 2, 2, 3, 4, etc.] & tell myself that I can stop running when I get to a certain number – I picked 200[2, 3, 4] for the Steel Bridge, and just like always, reached the top of the hill before I got to 200.  Works almost every time!

The bridge was hard, though, & I was really pushing myself. It was, I think, the only time I’ve ever really thought I was going to vomit during a run.

Then, I got across the bridge, and Sarah was waiting to cheer me on! That was so awesome! Right across the bridge I hit Mile 3 – 9:33 (stupid hill), and then turned the corner to the finish line. At that point, there were a couple of people in front of me who’d been annoying me for the whole run, so I broke into a sprint for the last .1 miles. I saw Emily cheering for me as I approached the finish line, and I finished strong! (Last .1 – 8:24 pace). I got a rose, and a medal, and a bottle of water!

Emily & I went to grab my bag & then we got our pics taken under a balloon arch – just like prom!

We found Sarah & then went back to the Steel Bridge to sit in the sunshine & wait for the rest of the PB&J half marathoners.

We saw Jen & Zach on their way to a super strong finish.

Then we watched Julianne pace Alisa to an 11-minute PR! And right after Julianne & Alisa, we saw HTC crossing the finish line.

We ran into Solo Runner (who was sitting out with an injured hamstring) & Meechelee who not only PR’d in the half, but was also celebrating a birthday!

After some photo ops, I headed home to shower & change before meeting the PB&J gang at Mother’s for brunch. We had a couple cocktails & some fantastic food.

I spent the afternoon in the garden – I planted my viney plants, one tree, some greens, more peas, beans & beets. I would’ve spent more time outside but we’re having our annual winged ant migration, and it got to be a bit much.

I love these beautiful spring days – they juxtapose so nicely with the (also appreciated) spring rain. (without that rain, my garden would be so sad, as would my water bill.)

Today is sad, because I am at work merely looking at the nice weather, but tomorrow is also supposed to be beautiful, and Alisa & I have a track workout planned.

I wish I had some photos of the weekend to share, but I forgot to put my memory card back in my camera, and the camera refused to work without it.  There are (or will be, at least) photos up at the other PB&J sites.

The official results are up:

Name: Amy
City: Portland
Sex: F
Age: 32
Chip Time: 28:19
Chip Pace: 9:07
Age Division: 39/165
Place Overall: 420/1239
Sex Overall: 174/812
Gun Time: 28:27
Gun Pace: 9:09
Time to Start Line: 0:08

My first 10K, I came in last in my age division. My first 5K (9/06) I came in at about 41 minutes. I mean, I’m never going to wonder if I placed in my age division, but to come in the top 25% of my age division really means a lot to me. I’m not sure how much faster I’ll get at this point – but I’m pretty pleased with my 9:07 pace for this. I feel so strong & so fantastic.

But do you know what the best part is? My other runner friends, regardless of their relative speeds, were almost as excited as I was! I love that we can support each other so much, and that when one of us hits a personal goal, that we’re all so pleased! There’s no competition between any of us, and that is the best part. I love my runner buddies! You guys are the best.

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