Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March Race Recap-Shamrock!

On Sunday I ran Portland's Shamrock run. It was a popular race, and the biggest running event I have ever attended (32,500 people total) Wowza!

Luckily for me, a co-worker had organized a team. This was helpful for lots of reasons...1. It saved me money. 2. Provided loads of encouragement and excitement leading up to the race. 3. She picked up everyone's race packet ahead of time. 4. I got to hear all about everyone's adventures yesterday at school. So fun!

Saturday night my mom (who was in town visiting), Justin, and I went through the course map. We picked a few spots they could sit and cheer and tried to think through all the logistics of getting me, them, and the littles to the race. We knew parking would be crazy, and so would traffic downtown.

I laid out all my goodies and put the finishing touches on my playlist. I was too excited/nervous to sleep soundly. I felt prepared but as I mentioned in posts before, this may not be the longest race I've run but it definitely was the hardest.
Ready to start this!

Sunday morning I was up, dressed, and ready to roll out the door by 6:50. I ate my usual peanut butter, banana, toast and a lil coffee. Justin and I headed out with the plan for my mom to bring the girls down after they woke up. The drive downtown didn't take too long and we got a great parking spot. Score! I visited the honey buckets and enjoyed people watching. I am not sure how I feel about running in a full blown costume. We saw men in tutus, large hats, spray painted hair, homemade shirts, and even a large-full-bodied four leaf clover costume! People are so creative...and brave.
Who says tutus and mesh shirts don't go together?

The masses.
I wasn't sure where to line up. I mean I knew how the starting line was supposed to be organized, I just didn't know where I fit into it. Until recently I have always been over a ten minute mile. With my new found speed I wasn't sure if I should go before or after the ten minute mile sign. I opted to stand after it. But that proved to be a bad decision. I guess I was nervous about starting out too fast and not having anything left for the hills. I am always surprised by how easy the first few miles of a race feel. Adrenaline is a powerful thing!

At mile three my husband "popped" into the race and ran along side me for a minute. It caught me off guard and made me smile. I love having my people there supporting me! The first few miles were tricky, running around walkers, speed walkers, joggers...people in general! I also was SUPER annoyed that so many people were crossing the street in front of the runners. Lame.
 Taking pictures and running is a little tricky.
Mile 3 we started climbing up Broadway. I have a few mantras that go through my head when I run. I didn't try and think these up. They just are there. I find myself repeating them over and over. They soothe my mind and get my head straight. When I run hills, my mind is often chanting, "dig". As in dig deep, or keep diggin', or dig in. We crossed over the highway, the course flattened for a moment and then the real climb began. I didn't stop at the water tables, my head was in the zone and I just wanted to keep going, keeping digging.

At about forty-five minutes I ate a few jelly beans, successfully I might add. It started to sleet. I didn't mind. By this point I was hot and the cool rain felt good. I reached the Charter House restaurant, and knew from my training runs that the climb was over. I started smiling. I cheered an athlete in a wheel chair. He had pushed himself up almost 6 miles of hills. His eyes were focused straight down, and it gave me new meaning for my mantra "dig". My eyes filled with tears. People are strong. People amaze me.

I reached Capital Highway and turned the corner. Sweet relief. Downhill! My next mantra marched through my head, "fly". I am not a fast runner. I don't know if I'll ever be. But it feels good to let go, let your feet turn over faster and faster, relieve those muscles that are tight and burning. After about two miles of downhill though, I was ready to be done. My joints hurt from the pounding. My thoughts turned back to "dig". I knew I was going to finish strong, without walking, with a PR, with a smile! I passed a man being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher. His eyes were open but he was pale and looked disoriented. A lady crossed the street in front of me, causing me to shuffle step to not slam into her. I could see the spectators packed against the gates along the final stretch. Cheering. I got teary eyed, I always do. I saw my mom waving frantically. I heard Mackenzie's little voice calling to me. Addie saw me and clapped. Best. Feeling. Ever!
There's me waving!
I crossed the finish mats and made my way to my fan club. We hugged and took pictures. I wasn't feeling much like salmon chowder or beer. Instead we walked around, stretched, and then headed back to the car. We had plans to meet up with family for brunch. The post-race let down was remedied by a huge plate of eggs benedict and country potatoes! Overall the Shamrock 15K was a great race!

Shamrock's 15k time:1:31 Pace: 9:50
August's 15k time: 1:39 Pace: 10:38

My fan club!   


  1. Nice job! I heard the 15k was tough. I only did the 8k, which was way flatter.

    1. But didn't you run two races this weekend. Dang girl!

  2. Woohoo! What an awesome race. I feel so inspired after reading your post. Great PR, great time, great race! Congrats.

  3. Way to go, Jess! So proud of you! I like your mantras- one of mine is "go..." simple but just reminds me to keep going. On a side note, Nicole and I saw a little girl (around 6 or 7) with a prosthetic leg running the 5K with her mom and dad- talk about motivation (and some tears)! Keep up the good work! You are amazing!

  4. Great race photos and details! What a zoo- but a fun zoo. :)

    Love the fan club. Fantastic race improvement since august!

  5. What a great improvement from your last 10k - so inspiring! Sounds like you killed the hills too:)!