Monday, May 28, 2012

Race Recap: Rock 'n' Roll Portland Half Marathon (Katie)

Race: Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon
Location: Portland, Oregon
Weather: 55ºF and rainy
Official Time: 2:15:51
Pace: 10:22

Jess and I had such a fun girls weekend leading up to the race. It was refreshing and just what we both needed. As we woke up Sunday morning to head to the race we were both a little blase´ and still very much in our relaxed mode from the weekend. We kind of looked at each other and said "well, let's go run 13 miles now". It was surreal. But as soon as we got there and saw the masses of people gathering, heard the music playing, waited in the obligatory long line for the honey buckets, then found our starting place, the adrenaline was pumping and we were ready! 

Before the race
Once our corral finally got past the finish line and the masses started to spread out a little, we were rockin and rollin and feeling great. Unfortunately we may have over hydrated because around mile 3 we had to stop and use the porta-potty. We definitely lost at least a minute. But when you gotta go...

Very early on, chatting away, feeling good
I was very much looking forward to this race for many reasons, but one of them being the awesome rock 'n' roll music I was expecting to hear mile to mile. I assumed that as one loud, upbeat, awesome rock song faded, I would begin to hear the next one and literally rock my way through the race. This was not the case at all. The music we did hear was slow and disappointing. Or worse, the bands were chatting instead of playing.
Gearing up for the final mile
While training for this race, I experienced many highs and lows. Due to this my confidence was shot and I doubted myself and my ability. But as each mile passed and I didn't feel like dying, my confidence grew and I knew I could do this. Not only could I do it, I could actually feel good doing it. At one point Jess mentioned how much better she felt during this race than she did during the girlfriends half. I told her I was thinking the same thing but was nervous to say it out loud. It was true, my endurance was strong, my lungs were feeling great and I was carrying on feeling pretty darn well.
The final push

As Jess mentioned, we both realized we need to do a lot more strength training in preparation for these big races (and any running really). My mind marvels at the thought of being both fit in endurance and in strength. Fortunately, it wasn't until mile 11 that I started hurting. At that point with only 2 miles to go, I knew I could push through the pain. 

almost there

As I passed the Mile 12 marker, I grew excited and attempted to pull ahead for the last 1.1 miles. I think I forgot how long a mile is and for some reason the finish line was basically camouflaged so I could not even see what my end point was. I had to pull back a little to keep myself upright but as the cheering got louder and I could finally see the finish line was just ahead, I took a little sprint forward to finish strong.

...and done!
I was so relieved and happy to be done. The sense of accomplishment and pride that comes with completing something you have been working so hard and so long for, is just indescribable. I was giddy! I completed my 2nd ever half marathon! And even though I only PRed by 3 minutes, I am thrilled with the improvement and with the overall sense of satisfaction I feel.

We did it!
I think we had intended to stay and enjoy the festivities after the race but it was raining and cold and we were looking forward to a hot shower and lunch reservations (followed by pedicures!), so we left with our heads held high and enjoyed reminiscing about our race together for the next several hours.

Some favorite spectator signs:
"Make 13.1 your bitch"
"You thought this was a good idea 3 months ago"
"You all are Kenyan"
"The beer is at the end" (we saw these guys 3 times so deserved a mention)
"Of course your feet hurt, you're kicking ASSphalt"
I also appreciated the people who were handing out paper cups of PBR around Mile 9


  1. Great job! A PR is a PR - three minutes is fantastic!!!!

  2. Great job, ladies! I LOVE the spectator signs, haha!

  3. Woohoo!! You both did amazing!! I hope that you had some fun too! Congrats on half #2

  4. As always, it was a fantastic running with you my sweet friend! Cheers to many more race recaps!