To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Portland Rock'n'Roll 10K

I feel like it should go without saying that I actually registered to run the Portland Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. A while ago when starting different medicine I pretty much had to plead with my doctor to let me at least do the 10K if I promised to take it easy, have walk breaks and not "race". So that's what I did. I hated not running the new course for 2015, but I am so happy I got to at least participate in my favorite race series.

The expo was NOT what I have come to expect from Rock'n'Roll. I had told my mom how much fun it is and that it would be better than any others. I feel like I lied. I was very disappointed. Happily the race itself didn't disappoint. 

I was staying at a hotel a short walking distance from the race so it was nice to actually get to sleep in on a race morning. When I say "sleep in" for a race, that means I didn't get out of bed until 6am. Woo!! Just like for the Run Track Town 5K last weekend, I was way too calm. I spent pre-race time nibbling on a muffin and watching the Mad Men marathon. It was a little hard to tear my mom away from the marathon actually -- that Don Draper, he's addicting! But around 7:30 we finally left the room and went to the Portland waterfront.  It was cool seeing the PDX carpet everywhere, with this race obviously being a huge tribute to the removal of the carpet. I couldn't resist taking the required feet on the carpet photo!

Lining up in the 10K start with a half marathon bib on was hard. I'm glad I couldn't see or hear the half marathon start because the temptation may have won and I may have broken doctor's orders! Our start line was the finish for the half, and we got to begin the course by running on the infamous airport carpet! My mom was at the sideline cheering me on at the start line and didn't get a photo of me with my arms up waving at her -- that's pretty much all you see, but it was a great way to start a race seeing my mommy there!

I was shocked at how awesome I felt. The weather was perfect for a race, nice and cool but not at all cold. It really allowed me to get into my zone. The course did a minor loop through downtown before we crossed the first of 3 bridges on our first visit to the east side of the river.  We had walked so much the prior two days with visits to the Oregon Zoo and shopping downtown that I thought maybe I'd be tired. Heck no, my legs felt awesome!!

During one of my self-mandated walk breaks I sent a text to my mom with my status. She replied she was at mile 3 waiting for me. Cool! That helped me perk up a bit as I went over my 2nd bridge to return downtown. As I was rounding the corner and hitting a straight stretch I was able to find her. So cool having my own cheer squad! It should be said that my mom is notorious for taking blurry photos. Aside from 3 of the photos in that top collage, she took everything in this post. How she took photos of me actually running and not slowing down and they aren't blurry is a miracle!! Thank you, Mommy!

I loved the photo she got where I was waving at her with the woman and her flag behind me. I ran the entire race with her. We never spoke, but I just sort of used her as my pacer. She was so easy to keep an eye on with that grand flag after all! It was so impressive. She was just as steady as can be and the flag never once started to lower. The arms on that woman - impressive!!

Really this was a nice run. Only some minor vertigo bothered me here and there, so I used that as a sign to give myself the walking breaks I had promised. My bladder also decided it was going to be full so I contemplated stopping at every single bathroom I saw, yet never did. Probably should have just so I could have actually run without fear! ;)

When I came down the finishers shoot my mom was again there cheering me on. The miracle with this shot is her camera was off. She turned it on at the last second and tried to just click, not even sure if she got a picture. Well, she did! And frankly it was better than any pro race photo I've had at a finish line. Watch out Marathon Photo, she's taking over!!

The vertigo really kicked in at the finish line. Thank goodness for that sturdy water table I ended up grabbing as I was about to fall over. Grabbing the flimsy recycle bin wasn't the best plan - but I caught myself as volunteers were telling me the medical tent was just ahead. Oh and then I almost fell trying to get my official finisher photo taken as well. Eh, I survived!  

The official post-race concert was just not my thing. They seemed way too Portland for me. I stayed long enough to watch the awards and see the start of Portugal The Man before calling it a day and closing the door on this year's Rock'n'Roll race. Speaking of music, I have zero recollection of any bands on the 10K course, only a couple of DJs playing music under a tent. That's the sad thing with these races with multiple distances; they sure cater to the longest distance and the rest of us are like the over-looked step-children. Rock'n'Roll is always fun, but having done nine of their races now I can say this one wasn't up to the standards I have set for them.  Will I return next year? But of course!

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