Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Put a bird on it - PDXRnR Recap

I still feel like I haven't slept. So please forgive the typos and when this gets a little long! We woke up Saturday morning at 6AM, we had to load the kiddos up (kid + 2 small dogs) and drive them to Grandma's for an overnight stay.  After dropping them off we drove back into Seattle. I have a little bit of OCD when it comes to time schedules, my husband says that I am over early to everything. We may have arrived at the train station an hour before it left. You don't want to ask how early I arrive for flights. :)  As we were sitting there I hear Sean say - Hey Liz!  We ran into our friends Scott and Liz, I don't remember the last time we saw them. They were actually taking the train to Portland as well for a different reason. It was great to have someone on the train with us oh and to make fun of my time OCD.  The added bonus is they had someone picking them up so we got a ride.

First time on a train!  
Playing with the miniature feature on my camera, while the train was stopped.

Alright as I was saying. We got to Portland on time! My worries of being off schedules were at bay, for a while. Our friends were getting picked up so we hitched a ride with them for lunch. We went to a place called the Green Dragon. The food was good, the beer selection was better. I didn't have any since I don't drink before a race, but our friends enjoyed the beer selection.  After lunch they dropped us off at the Convection Center around 4PM. Sean and I ran through it pretty quick, packet pick up was a breeze and it actually wasn't crowded at all. I didn't really grab much swag since I would have to carry it with me to the hotel and my bag was already pretty heavy.  We walked about half a mile to our hotel and finally checked in right before 5PM.  We had about 45 minutes to relax before we had to take a cab to dinner. We met up with Heather from willrunforcoffee.com and her family and friend for dinner.  Heather is a hoot! We had a great dinner with wonderful conversation and decided where we were going to meet up in the morning. Heather had planned to run a few miles before the half as she is training for a marathon. Crazy women.

We got back to the hotel and got everything ready for the morning. I took a lovely hot shower and planned to snuggle into bed with a little Fifty Shades, I have no idea what book I am on since I bought them as a trilogy on my nook.

Once my head hit the pillow I don't think my eye's stayed open more then 5 minutes.  I woke up a million times during night, check the alarm, go pee, go pee, check the alarm, OMG did the alarm just go off...its 6AM again! I got out bed went straight to the mini Kuerig in my hotel and then started getting ready.  I woke up with a headache and feeling off. I actually considered skipping the race and staying in bed. I pretty much decided right there to toss out my goal and just go have a good time.

We left the hotel at 6:30AM and headed to the blue train for a quick ride to the starting line. Of course we were an hour early....that's just how I roll.  A photo of the starting line. This was by corral 1. I was in corral 19 so we walked, visited the porta potties several times, had some water and walked around some more. My back was acting up a little, I was feeling nausea and the headache was still there.

Sean wanted to take a photo of the OR sign, but the weather was kind of washing it all out. I like it as I look about 20lbs slimmer in it. I might have to print it for motivation.

 Another great photo from my husband as we were waiting. I didn't even realize he took it until I was going through my photo's clearly I was in my own world at this point.  I was searching for Heather, as well as, PensivePumpkin. I knew it was her first half EVER and I remember the nerves I had at my first. I figured it I could distract her a little it might help.

You can't even see the starting line form where we started.

I finally spotted her, she told me she was going to wear bright orange. You can't believe the amount of people in orange so I was glad she also told me she was wearing sleeves. I ran back to Corral #22 where I new Heather was starting and told her I would meet up with her.  Pensive and I started in #20 and we were off to a good start walking and running. 

The next thing I knew I turned around and I could find her any more. I figured she was just going to do her event and so off I went. I knew the Heather would find me even with her later start she is a speedy women. Around mile 2.5 I hear some people yelling my name I turn around and her comes Heather and Val to keep me company along the way. I told them I wasn't feeling it - headache and nausea had really set in at by this point.  I continued to consume both water and Gatorade along the well, I also used Clif Shotbloks which I have used in the past but I couldn't get over the feeling of wanting to vomit. The problem is I don't puke. I just don't.  We stopped before mile 3  for a bathroom break, then decided to move on as the line was to long. This was when I saw the first band...I think. Honestly with my head pounding I wasn't really looking forward to seeing the bands.  Close to the 10K mark we made another stop at the bathrooms, I kept moving forward as I could see the 3 hour pacer right behind us. My goal even feeling like crap was to stay in front of that. She eventually passed us.  I am not sure if it was before the 10K mark or after, but we started getting stopped at intersections so that cars could pass. Seriously through out the entire race for me I has stopped 5-6 times. This became very annoying. I know the Portland has issues with trains stopping races, but stopping the event so cars and buses can pass seemed odd.

Around mile 7, I had to stop and use the bathroom. I thought I was going to be ill beyond belief. The bathroom break helped a bit for a while, but overall it really just keep coming back in waves. I would take some Gatorade an water when available, and my goal was to just keep moving. Before when I felt OK I would run as far as a could, the move into speed walking. Before mile 9, Heather hung back with someone she new and that was the last I saw of her. Val stuck with me and helped to push me through the stomach issues and knee issues that popped up on the downhills. At one point she asked do you want me to be mean and push you or just chill. I was like just chill, you can even go ahead if you want. I felt terrible for holding her back even though I knew that they wanted to just run a relaxing race.

The final downhill was amazing and painful at the same time. We just finished running across the Steel Bridge (I think that was the name of it) and you can see the finish line its a down hill and then flat and it feels a million miles away. As I was running across the finish line I could hear the headline finishing up his act, so I guess I saw the last 2 minutes of it.

I stumbled through the finish area, got my photo, Gatorade, water, chocolate milk, peaches, bagel and snack pack thing I then found a space blanket and walked towards the family meet up area. It was still raining at this point and the chill was starting to set in.  I didn't see my husband at the meet up area, so I walked to the finish line and didn't see him there either. I asked the first person I could find to borrow their phone. I gave him a quick call to find out where he was to meet up.  I hobbled my way to him while drinking my fluids and eating the peaches. Once I found him, I said lets go to the train. While I wanted to meet up with some other's I was wet, really wet as it rained on us in some form the entire time. We got back to the hotel and I remembered I need a post race photo.

A quick pose and it was time for a quick shower, we only had about 30 minutes before we had to check out. After a quick shower we headed down to the hotel restaurant for lunch before heading to the train.  This was the best lunch ever! Not just because it was a post race meal, but it was an avocado, bacon, lettuce and bacon sandwich on grilled sourdough bread. So goooood!

Next up was to head to the train station to get on the 2:50 train home. On the train I put on my compression socks and heat pads for my back. I was thankful to just relax on the way home.

Overall I enjoyed the PDX RnR, I wish my body would have cooperated better. It was the most crowded half I have been in and a great experience for half  #5.  I still had a headache most of the day on Monday, but overall I wasn't to sore as I have been in the past. I am becoming a believer on keep moving after a half to keep from getting sore. 

What is your favorite post race food? Do you keep moving after a race or do you like to just sit around and relax the rest of the day. 


  1. Can you take a picture of me using the miniature feature of your camera? I think that would definitely help my self esteem :)

    I took my first train last year to Chicago - pretty neat experience - surely beats dealing with the traffic and is a LOT cheaper than flying.

    So do you think you got the flu? Surely sounds almost like it - I'm sooo sorry! Nothing, in my mind, seems worse than to put in all the training and pay all the money and enter a race with such high hopes only to be beaten by an injury or illness. Girl - hugs.

    so what was your final time?

    Relaxing halfs are pretty much all I do - "I like to get my money's worth" out of a race - ha ha!

    Great job especially for feeling crappy!

    1. Not sure I am finally starting to feel better today. Hopefully it is all behind me. My final time swas 3:09:31

  2. I'm still loving that you took the train. Then, taking it home and being able to get up and walk around? Genius, pure genius.

    I am so sorry you didn't feel well. And then you brought the rain too, you poor thing.

    The photo of the empty start line is awesome. It was jam packed with everyone, including a TV reporter by the time we got there.

    Fifty Shades? Good choice! Do you know how close you were to the Heathman Hotel? You could have walked there...

    I know Seattle RNR will be a better race for you. Can't wait to meet up.

  3. So sorry you felt yucky:( That's no fun. After a race I like to just relax unless our schedule doesn't permit it:)

  4. I can't totally relax...my legs/muscles kind of cramp up...its better to keep moving a little bit for me.

    However, the first hour after the race I just drink...I can't really eat...then it hits me and I am super hungry...kind of funny....that sandwich looks great!! After our last half we drove about 40 minutes and the hunger hit, we stopped at Chipotle and I got a chicken salsa salad...I think...any way I chowed and it was soooo good.

    Aren't you glad you did it and its over though?!

    1. Yea, I usually can't eat much afterwards. I kinda just forced the stuff I had on me and then after the shower I felt so much better. I am glad I did it.

  5. impressive that despite how you were feeling, you still had a good race. I find that there is a HUGE difference difference for me in how i feel after a race if I just sit around or move--- I vote move.

    I agree with Kim, you were so close to the Heathman! When I was there a few weeks ago I HAD to get a photo with it.

    my favorite after race food is hands down BACON :)

  6. Awesome race!!! Way to push through it despite not feeling so hot. And I LOVE that skirt. I need that one!!

  7. yay for the finish! sorry i just disappeared like that. LOL can't wait to see you again for RnRSEA!

    congrats on getting through, and thanks for calming my nerves. you rock.

  8. So sorry you had a bad race! On the plus side, your outfit looks SO cute! Way to push through it. :)

    And that sandwich? Definitely something I would eat all the time.

  9. I hate that you felt so bad during the race but you should be so proud for pushing through and finishing. I'm not sure that if I felt like that I would be able to keep on going.

  10. Post race (and long run): MILKSHAKE! I never seem to have a problem eating, never not feeling good enough. Not a good thing, necessarily. I try to keep moving a bit after racing or else I get too stiff. The train is great. It's been years since I've taken it, but definitely my preferred mode for travel to PDX :)

  11. Woman, I have BEEN THERE and DONE THAT during a race. That migraine/puke feeling is horrible. Especially when you know how far you have to go....and when loud music is involved. You were a TOTAL champ & just kept going. I had the best time running with you ladies, and hope we can do it again someday soon. I know you have a HUGE fall event coming up, but we'll have to find something to run together before the end of the year. I never think to go north. Probably because we're still pretty new to the area. I'll have to branch out and hit the Seattle area one of these races. Just know that anytime the PDX Running Chicks are at a race, you will never have to run alone. There will always be someone there to push you along even on the shittiest of runs. xoxo

    PS, you have a way better picture of us together than I have so I'm stealing it to use on my blog. Thought I should warn you about the theft about to take place. :)

  12. I am sorry you didn't feel well! That really stinks. Those hills were bigger than I thought they were looking at the elevation chart. Seattle RnR will be a better race. The hills don't seem so straight up and down. (Just drove most of the course earlier this week.) Love the race recap! I am almost ready to post mine. Just waiting for a guest spot from Hubby to add in.