Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Portland Run Like Hell Half Marathon & Gluten Freeda's Oatmeal

We’re back. We survived!! Portland was gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. The fall color was spectacular (as you can see). It reminded me very much of my old life back on the east coast.

The weather was not as bad as expected. It rained but not for the race (thank you!) and it seemed to clear up whenever we stopped to get out of the car (again, thank you!).

We arrived on Thursday evening. The Peanut LOVED the plane ride and promptly started saying “again again” after we landed. She really liked Southwest's landing!

We wine tasted, shopped, walked, saw a Warren Miller film (the Peanut’s first ever movie) and went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory.

Sunday was the Portland Run Like Hell Half Marathon (for me) and 5K (for Vans and the Peanut). After the NIKE's San Francisco Half the weekend before, I was very cautious about my stomach situation and quite nervous for this race. Also, since NIKE was slow in terms of pace, race and over all time, I really wanted to run this race well.

I know “they” say never try anything “new” on race day or race morning. Well I broke that rule completely. On race morning (about 90 minutes before race start) I had Gluten Freeda’s Banana Maple with Flax Oatmeal. Delicious!!! It actually fueled me quite nicely for the race without ANY troubles! (YEA!) The flavor was perfect, not too banana-y and also quite filling. It is going to be my new pre-race fuel! Also for first time I had some Coconut Water. I have heard so many positive things about it. It has about 60 calories in a serving but I figured those were race calories and necessary. The flavor was SWEET. Almost too sweet but I got used to it and well, it says it has six times the electrolytes than regular electrolyte enhanced beverages and although the weather was quite cool (about 43 degrees) for the race, I find I really am not drinking as much water as I should be especially before races (not to mention when traveling). Both the oatmeal and the coconut water sat well in my belly and I started the race confident.

First mile I took off fast caught up in the crowd. My pace was 7:30. I was a little concerned I was starting out too fast but EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE was flying by me like I was crawling!! I couldn’t believe it. Didn’t these people realize they had to run about 12 more miles? I never really saw the people who passed me so they can either run a half marathon pretty damn fast OR most of them were doing the 10K but I pretty sure most of them were not. I tried not to let it get to me and to just continue on with my own race. I was racing myself and no one else.

This course really made NIKE’s San Francisco race look easy. The gradual hill that went from mile 5 to about mile 10 was tough and unrelenting. But then came the downhill and I booked it hard from mile 11 to the finish. I finished less than 1 minute after Vans and the Peanut finished their 5K! I have to say with the exception of the Lake Tahoe Half Marathon, this was one of the most beautiful courses I have had the pleasure to run! The fall color was just gorgeous.

My time was about 10 minutes FASTER than NIKE which goes to show you that a less crowded race, A BETTER BREAKFAST (thank you Gluten Freeda) and zero tummy troubles can really help. I finished in about 1:46 (Garmin time, official results are not in yet) which is not quite a PR but definitely a PR for me on a hilly course.

This weekend is the Helen Klein 30K and I am looking forward to doing the same routine of Gluten Freeda’s Banana Maple with Flax Oatmeal with a coconut water pre-race. Here are some pictures from the weekend!

   My cheering section!

                                    Post Race Craziness                                  

5K Runners! Yea!!

My Peanut

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