This weekend's race was for Grandma!
Saturday was supposed to be a pleasant rest day at the coast before Sunday's Lincoln City Half Marathon. But when my 92-year-old grandmother took a turn for the worse, the weekend became about family.
After spending the day at Friendsview, visiting and saying goodbye, I felt released to leave for the beach and go ahead with the race. We arrived just about at sunset and, armed with what ended up being an incorrect course map, drove what we thought was the half-marathon route. It was hilly but not horrible.
Even though it was the sixth year for the race, there was almost no information online. Brad had e-mailed and requested a course map, but we didn't realize it was wrong until about halfway through the race!
It was late, but we still needed dinner, so we tried Lil' Sambo's.
Brad had an omelet, and we shared a giant shrimp salad and pancakes. It was all great, especially the pancakes!!!
Our overnight accommodations were at the Econo Lodge. So fancy:
A really nice older couple runs the hotel. They were funny and supportive and quick to agree to a late checkout so we'd have time to shower after the race.
Thanks to free wifi, we relaxed with an episode of Breaking Bad on my tablet before going to sleep. Sleep went well until 1:58 a.m. when a big group of drunk people brought their party to the hallway outside our door. Yippee. Fortunately, I was too tired to stay awake.
The half didn't start until 9 a.m. But because we stuck around Newberg way longer than expected and missed packet pickup Saturday, we had to get out early and make sure there was time to grab our bibs before the race.
Ready to go:
I've had some Achilles pain the past few weeks so I asked Dr. Dan to tape it for me. Can you believe he only had beige!? I was so disappointed. Hoping for hot pink or something ;)
We got to Elks Wapiti Park on Drift Creek Road nice and early and scored a spot close to the potties, starting line and bib area.
It was warm (about 50*) but showery and gusty. It's a good thing we're hardcore :)
The race started right on time with a short out and back before heading off into the hills.
We thought the race was three out and backs with a center hub - three wheel spokes. One of the legs was a long, steep hill - about 3 miles, we thought. But we started running up Schooner Creek Road and just kept going and going and going. What we thought was just 3ish miles up turned into 5+ miles.
I knew it was bad when the leaders weren't yet coming down the hill toward me. If they hadn't reached the turnaround, I knew I had a long way left to go!
I stopped checking my Garmin and just ran by feel, taking a few walk breaks and enjoying the scenery. We were right next to Schooner Creek, and it was beautiful. Oh, and much of it was unpaved, and that actually felt great - sorta squishy and track-like.
The turnaround finally arrived, and I started truckin' downhill. Talk about awesome! I didn't run hard but kept it comfortable and quick.
A couple songs came on my iPod, triggering some Grandma emotions. That was hard. Running while trying to suppress a sob is very tricky! But I found my happy place and enjoyed the run - and the challenge to keep going.
I'd just realized how dry it was, how the storm had mostly held off during the race, when it started pouring! Because I was already soaked (and wearing an old pair of shoes), I started seeking out the puddles and stomping my way to the finish line.
We reached Anderson Creek Road and hit a couple rollers. I walked up one bigger hill, then busted it to the end, passing a couple women and a guy in the process :) The finish line was right around this corner (pictured, below), and there was a HUGE, deep puddle covering the whole road. I splashed right through!
Brad was waiting with the camera at the finish line.
Drenched, tired and so happy!
Because we knew this course was hilly, and with the unusual circumstances of the weekend, I had no expectations for this race. It was a hard day, but a great day!
I finished in 2:14:08, but both our Garmins measured the course a half mile long. That's huge. So my Garmin pace was 9:53. I'll take it!
- Mile 1: 9:35
- Mile 2: 9:24
- Mile 3: 9:48
- Mile 4: 9:59
- Mile 5: 10:11
- Mile 6: 10:21
- Mile 7: 10:39
- Mile 8: 10:03
- Mile 9: 8:02
- Mile 10: 10:11
- Mile 11: 10:03
- Mile 12: 9:53
- Mile 13: 8:50
I am thrilled that my slowest mile was 10:39 - and my fastest was 8:02! I don't think I've ever run an 8:02 half marathon mile before :) And I negative split the last 4 miles - woohoo!
We were disappointed with the inaccurate course map. However, the rest of the race was well organized and well done. The aid stations were very well staffed, unlike our last race. Eager Boy Scouts lined the road, each holding a Gatorade and a water, asking which we wanted and handing them out as we passed. There were plenty of volunteers to get the job done, and all seemed happy to be there, even though the weather was fairly horrible for standing around.
We downed some Dave's Killer Bread and peanut butter in the shelter before hurrying back to the hotel for quick showers. Then we hit the outlet mall for some retail therapy. Grandma was a HUGE shopper in her day, and we scored some big deals in her honor :)
I'd been saving this for after a hard workout. This one counted for sure!
We ended up back at Lil' Sambo's for lunch and really enjoyed fish and chips and a fish sandwich with fruit. Their fries are the really good battered ones - YUM!
On the way home, we swung by Newberg's Jem 100 to have some ice cream with Grandpa, Mom, Dad, John, Nancy, Dave and Pat. I had triple chocolate for Grandma, who was truly a chocoholic :)
A tough weekend and a tough race. But I am so proud of a job well done! This one felt great :)