The annual Run Like Hell 10K in downtown Portland is one of my favorite races! The weather is cool, the course is flat, the swag/finish line is great, the race support is terrific, and the costume theme makes me so happy.
This was the fourth time I've raced it, and I've set a PR three times. (Last year was just 2 seconds per mile off of another PR!)
After months and months and months of marathon training, Brad didn't want to commit to any events until he finished his early-October race. He survived (more than survived, actually!), but wasn't really up for racing again so soon. So I asked if he'd pace me and try for a new PR (personal record).
My goal was to get anything below my current 10K PR of 8:47-minute miles, set in 2013. Brad, the Excel guru, made a spreadsheet so we could lay out my plan. Then I left it all up to him. I didn't look at my watch once, trusting that he was pacing me where I needed to be.\
Our 10K started at 8:15 a.m. We were up about 5 a.m. and then picked up Eryn about 6:45 a.m. to drive downtown. No costume but Halloween colors. And since it was already over 50 degrees, I went with tank top and arm sleeves:
Because we were so early, we snagged a parking spot just three blocks from the start at Pioneer Courthouse Square and then stayed in the warm, dry car until the halfers took off at 7:30 a.m. Brad tried to sleep:
By then, the sun was rising and it was time to make our way over to the party and hit the porta potties. Portland...
I bumped into Ashley from kickboxing class. Why didn't I take a picture of Ashley and her twin sister dressed as bearded ladies?? (circus theme this year)
Because my race strategy didn't leave room for a slow start, we got up near the starting line to avoid congestion. And since Brad was there as my pacer, I made him stand between me and the wind until we took off :)
Eryn has been working her tail off to get back in the game after a year of sickness and injury. This was her first racing in a long time. We were matching in our orange and black:
Mom and Dad showed up to cheer us on! They are so great and supportive!!
Fortunately, we started right on time! (it's not always like that with this race)
Brad and I zoomed down Salmon Street and then down Naito. About 2/3 of a mile in, a sign next to the road announced Mile 7 (for the half marathon), and as we passed, a kind woman cheered that we were at mile 7 - almost done. I hollered back that we were 10Kers who just started :) OOPS :)
Brad shouted out a couple times that we were right on target. The course is an out and back with a slight uphill trend at the beginning. I was doing good, but toward the turnaround, I started to lose Brad a bit. He got about 15 feet ahead, and I just couldn't keep up on the slight incline. He asked if I could pick it up a bit, and I told him I could not.
But then came the turn, and a little downhill, and I turned it up. That also brought a headwind from the east, but Brad ran in front of me and blocked it nicely!
I spotted Mom and Dad a couple times on the course. I tossed them my unnecessary gloves and arm sleeves. Thanks for taking my stinky laundry, Mom and Dad!
I felt like we were cruising. I was working hard but not dying, though I told Brad I didn't have much more to give. In the last mile, I pulled over to the side and slowed a bit for a half block or so. I just needed a little breather. Then I picked it up again... the finish line was close!
After crossing Burnside and spotting the finish line, I dug as deep as I could and went for it. I passed a couple women who had just passed me, and I flew over the timing mats with all my strength.
Unfortunately, I had a watch malfunction that left me unsure of my pace - and whether I had PR'd or not. After working so hard and leaving it all on the course, I had a mini breakdown. But after a few minutes, and some measuring, calculating and reassuring by Brad, we decided that I did, in fact, PR! We just weren't sure by how much. (because the course was long)
Mom and Dad showed up in time for us all to watch Eryn finish. Here she comes!
There she goes:
Eryn ran sub-12-minute miles - a new PR for her, too!
We got our jackets from the bag check, snagged free hot soup and other goodies, and hung out in Pioneer Courthouse Square for a while.
Then it started to rain, so we hit the road. Perfect timing!
For Brad and me, the course measured 6.37 miles, and my finish time was 54:53. So that means I did an 8:37 pace!! That's 10 seconds per mile faster than my PR - woohoo!!!
I came in 197th out of 1056 overall, 83rd out of 714 women and 14 out of 147 in my age division!!!!
1 - 8:37
2 - 8:51
3 - 8:53
4 - 8:40
5 - 8:23
6 - 8:35
.37 - 7:51
Not too shabby :)
After showers, we went out with Eryn for pizza refueling. Pizzasmith for the win (again!)!
Then after well-earned naps, we all went to the Tigard Library for Mom's community band Halloween concert:
Very fun Halloweeny music :) Nice job, Mom!