On Saturday, I had the opportunity to run the Hippie Chick Half Marathon with my mom and several of my girlfriends. It was a lot of fun... probably one of the funnest races I've done. The race started at 8am and we left Eugene, just a touch after 4:30am. It made for an early morning, but for a beautiful drive.
We arrived at Hillsboro Stadium with plenty of time to pick up our packets, visit the indoor toilets and pose for a group photo session.
|L to R: Lindsey, Marci, Randi, Audrey, Me, my mom, Michelle, Heather|
|37weeks 5 days... a mostly profile shot.|
|ready to run... but still waiting in line|
|Looks like a guilty speeder-upper to me. :)|
Anyway, 10 minutes, that seemed like an eternity later (I have never, ever stopped that long in a race... and that's including the train stop during the Eugene Women's Half and my bathroom breaks during the Frozen Trail Fest), I was finally on my way to catch my mom. I knew that I had some serious ground to make up if I was going to catch her, so I took off. I didn't do anything super crazy, but I did spend the next 2 miles at much closer to a sub 9 minute pace (a couple times, ol Gertie the Garmin clocked be coming in sub 8) than the slightly sub 12 pace we had been holding.
During the two miles it took for me to get back with my mom, I passed a lot of people. They were all super encouraging although somewhat in disbelief that I was merely trying to catch up to my mom where I would then slow down again. This is also the first time I've ever raced with a camera, so I took the opportunity to try and enjoy the course too.
|Vanderzanden Tulip Farm|
|my silly looking shadow profile|
|a beautiful field of some sort of redish plant/flower|
|my belly... not an on purpose shot, but I ended up with 8 accidental belly shots, so thought I'd post one of them|
...until finally, I could see my mom in the distance.
|she's the one on the right in the white shirt|
My mom seemed to be in good spirits and feeling well. I was happy that I was able to catch up with her. It felt good to have lengthened my stride for a bit and get some speediness in, but I was happy to slow back down and take it easier at my mom's pace. We were both somewhat surprised with how quickly the race seemed to be going and before we knew it, we were past the 7 mile marker and over halfway done.
|The Old Scottish Church|
|this group of ladies in purple sparkle skirts kept playing leap frog with us, they were a lot of fun and kept calling me their "little mama"|
|speedy Randi - so fast, she was blurry ha ha :)|
|my fellow pregnant running buddy, Marci|
|first time half-marathoner, Michelle, sneaking up on us from behind|
As we rounded the corner just before 13 miles to enter the finish at the stadium, there was a band playing and they really got us going. My mom claimed to not have anything left to give, but that didn't seem to keep her from dropping down to a 10:00/mile pace for the last 1/4 of a mile.
After the race, we hung out for a bit and drank some yummy smoothies from Jamba Juice. I also was able to finally meet Amanda from Runnninghood (whom I had seen momentarily on the course, as I was on my way to catch back up to my mom). Amanda was just as sweet and funny in person as she is on her blog, I was so excited to finally meet her. We posed for a few pictures. I particularly like this one, where she is poking out her nonexistent belly and my belly looks so round and fake.
I feel that the race was really well organized. There was plenty of water as well as Heed at every aid station and the stations were all about 2 miles apart. The volunteers were all very cheerful and even though there wasn't a ton of crowd support, the people that did come out where great sports. I enjoyed running with my camera and it didn't seem to bother me carrying it in my hand, it was fun to take all kinds of pictures of everything (I got one of every mile marker except 7 and 8 which I missed for some reason). I was glad that I ran with a hydration belt too... I drank all 20oz and still got water from 3 different aid stations. With the heat and being pregnant, I didn't want to chance getting dehydrated and I think that was a good call. I especially enjoyed running with my mom as she completed her first half. She did an amazing job, I am so proud of her... and she is already talking about doing her 2nd... maybe the Eugene Women's Half in August! Hmmm, wonder if I could be post baby ready enough to run with her again?!
All-in-all, I really enjoyed the race and the course. It was fun to be out with just the girls and run a race with absolutely no pressure. It is a race that I would definitely like to do again, maybe just for fun... or maybe to see how fast I could do it if I was racing. :)