Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hippie Chick Half Marathon - Race Report

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
 After the group shot, we decided it would be best if we headed to the Honey Buckets near the start line and go one more time, just in case.  In line we posed for some more photos and it was also where I started getting the questioning pregnancy comments... "How far along are you?"  "Are you going to run the half?!".  Most of the questions where followed with a "great for you" type response/attitude that left me feeling pretty optimistic.
37weeks 5 days... a mostly profile shot.

ready to run... but still waiting in line
 Despite the fact that there were quite a few toilets, there where a ton of women in line and before long, we heard the National Anthem playing... we were most likely going to miss the start.  A couple of the girls, headed to the start but my mom and I, as well as a few others from our group, decided we'd wait it out.  I knew that I would be much happier if I went one more time before starting.  Also, since we were planning to start towards the back and it was chip timed, it really didn't matter too much if we crossed the line right when the gun went off.  Eventually, we were in and out of the toilets and to the start, where we worked our way in slightly behind the 12:00 pacer.  My mom, believes that she generally runs around 12:00 pace, so that was our plan.  Basically, for the next several minutes we moseyed along until we finally crossed the start line.
 My mom was happy to finally be running and we soon realized that we had started back too far as the next mile was spent bobbing and weaving between walkers.  We were still in great spirits though... it was going to be a fantastic day.
 Before too long, we came to the Luna tent, which meant we had already completed the first mile.  1 down, only a little over 12 to go.
 My mom and I chatted the whole way.  I had planned to stop at the first "rest area" we came to... it was at mile 2, but there was already a huge line, so I decided to tough it out for a bit.  Miles 4 to 5, were my least favorite because it was a long the side of a road and there was a fair amount of traffic.  I could see the Honey Buckets at mile 5 though and decided I would definitely have to stop off there.
 My mom encouraged me to run ahead so that I could be farther in line when she passed me and it would be easier for me to catch back up to her.
 I was only in line for about a minute before she went speeding by me.  I accused her of speeding up, be she claimed to be staying consistent.
Looks like a guilty speeder-upper to me.  :)
There were 3 port-a-potties at the aid station, so I hoped that the line would move quickly.  It did not.  I did enjoy talking to a lady that was running the race on her lunch break though.  Apparently, it's not the first time, she's done such a thing.  She heads out of her office for lunch (down the back stairs, so no one knows exactly when she leaves) goes and runs her race, the heads back to the office (and back up the back stairs) without anyone catching wind of what she's been up to.  Maybe you'd have to be there, but I found her whole story a bit hilarious.  "Sorry, sir that I was late getting back from my lunch break, I just stepped out for a quick half-marathon and the port-a-potty line at the race today was extra slow!"

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
 We were making pretty good time, staying just under 12minute pace, but it was getting hot.  Luckily, right around the 10 mile marker,  a nice man was standing outside his house misting people with his hose... it felt lovely.
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"
 I did enjoy the part of the race that was out and back, it was fun to see our friends and also cheer and be cheered on by the other runners.  I was amazed at how enthusiastic people were towards me and my big pregnant belly.  There were a couple of people that we passed that said I was making them feel badly, but for the most part I was humbled by the support I received.

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
The miles kept ticking by, my mom was starting to really feel it around mile 11, which was also our slowest mile, but seeing the mile 12 marker, really perked her back up.  Only a little over a mile to go, she was going to make it and well under the 3 hour goal she had set for herself.
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.

 She was very, very happy to see the finish (as was I, I had started having fairly regular contractions around mile 11 and I was anxious for them to taper off... which they did with a little bit of walking and a whole lot of water).
 Official finish time:  2:37:43 for both of us.  My mom ended up 44th out of 115 in her age group and I was 171st out of 231.  We were 1100th and 1101st overall.  We did the cheesy hold hands and smile as we crossed the finish line, but unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) we don't have any photo documentation of that.

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.
Even after the race was over, I continued to have people come up to me to find out how the race went and to congratulate me on running while so pregnant.  I even had one lady that said she saw me on the course and wouldn't be able to leave afterwards until she found me and found out if my belly was for real and not just a prop.  I assured her that there was truly a baby in there.

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.  :)


Emz said...


I love this.
Loving that you ran with your mom. Beyond words awesome.
Love the shadow belly shot most.

Callie. said...

I loved reading this! You are so great, and how awesome to run it with your mom. Someday I promise to be amongst the picture of all of you running! Not now, but someday. How fun, thanks so much for all the pictures. Can't wait to see your little babe! He or she will come out with Nike's on.

XLMIC said...

You look amazing, Laurie. And I am really impressed with how well you and your mom did :)

The Unexpected Runner said...

Amazing, beautiful, impressive!!!! Congrats to both (3???) of you!

Raina said...

You look AMAZing that far along, Laurie. Great job to you both! I can't believe you were going under a 9 mm for part of it. That is serious FAST waddling. So proud of you!

So - regular contractions- is there a baby yet? Please be sure to update on that!

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

Hehe, your belly does look fake. What a great race with your mom. The weather was perfect for taking pictures. Loved it.

Catey said...

You are so stinkin' cute!! And your belly totally does look fake. Looks like you've got a ball tucked under there! Love it. :) So happy for you that it was an awesome race and that your mom had a good time!

Ama_Runs said...

Super congrats to you! And to your mom! Such an inspiring post. Thank you!

Jane said...

I am just super impressed sitting here reading this! Congrats to you and your mom! What an amazing experience!!!

Amanda@runninghood said...

You are such an inspiration!!! Really great seeing you. :) This picture of us makes me smile. :)