Wednesday, May 22, 2013

2013 Hippie Chick Half Marathon Race Report

For the second year in a row, I had the opportunity to travel to Portland to hang out with some of my best friends and run the Hippie Chick Half Marathon.  This year's encouragement/suggestion to race was put together by my good friend Katrina, who was unable to run last year due to her pregnancy.  While I was fairly pregnant when I ran, she was very, very pregnant as in the "you may not be further than an hour away from the birthing center because your baby could come at any time" kind of pregnant.  Anyway, we made her an honorary Hippie Chick and got to enjoy our pre race pasta dinner with her, but it just wasn't the same as actually having her at the race.  So, this year when she said she had signed up, it didn't take too much convincing to get me on board too.

After a little going back and forth as to our travel plans (sometimes getting a group of indecisive girls to make a decision can be difficult) we finally decided to stay the night in Portland at Katrina's house.  I left the coast Friday afternoon, stopped off for dinner in Eugene at Marci's with a couple of my fellow Hippie Chicks then we hopped on the freeway to get to Katrina's where all the pre race festivities began, i.e. painting our fingernails putting on our war paint.  Shortly after arriving in Portland, Marci discovered that although she had all the bags she needed for her baby, she didn't have her bag, which included all her running stuff.  Luckily, her husband was coming up with their other two girls in the morning and after a quick phone call, he sweetly agreed to leave a few hours earlier in order to get Marci her stuff well before time to go to the race.  After that scare was over, we stayed up too late but had a great time doing it.  It was kind of surreal that at the same time last year, 3 of us were pregnant.

Before we knew it, the night was over and it was time to leave for the race.  We left in just enough time to get a decent parking spot, stand in line at the Honey Buckets and get to the start in time for the National Anthem.  Oh, and of course take some awesome pre race photos.
I'm really terrible at taking group selfies, but since this is the only pre race group shot, I better include it.
  L to R:  Michelle, Katrina, Marci, Me, Lindsey

The start line was a bit of a big mess.  None of the pacers were in the mix yet so the racers didn't really have any idea where to line up.  Once we burrowed our way in, the pacers finally got in and we found we had lined up waaaaay too far back and began weaving and dodging our way towards the front.  We finally got far enough that we could at least see the 9:00 and 9:30 pacers (they were literally right next to each other) but hit a solid wall of women and knew that we would not be going further up without making some serious enemies.

I didn't have any big plans for this race.  It was 2 weeks after Eugene and 3 weeks before Newport, so my only plans were: 1. Not to race it.  2.  Treat it as a long run  3.  Have fun with my friends.  Marci and Katrina were hoping to run around 2 hours (securing PRs for themselves) and Lindsey (her first half) was aiming for about the same, despite the fact that she had been super sick all week.  Michelle was running the quarter, so was unfortunately let to fend for herself.

The goal was to cruise right around 9 minute pace.  I'll just put this out there right now, I am a terrible pacer.  Our paces were all over the place.  It didn't help that the first couple of miles were spent maneuvering and speeding up to get around and by slower runners.  However, as is typical Laurie racing fashion, we went out a bit too fast.  We did a good job of sticking together for the first few miles until we lost Lindsey.  There is nothing worse than training for so long only to get sick the week before the race and having your body not cooperate.

In the early miles... still a pretty big group to weave through. 
A new friend (Allie) we picked up on the way and Marci, having a great time.

Katrina and Marci running past the Vanderzanden Tulip Farm.
 Katrina began to fade a bit as we neared the halfway point.  She encouraged us to go on and we reluctantly pulled away.  Before we knew it, we were at the turn around and seeing this awesome Hippie Dude who was cheering faithfully for all the women.
 I've come to really enjoy races that have out and back portions in them because then you get to cheer on the other runners.  Here is Lindsey still looking very strong despite feeling the effects of her illness and also the temperatures that were starting to rise.
Marci had, somewhat reluctantly, left her iPod in the car and so I promised to tell her stories and even sing to her if needed in the later miles.  I'll be honest, I'm not the best for making conversation when I run.  I tend to ask a few poignant questions that then elicit long stories where I get to cruise along listening while the other person does all the work.  This carried true for most of this race as well, with Marci doing most of the story telling.  Finally though, as we got on in miles, I could tell that Marci needed a little distraction so I dug deep and spilled some of my deepest, darkest secrets and when all else failed resorted to singing, "She's got Legs".   Unfortunately, I discovered I only knew a few lines of it... "she's got legs and she knows how to use them".  It seemed to be enough though because all of a sudden we were rounding the corner that led to the last sections of the race.  Even better than that, we were closing in on the 9:00 pacer and we used her as a target.  Even though at first she seemed a bit far off, we steadily reeled her in and went right on past her for the finish.
 This landed us with an overall official finish time of 1:57:03 and a big smile from Marci who worked very hard.

Here is a look at our splits:
Yeah, that 8:35 at mile 11 was right when I was in the height of my story telling - when I do tell stories while running, I tend to speed up a bit.  :S

Not too long after us, Katrina finished all smiles as well.  Although she didn't have the exact race she was hoping for, she ran a very strong race in some pretty warm weather and came away with a nice PR and a great attitude.
We then watched for Lindsey and started to get pretty worried when she kept not finishing but it turns out she also finished shortly behind us and had been resting near the finish line.  (The poor thing was soooo sick but she really pushed herself and had a great race.)  Michelle did a great job in the quarter, staying right on her target pace and finishing strong.
All in all, I would say that we were 5 pretty pleased Hippie Chicks.  I missed having my mom there to run with me this year but she had sent me a text that let me to believe that her thoughts were with us.

We hung out a bit at the finish festivities, drinking water, soaking up the sun and enjoying our time together (well, maybe not Lindsey so much, she was still pretty sick.)  I scored a T-shirt from Brooks at their Cavalcade of Curiosities then we headed back to Katrina's for showers and some of the best pizza I've ever had.  Seriously, it was really tasty.

After a nice relaxing afternoon at Katrina's, I took Michelle and Linsdey back to Eugene then I briefly "face(d) North then real subtle-like, turn(ed) left" (name that movie) towards home.  It was a really beautiful drive and made me truly appreciate this great state that I live in.

 After 2 quick hours on the road, I was home to Dan and the kiddos who were all relieved happy to see me.


Running On Candy said...

What a great recap...looks like my kind of course!

Katrina said...

Aw, this made me smile. Thanks for coming and running with me!

Dick said...

The movie was "Last of the Mohicans." Daniel Day-Lewis was the actor that said it.

Good race, Laurie! Having been with you on some of your longer runs I'm not buying the statement you made about getting other people to chatter while you contentedly merrily prance along. When I rode with you on your 17 mile pre-Eugene training run I'm pretty sure you talked non-stop!

Diana Martinez said...

Sounds like a great day! And for the record, I think your splits look great! When you said you were bad at pacing, I was expecting much bigger fluctuations - looks pretty normal to me! =)

Marci said...

You are the best pacer ever! Thanks for getting me to my goal friend. I love all you Hippie Chicks.

Heather said...

What's said on the run stays on the run! I've divulged all my deep dark secrets to you and a couple other people on long runs. Believe me, I know what people must stay my friends for life--they (you) know all my dirt! Of course, I tend to have the opposite problem as you--I get on a long run and immediately start divulging, forgetting to let the other person ever do much talking. Guess that's one thing to look forward to in Newport, if you slow down enough to run near me--I'll talk your ear off! Great race report and good job keeping all those fellow Hippie Chick girls in line. :)

Lindsey and Isaac said...

I loved reading this! I'm so glad we did this all together, you guys are the best!