This past weekend was a whirlwind. I will be recapping our trip to Vancouver, Washington/Portland, Oregon over the next week, but today is all about the Vancouver USA half marathon.
We spent the day before the race traveling and hiking around the Oregon Trail and settled back in the hotel at a decent time. The race was a late start (9am), but I still wanted to eat a nice dinner and get my kit ready for race morning. Since my Oiselle racing singlet arrived the day we left, I opted for this orange bird tank instead.
The Mr. and I ended up ordering room service, because it seemed easiest. I ordered a wedge salad and pasta with tomato sauce. It was tasty. I set my gear out and it was off to sleep.
Since the race start was across the street from our hotel I lounged around until about 8:40am and then headed down for the 9am start.
I gave the Mr. a kiss goodbye then waited for the start. It was self seeded which was fine with me since it was a pretty small race. I didn’t mind that there weren’t corrals.
The first couple miles were pretty uneventful, but there were a lot more hills than I remember seeing when I looked at the elevation profile. The inclines were lots of slow grades that just kept coming.
After running in town, we ran through the Fort Vancouver Historic Site. To be honest it wasn’t much to look at. Most of the middle miles were relatively flat with some climbs that built up to a serious incline up a small mountain/hill. It was really rough. It felt like it went on forever.
I did only liquid calories from Tailwind for this race and I’m so glad I had my own water bottle. I don’t remember seeing many water stations along the course and the ones I did see were at odd places.
At this point I knew that a PR probably wasn’t in the cards, but I continued to push on to see. I vowed to run fast and hard on the downhills and that helped. Most folks walked the downhills because they were so steep, but I powered through them. I wanted to practice more down hill running in preparation for Revel Big Cottonwood later this summer.
The waterfront miles were gorgeous, but at this point I just wanted to be done. I was bored with the course and it felt hot. Most of the course was in the sun and with the late start it began heating up quickly.
There were more hills between the waterfront and the finish. I texted the Mr. around mile 11 to let him know where I was and continued to push on towards the finish. It’s not that I had given up when I realized my A & B goals weren’t possible, it’s just that I readjusted my goals.
My head and heart felt like they might explode for most of the race and my calves and hamstrings were still so tight from the days leading up to the race. I decided at mile 11 to maintain my pace as best as I could and not hurt myself.
I was bored and ready to be done by the time I rounded the corner to the finish. I looked down at my watch to see that if I kicked a bit I could finish in under 2:45. And then just like that it was over.
I finished in 2:44:14. I wasn’t my best time or my worst, but I think it was the best I could do considering the circumstances. I hadn’t mentally prepared myself for the hills, my body was tired going into the race and the course was lackluster.
The Mr. and I had planned to spend some time at the Summer Brewfest that takes place after the race, but really wanted to visit Mt. Hood instead.
I went through the chute and snagged this tiny Jamba Juice Smoothie and coconut water.
I took a quick ice bath in the hotel tub then we walked to get some Mexican food.
Naturally, I refueled with chicken fajitas and the largest cranberry margarita ever.
After lunch we headed to Mt. Hood.
I am pleased with my performance even though I had expected to perform better. The race course itself is a different story. Don’t get me wrong it was a decent course, but there wasn’t really much to look at or much crowd support at all.
Vancouver is an adorable town, but I’m not sure that I would do this race again. I love smaller races, but I think there are probably other races in the greater Portland area I would like to run.
Since today is Thursday, I am linking up with Amanda over at Running with Spoons 🙂
Have you ever had a race experience like mine?
What is your favorite post race meal?