Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My weekend: a little Christmas, a LOT of Running

This weekend the Mister and I headed up to Portland for an overnight adventure. Even though Portland is only about an hour away, we rarely go up there outside of holidays with my family, so this was a fun little treat for us.

Saturday we started by dropping the dog off at his hotel- or the local kennel. This time he seemed happy to be there, which is good I guess. Usually he pulls and tries to leave with us when we drop him off. I guess our little boy is growing up.

Then we headed up to Portland to pick up my packet for the half-marathon I signed up for on Sunday. The running store is in a cute little neighborhood so we walked around and found a yummy Hawaiian place for lunch/early dinner. I didn't take any pictures but this pretty much sums up our meals.
Then we checked into our hotel. Portland has a great mass transit system, and neither of us really like to drive, especially in traffic that is more than 5 cars, so we decided to hop on the MAX train and head down to the zoo. WAIT just a minute, it is December and it was well after lunch time so what is the point in going down to the zoo at night? ZOOLIGHTS!

Every year the Portland Zoo decorates for the holidays with tons of lights. The pathways are lit up, the trees are covered in lights, they have wintery themed decorations and they have tons of lit up animals (not the real ones). It is so fantastic. I have only been a couple times, and this was the first year that the Mister had ever been. He liked it well enough, except the wait to get on the zoo train. We waited over an hour. Boo.

So, our photography could use some help, but I think you get the idea.

The next morning we headed over to the Adidas campus and I got ready to go.

There were over 1900 runners signed up for this race. 1900 cold runners! The high while we were running was somewhere between 30 and 32 degrees. But, it was such a fun race! There were tons of costumes and tinsel and jingle bells and elves and Santas. So much fun!

Much like my Zombie Zumba outfit, I went for a Christmas shirt with my running clothes.
This was after mile 13, when the Mister found me. Yes I am smiling, because I was actually having fun!

The back of my shirt says "believe." I hope it gave some inspiration to runners behind me. (I just read that sentence again and I am not trying to say I was the fastest or even close to the fastest person in the race. I just think we all need some inspiration in a 13.1 mile run!)

I was running near a group of 6 people who might or might not have been 3 married couples. They were older than me, and it looked like they were having the best time. They were in Christmas-y outfits and I would see them stop in different places (like a bar, with a spectator holding a sign that said "you are all Kenyans" a group of carolers etc) and pose for pictures.

One of my favorite parts of big runs like this happens at the finish line. When I crossed the line, the announcer said my name. It just makes you feel like you won the race (even though I was well over an hour and a half behind the winner). It's just such an amazing feeling!
This is me after the race. (Cute right? ha!) Instead of medals, they gave us these silver bells commemorating the race. It was so cool to hear all the finishers ringing their bells at the finish line and at the after party!

The stats for this race (because you are dying to know):
Overall finish time and average per mile time- 2 hours 49 minutes (12:59 mile)
Overall place- 1705/1948
Age group place (females 25-29 my last race in this age group!) 177/196

There was a 72 year old man and a 70 year old woman that both beat me. You know what I say to that- you go old people. I hope I can still be doing these half-marathons when I am in my 70's!

One of the best parts of these races are the different inspirational shirts people make to run in. One that really kept me going was a woman's vest that had this phrase (or something really close to this) on it: "There will be days you don't think you can run a marathon. But there will be a lifetime of knowing that you have." So true.Two years ago I wouldn't have considered myself a runner, and it's still hard for me to say I am a runner, but I set a goal to finish a 5K and then I did it. Next up, I did a half marathon and a full marathon (NEVER AGAIN!!). Crossing the finish line is such a great feeling!

Are you a runner? Have you ever wanted to run a race? What is stopping you?


Brittany said...

way to go, casey!! i could never ever do that (well, maybe i could...just not brave enough to). you should be so proud! love the santa shirt you wore too...so cute!

Lucky Girl said...

Congrats on the run! And what a great inspirational shirt that your fellow runner was wearing - spot on!

Thanks for stopping by my blog recently - I really appreciate it!!

Erin @ His and Hers said...

I ran once...when I was about to miss the bus. :P Seriously, you should be so proud of yourself. I could never complete a marathon in a million years. I love your festive t-shirt! :)