Monday, October 25, 2010

Run Like Hell---Portland!! RR

The day dawned warm with scattered clouds.  At 5:30 it was 68 degrees, with a light off-shore breeze of about 7 Mph.  With the humidity at about 54% this would be a great day for a run.  That is, it would have been if the race was Run Like Hell HILO.  But this was Portland, this was the end of October, and this was definitely NOT Hawaii.

What we got instead was, 5:30 54 degrees, 98% humidity, and a very calm wind.  If we got lucky, it would stay like that for a while.  However, just before we left to get to the race, the skies opened as though it were a requirement.  It was a very brief blast of rain, and then it stopped.  It was comfortable in shorts and my Team Pikermi shirt with a pull-over on, and so off we went to Portland.

We got parked and walked down to the start area.  I have worked a couple of races and been in a couple as well, but I couldn't recall one where they had blocked off so much of downtown at once.  But then, this is Portland, and there aren't a lot of people moving around downtown on Sunday mornings.  We laughed at some of the costumes, but for the most part, the costume of the day was: Runner.

There were 1654 runners for the Pikermi, all of us prepared to run in the rain.  There were lots of smiling faces and quite a few joking about needing swim fins at some point during the race.  Turns out goggles would have been a good addition to my run pack.  But, we checked our coats and changes of clothes and walked out to check the start line.  One last swing by the Schultzy's and we headed to the start chute.  About 5 minutes later, the horn sounded and we were off and running.

I had talked my sister-in-law into running this race earlier in the summer, and she has been training hard all summer as part of what she does normally, so when she started to pull away, I let her go.  I had to remind myself a couple of times that my ankle wasn't all the way back, and I had really only been back for 6 weeks at 90%.  There was not going to be a sub 2 hour run this morning.  But I was OK with this.  We cleared the first few miles with no rain, and when we got to the first "aide station" there was no aide to be found, just a long line for the three potties there.

I was feeling like I could stop for a minute at one, and I knew there were about 8 under the Burnside bridge just a short mile or so further up the road.  So, that would put them about mile 4, and that would be right about for a "normal training run" rest stop.  However, when I got to them, I and several before me, found them to be locked.  Curses!  Oh well, it is only a couple of miles to the next stop, and I will hope for little to no line.

As I was making my way from aide station 1 to the locked porta-lettes, the rain had begun.  A nice gentle rain that pattered upon our heads.  However, after passing the newly re-set start/finish line for the 10K the rains began to get a little more insistent.  By the time I was starting the climb out of downtown, the rain gods decided to see if they could wash the colors out of our clothes.  It was raining HARD.  A third of an inch in 20 minutes, as a matter of fact.  The fifteen minutes before that, barely a tenth of an inch.  The next hour?  Nothing.  Scattered clouds and sunshine.  In fact, my shirt almost dried out in that time.

Shortly after I had made my pit-stop, and the rains had parted, I found that I was feeling like I was pushing too fast, so as I was passing mile 7 I saw a gal who looked like she was starting to lag in spirit, so I sided over and asked if I could run with her for a bit.  I even told her that I felt I was running too fast, and that she looked like she was out of gas.  She agreed and we started up the road towards mile 8.  We made our turn to climb up Terwilliger, and we started chatting to take our minds off the race.  Mindless babbling about rain and running and whether we were going to try to run Portland Marathon next year or not.

FULL REPORT COMING...I'll add more tomorrow.


  1. I LOVE it so far! A good story. Waiting for the follow-up.
    Crum about the potties!!! Crum about the weather!!!

  2. Oh, I hate locked porta potties! Hurry with the next installment!

  3. And we need to know about Mrs. Potato!!!

  4. Pouring rain and you need a porta potty? Aren't we civilized.

  5. How nice you are, helping out that lady.
    Rain! A little is ok but pouring down?

    I just noticed you like Raymond Feist. RAYMOND FEIST!
    Me too. =)