So this week culminated with the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon, and so shall this blog post! :) But first, a recap of the other fun runs from this week:
6.97 miles (11:03 avg pace)
I joined in for the Tuesday Lululemon Group Run again. I got an extra couple of miles by running on the way to and from the run. It was definitely an easy run, but it’s fun to get together with a group of other runners. I skipped out on track again this week, but I definitely want to go back next week. I have a 10k to prepare for! :)
Ran to/from yoga
1.7 miles (10:12 avg pace)
I participated in a new class “Yoga for Cyclists”. It was pretty fun, even though I was the only runner. We targeted very similar areas as a “Yoga for Runners” class would. I’m thinking of heading back next week, so we’ll see if it fits into my schedule.
3.8 miles (9:53 avg pace)
Another fun afternoon/evening of running, and maybe the last of the year! :( They aren’t sure if they’ll be having an October run since the Portland Marathon is so near to it, but I hope they do. These runs are so fun, and its great to see so many people out there hitting the streets. This months was kind of a short run; most of the stops were on 23rd, but we still logged a few fun miles.
Thought about running one of these days, but then I decided to be lazy instead!
Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon “Race” Recap
2:18:44 (10:36 avg pace)
This was a “fun/training” run rather than a race, which I did with my friend. We took lots of pictures, chatted with lots of other runners, and just had a fun time. This was the inaugural race, and the first race put on by Destination Races to take place outside of California. There were a lot of out-of-towners (runners from 46 states, Canada, and Singapore) which brought a lot of tourism to our local economy. The race itself was pretty well organized, especially for an inaugural race. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to go to the Race Expo/Packet Pickup, which took place near the race, or about 45-60 minutes away from where I live on Saturday, which definitely took some travel time out of my weekend. The race includes a pretty nice shirt and free wine tasting at the finish line. But onto the race itself:
We arrived about an hour before the start time (6am for the 7am start time) and had absolutely no problem finding parking. This was a point-to-point course, but J and my friend’s soon-to-be-husband drove us to the start line, and found us again at the finish. We lingered around the staging area, greeted other runner friends, and porto-d. Soon enough it was time to hit up the starting line. We lined up just in front of the 11-12 min pace line, since we were aiming for 10:50’s, in preparation for my friend (and maybe me) pacing the 4:45 Portland Marathon Pace Group. While we were lined up, we met a girl who had used this race as an excuse to come up from Santa Barbara and visit her friends in Portland. At about 7:10, the gun finally went off, and off we went.
I’m in the blue shirt and black skirt: And we’re off:
We started off in the large crowd, got passed by some grapes, hit a mile marker way late (12:00 for the first mile…?) and the second one too early (notice a theme here) then things quieted down. Part of the reason this run was so fun was probably because we were running at an easy pace, so it was fun to just chat along the way. The course didn’t seem too difficult (at least for the first 8 miles). There were some nice gentle rollers, nothing too over the top. About mile 6 we passed the relay exchange for the 2-person relay. It was nice to have so many spectators greet us at the mid-way point, especially since this race took place out in the country. In fact, there seemed to be a good amount of supporters along the course, mostly as we were travelling through neighborhoods, or past houses. A lot of people came out to spectate!
After passing the 8 mile marker, we met the toughest part of the course: gravel. I hate gravel, and was just hoping it would be over soon. It wasn’t quite soon, in fact, it lingered far longer than I ever would have wanted… I don’t think it quite ended until after mile 11. That’s a lot of gravel. It wasn’t so bad for us, since we weren’t truly racing, but for some friends that were aiming for a PR, it was pretty rough.
So much gravel:
Other than the gravel, though, the race was pretty flat and scenic, and would probably be good for a PR course, but I’m not sure what 3.5+ miles of gravel does for other people legs…Soon enough, we were closing in on the finish. We got passed by a few people that were finishing strong, but no worries. We just glided into the finish, and collected our medals. Next up? Wine time. Yum!
Next week is PR time. 10k PR that is. I’ll be racing the Pints to Pasta 10K next Sunday, and I’m pretty excited. I don’t think I’ll have a problem PR’ing. (It’s been awhile, and I feel much more in shape/speedier than I was when I raced this distance back in April.) This course is also known to be speedy and mostly downhill, so it should be fun!
After next weekends race, I’m going to finalize a training plan for my “goal race” in November: the EWEB Run to Stay Warm Half Marathon. Very exciting!