Thursday, October 15, 2015

Running, running, lots of running!

Warning: This post is extremely long!!  Thank you in advance if you get through the whole thing.  : )
 Ok, we are going to back up a little, this first set is from the Oregon Fall Half Marathon, which I was a pacer for Saturday, September 12th.  It was a super fun event and we had a great time. 

 We got 4 women a PR, such a rewarding, awesome thing to get to do!

 So knowing I was pacing this race I was a bit conflicted because the next day, on Sunday, was a half marathon called Pints to Pasta which was downtown, and I love running downtown, also I could volunteer in trade for my entry.  I had never done 2 half marathons back to back but as I always say, what could go wrong??
 I convinced my very good friend Krisi to join me for the race (and also volunteer with me too!)  and we had the very best time!! 
 It was so fun to just stick together, laughing, taking pictures, and encouraging each other along 13.1 miles of beautiful downtown! 

 The race itself had some issues but for us it went really great, I felt super blessed to be able to do this one with Krisi.  Love her!!

So if 2 back to back half marathons weren't crazy enough, I decided to throw another one in the mix the following weekend.  The Bridge of the Goddess, a beautiful, scenic, VERY HILLY run starting on the Bridge of the Gods.  Pretty amazing opportunity!!  I also volunteered for this race in trade for entry.
 Ungodly hour.  Third time in 8 days I had to get up in the 4am range.  But it's good for me, gets me used to race days ahead.

 I think that is my "I'm lost" face, I went for a 6 mile run BEFORE the race started, you know, cause I'm crazy.  I got a little lost. it's kind of my thing.
 Happy to have equally crazy friends to run with!!
Kristi, Dayna, Janna & Me

 Looking down through the bridge.
 When I decided to do this one I asked around to see if anyone I knew was running the half, and sure enough Dayna from my Mom's Run This Town group was, yay!  We decided to stick together, and it was so fun!
 Who puts stairs in the middle of a race??

 The views were absolutely stunning!

 They were harder on the way back down : )

 I ran ahead to get some finishing shots of Dayna, she was so fun to run with!  What a great chance to get to know her better!

 This was a tough one, I am pretty sure we deserved a medal but this necklace will work too :) The shirt that we got is my new favorite so that was a super bonus!
 So glad Dayna did this one with me, racing is so much more fun with friends! 

Ok, so that's 3 half's in 8 days, if you are keeping track, Since I was on a roll, I figured why not another?  The next weekend, September 27th, Mariah and I paced for the Country Girl Half Marathon.  We did the 9mm group and it was a little hard but really fun!  I think my legs were carrying a bit of residual fatigue, go figure. 

How pretty is this??  We ran out near the airport along the Columbia River.  

So yes, this was a lot of racing and at this point I had only done 1 run over the half marathon distance (that morning when I did the extra 6 before the race) but why not run a FULL marathon the very next weekend, what could go wrong (RIGHT?!)?

So yes, Portland Marathon was the next weekend on October 4th.  I wasn't feeling like I properly trained at all but I was feeling pretty confident that I could run the whole thing as I was pacing it at a more relaxed pace.  I signed up for the 4 hour 25 minute group and was only responsible to run the first half of the marathon and keep my group on pace, but while you are out there can you really pass this up, the opportunity to run The Portland Marathon, for free??  
They gave us these really huge men's shirts that I knew I would be WAY too hot to wear running but we got permission to hack away at them, I'm not even remotely crafty so I was scared but I think I pulled it off!

 Andie got her chair just in time for the race!! 
 At the expo I ran in to some cool chicks!
 My kind of tattoo!

 Very early meet up before the race.  Fellow pacers Mariah and Charissa
The weirdest thing was that I was not really nervous at all.  I felt calm (and prayerful) but good.  I don't know if it was all those recent race mornings or what, I probably should have been freaking out, but I wasn't.  That was great!
 Charissa and I were in it for the long haul, both pacing the front half of the 4:25 and both deciding to run the whole thing! 

 Going over the St. John's Bridge on mile 17 was both hard and amazing!! 

  It wasn't until that last few miles that I was feeling pretty over it but we stayed on track and somehow knowing you are responsible for other people staying motivated really does help keep you yourself going.  It was great!!
 Proud to finish my second marathon!! We stayed on pace the whole time and came in at 4:25:14
 The best part was that Andie got to reach her dream of doing a full marathon, thanks to Brian for pushing her the whole way!  What a blessing!!  Could this picture be more awesome??! Her smile says it all, and the pain on his face too.  He is a rock star!
 So yes, a lot of running (I got this shot on a recovery run the following weekend, kinda blurry because we were zipping by), but happy to say I am doing great and still out there running.  After the last marathon I was out for a bit, feeling a little like I'd never run again, but this time it is going great!  I've already logged about 34 miles since the race.

I am in complete awe that God has gifted me the ability to run, something I never thought I would be able to do.  He has used it to build friendships in my life, help other people reach their goals, and make me a healthier, happier person and just in general enrich my life in so many ways.  Every single race mentioned above was free to me, which is a miracle in itself, or at least a total blessing.  I am so grateful for the chance to do all of this.

I'm thinking 4 marathons before I turn 40 in July, sounds like a good goal to me!  

What could go wrong...  : )


Summer said...

You are one awesome runnergirl!!!