I had such a great weekend in Sunriver, Oregon. As many of you remember the half marathon I had planned for Memorial Day weekend was canceled. As one of my goals for the year is to finish 4 half marathons, when that one was canceled I knew I had to sign up for another one quickly. I remembered my cousin Kristen had ran Pacific Crest Half Marathon last year and enjoyed it. I looked up the dates and started planning how I could make it work. Thankfully a coworker switched shifts with me and the planning for the weekend was able to come to life.
As I had already put in the training for See Jane Run Half Marathon, I didn’t need very much training. With a little alteration of my current training plan I was able to stay half marathon ready for this race. I have family that live in Sunriver, that invited me to stay anytime I want. So with a quick call to them, I had somewhere to stay. Putting the weekend together was quick and easy.
So Friday, June 24 I drove up to Sunriver, Oregon. I arrived a little after 1pm and had enough time to settle in and pick up my packet for the next day. I was excited and ready for this race, at least I thought I was.
Leading up to the race (like every race) I was constantly checking the weather. I always want to be prepared for what race day weather will be. Is it supposed to rain, be really hot, really cold, is it supposed to snow?? I need to be mentally and physically prepared. I remembered my cousin Kristen talking about how hot it was for this race last year so I planned for warmer weather. As race day approached the temps were showing that Saturday would be around 79. That’s a little warm for me but usually the temp is for afternoon and not early morning when the race would start. I figured the race would mostly be in the 60s and 70s. BOY WAS I WRONG!!!!
The race started at 35 degrees. Yes 35, like 3 degrees above FREEZING!!! I was so cold. Of course I had wore shorts and short sleeves. I was planning for 60s not 30s. Thankfully the family lives around mile 3 so I wore my jacket and planned to take it off when I passed their house. As the race started I could not feel my hands. It took forever to warm up. By mile 3 I still felt like keeping my jacket on but, knew that it would continue to warm and I would regret keeping my jacket. So I gave it up and was still pretty cold. At some point I warmed up (not really sure when).
For the most part I felt pretty good the whole race. Nothing really hurting or weird. I had decided to run with no music. I really enjoyed just listening to the birds and enjoying nature and my own thoughts and prayers. It was peaceful. This course is beautiful and in the trees the whole time. I even saw a few deer (see mom you have to come do this race next year). I really enjoyed the whole thing. This race runs through the bikes paths in the neighborhoods of Sunriver. So all these people live right off the path and were cheering for people, all while enjoying their morning coffee on their deck. The people in this area are all really nice. I was cheered on by so many random strangers. So many commented on my amazing sparkle skirt, I was even called a merbabe (kind of like mermaid but a babe- yes she clarified it). It was really enjoyable.
One amazing part of this was a group of guys from the Marine Scout Sniper Association that ran the half marathon (13.1 miles) with 50lb packs on. I couldn’t believe the determination and power that these guys had. It was so cool to see them along the course and cheer them on and they ran parts with me. Towards the end some of them were really starting to hurt and I couldn’t imagine doing something like that. Every one that I talked with no matter how much it hurt, had such great attitudes and tried to enjoy the journey. I was reminded how much our military are going through so that we can be free in this country. It was an honor to run with them, but I was thankful not to have the extra 50lbs plus elevation!
That’s right the elevation. In my rush of planning and packing for the race, I didn’t realize that it was going to be at 4,200 feet of elevation. I was very thankful that I live at around 3,500 ft elevation and barely noticed the extra elevation while I was running. I can’t imagine running a race at elevation when you live at Sea Level. It takes years to acclimate.
Anyway, as I headed toward the finish I was ready to be done but not feeling horrible. I continued my run walk intervals like I planned and just kept my pace. Once I was in the finish corral I felt so awkward. All these people were staring at me and cheering for me. The announcer even said my name and made some comment about my sparkle skirt. I guess that is the benefit of being a slower runner. There are less people finishing with you and you actually get to feel a little bit of pride crossing that finish line with tons of people cheering just for you.
So I finished at 2 hours 37 minutes. That is just 1 minute short of my PR from See Jane Run. I couldn’t believe it! And when I finished it was 57 degrees. So I walked through the corral area, received my water and medal and then it lead to the food area. Ok I really loved this race. Most half marathons you get a banana and some other random food. This half marathon the food was awesome! First, right when you finish there was a buffet table full of all sorts of fruit, chips, pretzels, pastries, hard boiled eggs, and DONUTS!! Plus they had juice, water, and chocolate milk. I filled a plate with some fruit and a donut and enjoyed. Then I was told that the meal ticket attached to my bib was for a hot meal and beer. WHAT??? More food!!!
So I walked over to where the “hot” meal was. I kind of expected warm chicken sandwiches or something random that probably wasn’t very good. NO this food was so good. There were 6 choices. I chose the pulled pork sandwich. Then went over and got my free beer. Deschutes Brewery was doing the beer so it was amazing beer as well! So stoked! So I sat and ate my food and drank my beer and was so content with life! As I was there alone, I started chatting with an older lady who was sitting next to me all alone as well. She was in her late 70s and has done many marathons and half marathons. She mainly sticks to half marathons now. She is planning to do some walking tour of Italy this fall with some of her girlfriends. They plan to walk 12-16 miles a day so this race was training for that. I hope to be that active at in my 70s!
After I finished eating and enjoying my time, I decided to walk back to the house. It was about a 2.5 mile walk. It felt good to stretch my legs and walk. While I was walking the Long Course Triathletes started passing me. It was fun to watch them run by and cheer for them. The next day I was able to look up the results. I had registered for the Athena division and placed 4th out of 12! 2nd and 3rd place finished only 4 minutes in front of me! I wasn’t sure about registering Athena, but that placing made me feel like I actually was competing with others for once in my life.
All in all it was a great race that I would definitely run again! Stay tuned for my update on the rest of the weekend!