oregon adventures

Friday, November 30, 2007

Seattle Half Marathon

Last weekend I did the Seattle half marathon. Drove up Saturday with three others to do packet pickup and go to the really good expo. Had dinner at the Pike Street Brewery and dessert at the Fox Sports bar just in time to see the dramatic end to the WSU- UW football game. Then spent the night in the Westin on the 28th floor- that was nice with the night-time downtown Seattle view out the window.
Got to the Experience Music museum in the morning and it was COLD, somewhere in the low 30's. We had met up with one other person at the start and they all wanted to do a 1:45 pace, which would be a social pace for them and a 5K pace for me. They had enough porta-potties that there was no line even with thousands of people- everything about the race was well organized. We moved up until we were standing with the 1:45 pacer for the start. I stayed with the others through downtown and onto a highway bridge that felt icy and then I started to fade at 3 miles having kept an 8 even pace for those 3 miles. So the rest of the time I ran by myself in the giant group at my pace. Through a tunnel where some people yelled to hear the echo. Then along Lake Washington on a road I recognized from the Seattle to Portland bike ride. Then up some hills and then up one steep hill and past some big crowds and into an arboretum. After that it went slightly uphill for a long time past big trees and was pretty, but tiring. Then towards downtown with a great skyline and space needle view (it was a perfect blue sky day). About 3 miles from the finish I was at a 9 mile/minute pace so I just tried to keep it there and 2 miles out sped up a little and then with 1 mile left it goes steeply downhill, so I opened it up, but then it goes back up a ramp and that hurt. Then the final push into the stadium, so I ran strong, didn't sprint, and saw the timer at 1:58 and knew I was going to beat my goal of 2 hours. Crossed the line at 1:58:55 for a 9:05 pace. The others I came with did 1:46. We met up at the finish and went in to get soup and drinks, they had a great spread, but it was wall-to-wall people. Took the bus back to the Westin and used the hot tub and then went to the Bell Street Cafe on the waterfront for a great crab-shrimp-cheese sandwich. We had planned to go up in the space needle since it was a perfect day, but everyone started to wind down by the end of lunch so we drove back to Portland instead.
For some great pictures of the day, check out Lizzie Lee.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Runyon Canyon and I-5 Bridge Runs

Met running partner 1 after work this afternoon at Beaches restaurant to do a run over the I-5 bridge (picture is from last year). We started on the riverfront path on the Washington side and ran over the left side of the bridge and went under the highway through a tunnel and back across the bridge on the other side. Then down the path until it ends and through a parking lot to another path that goes for several miles. We turned around when it got to Marine park and back to the cars at 7 miles at nice conversational 9:09 pace. It was a beautiful 63 degrees out when we started and blue sky. As we finished the sun was setting behind the hills of Portland with the glow of dusk on the river- very pretty. Need to start bringing my camera again. Since I had to work this weekend, of course it was perfect weather-wise. Saturday I heard they had 25 people for the group ride at the club, oh well. I rode after work by myself up and down Marine drive for 25 miles with a 21 average. It was my first solo ride since June- 58 rides in between solo rides! It also put me over 3100 miles for the year riding.
A couple of Thursdays ago I flew down to Los Angeles to visit my son and had a great time. We went to some really nice restaurants and saw lots of sights and hiked a canyon by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory compound. Then Sunday the smoke and smog lifted, so we went to Runyon Canyon state park in the Hollywood hills and ran up to the top. My son was able to stay with me for 1/2 a mile and then he had to fall back. I looked at my GPS and I was only going at an 11 or 12 pace- but it was a steep path. If I were a nice Dad I would have walked a little with him, but I was wearing my 70.3 shirt, so I kept running. Climbed to three viewpoints and did a total of 5 miles. The view was great of downtown LA and at the highest of the viewpoints you could see the valley on the other side (San Fernando?). Didn't have a camera and my son didn't bring his picture phone on the run, so no pictures of the views. The reason he picked this trail was apparent all along the trail. A whole path filled with beautiful 20 something year old girls in running shorts (80-90 degrees that day). I said hi to all the girls I could of course, about half said hi back. Also went through the LA art museum and saw one picture in the American art section that was amazing. It was called "The Baptism" by Julius Stewart and was a good 6 or 8 feet tall. I stood a few feet away from it so it filled my vision and I felt like I could walk right into it and I swear I could almost see the women in the foreground breathing- very lifelike. The picture of my son was taken on the Santa Monica pier, the fog was rolling in as we walked out there.