Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Portland Rewind

This wasn't even my first time being a spectator at the Portland Marathon (we went down to watch Stacie two years ago) but being a super awesome runner now myself, along with Coach of course, and being apart of this incredible bloggy world, totally changed the experience- for the better of course!

My trip started early with a 6 am wake up on Saturday for Stacie and Jason to come pick me up. They were nice enough to let me tag along with them for the day till Jesse could meet up with me that night. Despite being tired, we chatted the whole way down and even enjoyed ourselves some caramel spiced ciders from Starbucks since we were both feeling under the weather (ok mini pity party done)...

After we got slightly lost and viewed more of downtown Portland then was in the original plan, our navigators decided to just go to the hotel and see if an early check-in was in the cards and wahoo it was! From there it was lots of stairs in the rain to Expo. I may have looked slightly foolish trying to go down the stairs, but who cares, I was going to my first Expo! Unfortunately, it was too rainy to get any funny pics along the way :(  We got there and Stacie got all checked in and we began shopping till we were dropping. Even though I had never been to an Expo before, I had seen them before so I knew this was on the smallish slightly disorganized side. I was able to find these cute ornaments for our tree from a local company with a couple of really nice ladies. They even took their picture with us!

And I broke down and bought some CEP socks. Even the guy selling them was shocked at my small calf size. I have small calves! I know! So at this point I don't know if they are doing a lot for me. I will have to wear them more to see. But they are hot pink, so can't go wrong there! By then Stacie was feeling strong enough to go sign up for the pump-n-run. A division for only the strongest and boldest of athletes.

She passed with, well um, slightly assisted colors! No she did awesome! But she worked up an appetite and it was time for food stop number 1! Wild Buffalo Wing (or something like that) for some not so healthy appetizers. It is funny how being around super fit athletes makes you crave the crap! But despite the less than stellar service we had fun watching the camera man at the Michigan/Michigan St. game zoom in on the same girl repeatedly!

Then we were back to the Expo to meet up with some bloggy buddies, holla! Despite the fact that they made us wait outside the doors like idiots for like an hour (or 15min) we didn't hide from them and soon we saw Julie and Ashley! It was fun getting to meet their real life beings and talk to them for a bit. Of course we finished with a bloggy pic!

Stacie, me, Julie, and Ashley

After some none Expo shopping it was time for un-healthy meal number 2 at the Macaroni Grill where Stacie had planned our Bloggy Meet Up Carb Load Extravaganza! I always love getting to see everyone and this time I got to meet some new people!
I apologize but I have no Idea what Track Coach is doing!

Jill and Amanda

Valerie, Harmony, Blond Pony, Mel, Jill, Amanda, Me (hello reflective headband) & Stacie (thanks to Track Coach and Jason for taking the pics!)

Harmony, Blond Pony, Mel, Jill, Amanda, Me & Stacie
When walking back to the cars we couldn't help but pose in front of a Portland banner!

Then when everyone else headed back to their comfy beds to sleep or plan their spectating routes, we headed towards Battle Ground so Jesse could get out some pent up aggression and play some indoor soccer with his brother and sister-in-law. I really truly am very sad I don't have any pictures of this! Lets just say, he showed a lot of hustle out there. He even kicked the ball a few times. I think it is probably how Mom's feel when watching their kids play. They want them to do good, not embarrass themselves, and have the other kids be nice to them! Once they were all a sweaty mess, we headed out for unhealthy meal number 3 at Billygans, one of those restaurants where you throw the peanut shells on the floor. This time I did mostly stick to cider and one or two potato skins! We finally got to bed around 1 and set the alarm for 6, fun!

Well I failed the 6 o'clock wake up call, but we were out the door by 7. We managed to catch Stacie around mile 5 but she was so zoned out that she didn't even notice us. Wow runner FAIL! Poor Jason was starving by then so we opted for a much healthier breakfast at Subway (ok double bacon, but with egg WHITES) and then went to see if we could spot the elites coming in for the finish. After we about gave up and left, they finally came, two guys booking it behind a police escort. Awesome! Then we left to try and find our car. This ended up being quite the adventure and took us far too long. Yea, I felt stupid, small town girl can't find car in the big city! We finally did, celebrated with a picture and headed towards mile 15 to see Stacie again.

I felt bad that I wasn't getting to see anybody else, but my main purpose was to route Stacie on! Even worse was my throat and voice was so bad, I was having a hard time cheering on random folks. When we met up with Jason at mile 15 we had a few minutes to wait for Stacie so we people watched for a bit. There was the guy with walking sticks, the people rushing in and out of the potties, and stellar beard. Everyone was willing to smile and wave when you shouted and honked at them, it was great. I can't even imagine how miserable they must be, but they were pushing through for a goal they wanted. Truly inspiring! Then came Stacie. The poor girl looked like she was in major pain and told us it wouldn't be pretty. We watched her pass and headed for the finish. I had lots of bloggy buddies who were supposed to be finishing around the 4 hour mark that I wanted to catch.

Stacie's support crew minus camera man Jason. Notice Jesse with the umbrella, men can't pack for themselves! No coat or sweatshirt!
Luckily I was able to see most of them. I missed Ashley, but turns out for good reason, she BQ'd! I did see Julie hobbling in, she looked amazing still. Then it was Harmony and Blonde Pony looking strong for their first Marathon! And soon it was Amanda! I knew I wanted to try and say goodbye to Amanda so I headed to the reunion area and met up with Mel and Jill, but despite our searching and waiting, no Amanda. I was sad, Love you Amanda and I'll miss you my new friend!

Getting ready to cheer!
I swear this is almost over! We cheered for the finishers, praised their finishing kick, and watched as more and more of them seemed to be injured. It was getting to the point where we were worried about Stacie, so Jesse and I headed out in search of here. We found her and asked if she wanted help in, but she said she wanted to finish strong for the pictures and she started running despite her obvious pain. So Jesse and I started running down the sideline beside her, telling her she was amazing (which she was) and that her family was just around the corner! Soon she rounded the corner and saw Jason and pushed for the finish line. What a girl! She is such an amazing friend and such an inspiration! We were able to meet up with her, tell her congrats, but then we had to head home to get our boys. It was a weekend almost as long as this post, but much more fun. I loved meeting all my new friends and hope to see you again soon! Great job everybody!

What a running superstar!

And as you now know it has inspired us to run a big race, just never Portland! So yes, I will be running my first half-marathon in June and Jesse will be running his first full! The Seattle R'n'R! You should join in!


abbi said...

Looks like a blast and very cool that it inspired both of you!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Love the pics!! WOW Awesome, that is such a GREAT race.. Make sure Track Coach work HILLS into the training plan :)


ashleys said...

Thank you for cheering us on! It was great to meet you in person! Happy Running!

H Love said...

so glad to meet you guys! I am tempted to return to Seattle...can't decide on half or full!!

Mark said...

Your small calves will love those compression socks.

I on the other hand, have calves that my wife refers to as "abnormally gigantic."

racing dawn said...

What a fun weekend! How great of you guys to go and support! So excited you two are jumping in to a big race next year! So fun... :)

AM-GoalsfortheWeek said...

again like i've said..so fun to see all you bloggy peeps in the real world doin' your race thing. thanks for sharing!

Tortuga_Runner said...

Hey thanks for stopping by! Great post, love the pictures, it made me want to be there. I just may join you for the Seattle Rock N Roll, it happens around my birthday so it might be a nifty gift to myself.

Foges said...

that michigan state fan was pretty cute though! great post! way to support blogger runners!

Leah @ Chasing Atalanta said...

I'd love to join you at the Seattle RnR Half, but with Arizona & Savannah already planned I don't think I can swing another destination race next year. BUMMER!
Enjoy your CEPs! I love mine!

Molly said...

love your photos!! Congrats on deciding to do the half and to Jesse for the full! Game on!

Zaneta said...

OH HOW FUN!!! Sounds like an amazing weekend! AND SERIOUSLY!!! Congrats on signing up for seattle!! :D

Lesley @ racingitoff.com said...

After reading this whole thing, I still can't get over your reflective headband at the bloggy meet-up!!! You have your own halo. ;-)

Julie D. said...

Thanks for being out there cheering us on!! I'm bummed I missed seeing you at the finish!! I was a little overwhelmed. ;) Thanks for waiting for us at the expo and not hiding!! :) Maybe we'll see you in Seattle!!

Adam said...

NICE!!! So, did I know that you knew Stacie? I'm not sure I did. She knows the deadliest catch guys, I "know" both of you....that makes me famous by association! Yayyyyy

Way to get out there in pretty crappy weather.

(Ok, enough comments for me, time to get ready for my own bloggy meet up!