Jessica and I (high school running friends) chose the Cascade Half Marathon to meet up and race together as it was affordable, conveniently located and worked in our schedules. She convinced me to run track in high school and we've been running buddies ever since.
It was about an hour drive for each of us to meet outside Salem, OR in the small town of Turner for the half. Luckily, they use the school gym to keep runners warm, do packet pick up, etc. Definitely a nice feature for a chilly January race! (I did this race once before in 2008.)
Just before the start...
Neither of us had trained hard for this race, so we planned on just chatting and running together the entire time. It had been far too long since I had one of those races on my schedule.
The entire course follows pancake flat country roads. I loved this line of trees.
The temp yesterday was about 30 degrees with freezing fog. We both had little icicles in our hair, eyebrows and eyelashes by the end.
This course is an out and back so we turned around and ran past the trees again.
Around mile 10, my hips and glutes started feeling the pounding. We finished the race in 1:52:35 (8:36 pace). It wasn't my fastest race, but it wasn't my slowest either. Great way to catch up with a good friend and get a workout in!
We quickly grabbed our dry clothes and headed inside for refueling.
I opted not to fuel during the race other than a few cups of water so my stomach was rumbling by the end. Post race fuel included: chicken noodle soup, oatmeal raisin cookies and a variety of Great Harvest breads (my fav). It was definitely one of the more satisfying post race spreads in my book.
We chatted a bit more and parted ways. As soon as I got home, I crashed for a 45 min nap. That's called serious exhaustion in my book as I'm not a napper.
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. and Inauguration Days! If you have the day off, are you doing anything special?