I finished my first 15k and it went great! At a little after 7:45 this morning I headed onto the course for the Portland Shamrock Run, a run that sells out every year and has a field of 35,000 total participants for 5 different events. This was by far the biggest run I have ever done but it was so much fun!
I was more than a little nervous about the course going into this run. It goes up Terwilliger in Portland, which is curvy and hilly. I spent way too much time inspecting the course map and elevation changes and made a solid effort to include some hills in my training runs. Luckily, hills aren’t hard to come by here!
When I lived in Portland it was impossible for me to go on any sort of run without facing a hill or two…or three. They don’t scare me, I just know they have the potential to wear me out. Fortunately, Terwilliger is a slow climb. For about a mile we had a gradual climb and I ran the slowest mile of my life, 10:00 flat, but I felt really good when I made it to the top of that hill and wasn’t worn out. There was a surprise downhill that I wasn’t anticipating and then another mile of steady, gradual climb. Once we were a little past 6 miles it was all downhill, literally.
I think it was a combination of conditioning, diligently eating my energy chews, and a salt pill that really kept me strong through the climb. Honestly, the downhill was so much more painful! My hip flexors and my back were not having it and I was so desperate for flat ground.
I crossed the finish line in 1:25:54 which is a time I was so happy with! I didn’t have to walk at all and I felt great at the finish! After finishing I collected my medallion (which doubles as a bottle opener) and grabbed my free smoked salmon chowder sample. I was the only one in my group running the 15k so I hung around and waited for the rest of the girls to finish their events.
I think I’ll definitely do this run again next year! The distance was perfect, the course was beautiful (both a mix of downtown Portland and the forest on Terwilliger), and it felt really great to run a race again. I’m kind of wishing I would have signed up for the Corvallis Half Marathon again this year but I know I don’t have time to train for it. I’ve got the Eugene Half Marathon in July so I have that to look forward to!