rain

Laurelhurst 5k

I ran my first 5k of the year on Sunday.

Did I train for it? Not really. Have I been running? Yes. So when last week arrived and I realized the race was coming up, I wasn’t too worried. For months I’ve been running every Wednesday with Logan 4.5-5 miles and then on Fridays at work during lunch, I run 2.5-3 miles on the treadmill (depending on how much time I have).

So for the spring and summer, I have been running around 8 miles a week. I figured a 5k wouldn’t be a big issue. I was looking forward to this race. I signed up for two 5k’s last year but I wasn’t quite ready to run them postpartum and ended up skipping them. The last 5k I ran was when I was pregnant with Logan!

Here is a post from 2 years ago when I ran the Laurelhurst 5k. I had been newly pregnant and had just hurt my back, so I was surprised I was able to run it at all. My time that time was 39:41.

The plan for this year was to run the 5k as a family. I was going to run with Logan in the running stroller and Michael was going to run with us. Well, we seem to have bad luck with races–this year? We all got the stomach flu last week. Of course!

Logan got it Tuesday, I got it Wednesday. Michael got it Thursday and was sick all weekend, so he didn’t run and stayed home with Logan. I was solo this time. Which was kind of a bummer.

I woke up Sunday and had breakfast of two fried eggs, half a bagel with cream cheese and coffee. It was dreary out. After months of sun and hot hot hot weather, the weather was rainy and gray. We definitely need the rain, and hopefully it will clear the air of the wildfire smoke, but it was kind of a bummer for race day! It turned out to not be that bad. The rain stopped for most of the race, and just misted a little bit.

They changed the race route this year. The last few years we’ve done it, it was three laps on the pavement through Laurelhurst Park. This year, they made it two laps and it was partly through differently terrain: grass, hills, bark dust, dirt, plus the paved trails.

Laurelhurst Park is really pretty. Lots of trees and plants and there are ponds with ducks and geese. The trail was pretty good this year. I did like that it was only 2 laps through the park. But I wasn’t super excited about running on uneven ground. There were parts of the trail that had tree roots coming up out of the grass and if you stepped wrong, I could see a sprained ankle happening.

I started out pretty good on the race. I just listened to my music and set a pace. I wasn’t in a mood to try and break any records of mine. I just wanted to run the race and hopefully not have to walk for most of it!

I ran the first mile of the race without any walk breaks. I wasn’t particularly fast but I was doing pretty good. There were two hills, one was gravel, that I did walk on during both of the laps.

Sweaty, blurry run selfie!

I started the second lap of the race feeling really strong. I wasn’t tired, despite having the flu for four days leading up to the race. My left knee was a little achy but overall, my body felt good. There was about 1/2 mile left of the race. I sped up a little bit to finish strong.

I crossed the finish line and got my ribbon! I felt really great! Especially for not having to take many walking breaks during the race.

I grabbed half a banana after the race and drank some water, stretched, and then headed home. I didn’t hang around for the raffle. I was sweaty and wet from the drizzle rain during the race and looking forward to a hot shower.

Here are my stats:

So I’m confused as to why the mileage is off. I’m not sure if the race was off or if my GPS was off. I don’t get it. But despite that, I was really happy with my pace and my time. 36 minutes is my best 5k time! I felt super happy about that!

I feel strong and happy with my race and my time! I’m so glad it went well! Next month is my next 5k!

It’s Early in the Morning

It’s early in the morning…

The changing seasons mean more darkness when I get out of bed. It’s harder to get out of bed, especially with Fat Kitty warm and purring by my side. He helps me pump my bike tires even though I’m barely awake.


I peek my head out the window to see if it’s raining. It’s rained all week long. The roads are dark and wet but it’s not raining. Yet.

I zip up my warmer rain jacket, lower my helmet onto my head and clip into my bike. I’m off. It’s not even 7 a.m. yet and I’m on the road. It’s quiet out on our little street. The kids wait for the school bus, their parents are still in their warm houses, and I’m biking through the neighborhood on my way to work.


I started doing this to train. I love my car, I love the convenience of getting place quickly. It surprises me when I realize how much I love being car-free on days I ride to work. It is just me and the early morning air, this time very cold, and my bike. I continue biking to work long after the race is over. I’m saving money on gas (which is expensive here in Portland), a few times a week I am one less car on the road, and I am getting in a two hour workout by riding to and from work.

Biking makes my legs lean and strong. My stomach has shrunk a little bit over the summer of hard training. I am feeling stronger and more confident.

It’s dark…

I have a head lamp jerry-rigged on my bike handles because I don’t have a proper light. Safety is my number one concern. I want cars to see me in the darkness of the morning.


A light rain starts and it is cool on my face. I’m not cold because my rain jacket traps the heat in. I peddle along. I feel slow. I have not been on the bike in over two weeks. I focus on the road, cautiously because the roads are a bit wet. I do not think about anything in my hour long commute but the road in front of me. It is a nice change.


By the time I make it to OMSI on the Springwater Trail it is light out. The rain has stopped. I feel damp but not uncomfortable. I make it to the office with a decent time despite the cautious pace I was keeping.

Morning Stats:
Time: 57 minutes
Calories Burned: 483
Distance: 12.18 miles


I’m wet. I do not have a fender on my bike so my clothes are damp and muddy. No worries, I have a change of dry clothes at the office. I hope for dry skies on my commute home. At least it won’t be dark.

AFTERNOON COMMUTE

I dress in my gear–rain jacket and long pants. No more riding home in the afternoon in just my shorts and jersey. I head toward the waterfront, even though the Occupy Portland protesters were down there.


There are thousands of people downtown, starting at Waterfront Park. There is no way I could ride my bike through there so I take a detour.


I bike passed Portland Police officers and the crowds clear. The march is moving on from the Waterfront.


It’s clear sailing the rest of the way. It’s brisk out but the gray sunshine was bright. I’m a bit tired from the week. I feel slow on the bike.

Four miles in it starts to rain and it is a steady downpour for the remaining 8 miles.


It is not what I would call a fun way to end the day. I get home and Michael has the door open for me, snacks ready and a kiss. It makes me feel a bit better.


I get out of my soaked clothes and take a hot shower, feeling unhappy. It isn’t a good day.

Afternoon Stats:
Time: 58 minutes
Calories Burned: 465
Distance: 12.16 miles

Total Distance: 24.34 miles.

QUESTION:  Want to vent about something bad that happened this week?