{State #15-Oregon} Foot Traffic Flat Marathon

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It feels like this race was a million years ago…perhaps because it sort of was. Writing race reports weeks after the race is hard. During the race I have so many thoughts and ideas going through my head. If I don’t get them down on paper or makes notes, then my mind is wiped clean after a few days. It seems like a different part of my brain gets used when running those long runs/races that doesn’t get used at other times. Good thing I have a few photos to conjure up some memories.

I had signed up for the Foot Traffic Flat Marathon back in December when this whole Go West road trip was still just a dream. No details were set or travel plans made. I just knew I’d be running a marathon, state #15, in Oregon on the 4th of July. I love holiday races as they give you an excuse to dress up and it makes choosing a race outfit easier it gives you a reason to buy new running gear.

Tank-Athleta Turbocharge Tank, Shorts-Oiselle Distance Short, Socks-Procompression, Headband-Bic Bands

Tank-Athleta Turbocharge Tank, Shorts-Oiselle Distance Short, Socks-Procompression, Headband-Bic Bands

Shuttle transportation was strongly recommended, so the husband and I were up at 4:15 to get on the road by 4:45 to catch a shuttle that would take us to the island.

Lets just say when I woke up I wasn’t feeling this race. The day before had been spent driving 855 miles from the Grand Tetons to Portland. We had been in the car for thirteen plus hours. The legs weren’t exactly used to moving despite a quick hike at Multnomah Falls en route to Portland.

As most of my race reports read I also didn’t get to bed early at all. We ate dinner at 9:45 that night and it was nearly midnight when lights were out. But, sometimes we just suck it up, buttercup. So I did with the help of some Starbucks Frappuccino’s I’d bought for the trip and the morning sun rising over the Sauvie Island Bridge.
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Participants and spectators could buy tickets to ride the shuttle, and tickets had to be purchased in advance for their planning purposes. Shuttles were efficient and took the parking chaos out of race day prep. The husband liked not having to drive around, drop me off and find parking.
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The race took place on Sauvie Island which is fifteen minutes away from Portland. The race started at a pumpkin patch with a cute little farmers market type place with a barn and buildings selling goodies.
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A 6:30 start time got us out and away from the worst of the sun, but it was still a warm one!
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The course took you around the island with an out and back section first, followed by an loop that was part of the half marathon course. While there were half marathon walkers to run around in those last miles there were not so many that it was inconvenient or annoying. It also could have been the fact that I could be found walking at time those last miles. I was had begun dying a slow death from the sun and heat. I really didn’t notice anyone much those last miles. All I could think about were water, shade, and water.
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The course itself was flat (as the name indicates) and was full of farms growing beautiful flowers and berries. It was unique to see rather than the corn fields, soybeans and alfalfa were used to in the midwest. One of my favorite parts of the race (other than the finish) was the field of lavender growing along the road. There was a bench in the middle of the field and it looked like a place you could just spend time reflecting on life or reading a book. Much of the course was along water as well with it being an island and all.
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My goal for the race was to make it mentally easy and to run controlled. My legs were recovering from the 50k I’d ran less than a month earlier. I had another marathon to run in nine days. I had hiked almost 50 miles that week with lots more coming the next week. If I ran like an idiot, then I would pay big time. I kept the pace comfortable and challenged myself to run sans music until mile 13. Then I pushed it to mile 14 and then 15. Around mile 16/17 though I felt like I really needed that music.
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The first half plus was in the sun entirely. There was a nice breeze and since the sun wasn’t high in the sky it wasn’t too bad. Around miles 14 there was some shade which made running seem so much easier.

I spent a lot of my time thinking about how lucky and prideful I feel to live in the USA. I get to race all 50. I get to travel when I want, where I want. I can share what I want about it. That pride for my country carries through all the time.
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Then it was back to sun for more miles. Around mile 21 I got this surge and really picked up the pace and felt great. My legs were not tired or even sore.

Probably not the best idea because around mile 23 we hit the sun for the last three miles and it was like I had used up my batteries. Ugh! Those last three miles they were unpleasant sucked!

I’ve never been a great heat runner, but I definitely felt stronger because of pushing through. I was actually surprised I was able to finish in the time I did with the heat and only doing recovery miles since the 50k. Knowing there was strawberry shortcake at the finish helped me push through the heat. And my husband running next to me for a mile, too. What a nice guy!
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The strawberry shortcake tasted just how I’d imagined it would, the shirts were great and the medals awesome! Plus I love when races put your name on bibs. Hearing your name cheered is so encouraging!
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Foot Traffic Flat Marathon
Time: 3:54:41
Pace: 8:57
Overall: 127/347
Gender: 46/165
Age Group: 5/27

{Friday Fab 5-Portland Edition}

Currently in the land of no wifi or cell service, this post comes to you having been written last Sunday en route to the beautiful and so-worth-no-technology Glacier National Park. Being without technology has its perks and really makes you reevaluate it’s influence in your life.

But, who am I kidding? I’ll be back to my tech dependency in a matter of hours upon returning to civilization I’m sure! Seriously, how did people live without the internet?

Last weekend we spent the weekend in Portland after I finished state number 15 by running the Foot Traffic Flat Marathon. We had lots of time to walk around and explore and eat AMAZING food. I’m not one to totally love and enjoy meals I eat, but Portland made me realize how you could. Probably a good thing since my waist band would be tighter and my pockets significantly emptier if we had those kinds of delicious eats where I live.

So what did we do and what are these great places to eat that I speak of? Here’s a look at our Saturday!
{#1-Voodoo Doughnuts}
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Voodoo has been mentioned on the Food Network and after tasting five of their flavors (Memphis Mafia, Miami Viceberry, Raspberry Romeo, Voodoo Doll and The Loop) it is easy to taste why. Their unique decor in pinks and purple (loved those colors my whole life) and their amazing flavor selection and taste make Voodoo a must stop if ever in Portland (or Denver.) We ate at the original and waited in line for 40 minutes. After we left the line was much longer so be prepared to be patient for your doughnuts. The wait is worth it though! No hexes needed!

{#2-Forest Park}

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After putting ourselves into a sugar-induced coma it was time to get moving! We headed to Forest Park where miles of trails awaited. We enjoyed the shade and scenery and were passes by many runners. Oh, how I’d love a place like this to run!

{#3-Grill Cheese Grill}

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After hiking we were hungry again. The Grill Cheese Grill was a food truck that I’d heard great things about online. Grilled cheese seems to be one of those childhood favorites that can be made more adult yummy by what you add to it. This place had awesome food. I had the jalapeño grilled cheese which had jalapeños (duh!), cream cheese and cheddar cheese. It was delicious as was their tomato soup. The husband ordered The Cheesus, which was a hamburger that had a grill cheese on the top and bottom to replace a bun with your standard fixings. We shared half our sandwiches with each other. I’m now inspired to get a lot more creative with this childhood favorite when we get home.

{#4-Salt & Straw}

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After walking around the Alberta neighborhood filled with unique and fun places to eat we worked up a hunger for a snack. When we saw Salt & Straw I knew I wanted to try it as I had read about it somewhere previously. They specialize in homemade ice cream using natural and organic local ingredients (ok, so who doesn’t in Portland, but…;). I had the strawberry with cilantro lime cheesecake and the husband had the summer cucumber and raspberry sorbet. Both were so yummy and refreshing. The best version of this iconic summer treat I’ve tasted.

{#5-The Red Tavern and Kell’s Irish Pub}

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After strolling our way through the Alberta neighborhood we headed to downtown Portland. Our visit included Pioneer Square, drinks at The Red Tavern and dinner at Kell’s Irish Pub. At The Red Tavern I had their signature drink made with vanilla vodka, black raspberries and citrus. It was perfect. After drinks we headed to dinner at a place the husband’s aunt recommended. Here I crossed two new beer flavors off my 30 beers bucket list, and we enjoyed yummy Irish fare and music. What a fun place!

If ever in the Portland area all of these places were awesome! Anyone have other Portland area food recommendation?

Happy Weekend!

Sarah