PDX 13.1


It finally came. 

After weeks of training and anticipation I found myself boarding a plane solo for a weekend trip to Portland, OR to run in my first half marathon.

I met my dear friend Sarah there, who had flown in the previous day. We didn't waste much time on our plans to eat amazing food and see all that we could with limited time. I got in around 8:30pm, I picked her up downtown and we grabbed some grub at Bamboo Sushi, eating on the street and soaking up the Portland scene - which involved a lot of beards, piercings, tattoos, extreme hairstyles and dogs. We loved every minute and the sushi was 5/5. 


The next morning we took the tram at OSHU to get a view of the city. Lucky for us the sky was clear and we got a great glimpse of Portland, the Willamette River, and the whole city covered in lush greenery.


 Then we headed to the Japanese Gardens.


It cost $10 to get into the gardens which was just about perfect. Any more $ and I wouldn't have thought it was worth it. We agreed that the koi pond and the Japanese Maples were the highlights.

The International Rose Test Garden was right next door and completely worth the little walk over. The garden is free and absolutely blew this flower girl away. So many varieties!!! We spent a lot of time just cruising around catching waves of delicious scents as they wafted through the air. Someday I hope to live in a home long enough to cultivate beautiful roses.

After all that walking in the warm sunshine we got hungry!

We headed to a recommended food pod at Washington and 10th St and were blown away by Portland's food carts.

We met Elly there, our other runner there, who moved to Eugene just a few months ago.

It was so hard deciding what to eat so we settled on the carts with the most rave reviews and they did not disappoint. We got a porchetta sandwich, a georgian food sample plate (country of Georgia), and thai chicken from Nong's Khao Man Gai. Again 5 stars. We sat by the street like true locals and devoured all of it. 

Next up was a little visit to Multnomah Falls. This waterfall puts almost any other one I have seen to shame. It's breathtaking, lush, and powerful. The worst part by far was just how crowded it was. We deliberated on hiking to the top since our race was the next morning, but in the end decided to just soak in the whole experience. We finally got to the top and were pretty underwhelmed. The view was beautiful - but we weren't sure if it was really worth it especially since it did tire our legs out a little.

A Portland MUST is hitting up the ice cream shop Salt and Straw. I have never had ice cream that even comes close to comparing. All the flavors were right up my alley and we totally tried them all: Sea Salt with Caramel, Strawberry Balsamic, Honey Lavender, Pear with Bleu Cheese, Olive Oil, Woodblock Chocolate. 

We planned on going to Pok Pok for dinner (another must) but when we got there the wait was 1.5 hrs so we opted for a farm-to-table place nearby. Afterward we grabbed some race necessities (bananas, chapstick, fresh bottled water) and hit the sack.

Bald Peak Start/Finish 

We chose this race because it was rural in the SW hills of Portland. The course was hilly, hence the name Bald "Peak" (1800+ feet total climb) and peaceful. It ran along farmland, orchards, pastures, dense forest, open valley's, and had beautiful views of distant mountains - Hood, St Helens, Adams - although I never looked up at the right time to see them. :( 

We pulled into the parking lot just 10min before start time. We ran to the bathroom, ditched our jackets, and connected our music just as the gun went off. 

This race was intense. The first 2 miles had an 800ft climb but we powered up it. It then continued mostly up until about 5.5 miles then went straight down - this all killed my pace. I couldn't decide if the up was worse then the down. 

 I was hoping to do the race between 9 and 9:30min/mile but I had a real hard time knocking my time down after those first couple miles. Finally around mile 9 things leveled off and I was able to speed up a little just before another big hill then I cruised again at a 9min pace for miles 11 and 12. 

The last half mile was the kicker though. 500ft gain over just 1/2 mile. I saw everyone up ahead of me walking and I passed a few then I looked over and decided that I could probably walk with a big stride faster than I was running. I hiked up that hill as fast as I could sporadically trying to run. 

As I hit the top of the hill I took off again around the corner and to the finish. I had tears in my eyes and the biggest while on my face. Done! 


Finished right in the middle of the pack:

98 out of 214 finishers 
38 out of 117 women
13 out of 34 in age group

I love that we did this together. All three of us started running just over a year ago. We endured and enjoyed Ragnar together and now this. I'm so proud. 

Through the whole race I felt great. The hills were grueling but I powered through. Afterward we knew just what we wanted: milkshakes and the beach. 

Haystack Rock
 Cannon Beach, OR

We drove out to Cannon Beach, unfortunately there was a sandcastle competition so the traffic was horrendous going out to that little town, but we make it and got dark chocolate shakes from The Chocolate Cafe as soon as we parked. It was great to walk our legs out along the beach and reflect on the race to the sounds of the waves and the wind on our faces (we were actually freezing). 

After a bit we got a couple of crepes to chow on and headed back to Portland for massages - or more accurately, "the weirdest massage of my life" or even "shaken Hayley syndrome" or "I'm trying sooooo hard not to giggle through this embarrassment." After being shaken, breathed on, and whispered to, we dined at Irving St Kitchen and and filled our bellies with porchetta, steak, and grilled trout. 

Before saying our goodbyes to Elly we drove a little north to St Johns Bridge taking in the scenery just as the sun set.

Sarah and I went to see Fault in our Stars and stayed up waaay too late chatting.

Sunday morning we grabbed a donut before heading to church. We have a Voodoo Doughnut in Denver so we opted for a more "non-touristy" place and went to Blue Star. Then hit a couple tourist must do's.

Pioneer Square 

Keep it weird. 

I kinda really loved Portland. 

After sacrament meeting we had a little lunch at Pok Pok (right when it opened) then more ice cream at Salt and Straw before heading to the airport. 

Peace out PDX. It was so great! Thanks ladies for the amazing time! :)


Tai said...

SOOO glad you enjoyed our wierd little city! And you totally hit all the 'must see and do's". We have such an awesome running town- there's ALWAYS some sort of running event or running group happening.

On a side note, we're total shoe-twins. I also had the purple Brooks Ravena 4's, and it looks like you just upgrade to the Ravena 5's as well (I love the blue!)

Sarah said...

Sooooo much fun!! I've been missing our 2 am chats... I should call you in the middle of the night for old time's sake, you'd love that, right? 😆 I'm so glad we did this together-- memories for a lifetime!!

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