Rockin’ and Rollin’ in Portland and Beyond

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This is my “before” photo for Team Chocolate Milk. There was no leaping after.

2:19:49. That was my Rock and Roll Portland Half Marathon time last week. Note that I neither rounded up nor down with the seconds, because triathletes and runners don’t do that… even though we all stop paying attention after the minutes (unless, of course, our race time is similar, then we surreptitiously do math to see if we were faster. Don’t lie, you do it, too. Freaks.). It wasn’t my slowest half-marathon, if you count the run leg of a half-ironman. And I didn’t run a 2:45, which was always a possible horror. And now that it’s over and I don’t sound like I’m making excuses, I can reveal that I have a hip injury that required 2 Cortisone shots about ten days before the race, but didn’t help on race day. If it didn’t hurt, I probably could have limped a 2:18:49; but maybe not.

Sooooooo, why did I think this race would be pancake flat? I asked Coach Dan if it was pancake flat, and he said, “Not exactly,” but the red flags STILL didn’t go up. It wasn’t mountainous, of course, but there wasn’t much that wasn’t going up or down. I wasn’t sure what to expect of myself, but even with the crowd, my first mile was in the low 9-minute range, which was a pleasant surprise. But it didn’t feel awesome. The race is right in the middle of my drug cycle, which meant I had some reflux going, and my lungs didn’t feel like they needed to participate in activities with me all the time. I told myself I’d run til I ate my first GU (SALTED CARAMEL, YEAH!) around mile 6, then I’d walk a bit. But my mile splits weren’t exorbitant, so I ran mile 7, planning to walk at mile 8, etc, etc. I ended up “running” the whole race. My favorite part of any race is when I can hear the announcer (except for those races that make you loop AROUND the finish before you CROSS the finish…. Hello, Ironman Lake Placid). Usually, I can speed up a bit for the finish photo, but that didn’t happen this time. Luckily, no tool decided to do that behind me in the chute, so I didn’t get pipped at the end either.

It was a good race! And now, I was in Portland, which I love. First off, we stayed in my favorite, Hotel Monaco, a pet friendly hotel where you can borrow a goldfish for your room. Ours mostly conserved energy, but it was fun to have someone (!) to say hi to when we returned to the room.

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Something in our room was fishy….

We did a good bit of eating our way through the city.. Particularly loved Tarboush on South Hawthorne, Sen Yai Noodles, and Trifecta Tavern (get the clams).

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Tarboush. Authentic, delicious Lebanese food.

We went to the Saturday Market for organic catnip, which Emmitt Smith later appreciated.

Emmitt Smith

Delirious Cat

And we made the obligatory stop at Voo Doo Donuts

Voo doo donuts

Froot Loops on a doughnut. Brilliant.

We also, thanks to Coach Dan and Elisa, got to spend a perfect post-race day at Ponzi Vineyards.

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Backlit is probably a good thing, as we’d already been here for hours by now.

I stopped at the Oregon zoo on the way out to bond with my people:

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I channeled my inner cheetah. Or did I??

I flew back to Park City for a couple days, then we headed to Maryland to visit some family before our cross-country bike ride with the Road to Discovery. You’ll hear much more about that in coming weeks. But our Maryland trip has rocked so far,  with a day on Deep Creek Lake watching Patrick swim in 55 degree water from the relative warmth of the kayak,

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Gorgeous, but NOT WARM

early season crabs at Nick’s Fish House,

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One of the best things about Maryland

a victorious Orioles game at Camden Yards with my brother and sister-in-law,

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Oooooooooooooooo!!!!

and a hike up Sugarloaf Mountain that lasted an hour longer than we’d planned (but was still so fun!)

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Sheryl is always up for an adventure. I totally appreciate and love that!

Now, I am sitting in the radiology waiting room at the NCI, waiting for my 6-week CT scan. We’ll see if the Sutent is continuing to slay the cancer cells at an amazing rate. As you know, it’s not what I’m expecting, but I am always ever hopeful. And it would be much more in keeping with how the rest of my life is going if that’s what’s happening. Stand by for news! Livestrong.