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XC #5 PDX - Run

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Portland, Oregon
United States
30F / -1C
Total Time = 24m 17s
Overall Rank = 32/80
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Our club graciously paid for our travel expenses to head down to Portland. I feel so completely lucky to be part of such a supportive team and running community. Anyway, we headed down to Portland mid day on Friday. I went and checked out the Forest Park Conservancy. It was beautiful!! Also went to the Audubon Sanctuary. After that I hit the brewery (mmm beer) then headed to the hotel with the team.
Event warmup:

Got to the park which was nestled along the Columbia River where the winds notoriously whip through. Today was no exception. On top of the already sub freezing temps, the winds were a steady 30+ mph with some higher gusts. I was shaking so bad a lady told me to get out of her cone of vision because my shaking was making her even colder than she already was. I seriously couldn't not control the shaking.

Kara Goucher was in front of me in line to pick up our registration. She said that she was feeling much better (post stress fracture) and was looking forward to getting some racing back under her belt. It was funny to hear her have to tell the registration lady "Goucher, Kara."

We all previewed the course and I sort of kind of started to warm up.
  • 24m 17s
  • 3.73 miles
  • 06m 31s  min/mile

Post warm up we headed over to the start as a team. Kara was looking for someone to pace off of and I kindly bowed out of that one (LOL!) It was hilarious, I never thought I would be talking race strategy with an Olympic marathoner while I was taking off my pants (warm-ups.) One of the guys on our team came around and put orange war paint on our faces right before the start.

I was so effing cold. I was wearing my long sleeve under my singlet (which I NEVER DO.) Last minute I decided I couldn't stand it and was going to take it off but they were doing last call to the start box so I had to suck it up.

I lined up and they blew the starting horn, kind of unexpectedly. We all took off like a herd of horses. Wait, are horses grouped it herds? Gaggles? Shyte I don't know.

Anyway, we were off. The course was flat which is not really my strong suit. I was really hoping to be able to attack the course despite that. My plan was to take the first loop a little conservative and then progressively apply pressure. A small group of my teammates were about 3-4 seconds ahead. Because I was going to be conservative I decided not to close the gap. Big fucking mistake. The wind was so intense it was VERY difficult to run in. I hit the 1K mark and there was a girl slightly ahead of me. My coach yelled for me to close the gap and tuck in behind her. I did. We continued on but her pace seemed a touch slow so I waited to get out of the headwind when we rounded the corner (the wind turned to a cross wind at this point) and pulled out along side of her and made my move. This was executed well but it catapulted me in between two packs of runners. One pack about 15 seconds ahead of me (where my teammates were) and one about 15 behind me. Being solo in this kind of no-mans land in the wind is like a little frosty slice of hell. I tried to surge and catch the group in front but the headwind made it nearly impossible.

I entered the 3rd loop with a goal of catching the group. It was a long shot. I surged with desperation. I was STILL cold. Wasn't even breaking a sweat it was so cold out. I had no one to work with in the wind and my surges were very tiring. I was gaining some ground but not nearly quickly enough. I was watching my teammates working together, just killin' it in the wind and here I was, all alone. It was awful. We rounded the corner and into the shoot and I put the hammer down, against the wind and crossed the finish.

I might say this every time, but I have never been so happy to be done racing.

Now many of you have congratulated me, and thanks for that, LOL! But this wasn't a great race for me. I am so, SO proud of how my team did. We ended up winning the meet which is HUGE considering we came down to Portland, Nike country, and put up a big W in their backyard. But I am really disappointed in myself and my decision making. I recently got a 5K PR and have been practicing at a higher level so I think I may have come into this a little tired. But, as my coach says, there aren't peaks without valleys! As much as it sucks to feel this way after a race, it's a great opportunity to learn some things and put them into practice for the next races. This season has been a truly incredible learning experience.

Onward we go.

PS One big win for me was that my shoes neither came untied nor did the insole come out. In fact, no shoe issues at all. WIN!

What would you do differently?:


Hoping an actual taper for Nationals will give me the zip in my legs that I'm lacking. Also, decision making! I won't do THAT again!
Post race
Warm down:

More like warm-up description! Just ran the park for a really long time with my teammates.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Poor decision making
Training through the long season of racing
Faster training paces that I'm not totally used to

Event comments:

(The 4th photo is Kara making her move to inevitably win the race. She's in pink)

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-11-18 12:00 AM
00:24:17 | 03.73 miles | 06m 31s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 32/80
Performance: Bad
Course: Flat. Exposed. 2K loops around the golf course
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2013-11-25 12:34 PM

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Subject: XC #5 PDX

2013-11-25 1:05 PM
in reply to: #4904331

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Subject: RE: XC #5 PDX

 I may have to start a fan club or something.  It's a little embarrassing how much I was looking forward to reading this RR :)

Sounds like the weather was a queen beotch.  Cold and windy is a very tough combo.  Sucks. 

It also does sound like you learned a lot with this race, and I don't know how you couldn't be a little tired at this point.  You've really been racing a lot, and I know you've been busy at work too. 

Here's what I love about this race being what it was at this time.  It seems like the BEST performances follow those that are, in some way, sub-optimal.  This, my friend, is perfect timing.  You are going to rest up and arrive at Nationals peaking and ready to rock.  I can hardly wait to "watch" it. F n A.


2013-11-25 1:08 PM
in reply to: #4904331

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: XC #5 PDX

Super race!  So hard in that kind of wind to not be tucked behind the team and have to work slo…Well managed effort in the conditions

2013-11-25 1:28 PM
in reply to: #4904331

Northern IL
Subject: RE: XC #5 PDX

Tough day, but some of these rough ones are where you can learn the most.

2013-11-25 1:59 PM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: XC #5 PDX
I got cold just reading this! Sounds like a really tough race and a good learning experience. Congrats! Oh, cool deal hanging out with Kara Goucher!
2013-11-25 2:24 PM
in reply to: #4904331

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Subject: RE: XC #5 PDX
Well, you may not have raced at your best but the report is stellar, as always. I got cold and lonely just reading it. And yes, horses hang in herds. Geese in gaggles. Better to run like a horse than a goose. Next race will rock!

2013-11-25 3:25 PM
in reply to: kcarroll

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Subject: RE: XC #5 PDX

Kara freaking Goucher, too cool!  Wind and cold, not fun.  Way to give it your best considering the conditions and placement between packs in the wind.  You are still incredibly fast to me!   Nice work, Salty!

2013-11-25 4:00 PM
in reply to: #4904331

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Houston, Texas
Subject: RE: XC #5 PDX
I know it wasn't what you were hoping for, but making some of those crappy decisions in a non-essential race is certainly the time to get it out of the way. And now it'll be fresh in your mind for Nationals. As much as I don't enjoy the valleys, I tend to agree that you can't truly appreciate the peaks without them.

Tough day with the wind and cold, but you're still so so speedy!
2013-11-25 5:51 PM
in reply to: #4904331

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: XC #5 PDX

Someone told me once that every run should have a purpose and this race was that for you. There was a lot of education in this one. I am excited to see how Nats goes for you. It has been a full season for you, indeed. Congratulations on all that you have done, and learned, this year!

2013-11-25 6:30 PM
in reply to: cdban66

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South Windsor, CT
Subject: RE: XC #5 PDX
good job and congrats on the team W

the best is yet to come with you...
2013-11-26 9:35 AM
in reply to: dtoce

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Middle River, Maryland
Bronze member
Subject: RE: XC #5 PDX

I just love reading your RRs, regardless of the outcome.  You seem to have the right mentality and take the mediocre races with the good, and learn from them.  I'm sensing great things at Nationals. 

2013-11-26 11:25 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: XC #5 PDX

Ha, thanks for the kind words, all!

I TOTALLY forgot the best part of this race! Out of the corner of my eye I saw what I thought was Santa Clause as I was racing. When I got closer I could hear his 1990s hip hop blaring from his ghetto blaster. I was thinking, "Ah cool. Hip hop santy-clause." Then I realized it was a dude in red warm-ups with one pant leg rolled up break dancing! He proceeded to follow us around the course so we got to see him multiple times then he went and camped out in the shoot.

I later saw this car in the parking lot and put 2 + 2 together that it was more thank likely his:


Edited by Asalzwed 2013-11-26 11:25 AM
2013-11-29 5:10 PM
in reply to: Asalzwed

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Caerphilly, Wales, uk.
Subject: RE: XC #5 PDX
Love it. Love the RR, love the suffering, love the humility, love the break dancing dude. Love it
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