I know, I know: What on earth is a race recap doing on this blog? I promise, I'll mention something about vomit in here somewhere.
I spent my weekend up in Woodland, Washington, which is about 20 minutes north of Portland, for the second running of the Blooms to Brews. They have both a half and a 10K, I ran the 10K. And I actually did do some running!
I drove up Saturday, late morning. It's about a 40 minute drive from my house to Woodland. Blooms to Brews is part of the Woodland Tulip Festival and I've finally been ready to see some tulips after The Great Tulip Overdose of 1995. Don't ask. Okay, ask: In 1995 my mom and I went to La Conner, Washington, where tulips are A Big Deal. There are three bulb companies up there and acres of tulips. And irises and daffodils. We spent a whole day touring tulip fields and shooting photos. I shot eight rolls of film. I never wanted to see another tulip after that for a very, very long time. And I hadn't until this weekend.
Anyhow. The tulip festival is just one company and a couple of fields. They have a small display garden showing off the niftier varieties of tulips other than your standard red and yellow smooth petaled tulips. I haven't downloaded the photos yet but if they turned out well (it was really sunny, I think everything turned out overexposed) I'll post a few here some time. I did not get tulip'd out. I did get sugar'd out though; there were about 15 vendors and I bought way too much sugar. Some amazing almond toffee (like almond roca but with extra added crack), some caramel macchiato spiced almonds (great post-race snack), and I bought some really great raw blackberry honey from a guy who looked just like Uncle Sy from Duck Dynasty. Can't wait to have that in my tea! Also bought some yummy mustard called "Fool's Gold" that I think is a honey dijon'ish taste.
Stayed overnight in Woodland even though this is fairly close to home but I wanted a mini break and it turned out so did a lot of my fellow Portlanders, which was cool. Sunday morning was the race and despite an initially chilly wind it was perfect weather, about mid 50s at start and into the 60s by the end.
I spent the first five minutes cursing myself and wondering why I'd ever thought I could do this on zero training. My right quad had been tight going in to the race and it bugged me throughout. But after the first mile I started warming up and enjoying myself. Although we were on roads that were not closed to traffic -- and some drivers don't understand moving aside for runners, we have a permit to be out here dammit, we all almost got hit a couple of times -- the race went past Horseshoe Lake, the tulip fields, and then the Lewis River. It was an out and back. I walked part of mile one, all of mile two and a smidge of three with a couple of lovely ladies down from Spokane and then at the water stop they stopped to take their time and I decided to try some running.
Look at some of those negative splits! Official finish time was 1:38:38.
As part of your race entry, everyone got a BBQ pulled pork sandwich and beer afterwards. My stomach laughed at the thought of beer ("Try it and I'll vomit!" - obligatory vomit reference) but the pulled pork was really good. As I was eating I ended up chatting with the ten year old son of the people who had put on the race. So cute, he was a one-man PR machine. They're adding a marathon next year and the boy told me they were going to have finisher medals for the 10K too next year. Speaking of the medal, check out that link above to see the medal; it's a purple Solo cup that's a bottle opener and it is about the size of my hand. I was deeply jealous the 10Kers didn't get one too.
Post-race my quad was shredded and my legs were tired but on the whole I felt pretty good. Probably better than I should, considering my lack of fitness and training. Glad I did the race though! I'd enjoy doing it again next year, here's hoping I'll be in shape for that one.