We started near OMSI and took off East through a classic car show, down to where I took my exotic dance classes and then up towards Mt. Tabor. Pine State Biscuits was packed already, so I am beginning to think I need to try this place out! On the way back towards downtown I enjoyed the beauty of Laurelhurst Park, which I had never been to before. The bathroom there was also a bonus since by this time I had already drank about a liter of water....(I don't want a large Farva...I want a liter of cola! Sorry had to throw in a little Super Troopers). Mentor Mike and Krista came up behind me. So we finished out that last mile before the aide station, and I took off again. About a mile down I heard my name (apparently I was really lost in thoughts, or my music was up too loud!) I missed the turn, and Coach Karl, Mentor Mike, Krista and Kara were right behind me. I am sure I would have eventually notice I was going the wrong way.
Then my iPod hit a Nickelback song. Between thinking of John, Luke, Aimee, Krystal and Anna I got a little angry/sad and felt like my feet were on fire. So I picked up my pace (alot) and ran pretty hard for about a mile. Tears were getting ready to fall and all that energy made me push a little harder.
At the 9 mile mark and aide station I got the rest of the route and took off for the last part of the run. This time I was heading over to the West side and heading up to Washington Park. All I knew was that there would be alot of hills. Oh yeah...I felt the burn. The Park was gorgeous, and so many people were playing, gardening or just enjoying the beautiful weather. The best part of running uphill though, eventually you get to go downhill. It took some energy though, because if I got going to fast I would be doing somersaults down to the heart of Portland.
Going over the Vista Bridge, the beauty of Downtown Portland was in front of me. At this point I was at 13 miles and hardly noticed the distance. Heading into Downtown I kept thinking, "holy cow! I am doing it....I am doing some serious distance here!" Hitting the OMSI aide station I had just a little under two miles left, so I didn't stop too long in fear of never re-starting. My legs were now starting to REALLY feel the distance, and I really wanted to start walking but then I saw a man wearing a HOPE shirt. I couldn't give up, that was my sign to fight the fatigue and soreness and kick the crap out of 16 miles. So I made it down to the Steele Bridge, and to be honest I almost turned around and headed back sooner. But even The Queen of Rationalization couldn't do it. I realized no one would really care if I turned around early, the only person that it mattered to was me. And I wasn't about to let myself not have the opportunity to say, "yeah I just ran 16+ miles today."
This necklace was from my honorary teammate Luke and his family after his first BMT.
On the way back I was joined by another teammate, then Mentor Mike again. And guess what....I did it. I ran almost 17 miles. And despite the pain, it felt damn good!