Halfway to a marathon, and not 40 yet.
The Hop-Hop Half Marathon course is an out-and-back along the levee that separates Portland’s mile-wide Columbia River from the airport. If Shamrock was hilly, this was about as flat as it gets. I think we climbed up and down off the levee, once. The day of the race was cloudy and cold — perfect running weather! I started the run, again in the finisher’s shirt — my friend Gregg didn’t tell me about race-shirt-etiquette until later in that first year. Feeling strong, fast, and confident, I glanced at the GPS app on my phone — 4:38 min/kim (7:30 min/mile) pace! Oops. However confident I might be, I wasn’t that strong and fast. So I slowed a bit, ignoring pace goals and enjoying the run along the river.