Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Silver Falls Half Marathon....The half marathon that felt like a 5K, but took almost as long as a Full

For this year's Girls Trip we had picked to run the Silver Falls Half Marathon in Silverton, Oregon.
It sounded so beautiful and fun.  So earlier this summer (August 1st) I was sitting in a hotel room spending nail biting minutes online trying to get us registered.  The race is limited to 600 runners.  We had read that it was a popular race and very tough to get in.  Michele was in Ireland, Kris was in McCall so it fell upon me to try and get us in!  I was in Utah and the WiFi in our hotel room kept crashing.  My kids were gathered around me, my husband had the car packed and wanted to hit the road, and I was talking and begging the computer to "please work!"  After a few stressful attempts, I did it!  We were in!!  I later found out that the race filled up in TEN MINUTES!!  We were sooooo lucky to get registered.  I was pumped!  Our annual girls trip was scheduled, November 2, 2013!

Time to hit the road!  I was handing out gifts and seeing off our Varsity Cross Country team that morning, so Michele and Kris decided to pick me up at the High School.  Hmmm.... I was wondering where they were.  They were to be here at 8:00 AM.  I was busy hugging kids and wishing everyone good luck as they boarded their bus.  Now it's 8:10, where are they?  I did leave my phone in the car - better check it. Oh man 3 missed calls?  When I call them back I learned they were looking for me at the Middle School. So, I just told them to stay put, and I had my friend drive me to them.  What a great way to start out our long road trip....with our driver AND our navigator getting lost!  Then we head off and have to stop for our first bathroom break in 5 minutes after leaving the Middle School Parking Lot.  Oh dear,this is going to be a long trip!

We had a really foggy start.  It was kind of spooky. Kris announced that she would not be passing ANY cars in the fog and that we will be travelling slow.  I was pleased by this declaration for sure.
You can see the fog as we head towards it.
I had been fighting some sick junk.  I went to the doctor to be sure that I didn't have Strep throat the day before.  I was still feeling under the weather so I came really prepared for anything!
We decided it was a good thing that I was sick. Me at 80% was the perfect pace for Kris!

So we were headed to Silverton, Oregon, a 7.5 hour drive.  To entertain everyone, I brought the printout of the entire blog for 2012.  We had some great laughs as we re-lived all of those runs.  At some points we were laughing so hard I had to stop reading so Kris wouldn't crash.  We have really had some "adventures".

Then suddenly Kris noticed some strange objects moving in the sky.  We couldn't figure out what they were. "Indian smoke signals?"
"Weird air jelly fish?"
We were dumb founded.  Then Michele called out, "Birds! They are birds!"
Kris did not believe her and kept staring at them.  As we approached a semi truck, closer and closer, I said in my best police officer voice, "Ma'am what was the last thing you remember seeing before you hit the back of that semi?"  Ha-ha "BIRDS!"  She finally agreed they were birds and went back to driving.

At our first stop for gas, Michele hopped out of the car.  Then she hopped back in when she realized that you cannot pump your own gas in Oregon!  When we were done Michele and Kris started fighting about the gas...
And then ONE HOUR LATER...

After we had driven though our next rest stop, Michele offered me a turn in the front seat.  Before I even had a chance to answer Kris yelled, "NO! I don't think so."  How nice of her.

The drive was LONG. But we had fun.  AS we got further into Oregon Kris said that we would pass Multnomah Falls. Michele and I started to question whether or not that was true.  We were seeing ZERO signs indicating that it was coming up.  She kept insisting that we would but we would repeatedly give each other the "I don't think so" look.  It was making Kris quite aggravated.  Finally, when we DID pass the falls she simply held out her hand and enjoyed a silent 'I told you so' moment with herself.

It was way passed lunchtime and I began to feel funny.  I started to say strange things...
"I think I have a fever."
"You know that feeling you get when you take too much benedryl?  That's how I feel."
"I'm feverish, I think it's because I am back here starving."
I became so ravenous that I felt like I was losing weight as the two ladies up front tried to decide where to eat.  Every time I saw an exit I would call out, get off here!  Sometimes Kris listened to me and it wasn't an outlet and she'd have to get back on the highway.  Other times she just ignored me.  Finally after what seemed like ages later they settled on McDonald's.  I haven't eaten there in over ten years but decided that I was so hungry I would take my chances.  Kris had to get a "little" bit creative to find a parking spot, but she managed.

While we ate we kept checking our phone apps at the weather for the race.  Rain, Rain, Rain.  Oh boy.  Michele trying to be forever optimistic smiled and said, "Hey! Just think about it for a second.  All of the rain will just make the waterfalls....BIGGER."

Finally, we made it to Silverton, Oregon!   Michele scored an awesome hotel called the Silverton Inn.

We had a really fun drive together.  I do think the long drive did wear Kris out quite a bit though.  She began to get forgetful.  After buying us cool rock necklaces, she misplaced her sunglasses (Which Michele had found and hid in my pocket).  Then later she misplaced our ONLY hotel room key.  I found that for her...

 The guy at the rock store would NOT give Kris paper one dollar bills as her change.  It was all in coins.  He then gave her a long dissertation as to the inefficiency of the way the government prints their currency and how he is single-handily trying to change it.  I don't know how much Kris heard, she was just trying to figure out a way to get rid of all the coins.

We drove to the course and picked up our race bibs and shirts.  Seeing the area made us so pumped to run!  It was gorgeous!

After an exciting tour of the race we headed to dinner at the Creekside Grill.  When we got int the car Michele decided to throw away her and Kris' sodas from lunch.  As she grabbed Kris' cup she asked, "Are you through with this?"  Kris snapped, "DO I LOOK THROUGH WITH IT?"  Needless to say, Michele left it in the cup holder.

At the restaurant, we all ordered pasta.  Kris wanted to keep her menu because it had an article on the history of the building that we were eating in.  She proceeded to read it to us in her fabulous story telling voice.  The waitress brought our salads and asked if Kris was finished with the menu.  "No, I am not."
After our salads we were brought out our dinners.  Again the waitress asked Kris if she was finished with the menu.  "No I am not."
After three times of asking, Kris finally let the poor waitress have back her menu.
As we enjoyed our dinner the topic of weather came up again. This time it focused on what we were going to wear on race day; tights or Capri's, short sleeve or long sleeve, rings or no rings, jacket or raincoat.  After about 15 minutes Michele finally declared:

"I am wearing shorts, a singlet, flip flops, AND my rings."

When the waitress returned to gather our plates, none of us had eaten more than half of our meal.  They were huge portions!  She asked if we'd like a to-go box.  Michele and I immediately said No.  Then Kris said yes.  We both looked at her strangely.  "We have a fridge in our hotel room." Kris stated.  Michele said the look on my face was priceless as I asked, "When do you plan on eating it?"  Kris then realized that unless she planned on eating it in the next 5 hours, it wasn't worth keeping.

After dinner began the part of our trip known as "Operation: Find Kris a Towel."  She wanted to be able to shower after the race before we headed home.  We couldn't get a late check out from the hotel.  After talking to a park ranger, she learned that there were showers at the campground by our race.  "So I will shower there after we run and then we will hit the road." It was all decided.  Until after a moment I asked, "Do you have a towel?"

So we spent the next little while, looking in the phone book and the hotel directory trying to find a place that sold towels and was open after 9:00 PM.  EURKEA!  Rite Aid to the rescue!!  We used my phone to map where it was ad headed out.  The costs were RIDICULOUS!  Kris ended up buying a small hand towel for $4.99!  Yikes! Let's get some sleep!

We all slept great - except for the fact that Kris was so worried about her room being cold.  We had cranked up the heat in the room.  Then during the night she shut her door because she wanted it cold after all.  Meanwhile Michele and I felt like we were sleeping in a Chinese bath house.  I swear we must have sweated off 2 pounds through the night.  That probably explains why Michele dreamed our room was filled with Asian people.


RAIN RAIN RAIN Here it is.
Despite the rain we were running this race!

This race was AMAZING!  The scenery was breathtaking!!  We kept stopping because there were so many amazing things to view and take in.  You couldn't run this race for a time goal because you would have missed too much beauty.  We met great people and had a fabulous time.  The start was VERY crowded.  It was pretty packed with people for the first 3 miles or so.  My memories of the race will not be in the exact order that they occurred.    I decided to sum up the race in 8 things to always remember....

#1  There was this ladies in front of me talking so loudly at the start of the race.  Now talking during a race does not bother me, Michele Kris and I do it too.  However these women were talking about couponing!  What?  Of all things to talk about!  I was going nuts listening to their great deals.  I kept trying to pass them but Michele and Kris would never follow.  Finally, I could not take it any longer.  I fell back with Michele and Kris and told them that I HAD to get away from these ladies before I lost my mind.  We were going to push it hard for a minute or so.. At last we did and I was able to begin to enjoy the run better.

#2  Kris and I put our wool running socks on that morning.  Michele did not, she REFUSED.  For the first 3 miles she did admit that her feet were cold.  After the race she said the reason she didn't wear them was because her feet get claustrophobic.  (on a side note she can't paint her fingernails either or her pores close up).

#3  Rounding one corner there was a large sign reading "Beer Ahead".  As we ran by we heard someone yell "WAIT!"  We stopped and turned around to see Kris holding up a cup to say 'cheers' and drank it down.  Oh Boy.  As if she needed any help in falling.  Now we really had to watch out for her double!  It wasn't even 5 minutes later that she said, "Why is the trail wobbly?"

#4  We met 2 older men at the beer station who immediately became Kris' friends; Rick and Jay.  They thought all three of us were sisters.  Since we are "sole" sisters, we never told them otherwise.  They were willing to adopt Kris because they felt Michele and I were mean to her.  At one point they threatened to call our mom.  Michele told him to "Go right ahead!"

#5 I saw a girl taking a picture of another runner in front of one of the falls.  I decided it would be so nice of me to offer to take a photo of them together.  So I reached for her iphone and said, "Would you like me to take a picture of the two of you?"  She looked at me with a bit of disgust on her face, handed the iphone to the other runner and then said to me, "I don't know her."  Then she jogged off.  Whoops.  Try to do something nice.....

#6  As we ran SUDDENLY my nose started to bleed.  For nose reason!  Michele and Kris said I acted like I was losing a limb or something.  But come on Bloody nose here!  I got NO sympathy.  Kris told me to sick a leaf up it, even poison oak if I had to.
THEN our 2 new friends, Rick and Jay, wanted a picture of the "3 sisters" that they ran with.  Right when he started to take the picture blood started streaming out my nose.  Now he will go home and show people this photo and I'm standing there hemorrhaging out my right nostril!

#7  Michele was on a quest to find the bathroom, any bathroom.  When finally we came up to a sign for one she sprinted ahead while I waited for Kris.  Michele ended up running past the bathroom completely the wrong way.  Luckily she stayed on the race course though!  Kris and I at first weren't sure where she was.  We couldn't see her.  Kris made me sprint on ahead to see if I could find her.  Sure enough there she was, quarter mile away from the sought after bathroom.  She had to use the bushes because we were NOT going back!

#8 At the start line while Kris was making one last quick wardrobe change Michele was studying two clocks.  She fired off a string of comments so rapidly that I actually never had a chance to respond. Here is what I heard her say, and imagine it being said very rapidly with no breaks...
"Why are there two clocks there?  One says 8 but the other one is in minutes.Is it the marathon start time? Is one counting down and the other counting up? Is that the marathon time and the other one the half? Why would they need two and why are they different?  Oh I got it! (hits me) It's a clock.  That one is the current time and the other one is race time."  Then she smiled so proud of herself for figuring it out.  I never said one word.

We did not run this for a time goal because the scenery was so beautiful we had to stop for pictures.  Here are some of my favorites....

My favorite part of this race was being able to run BEHIND the waterfalls!  Yes behind.  It was amazing!!!

There are a few things that, like always, only the three us will understand..
The funniest of all is our new bathroom code for "be Quiet" is NOT a foot under a door.  It is "The clown wears a rubber nose."

Also we would like to give a special shout out to DAN for providing Jodi with an entire case of water, of which she nearly drank by herself.

We finished our race TOGETHER! (I bet Kris never thought I would stay with them as promised but I DID!!)  We were soaking wet, muddy and smiling!

The only thing left to do was bask in the sun that came out right when we finished!  And just to let those who are wondering know....Kris did NOT shower after all.

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