My June 5k was the LoveRocks run in Forest Grove, OR. This race had lots of ups and downs, literally and figuratively. The course started at the Tom McCall Upper Elementary School and headed southwest from there. Right out of the gate the route heads down a fairly steep hill on SW Ritchey Road. For me, running downhill is not much easier than running uphill. I have to go fairly slowly or I’ll put too much force on my legs and I’m concerned that my leg will buckle and that would be embarrassing and painful. But that’s not the worst part. The worst part was that I knew that finishing the race I’d be climbing up that hill!
After the initial 0.25 m of the race it stayed flat and straight for a while. I paused for a second to take a picture. You can see the racers off in the distance where the road takes a right turn.
It was shortly after this that I started to hear an overly loud and insistent bird making noise. Looking around, I saw that some large birds (I think they were eagles) had built a nest on the top of a telephone pole right next to the road. Sadly, the pair in the nest was bothered by the constant stream of intruders running past below them. Since this was an out-and-back race, I saw the same nest on the way back and the birds were still squawking and complaining.
Of the races I had participated in so far this year, this one had the most interesting pre and post race setup. There were many booths setup for different concessions, a fair-like booth where you could show your strength on a hammer and bell game, and there was even a booth with a dog actor on show. The dog (I think it was a male) was sitting there smiling and occasionally doing tricks for kids. His portfolio was on display so that we could see that he had been in several shows and commercials. The whole event fell more like a county fair than a race.
My pace on this race was my worst of the year. I don’t think that the hill slowed me down that much. Rather, I think that my slow pace was due to a lack of training during June. This month held so many activities (graduation, birthdays, father’s day, out of town visitors, etc.) that I had trouble getting regular runs in. Also, I was suffering quite a bit from plantar fasciitis. I’m hoping that things improve by next month.