Tomorrow is the Bridges to Brews 8/10k race here in Portland. We are really excited about the special views of the city we'll be getting when we go over the Fremont Bridge. Did you know it has the longest main span of any bridge in Oregon and is the second longest tied arch bridge in the world (after Caiyuanba Bridge across the Yangtze River, China)? Amazing!
Here's a pic from last year's race. They close off the whole road! This is gonna be wild!
That sucker is huge with a very steep incline. One of my Nia cohorts used to be a long-distance track coach and he gave me a few pointers for climbing the bridge:
1. Shorten your stride when you go up the big hills. You can take quick short steps but don't try to long-stride pump it up the mountain (which was exactly my plan - thanks for the heads up, Fred!)
2. Pick a point BEYOND the apex of the bridge. Focus on something 200 -300 yards in the distance (I'm thinking one of those houses up on the West Hills). This way you'll continue to breathe through it as you go over the hill and maintain composure while descending. If you focus on the apex of the bridge, you'll most likely stop breathing in pace when you reach the top and then huff and puff on the way down.
Jason picked up our shirts and bib tags yesterday. Tech shirts came with registration - so we'll be all dudded up tomorrow!
Down side of this is that the weather is supposed to be typical Portland April weather tomorrow - mid 50s and rainy. Rainiest day of the week they say. Oh well, that's why we have layers! It'll be a true Oregonian experience.
My big dilemma (not really that big) is whether to run for a good race time and try to get myself "ranked" or to hang back and brisk walk it with Jason. He's planning to walk really really fast because running is very painful for him. Dude got tackled top and bottom (at the same time!) in high school football and it destroyed his knees. He basically has no ACL and his knees sound like gravel - but he still sign up to do this with me. What a wonderful guy. I'm so lucky to have the best partner in crime EVER.
Anywhooo - back to the dilemma. I've never really been competitive so it's not natural for me to want to smoke everyone and get a phenomenal time, but I would like to know how I measure up. But I would also like to enjoy the experience with my hubs.
The committee between my ears sounds like this:
My ego self says "Run - I bet you can do it in an hour. Validate yourself and your abilities. Make a statement about who you are by getting a good time."
My zen self says "Hang back with the love of your life. Experience this with Jason. Take pictures. Smell the moment! What do scores matter anyway?"
I also hear my survival instinct self quietly saying "Run like hell or you'll freeze your ass off!"
We'll see how my selves are feeling tomorrow and I'll just listen to the loudest one.
Trust in thy selves...