2017 Heart to Start 5K (Heart Breaker Half) —Hillsboro, OR

Don't we look festive?!

Don’t we look festive?!

After weeks of torrential rain and snow/sleet/ice before that, we had glorious weather the weekend of the Heart to Start 5K. Even if it was a bit cold, it made for a nice change.

We signed up for the Heart to Start 5K fairly last minute when we heard Jason’s sister was planning to make it her first 5K. We had a long training run scheduled for the weekend already, our last one before the Phoenix Half Marathon, but we decided to go for it. She wasn’t able to attend, but Jason and I still enjoyed ourselves at this a festive Valentine-themed run on Feb 12. She donated her bib to my Mom, who was then able to run with me.

This was Jason’s second time running the race. While he ran the 5K in 2015, Mom and I both did the Heart Breaker Half Marathon. I was glad to do the shorter race this year—I can only handle so many hills!

After doing some intense interval training the previous weekend, I have been fighting pain in my shins, and I also knew that post-5K celebration, I had to run about 12 more miles to get in my last training run before the Phoenix Half. All of these things were swirling in my head as we prepared for the start at Liberty High School.

The start of the race was on the track, which was fun. Out on the roads, the course was windy and hilly, with lots of turn-arounds. Even though the course overlapped in places, we never did spot Jason among the faster runners.

Mom and I tried to stick to our intervals, but the warm up period was rough. We made sure to run downhill, and walked many of the uphills. I admit I wasn’t in the greatest headspace for a race— I was mostly thinking of the rest of my long run. A 5K feels so long! It takes me about 2 miles to feel warm up and get into a groove for a long race. Now that I mostly run longer distances, 5Ks are really painful. They are only 3.1 miles, so I already feel like I’m closer to the finish. I’m focused on that finish rather than running my race.

The course was well-supported and there was a lot of great spirit, with fun outfits and an abundance of red. The course ended with a half-lap around the track. Once finished, we grabbed our water and a Jamba Juice cowbell (free smoothie!) and went inside where it was warm.

Easily the stand-out feature of this race is the post-race experience. They used the large high school cafeteria, with lots of tables and seating and decorating. There was live music. There was a delicious oatmeal bar that included every topping you could think of (I melted chocolate chips into mine) and other food, including bagels, peanut butter, oranges, snack mix and more.

I also found out that Jason had a great 5K, placing second overall!

Jason placed second overall in this 5K!

Jason placed second overall in this 5K!

After we finished our post-race snacks, we hopped in the car to head into Portland. I was tired of my regular long-run routes, so we had planned a 12 mile run in Portland. We started by running across Tilikum Crossing, running down the Springwater Corridor for a while, then doubling back and heading down the Eastbank Esplanade, crossing the river and finishing up the loop by running through Waterfront park.

It was a nice day for a run, but I really think that adding a 5K to the beginning with such a long break in between runs really threw me off. I hit the wall way sooner, my legs were tired sooner and I really had trouble figuring out how to fuel for the run. I think in the future, I’ll strive to do my long run mileage all at once.

However, unlike the 5K, the long training run was flat!

Time: 36:31
Ran With: Mom
Best Memory: Mom saying we couldn’t blame our finish times on the course because it “wasn’t that hilly,” and then Jason turning around to say incredulously, “What race did you run?”

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