Race Recap: 2017 Hop Hop Half Marathon—Portland, OR

Saturday morning, the sun finally came out and the clouds finally lifted for a lovely spring day—perfect for running a half marathon!

I was excited for this half marathon, but I made a couple of mistakes that I’m sure led to my slowest non-RunDisney half marathon time this weekend at the Hop Hop Half Marathon. Don’t get me wrong— I had a ton of fun— however, after running a dozen half marathons and earning a PR in late February, I think it was time for a reminder to never take the distance for granted.

With that in mind, instead a regular race recap, I want to reflect on what I did wrong going into the race and during the race that contributed to how I felt during the race.

Physical Preparation

As I said in my pre-race post, I’ve been so busy I haven’t focused on running, but I haven’t neglected my training either. I did all my long runs and even managed a speed workout between my last race and this one.

Hydration is where my physical preparation broke down. I didn’t think about pre-race hydrating and woke up with a headache. I didn’t drink enough water that morning and started the race dehydrated. During the race, although there were water stations, I was always thirsty. I haven’t run in sunny weather in ages and I was sweating. I felt sluggish and dehydration is the likely reason.

Mental Preparation

I admit it, I went into this race thinking “no problem.” Yeah, I know I’m trained up, but I still have to run 13.1 miles. Since I was only running for fun, and not going for a fast time and had recently clocked a great PR time, I was feeling pretty cocky about running this race. Six miles in, I started thinking, “dang… this thing isn’t even half over….” Confidence is knowing the race is long but I will finish. Cockiness is thinking the race is no big deal and I’ll be done in no time.

Race Day

I can learn from these mistakes and even though I felt sub-par, I still had a blast at the Hop Hop Half. This was a great race and they made sure the whole experience felt festive.

We made quite the group of happy bunnies!

It finally felt like a spring day and I was so glad to be taking advantage of glorious weather by running outside in it. We’ve gotten so few sunny days this year, every one is a treasure. It was perfect for a race.

Jason was aiming for a 1:30 time (and possibly a PR), Kelly’s Dad was aiming for a sub-2 hour finish. Those of us running for fun— Kelly, Mom and I— started the race together. Right away, I was getting shoutouts for my bunny ears, which looked ridiculously tall in comparison to many others. Someone even noticed the tiny detail of my carrot earrings!

The race started out with a short loop up and down roads and back toward the finish area. We were able to cheer for Jason and Kelly’s Dad as they passed us. Jason was one of the first runners through! We then passed the finish area and headed out for the rest of the race. Around mile 3, Kelly decided to drop back to run 30/30 intervals. With her reduced level of training, the 50 second run/30 second walk interval at our running pace was too much to maintain for the whole race.

Soon we had turned onto a bike path following the Columbia River. The sun sparkled on the water and there was a breeze. Every runner was in good spirits, with some singing to their music as we all ran along.

Take a look at the beautiful view of the river!

Once we neared the turnaround we saw a man in a giant blow-up hatching chick costume. It was hilarious and we knew we’d have to stop at the station afterward. They had marshmallow peeps! I don’t usually like them, but around mile 8, they sure tasted good.

We also spotted Kelly, who wasn’t too far behind us. Mom and I continued our way back along the bike path, but this time, the sun allowed us to see our own shadows and I was really amused by the bunny ears I was running with.

Although it was beautiful, Mom and I couldn’t help noticing all the landmarks that we had seen on our way out and thinking about how much longer we had to run.

Just after we crossed the road to the final short stretch of the bike path, Kelly caught up with us. We had less than 2 miles to go! She had been racing to catch up with us for a while, working hard.

Once I saw the finish line, I started running. “Slow down,” Mom called, since my pace was rather fast for poor Kelly, who had just caught up. “You can’t stop me know,” I yelled back. The finish line was too close!

We finished one, two, three and I made a beeline for the mimosas and my commemorative champagne flute. We found out that Jason just barely missed his PR time (again), but Kelly’s Dad smashed his 2-hour goal coming in at 1:53:22.

Cheers to a great race day!

All in all, I think I could have prepared better, but it was a super fun race that I would definitely recommend. It was nice and flat, with beautiful views. Of course, it helps that it was beautiful weather too!

Time: 2:51:29
Ran With:Mom
Best Costume: One of the faster runners (Jason’s speed or faster) wore a giant cardboard carrot on his back. All the bunnies in the race were chasing him!


Bunny Ears at the ready for Easter Weekend and the Hop Hop Half Marathon

judy hopps running costume

I had a blast running as bunny cop Judy Hopps (Zootopia) at the 2016 Tinker Bell Half Marathon.

Easter weekend is fast approaching and I’m getting ready to break out my bunny running ears for the 2017 Hop Hop Half Marathon!

I’ve been wanting to do this half marathon for a couple of years now, but it never quite worked out. But when Mom wanted to find a half to run with me, I was excited to suggest this race, which seems like it will be full of springtime fun, with a post-race brunch as well.

The 2017 Hop Hop Half medals (which change every year) feature one adorable bunny. Added bonus!

I’ve been so busy remodeling a room in my house this spring that I’ve hardly had time to train, much less think about a race day outfit. All I knew was that I had a great pair of bunny ears that had already served me well in a half marathon. Luckily, Mom was ready to pick up the slack.

Foot Traffic did something a bit unusual and held packet pick-up last weekend. It was really nice to get it over with it and not have to worry about it now. We also got to see our shirts a full week ahead of the race!

Mom fell in love with the shirt and took it to the fabric store with her and ended up finding sparkle fabric in the perfect color of blue. In addition, she offered to sew skirts for herself, me and Kelly.


With a shirt this cute and sparkle fabric that perfectly matches, how could we resist?

I plan to add the great pair of race-tested ears comes from my Judy Hopps costume I wore at the 2016 Tinker Bell Half Marathon to the outfit. After I spent so long making them and after they worked so well on race day, I’m really glad I get another opportunity to wear the bunny ears and other elements of that costume. This will be a perfect Easter/springtime running costume!

My Hop Hop Half Race Day Outfit

  • Official Race shirt
  • New Robin’s Egg Blue sparkle skirt
  • Bunny Ears (all three of us will wear ears, although all three will be different)
  • Bunny Tail
  • Carrot Earrings

Although I usually avoid wearing new clothing on race day, I’m not worried about wearing a simple shirt. I’ve worn a lot of bizarre things in while running a half marathon. Just to be safe, I’ll apply a little extra body glide.

I’m planning to run the race at a slower pace than I ran the Phoenix Half Marathon, with 50 second run/30 second walk intervals. Kelly, Mom and I plan to start together, but Kelly is planning run slower because of her interrupted training schedule. After just missing a PR time at Phoenix, Jason is hoping to run a PR at this event. Finally, Kelly’s dad is also running the race— he and Kelly actually signed up months before we did.

I’m looking forward to the race and Easter weekend!