Saturday, March 20, 2010

Portland Shamrock Run & Beer Trek 2010 (first ed.)

Dave & I decided to change our plans to drive up to Bend, OR to visit Deschutes & run the Grin & Bear It trail 5k. We were excited for the trip, but in our decrepid states, were not looking forward to 7 hours in the car...each way. So, while figuring out if it would be better to fly into Portland & drive south to Bend, it dawned on me that Deschutes had expanded and now had a pub in downtown Portland as well. No brewery tour, but all the same hop & barley goodness we were looking so forward to. Now, if only Portland has a race this weekend.
Imagine my surprise when within a minute I not only found a race that offered three distances (5k, 8k, 15k) on Sunday, March 14, but realized that combined, this was Oregon's largest race! It reached it's max of 21,500 sign-ups a week or two before race day. So, plan B started to look a heck of a lot better than plan A. 1:25 flight insted of 7 hours in the car. I didn't have to put another thousand miles on the Prius. The race we ended up doing was waaaaay more exciting than what we'd planned (it's been a while since I'd done one of this size), AND...Deschutes ain't the only game in town. Still one of my favorite breweries, we'd be sure to hit them first, but Portland is pretty much beer Mecca, & we had our choice of Breweries, specialty beer stores, &/or beer bars all over town. We even got a good deal at the Marriot Residence Inn, which happened to be the host hotel. We rented a car, but walked about half the time. We were less than a mile downriver from the start/finish, so race morning was a breeze, & also ended walking to Deschutes (about 25 minutes NW in the Pearl District) & McMenamins (10 minute walk). Heck, we even worked out at two different 24 Hour Fitness locations (walked to one) and had another gym (where we worked out the day b4 the race) that was two blocks from the hotel.
Race day came upon us with the legs feeling a little heavy, but no more than the usual amount of pain in the knee or hip. Dave started the 5k at 8:05, and I decided to ease into my warm-up (for the 9:00 8k) by slow jogging backwards from the finish to mile 2 of his course. I saw Dave here & ran in with him to mile 3 before he took it in. He got close to breaking 27:00 (27:20), and seeing as how the middle miles of all the courses were uphill, it was a pretty good effort. There were too many people in the area after his finish to find him, so I checked my warm-up gear, and finished my jogging & strides before making my way to the line.
I had a much easier time getting to the line here than in Chico last week, even though there were close to 6,000 people in the 8k. There was no countdown, so I'd just come out of a down dog stretch when the gun went off, surprisng more than a few of us...hence the two second difference between my gun & chip times, even though I was right in the front. I knew from years past that the top guys in this one were out of my reach, so I had no desire to go to the front after the gun. Two guys seperated almost immediately, followed by a large chase pack, of which I positioned myself near the front. Once we settled into pace, I beleive I was 4th (briefly), tucking in behind the leader of the chase. I hit mile one tied for 4th/5th in 5:18.9, but I was starting to wonder if I could hold that pace. I didn't know the course, but knew from Peter's blog on the 15k a couple years ago that it was not flat. And what do you know, within a minute, we were climbing...and climbing...and climbing. No mountains mind you, just a steady climb for a full 2 miles, broken up only by a 2-lane break each block as you crossed the street. Then up some more. I missed a mile 2 split while dropping back a couple more spots. I'd be in 8th (hanging onto the back of 7th like a fly on poo) when we reached mile 3 (16:54). That gave me a time of 11:36 between 1-3, which I'd have been fine with if it had felt like I'd held back, but, well...not so much. I really needed the end of this hill to stay in the top 10. Lo & behold, a minute or so later, we saw it. A sharp left, then the drag race began. From 3.25 to the end, the race was 99% flat or downhill. I managed to run the 1.97 miles (the first .2 of which was still uphill) in 10:20, or about 5:14 per mile. I got back into 7th on the first downhill, and never gave it back, although 6th was just a few seconds out of reach. I ended up crossing the line in 27:04 (5:27 per). A few seconds off my goal, but not enough to be upset about. Besides, the race was only half the reason for the trip!
Needless to say, we hit a couple breweries on the trip. We tried to do a rerun of our succesful drink-rest-race-drink strategy from the NY/PA/DE trip last fall. So...went to the best place first. Friday night we met up with my friend Will (who lives in nearby Vancouver) at Deschutes Brewery. It was a little nippy, but nice enough that Dave & I walked there, through the heart of Portland, from our hotel. There was one random building with 30 foot crab legs swinging from the roof in the middle of downtown that got our attention. Deschutes (as usual) was phenomenal! We tried everything they had on tap, and had some awesome food to boot. Will came with us back to the hotel to soak in the hot tub, and try another beer (of course). Hell, Deschutes is so cool, they even had Dyson hand dryers in the bathrooms. Sounded like a jet was taking off every time someone dried their hands. After a rest day Saturday (kinda) we cooked our own meal in the room (pasta & salad w/italian sausage) complete with smoke alarm. We couldn't resist splitting a large beer with dinner (which threw of our NY strategy) but it was soooo good - a barrel aged doppelbock. If I think real hard, I can still taste it. Anway, Green Dragon & Mcmenamins were visited on Sunday after the race, and after having a couple Rogue beers at the farmer's market next to the race. Here's the rundown of what we had &/or brought back...
bottle/can-Great Divide Hoss Rye Lager, Stone/Brewdog Bashah, 21st Ammendment Monks Blood, Full Sail Top Sail Imperial Bourbon Barrel Porter, Lompoc Barrel Aged Doppel Bock, Great Divide Yeti, GD Oak Aged Yeti, GD Espresso Aged Yeti, Southern Tier Unearthly IPA, Alameda Black Bear XX Stout, Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad, Alesmith Wee Heavy, Alesmith Speedway Stout 2010, Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, GD Belgica, Stone/Brewdog/Cambridge Black Imperial Pilsner, Stone/Maui/Ken Schmidt Imperial Macadamia Nut Coconut Imperial Porter, Southern Tier Iniquity Black Ale, Bruery Two Turtle Doves, Midnight Sun TREAT (cocoa pumpkin porter), Liefman's Kriek, Midnight Sun 3767 (brett IPA), Schaffly Reserve 08 Imperial Stout, HaandBryggeriet Barrel Aged Porter, Harvieston Old Engine Oil, Russian River Consecration, Temptation, Supplication, Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws, GD Titan, Upright Brewing Oyster Stout, Highland Ambush barreled Scotch Ale.
tap-McMenamins Ruby, Hammerhead, IPA, Tripel, Porter, Dry Irish (nitro)Alameda Black Bear XXRogue John John, Imperial Mocha PorterGreen Dragon Strong Scottish Ale, GD claymore, Dogfish Head Black & Blue, Duchesse de Bourgebourgebourge, Laurelwood Moose & Squirrel, LW, Arctic ApocalypseDeschutes Jubel 2010, Black Butte Porter, Green Lakes Organic, Bachelor Bitter, BBitter (cask), Mirror Pond Pale, Cascade Ale, Inversion IPA, Obsidian Stout (nitro), Hop Henge, Red Chair, Fresh Squeezed IPA (cask), D Stratt Dubbel, Sam Hain (nitro), Gluten Free Wit, Armory XPA, Ivanna Weiss, Miss Spelt Hefeweizen, Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale, Streaking Lil' Buddha (a blend of Dissident & Streaking the Quad).We also could have got a growler (that's right, a growler...of Bud Light...from the airport terminal). Somehow, we resisted.
Definitely a trip (& a race) that I'd like to do again in the future!
here's a link to my race pics (yellow):
and Dave's:


wife said...

I am waiting to see how it ends!!!!

Gretchen said...

I think that's flyin! Nice job.
I'm guessing the end has something to do with beer??

slowrunner77 said...

not realy the end...more like the second half...or the first third, and third third! I'm on it.

SnowLeopard said...

Soooo, you went to Deschutes and walked right by Powell's Books and didn't go in!?! Craziness. ;) That Deschutes was a pretty cool pub though- I loved all the wood carvings on the inside~