Hi everyone! It’s Friday, and guess what? I have the day off because I’m flying to Oregon today to run the Columbia Gorge Half Marathon! The race is on Sunday but I’ve got a bunch of other fun things planned since it’s my first trip to Oregon! Yay! I’m in such a good mood about my little mini vacation, and it totally helps that today’s Friday Five Linkup with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia is all about the five things that we love the most! It was really hard narrowing my list down until I realized that all of my favorite things are actually making an appearance this weekend! So here’s my list of things I love, Columbia Gorge Half style:
1. Running: Obviously this is #1, and I’m so excited to be running my 7th half marathon this weekend! The bad news: I’m having some pain lately when I run on my left butt area (honestly it’s been going on since I hurt my hip in January, but it’s been really painful lately when I run long), and one of my very active coworkers said it’s most likely my sciatic nerve. She’s a yoga instructor and gave me a few stretches that might help, and also told me to tone my running down after this weekend. I’m really nervous about pushing it into the realm of an actual injury this weekend, so I’m hoping to take it easy and just focus on fun instead of time. The good news: I’m running this race with my manager and we have the most killer playlist set up (it ends with “I Believe I Can Fly” at the finish line), and we plan on taking lots of pictures of the gorgeous leaves and amazing views of the gorge! I’ve got lots of things lined up to distract me and get me to the finish line in one piece. It’s my 9th state on my list of races in all 50 states, and I plan on having tons of fun crossing it off my list!
2. Hiking: I seriously can’t resist a hike, even when I’m trying to rest up for a half marathon. Since I’m not trying to injure myself here, I’m just planning on doing a few short hikes to see waterfalls along the scenic highway in Columbia Gorge. I actually just got some hiking out of my system on Thursday so hopefully that helps me stay off my feet and rest up for the race!
3. Books: If I’m not running or hiking, I’m probably curled up with a book! It’s my favorite way to relax and unwind. I also noticed that it takes my mind off pre-race jitters, and helps me de-stress after a long race. Plus, it’s the best way to pass the time on 3.5 hour flights to Seattle. I’m looking forward to visiting Powell’s Bookstore in Portland – although my wallet is crying already! Fun fact: my favorite books are the entire Harry Potter series. I’ve read them all way too many times to count!
4. Fall: Fall is my favorite season EVER and one of my big motivations for running this race was the promise of fall leaves along the course and amazing fall weather. I’m really looking forward to getting a second chance at fall this year!
5. Food: Going to the Lower 48 is cause for celebration because not only is food fresher and cheaper, it’s stuff that we can’t get up here in Alaska. I’m still planning on following the Whole Life Challenge as much as possible, but I did earn a free day – and fully plan on using it on race day to eat extra carbs and some yummy food during recovery! Here’s what I’m hoping to eat over the weekend: Chipotle (I’m probably getting cheese on it, #sorrynotsorry), pizza, and whatever I’m craving after my half – which, according to food craving trends in my recent long runs, will probably be a waffle. OMG. I’m also planning on going to Voodoo Donuts in Portland, but since sugar makes my body freak out now I’m thinking we might have to split a donut so I don’t die! Also, I will be going to Trader Joe’s to buy all of the yummy compliant food that I can find.
I’m so excited for this weekend and the opportunity to experience all of my favorite things at once! Wish me luck in my race, and make sure to check my Instagram for lots of updates and gorgeous pictures of Hood River!
What are your favorite things? Any suggestions for my running playlist? And what are your feelings on Harry Potter?