Tagged: Eugene

Channeling My Funky for Portland

Tomorrow I’m jet bound to Portland, Oregon! I’m running the Eugene Half-Marathon on Sunday, but the best part is that my daughter and her fiance live in Portland, so I’m making a week of it.

My bags are packed, training is under my belt, and I’m ready to go.

I’ve only been to Portland twice, both times very briefly. Once was en route to Seaside and Astoria to meet some runners at the end of the Hood to Coast Relay, and another time for a wedding.

As I told someone when I was there, “These are my people.” I feel at home in Oregon. My mom even told me afterwards that I was probably conceived there, so I guess it is a true homecoming when I visit.

I’m having to live some of my unrealized dreams through my daughter, who’s worked as a park ranger in Yellowstone, a geologist in Jackson Hole, and now lives in Portland. I guess all those summer road trips out west to the national parks influenced my daughter more than I thought they would.

Dallas should reach a high of 90 degrees today, so it’s a good time to head north. When I called Dominique to ask what kind of clothes to pack, I was told to “bring a little of everything” and to dress “funky.”

Just what I wanted to hear. I’m the type who packs everything but the kitchen sink, but funky? I’m anything but.

Are Converse sneakers considered funky? Maybe they are if you’re my age.

For a race, it’s pretty easy to pack. All the sacred running items go in the carry-on, to avoid having to scramble for race gear at the last minute if the checked bag gets lost.

Now that I have a Kindle I’m traveling much lighter. I usually pack three or four books, and buy three or four more when I get to wherever I’m going–and keep my fingers crossed when they weigh my luggage.

But I rarely have (or make) time to do much reading anyway when I travel. Too much to see! Too much to do! Too many adventures to be had!

About thirty of my running friends and acquaintances are traveling to Eugene to run the race, though most are running the marathon. I would be running it as well if I hadn’t lost a full month of training back in February after a trip to the ER, then a pulled calf muscle, and then a stomach virus.

Sometimes you have to be realistic and scale back. I’m looking forward to running “just” the half marathon.

And if you’re a runner, or you saw the movie (actually, there were two), then you know about Steve Prefontaine. Eugene is where he lived, trained, and was killed in a car accident. The race finishes on Hayward Field where he trained.

After running with Dean Karnazes last Friday, it’s kind of like meeting two running heroes in one week.

So here’s to sunny skies in Oregon, a smooth, uneventful flight, fleet feet and lots of laughs with friends, precious time with my lovely daughter–and most of all, to running. Funky or not, here I come.