Friday, December 08, 2017


Starts under the arch near Adidas USA headquarters.
This Sunday I'll be doing a race I've been eyeing for years... the Holiday Half! This race is notorious for shitty weather, which has been the main culprit scaring me away from it. I signed up a while back ready to embrace whatever Mother Nature had in store and luckily she has decided to be very gentle with me. So I'm excited! It's a race I've been meaning to do since I started running and now I'm finally doing it!

Before I get into the nitty gritty of the race preview, let's do a quick update with how things are with my body. Everything is still clear sailing on the psoriatic arthritis front. It's now been a full month since I stopped taking methotrexate and I still feel GREAT. Very encouraging. There are virtually no side effects I've noticed so far with leflunomide. A little rumbly tummy for a few minutes right when I take it (before bed) but that's it.

The verdict is still out on some of the other side effects that I had with methotrexate that I could have with leflunomide. Sunburning more easily will have to wait a while to be determined, along with my lips chapping ridiculously easily due to sun. One thing I can test out is how easily methotrexate made me bruise. Like a peach! Like I peach I tells ya! That seems to be gone with leflunomide. The other day at work I really whacked my arm and it for sure would have been an ugly bruise before. Now, not so much. I'm also not finding random bruises on my body which came from who knows where.

Rolling downhill toward the finish line on Greeley.
My legs did feel a little worn this week but it makes sense. Last week I ran four times for a grand total of 25.6 miles. Definitely the most since the onset of psoriatic arthritis. I only ran twice, 5.5 on Monday with PRC, and then 4 on Thursday with Sunstone. My legs felt a little worn but it was the normal worn, not "flare impending" worn. They should feel fresh enough and ready to go on Sunday for the half marathon. So I'm excited to get out there and give it my best shot!

As for the race! Expect temperatures around freezing with partly cloudy skies when the gun goes off at 8am. I remembered similar conditions for the Hot Buttered Half Marathon two years ago, so I double checked my outfit for that race. I plan on wearing a long sleeved shirt with gloves and a beanie. I can always roll up my sleeves and take my beanie off if I get too hot. I'll have a red/green color scheme going on to be festive. I am truly a hobby jogger now!

In regards to the course, it's pretty flat. Sure, nothing in Portland is truly flat except maybe Sauvie's Island, but in the grand scheme of things this one isn't very hilly. I have seen a couple of elevation charts that differ with each other, so I'm not sure quite what to expect. I think the area right near the start/finish will be hilly and then again near the turnaround point in St. John's. I know for a fact that Willamette Blvd, the bulk of the race, is very flat from many training runs and the Portland Marathon.

Luckily the race has an indoor area to hang out before and after the race. Thank goodness! I will know a number of people at the race so I'm hoping to bump into them. There is beer and chili and general festiveness after the race so it should be a good time. Will be nice to run a half marathon in half marathon shape again. It will be hard but the question of whether or not I can run 13 miles is not really a question at all!


"C" Goal: Beat my "post PsA" half marathon PR of 2:22. If all else fails, I need to at least beat that mark! This is 10:53/mile.

"B" Goal: Sub 2:10. This is the next step. Miami in January was around 12:00/mile. Boring was just under 11:00/mile. This would put me just under 10:00/mile and get my half marathon pace back into the 9s. Heck yeah!

"A" Goal: Sub 2:00. The old "sub two hour" marathon goal. I am now a proud member of this club. I think if I'm feeling good and run a good race my time could realistically be anywhere from 1:57-2:03. I could run my best and not get this. But there's a chance! I'm going to start the race by pacing myself to this time and we'll see if I can hold on!

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