It is SOOO nice to be here, to be on vacation, to be THIS close to the race. I hear it's nicer today than it's been all year. It's lovely. The sun is shining, the ocean is calling, it's a beautiful 55 degrees. It's the first time I've been back to Oregon since I moved from California 4 years ago. It's just as beautiful as I remember. I've learned a lot about Oregon in the 24 hours I've been here. It's windy by the beach - good thing I've been running in the midwest all winter. (We know something about wind!) The marathon is "flat", but that is a bit of a misnomer. I'm so glad I drove the course today so I wouldn't freak out tomorrow. True there aren't any mountains, but there are some short steep little hills in the first four miles - then it's flat until you come back on the out and back - a slow, gradual incline most of the last mile or so. But I know and I've been training on hills so I'll be fine.
Now I know we aren't at altitude because if I walk down 90 short steps, I'm 100 yards from the Pacific ocean where the kite surfers are putting on a show, but seriously... NOT flat. There are mountains here (luckily we won't be running any of those), steep sharp inclines, but they probably don't get past 3 or 400 feet in height. I think of them as mountains when you drive along the road and there are rock slide signs on one side of the road and steep 90 degree cliffs on the other. But then I'm from the midwest so my definition of a mountain is a bit jaded. Let's just call it the coastal range, like they do in California.
You can't get anywhere fast around here because of said mountains and ocean, but that's quite okay with me. I'm on vacation. I stopped at no less than 3 overlooks and took pictures like a damn tourist. I could live here! I swear. At least I think I could. It is just so beautiful. I know, however, that there wouldn't be a lot to "do" - work wise or culturally, but who am I kidding exactly? I'm not exactly the opera going type. The biggest down side would be the distinct lack of shopping malls, but hey, maybe the local stuff would be cool. I don't know. I was too busy looking at the ocean and the birds today to really worry about retail.
I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow. I am confident I can reach my goal. I will have a good time. The weather is going to be perfect. The course will be fun. The people are terribly friendly and seem to be pretty well organized. I can't wait. Looks like it will be another beautiful day in paradise. Now it's off to bed cause breakfast is at 4am!
As Jimmy would say, the weather is here, wish you were beautiful!