Friday Five: Five Things I Love – Columbia Gorge Half Edition!

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!

cm half

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!

IMG_6896Thursday’s hike took place up at the Flattop overlook.  It’s getting so pretty here now that we have snow at high elevations!

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!

IMG_6862Let’s hope Oregon looks as pretty as Anchorage does in the fall!

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?

27 thoughts on “Friday Five: Five Things I Love – Columbia Gorge Half Edition!

  1. I love that picture of you! Harry Potter is the greatest thing ever. I’m so happy it was part of my childhood and continues to thrive today. I am DYING to go to the theme park they opened in Florida. (Must. save. money.!!) Good luck this weekend!!! Hope you can stay injury-free and have a fantastic time 🙂

    1. Thanks! And I went there when I was in Florida for the Disney Princess Half and was geeking out like crazy! It was so much fun pretending to really be at Hogwarts!

  2. yay chipotle! i take it for granted all the time. have TONS of fun during your race, and be careful! i pushed for time during my last half marathon when i had just an inkling of ankle pain, and now i’m in full blown injury mode. but you’re a smart runner, so i’m sure you’ll be fine! can’t wait for your recap.

    1. I used to take it for granted too, and now it’s what I miss most about living in the lower 48. I’m about to write up my recap but I’ll tell you now that I somehow managed to avoid injury!

    1. Ahhh how did I miss this?!?! I opted for Voodoo Donuts as my sugary treat and it almost killed me, so I’ll have to try this next time!

  3. Good luck this weekend! I love Harry Potter and have also read each book multiple times. A donut or burrito sounds incredible right about now! Yum!

  4. YES to all of these! Good luck and have fun on Sunday! I can’t wait to read all about it (and see all the pictures) 🙂
    I’m a total book geek. One thing I love about traveling by plane is it’s a good excuse to sit and read a book for hours! I love the HP series too 😀 Right now I’m reading Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, and it is SOO GOOD.
    Another awesome thing about traveling? Eating all the food you can’t get at home! (or that I wouldn’t normally eat at home, like the cheesiest pizza ever in Chicago :D)

    1. I love everything about this comment! And I hate flying so having 3 uninterrupted hours of reading time is the only reason I put up with it 🙂

  5. Good luck at the race! My husband and I visited the Columbia Gorge a few years back. We hiked Multnomah falls, which was stunning! Enjoy the trip (and some day I want to try a voodoo donut)

  6. Hope your race went well. The Harry Potter books are so amazing, no matter what age you are. . I’m re-reading the series now!

  7. I love Harry Potter! In fact, I sometime refer to him as my boyfriend! I have re-read the series once already and am thinking of getting the audio version to listen to as I run. I love reading but I thought listening to them while running might make me lose myself and make the time pass even faster.

    Hope your half went well!

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