Happy Friday! I am sitting here snacking on Whole Foods organic Quack’n Bites (similar to goldfish) and ready to dive into part two of my #FirstsNeverStop recap. I realized that I definitely gave you incorrect information about my current pregnancy cravings when I said I had none. These crackers have been high on my list since early pregnancy and I’m also loving fruit, especially pineapple!
Speaking of food, are you guys cooking for the Thanksgiving holiday? I’m going to be doing the turkey and gravy along with a dessert. We’ll be celebrating with Tanner’s family at his brother’s house. If you are still looking for recipe ideas and inspiration, check out this post I wrote last year with my tried and true Thanksgiving favorites.
DAY 2 OF #FIRSTSNEVERSTOP
I wrapped up my last recap with our outdoor foam rolling and mobility session to prep us for what was in store in the day ahead. We loaded up the vans around 9:30 a.m. and took off for an unknown destination.
About 45 minutes later we arrived at a dock on the Willamette River.
And learned that we would be dragon boating 14 miles down the river. According to Wikipedia, “The crew of a standard dragon boat is typically 22, comprising 20 paddlers in pairs facing toward the bow of the boat, 1 drummer or caller at the bow facing toward the paddlers, and 1 sweep (a steerer) standing at the rear of the boat.” We had 16 paddlers, 1 caller and 1 sweep.
We put our game faces on and got ready for the challenge ahead of us.
They told us that typical dragon boat races are sprints of anywhere from 200 to 2,000 meters which made us think…hmmmm…14 miles in this thing!? Luckily, we had 2 professional paddlers up front along with our caller and sweep.
After a quick lesson on how to paddle, how to switch positions with our partner and how to “power up,” it was time to take off down the river.
I would say that the first hour or so was all fun and games. It was pretty warm, the scenery was beautiful and it was fun to be out there paddling.
We were all selfies, smiles and storytelling there for a while.
Around the hour and a half mark, things got real. It cooled down a bit and drizzled some and we were all starting to fatigue. Luckily, each row was able to take a break once every 8 minutes. When the caller shouted your row, you got up and switched sides of the boat and then got to rest for the remaining minute until it was time to paddle again. We looked forward to those breaks.
Every few minutes our steerer would yell, “MORE POWER NOW” and we’d all have to grunt and go “HUH” and give 10 of our strongest paddle strokes. Y’all, it was pretty exhausting stuff! My butt also started to go numb from the hard seat and my legs numb from being splashed, wet and cold.
I’m not going to lie, the paddle cadence was high and dragon boating got really physically challenging at the end. (I was on my scheduled break in this photo…not giving up!)
I wore my Samsung GearFit 2 Pro for the 14 mile dragon boat expedition and burned nearly 800 calories doing it! That is pretty amazing.
I’m sure this comes as a shocker to no one but the most challenging part of the last 45 minutes of the dragon boat for me was that I had to pee so, so, so bad. Like, I was nearly in tears. There was a moment when I thought to myself, I could just “fall” out of this boat, I’d be really cold but at least I could pee.” Haha. #pregnantladyproblems
We finally started to see bridges off in the distance and realized we’d be boating into the heart of downtown Portland. How cool is that? They told us we had to go under 5 bridges to get to our final destination and man was I counting those things down!
We finally reached the stanchion/podium that marked the end of each leg of our journey and I was like THANK GOD. I think I was the first one out of the boat and I bolted over to my UA contact and with a look of desperation and tears in my eyes, told her that I had to find a bathroom immediately. She was an angel and told me it was about a .25 mile jog away to our staging area and that she would take me. The craziest thing is that my legs literally would not work to run because they were so stiff and cold from sitting in the boat for 2.5 hours. Seeing that bathroom (they were the nice heated ones from camping the night before) was the best thing ever!
I grabbed a bar and a banana and was ushered into the car of the producer of the event to warm up after the team told me I was shaking and my lips were blue. I could not feel my toes and had to take off my shoes and socks to warm up my feet. While I will never forget how amazing it was to have that dragon boating experience down the Willamette River, I sure was glad to be out of the water and ready for the running leg of our “triathlon.”
We did a 5 mile run through Portland and it was so wonderful. I got really warm and started sweating and shedding layers.
I mean, how could you not get warm with stairs and hills like this to climb throughout the run?
Again, I wore my Samsung GearFit2 Pro and was able to track my pace and heart rate to make sure that I stayed in a reasonable range for the run. I think I stayed around a 9:15 average pace for the 5 miles.
Near the end of the run we started to wind through a residential neighborhood that was really pretty (and straight uphill!) but I LOVED all the fall colors.
And at the top of the hill was the finish! I gave Collin an high five and got myself ready for our third and final adventure.
As soon as I saw all of these lined up, I knew just what we’d be doing.
I got all geared up and ready to ride. We were at Forest Park, which is a well-known and gorgeous park in Portland (that many of you recommended that I check out!). The trail was wide and pretty tame so I didn’t have any anxieties about rough terrain and falling off.
I also had some pretty great people out there with me along with bike medics on the trail.
Although the run was in my wheelhouse, the bike was my favorite of the three adventures we did. It was a 12 mile ride and we were on our own for a lot of it and there would be no one around you. It was so peaceful and serene.
I got to the turnaround point at 6 miles and met up with some of the group at the top for a quick break before heading back to the start.
I honestly have to say that felt the closer and more connected to my brother during this bike ride than I have since his passing last year. I thought about him so much and how much he would enjoy Portland and the experience that I was having. It was a really special time for me out there with the beauty of the surroundings, the knowledge of the baby I was carrying and the connection I felt to my brother.
The baby made sure I was really thinking about him/her by forcing me to pull my bike over and take a side path to go squat and pee in the woods. 😉
And then I was done. 12 miles in 90 minutes according to my Samsung GearFit 2 Pro.
The biggest thank you to this amazing crew. It was a LONG and exhausting day in all the best ways and we all really not only pushed each other but really supported and encouraged each other through it.
My last recap will be our recovery dinner, the glory of a night in a hotel at the end of that day and our recovery activities at the Under Armour Headquarters on the last day.
Thanks for following along!
Boating/paddling, running or biking – which would you choose!?
Have you ever done a long paddle on a river before? Tell me about it!
Do you enjoy outdoor activities or would you rather be inside in the comfort of a heated and cooled gym?
Disclosure: Under Armour and Samsung covered my travel expenses and provided my gear but I was not compensated for the trip or for this review.