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Portland Marathon - RunMarathon

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Portland, Oregon
United States
55F / 13C
Total Time = 5h 02m 16s
Overall Rank = 4899/7488
Age Group = F40-44
Age Group Rank = 292/526
Pre-race routine:

Pre-race started on Saturday morning at 5am. Got up and went to ice my legs in Lake CdA...I mean, went for an OWS with my brother and some other hardy team members. Back from the lake, jumped into the car and took my youngest to her soccer game. Middle daughter went with us, and during the game I was talking to another mom about the ER and turned to middle daughter and said, "You have a good run on NOT going to the ER, let's keep that run going for awhile." I should have kept my mouth shut. Got home and 5 minutes later was calling 911 and taking daughter to ER for 18 stitches in her leg. Traded off with hubby at hospital and home 20 minutes before my ride to the airport, quick shower, panicked search for sunglasses (HA!) and Garmin, quick (decaf!) coffee at airport and finally got to sit down and breathe for an hour on the plane.

Once we got to Portland, went to expo, found hotel and didn't get to eat dinner until too late, fell into bed and pretty much right to sleep. Slept surprisingly well for a hotel bed.

At the expo they had a free gait analysis - that was SO cool! They put me in a pair of neutral shoes and holy cow - pronation city! So weird to watch on the screen. They taped me in my shoes and I couldn't believe the difference. I would get this done if you get a chance!

Finally to the pre-race... Up at 4:30, drank Perpetuem and HEED mixed for breakfast, piddled around and panicked (again) when the desk called and said the shuttle to the lightrail left in 7 minutes. Got everything packed up, checked out and headed out. The hotel (Shout out to the La Quinta at the Portland Airport!) stored our bags for the day. This became very important at the end of the day. :) The shuttle dropped us at the MAX station, and we rode the MAX to town. Followed the crowds to the start and stopped in the looooooong POP line. We got to the front really close to the start time, ran around and heard the horn while we were looking for the clothing drop, and luckily got to our pace group minutes before our wave started.
Event warmup:

Um, no real warmup - it's 26 freakin' miles! Unless you count the elevated HR from trying to get to the start on time.
  • 5h 02m 16s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 32s  min/mile

My hope was to run with the 5-hour pace group until 20 miles, then if I felt good to pick it up a bit for the last six. In reality, I ran with the group until about mile 18. I worked hard to keep up going up the hill to the bridge and then across the bridge and down on the other side, but was working too hard and had to walk on the next uphill. I kept them in sight for the next few miles - sometimes getting closer, sometimes getting farther away, but ended up just doing my own thing for the last few miles to finish at 5:02. That was the short version.

Now for the looooong version: I ran pretty easily for the first few miles but it felt a little harder in a few points than I thought it should at that point. Of course it also felt easier than I thought it should in other areas so I guess it balances out. My HR stayed nice and low through the first part of the race. I had agonized over not having a 'cute' shirt for this run, but never found just the right one and ended up wearing one of my most comfortable shirts from another local run. The sleeves push up and pull down easily and I had them pushed up and was sweating by mile 4. Sometime in here I noticed a headache that stayed with me most of the day - that was something I could have missed. During Mile 5 it started to rain and never really let up all day. Sleeves came back down. Remember the panic searching for my sunglasses before I left? Good thing I brought them - they stayed on my hat all day but at least I was ready if the sun were to come out! It never did. It got cold and I got soaked, but there was really nothing else I would have been any more comfortable in. Also, between miles 5 and 6, my brother and training partner and best friend's knee started to hurt and he had to walk. I felt horrible running on while he was walking, but it was probably the thing to do. Sorry, bro. I felt bummed about this and worried about it and him the rest of the day. I figured he'd be ok, but knew it was a huge disappointment since he had worked really hard on both fixing the problem and on getting ready for this run. I thought he had it taken care of, his knee hadn't bothered him for a while and has never been this bad. It just kind of came out of the blue way too early in this run.

I remember reading somewhere that if you're hurting by 10 miles you're in legs were starting to feel the run by 10 miles which was a little surprising and disappointing, but they held up pretty good. I think the same quote said you probably should be hurting a bit by 20 miles - I was, but still wasn't feeling too bad. My feet hurt more than anything at this point, and any downhill was really hard on my toes. In all the bruhaha (what a fun word) of Saturday I had forgotten to trim my toenails.

I drank InfinIT for the first couple of hours with water, but had a shot of caffeinated gel at some point to try to combat the headache. After that I drank mostly gel with water. I didn't take in as many calories as planned, but my stomach was fine and I didn't really run out of energy so I guess it worked. I was glad to have enough with me. I carried my Amphipod belt with three bottles and a pocket for my phone and other little things. It felt like a lot of stuff as I was standing at the start with people carrying nothing, but worked well for me and I did see people carrying even more than me out on the course. Once we started I didn't think about it any more, just was glad to have my stuff.

After 21 miles I was in uncharted territory - I had never run that far, even in last year's run. Last year I was walking by the halfway point with an upset stomach and doing the run/walk thing the rest of the way 'cause I was tired. I started picking the next person I would pass - granted, they were mostly walkers, but at that point I'd take what I could get. The last six miles or so were a gallery of stretching. There were people off to the side all over stretching out different parts of themselves. I never felt the need to stop and stretch during the run - thank you, legs! I felt like I was running easier than a lot of the people I passed during these miles.

At about mile 24, I heard someone behind me saying, :"Is that Colleen? Hi Colleen" I didn't think much about it as I had my name on my bib, but it turned out to be a buddy from Spokane who I didn't even know was going to be there. We ran the last couple of miles together. I was really glad to see her out there! I'm afraid I wasn't very good company - didn't have much brainpower to hold up a conversation at that point. Right around here was where I started to feel really fatigued - the last couple of miles were just one foot in front of the other and waiting to get to the end.

Finally the end! Jayne and I finished together which was a nice way to finish for me. Overall I am thrilled with my race. 5 hours was my best-case real world estimate. I would have liked to speed up a bit at the end, but gave it all I had.
What would you do differently?:

Wear a different bra or a second bra...I was so tired of bouncing around by the end of the run! (Was this something that should be in a "women's only" forum? Sorry guys!) Never had trouble before, but after 5 hours everything just wanted to be still.

And the usual, drop 20 or so pounds - I would feel a lot better if I wasn't lugging this around.

Change the weather so it didn't rain on me all day!

Other than that, nothing. The race site measures 4 splits - all four of mine were 11:32/mile which meant that I kept a pretty even pace over 26 miles. Mentally I worked harder in some areas (uphills) than I expected, but was able to keep going. Except for that one hill and the aid stations I ran the whole race. I'm very happy with my race.
Post race
Warm down:

Got my medal, blanket, pin, and a bottle of chocolate milk which I couldn't drink for awhile. Wandered over to get my shirt and started to feel pretty dizzy and short of breath. I was choked up from the emotion of the finish which brought on an asthma issue which made it worse. Had to first find the med tent then sit there awhile while it got itself back under control. I couldn't really talk when I went in The med-tent people were great! I felt bad taking up a bed but wanted to be close in case I actually did pass out...thought it was going to happen for a while.

Once I felt better I walked on down the finish area and sat down, got up and got my picture taken, sat down, stuck my feet in an ice bath for awhile, got some more to eat, sat down, changed my shirt to my race shirt since I was soaked and cold, sat down again, and finally worked my way back to the finish to watch for my brother.

I'm so glad I got to watch the finish for awhile - what an inspirational thing to see! When racinmason got there, he could hardly walk and was blue. I have never seen anyone so cold. I caught him at the line, gave him a big hug, got our picture taken together and walked with him right to medical. I sat in the tent while they piled blankets on him and worked on his leg. I am so proud of him for finishing, and especially finishing with that kind of pain. He's a lot tougher than me. I'm also really glad he's my training buddy, I wouldn't be where I am today without him.

When I finally realized the time, I called the airline to see if we could delay our flights. We decided to try for the original flight so I went to get our dry clothes, get Mason's shirt, catch the train and get our bags so we could meet at the airport. The officials let me through the barricades which shortened my trip. I was nervous about our flight, so I ran (RAN!) three blocks down to get redirected 3 blocks back up to get the dry clothes, then back down 4 more blocks to catch the train in my space blanket (what a stud! and I felt surprisingly ok running at that point!) and barely caught one of the trains because of it. If I hadn't caught that one, and if my brother hadn't caught the next one (thanks to the officials who also let him through the barricades!), and if the hotel (remember the shout out?) hadn't met me at the station WITH our bags and taken me to the airport, and if the agent hadn't checked us in together, and if the plane hadn't been 5 minutes late we wouldn't have been home until 10pm and possibly even until the next day. We walked up to the gate as the last few people were boarding. We were SO lucky that it all worked out. I was really icky on the plane because I hadn't had a chance to change out of my run gear and felt bad for the people around me, but at least we got home!!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Weight? I am very happy with my run, I don't think I could have done any better today. The only thing that could have made it better would be if my brother had a better race.

Event comments:

I think they did a great job at this race. I don't have any other marathons to compare it to, but it was really well supported during the run. There are a lot of people out there, both participating and cheering. Plenty of volunteers and plenty of drink stations. The roads are mostly closed to traffic, and there is a well marked lane for runners on the few that aren't. They also allow mp3 players at this run. The finish line was more fun with a 5-hour finish than a 6 hour finish - there was more stuff, there were more people, and they hadn't run out of chocolate milk. The only disappointment was that the later finishers weren't supported as well at the finish line.

Last updated: 2008-04-03 12:00 AM
05:02:16 | 26.2 miles | 11m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 292/526
Overall: 526/7488
Performance: Good
Mile 1: 11:50; 126 bpm Mile 2: 11:51; 130 bpm Mile 3: 12:03; 141 bpm Mile 4: 10:55; 137 bpm Mile 5; 10:55; 137 bpm Mile 6; 11:35; 138 bpm Mile 7; 11:37; 140 Mile 8: 11:32; 139 Mile 9: 11:49; 142 Mile 10: 11:16: 145 Mile 11: 11:26: 147 Mile 12: 11:05: 147 Mile 13: 11:23: 146 Mile 14: 11:23: 149 Mile 15: 11:23: 149 Mile 16: 12:00: 156 Mile 17: 10:56: 156 Mile 18: 10:59: 150 Mile 19: 11:51: 148 Mile 20: 11:46: 147 Mile 21: 11:11: 146 Mile 22: 11:29: 146 Mile 23: 11:39: 148 Mile 24: 11:26: 147 Mile 25-26.2: 11:28: 149
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %small
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-10-07 8:24 AM

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Spokane, Washington
Subject: Portland Marathon

2008-10-07 8:40 AM
in reply to: #1723467

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Extreme Veteran
Pacific NW
Subject: RE: Portland Marathon

Nice job out there!  We must have been running pretty much together for the first few hours -- I stuck with the 5:00 pace group until the St. John's hill.  I fell apart after that.  And wow, what a tense ending to the day.  I'm glad it all worked out and you guys were able to get home on time.

2008-10-07 10:30 PM
in reply to: #1723467

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Bellingham, Washington
Subject: RE: Portland Marathon

Outstanding RR Colleen.  I have to go back and reread it, because dancing with the stars is on shortly.   Plus I had one to many vinos.

Ok , you did so much just prior to flying out to the Portland.  That was a STRESS headache that you had....That was a tough thing to do prior to a marathon.   

But you hung tough and ran a pretty darn good race, had alot of adversity but you HTFU and did very well....Don't feel bad about leaving your brother, to expensive a race to hang back and babysit him....(race has support people and other runners that are there to keep him company.)   You did well to continue on to run your race...

So it was rainy all day?  ick.



2008-10-07 11:39 PM
in reply to: #1723467

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North Bend, WA
Subject: RE: Portland Marathon
Awesome report and awesome race!!!  Whoo hoo.  Amazing on all accounts.
2008-10-08 2:00 PM
in reply to: #1723467

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Extreme Veteran
Spokane, WA
Subject: RE: Portland Marathon
YOU.....ARE......AWESOME!!!! Outstanding job! Way to tough it out and nice job on the post race cooool down running at the airport!
2008-10-09 5:24 AM
in reply to: #1723467

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Coeur D'alene, ID
Subject: RE: Portland Marathon

Fantastic race Colleen!!  I looked at all your mile splits and you were unbelievably consistent.  Wow. 

Excellent to read!  Sorry your brother didn't have a good day though.  Congratulations on a great finish!

2008-10-09 11:29 AM
in reply to: #1723467

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Spokane, WA
Subject: RE: Portland Marathon
Awesome Colleen!
2008-10-09 12:47 PM
in reply to: #1723467

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Granvile, Ohio
Subject: RE: Portland Marathon
Oh Colleen.  What a fantastic race for you.  You have come so far.  And a 50 minute improvement over last year just totally ROCKS!!!!!  Great job!  Very cool to see how all your hard work is paying off.  Thanks for being an incredible inspiration in my life.
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