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Portland Marathon - RunMarathon
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Lovely day, nice and cool, sun barely peeked out towards the end but never hot (warm enough for shorts/short-sleeved t-shirt). We started in front of the 4:00 people, behind the 3:50 people. We wanted to go out around 9:00 or 9:15 for the first two miles and then settle in. We started in a good spot and didn't have to do much weaving at all. It felt a little bit fast for me (Miss Conservative) but we stuck with it. We decided we'd walk 1:00 at the water stops (which were about every 2 miles). In spite of it being a "flat" course, there are several hills. And they're not huge or long but to me you don't want to max your HR on those.
Anyway, I felt fine but frustrated because I felt like I was kind-of working hard but we were only doing about 9:00 miles. After about 6 miles I started feeling better. Definitely pushed on downhills, eased off on uphills, and tried to keep a good pace in between. I did not feel like we were loafing by any means!!
The BIG hill is up to the St. John's Bridge just before mile 17. It's only about .5 long but fairly steep. I had already told myself I'd likely walk during that, and I did walk a bit. When you get up you still have a gradual climb up to the peak of the bridge, then you are rewarded with a lovely downhill. During that downhill I felt some major blisters brewing and was a bit worried. Fortunately they didn't end up bothering me (but made for an impressive sight when I took off my socks!).
The next section, about 17-22 was flat and pretty but starting to be a grind. The quads were talking to me, I felt like I was working hard and longing for water stops to walk. But I hung in there. At mile 22-ish is a huge downhill, about 1 mile long. Was hoping to love that -- I am good at downhills and can really pick up time -- but it hurt, and it hurt bad. Just pounded the quads, bam bam bam. After that everything just hurt. Uphills hurt, flats hurt, downhills hurt. But I also knew that to slow down meant to prolong the pain so I really tried to hang in there. There was a small hill going up to a bridge (like the I90 on-ramp kind of hill) and I had to walk a bit on that. That was around mile 24 and was my slowest mile (9:52). That mentally was super demoralizing because I was pushing and I was just like "CRAP!!! That is TOO SLOW!!" Fortunately miles 25 and 26 were better (8:53 and 9:02, I think -- need to double-check and d/l my splits). Abbe was definitely stronger at the end and was pulling me through. I knew we'd break 4:00, so that was very cool. As I rounded the corner just after mile 26 a guy was yelling we could make it in under 4:00. I knew that was the gun time but I figured, "I want to do that!" So I worked it to make it happen, and I did. I knew we were about 2:00 ahead of that anyway, so we knew we had broken 4:00 and we were thrilled. And, of course, then we got to stop. Ouch.
I never felt like I hit THE WALL per se, but the last 4 miles were super tough for me. Who knows why... going out a little fast? Stomping the downhills a little hard? Just will always be hard no matter what?? That was marathon #7, so I'm no stranger to the distance.
What would you do differently?:
Not much. I usually finish VERY strong (negative split the halves most times) and I did not have that in the tank, so I worked well during the race. That's a plus for me as I tend to hold back. We ran a good race, and the official splits all have my pace ranging from 8:59 to about 9:03 or so -- we were net very even over the entire course.
Had to stop and have my usual cry. Forced down some chocolate milk and a banana, grabbed more food and hobbled back to the hotel, a mixture of tears and exhilleration.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
This was a lovely race. It was well-run and I wasn't ever lacking for anything. Lots of volunteers, a good number of water stops, good expo. Oh! And the only race I have done in years that actually gives you your FINISHER'S shirt AFTER THE FINISH. I kinda like that!
Last updated: 2009-10-04 12:00 AM
2009-10-06 6:57 PM
2009-10-07 11:34 AM
in reply to: #2446366
2009-10-07 12:42 PM
in reply to: #2447623
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50F / 10C
Overall Rank = 2177/8133
Age Group = F40-FF
Age Group Rank = 89/593
In a hotel, up around 5:30am after a great night sleep. Ate some granola w/soy milk. Abbe hoofed to 'bucks to get some decent coffee. Drank up, also drank water. Had some bathroom breaks and then walked to the start.
Stand around talking to people about past marathons.