General Discussion Race Reports! » Portland Marathon Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply

Portland Marathon - RunMarathon

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Portland, Oregon
United States
60F / 16C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Breakfast, coffee, bathroom, walk to the start, wait in porta-potty line, line up and go!
Event warmup:

Not much.
  • 2h 05m 2s
  • 14.32 miles
  • 08m 44s  min/mile


I'm a little sad but not a ton. It was a brutal day out there in Portland today. Lots of rain. Lots of it. (We've been dry all fall, great weather coming next week, just bad luck.) Rain has never stopped me before, though.

I had a goal today, and a plan to get there. I tend to be a very conservative marathon runner -- I go out slowly and negative split or hang on well. To be faster, I wanted to get out there faster. I had sized up goal splits compared to my splits last year (when I ran a 3:57 with my girlfriend Abbe). I could do it. I'd go out with the 3:50 pace group for 5-ish miles, and then either stick with them or pull on ahead. Running coach wanted me holding 8:30-8:45, maybe 9:00 on big hills (of which there is one HUGE one, 2-3 decent smaller ones). So I startd with 3:50 pacers. Abbe, who has been training similarly to me (but actually quite a bit faster) started with 3:45. I felt pretty good -- was pushing it, but had a few mantras I was channeling. "Be bold." (Thanks, Kim!!) "When I say no to fear, I win." (Thanks, Suzy!) "A marathon should never feel easy." (Running coach!) Around 6 miles or so, I was comfortably running beside the pacers, then pulled ahead of them a bit.

Last year I clocked something like 26.5 miles at this race and it was a huge mental mind-$#*$ for me, so this year I was not going to obsess over it. My Garmin auto-lapped my mile splits, but I only looked when I passed the mile markers, checking it against my pace band. I was 20-45 seconds ahead. Around mile 12-ish the pacers caught me again, but that was OK as I'd just hang with them. After crossing the half marathon mark, I began to feel like this was not sustainable for me. Really not sustainable. My glutes/hamstrings were screaming, and I've run enough marathons (8) to know what I had to look forward to the 2nd half. I knew in my heart of hearts that I could not sustain that pace. I took quick inventory of what this meant, what I wanted, what I'd be happy with, etc. I thought, "I could still PR. Maybe I could even negative split this -- don't give up! You have tons of endurance and crazy stamina!" But I just knew I could not keep up that pace. And I figured if I finished the race, I'd be looking at a good several weeks, up to a month, of recovery time. If I stopped, I might be able to resume training sooner, the way I want to train. I'm doing an Ironman again in June... I want to be able to train for that. I just weighed my pros/cons and felt like I did not need a substandard (for me) marathon. I did not need to suffer in the rain (with the biggest hills yet to come). I did not need another t-shirt and another medal. It wasn't my day.

I could still see the pacers!! I had walked a little to re-group and have a pep talk with myself, but then I felt like I did not want to watch them slowly get away from me. I ran/walked a little. And then I just said, "You know what? I'm done." I found a car with three sweet Seattle women in it, and they drove me back to the start area (they were heading back to see their peeps). And I was FINE. I was not sad. I felt at that second like that was the best call. Yes, I had a bit of "Failure is not an option" in me that made it hard to stop at first, and had it been my first or second marathon maybe I would have continued.

Made it to the hotel and was amazed at how sopping wet my clothes/socks/shoes were. Ugh. I showered, made some phone calls, got some coffee, and wandered back to the finish to see Abbe crush it. I knew she could.

You know what? She had a dismal (for her) day as well. She hung with the 3:45 pacers until mile 20 or so, then she really hit the wall. At mile 22 or so she saw the 3:50 pace group go by and she was soooo hoping to see me, to run with me. At mile 23 she called her husband and said, "No way, not today." She walked. She cried. She persevered. She finished in 3:59:22, two minutes slower than last year. It was miserable for her. We spent the whole drive home talking about how miserable it all was. Seeing how she ended up really solidified my decision in my brain. It was not meant to be today. I cut my losses and moved on.

I'm OK.

I was worried about being a disappointment to my kids, about teaching them that quitting is OK. They don't seem to care. So either my husband did a fabulous job of talking to them before I got home, or more likely, I am so much more to them than a race, win or lose, start or finish, succeed or not. My daughter is sick (again) with a 102 fever, poor thing. She couldn't give a rat's #$$ about a marathon right now, and I don't blame her!! I am more than a marathon.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do now. When I was out there running I was feeling like, "I just need to take a break. A long break." Of course now that I've stopped I don't want to. And Abbe and I spent the drive home contemplating other races. We'll see, we'll see.
What would you do differently?:

I'm not quite sure. Still going over this a bit...
Post race
Event comments:

This is an awesome race... it just wasn't my year for it this go-around!!

Last updated: 2010-08-13 12:00 AM
02:05:02 | 14.32 miles | 08m 44s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? No
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2010-10-10 11:06 PM

User image

Subject: Portland Marathon
General Discussion-> Race Reports!
General Discussion Race Reports! » Portland Marathon Rss Feed