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Portland Marathon - RunMarathon

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Portland, Oregon
United States
55F / 13C
Total Time = 5h 50m 54s
Overall Rank = 5787/7724
Age Group = F 40-44
Age Group Rank = 360/553
Pre-race routine:

Huh. I have no routine for a marathon, so I flew in the day before, figured out how to ride the Max light rail, found the hotel, met my roomies, picked up my packet and walked through the expo. Back at the room I mixed my drinks (Perpetuem with Rasberry gel) and layed out my stuff then repacked my case for a quick getaway in the morning. Then I had dinner with my boss and his wife at the Olive Garden. Back at the room we caught The Office 5K run episode - I don't watch much TV so I didn't really know the characters, but this was hilarious!

Slept surprisingly well with two almost-strangers in the room.

In the am, one roomie got up at 4:45 to shower so we were all effectively up. I didn't eat, just drank water up to the start as it had worked well in training, but I think 7:00 may have been a little late for me to go without eating.

I had agonized over what to wear (yeah, typical) and had decided on a sleeveless underarmour and a long-sleeved tech tee with a skort - turned out to be just about right. I was too warm in the first mile but fine for most of the race. I wore a throw-away fleece until just before the start - I'll do that again.

On the way to the start we passed the POPs and got in line at the right time - the line got really long behind us. At the start, I lined up between the 5:15 and 5:30 pace groups, thinking that would be about right.

I didn't stretch much, just stretched my back as it was getting tired from standing. My stomach never felt quite right - just a little queasy and uncomfortable - this came back to haunt me later.
Event warmup:

No warmup - I figured 26.2 miles is long enough to allow me a thorough warmup in the first few miles.
  • 00m
  • 26.2 miles
  •  min/mile

What a long but good day! (I can say that now) It never really 'hit' me that I was about to do a marathon. Weird, but my mind was a bit fuzzy all day.

I felt pretty good for the first several miles - just an easy steady run. The group of people around me was running about the same speed as me so I didn't feel like I needed to hurry to keep up or like I was being passed too much. The first part through town was nice, and I felt good even on the uphills. The out and back in the industrial zone is kind of tedious - just a long straight stretch with runners as far as you can see but not much else to look at. During mile 14 I started to feel some stomach cramps and when I stopped at the POP they got much worse. Afterward I ran for a bit but didn't feel very good so I ended up running/walking and then just walking for a long time. That was the beginning of the end for me. While I was walking the 5:30 pace group passed me - that was a huge discouragement because I REALLY wanted to be finished by 5 and a half hours, not still trudging along the course. I walked up the hill to the big St John's bridge (the hill is where the pace group passed), then over the bridge, then did some math and realized just how long I'd be out there if I didn't run at all, so I started mixing some running in with the walkfest. It hurt to walk and it hurt to run, so I alternated to the end. I ran most of the last mile (hard to tell by my splits) and finished smiling, which was my biggest goal.
What would you do differently?:

A couple more longer runs in training. It takes me a long time to go 20 or so miles and I know I have to balance the run benefits with the recovery time (not insignificant for a 4 and a half hour run) but I think the experience would have served me well. Also, I think a regular base run of 15-16 miles instead of 10-12 would have been a big help. I built up from the 10-12 milers instead of building up from the 15-16 milers. I guess just more run volume would be helpful. Also, I need to be lighter for my next one - the extra pounds didn't do me any favors.

As far as run strategy, my first 15 or so miles were on my expected pace, I ate and drank at the right times, and I think it went well. I had to deal with stomach troubles as the showed up, and just adjusted based on that. Hopefully next time I won't have to deal with that.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around the finisher area, got my blanket and medal, ate some grapes and did a little stretching before sitting down and calling my family to tell them I'd finished. The walk back to the hotel was s-l-o-w and cleaning up was even slower. Drank Recoverite as soon as I got back, but not within the 1/2 hour they say.

Had to get to the airport and through security to get on standby for the 4:00 flight - HYGE thanks to SouthWest for getting me home 6 hours before I was scheduled!

Funny security line story - it was a long line and I was apparently suffering from severe PRSS as I heard a "Ma'am!? Ma'am!!" and looked back to see that I had moved up in the line but forgotten my bag. When I thanked the woman, she mentioned that somebody had already moved it up for me at least once. Duh!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

First marathon and not really knowing what to expect. Not enough miles in training, particularly not enough long runs. And finally the extra poundage.

Event comments:

The mental aspect of this race surprised me. I wasted energy battling the inner demons of 'I'm not good enough, I should just quit' at too many different times throughout the race. I'll be better prepared for this next time. When my best-case finish time came and went, I was very discouraged to still have so far to go, and when I got passed by the pace group where I most expected to finish and couldn't run along with them was the lowest point. I'm glad to have finished in spite of the periods of negativity, and overall had a great time. The day of the race I was thinking it might be my one and only marathon, but I'm already planning for the next time. :)

The race was well-run and well-supported, started on time, had plenty of services (POPs) but ran out of chocoate milk at the finish by the time got there. I'll be back.

Last updated: 2007-09-05 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 26.2 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 0/553
Overall: 0/7724
Performance: Good
1mi: 11:47 miles 2-4: 11:57 ave (miles 2-3 uphill, mi 4 down) mile 5-6: 11:41 (mi 5 - downhill) Mile 7: 11:35 Mile 8: 11:55 Miles 9-10: 13.06 Mile 11: 11:53 Mile 12: 12:15 (uphill) Mile 13: 12:00 Mile 14: 15:50 Mile 15: 12:08 Mile 16: 15:18 Mile 17: 15:02 (uphill) Mile 18: 18:14 (St. John's bridge - walked) Mile 19: 14:19 Mile 20: 13:11 Mile 21: 13:18 Mile 22: 14:04 Mile 23: 14:51 (downhill) Mile 24: 13:47 (downhill) Mile 25: 15:41 (mostly downhill) Mile 26: 13:23
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2007-10-10 11:41 AM

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Spokane, Washington
Subject: Portland Marathon

2007-10-10 9:43 PM
in reply to: #1000769

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Subject: RE: Portland Marathon
Out of chocolate milk????  OUT????  I sense some not quite optimal planning here, lets see, x amount of runners= x amount chocolate milk......I hope they don't run out when we're both there next year!!!  Way to go defeating the inner demons and finishing with smile!!
2007-10-11 12:55 PM
in reply to: #1000769

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Spokane, WA
Subject: RE: Portland Marathon
Finishing with a smile!! Great job.
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