Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Portland Marathon 2014: I ran, I saw pirates, I crossed the finish line.

If you missed Part One, click here!

Christy and I ran the first few miles together.  We chatted,

and posed for some cameras.

I remembered (again suddenly) that in my rush to get out the door I had forgotten to put anti-chafe cream on the MOST important spot.  I hoped that by the time they were offering vaseline it would not be too late.

Thankfully, just a few miles in, volunteers were already handing it out at water stations.

No point in being shy right then; I was not going to risk 22 miles of chafing just to avoid momentary embarrassment.

When it comes to running, this is the least embarrassing of many possible mishaps in your derri-area.

If ya don't know, just ask one of your runner friends.

Christy soon pulled ahead as we moved into the 6 mile stretch of out and back beside the train tracks. The pirates were back again this year and one of them joined me for a bit.

Christy and I caught a glimpse of each other again at a turnaround point and waved like we had been apart for months.

For the rest of the race, it was me and my tunes.  I focused on using my glutes and on my nutrition. I had really practiced when and how much to take during my training runs.  I also started taking an extra cup of water because it was sunny and 80+ degrees out.

Last year  I ran up the huge hill between Mile 16 and Mile 17 and it really took a lot out of me.  This year I followed Bruk's advice to walk it.

It's an energy conservation thing. 

I was so happy with that decision; I had plenty of pep in my step and almost felt refreshed once I got onto the bridge.

I started even thinking that maybe I could finish this race in 4:59:59.

But then I started lagging around Mile 20.  I didn't hit the wall, I was just tired and would have preferred to no longer run.

But all of a sudden there were people with bananas and pretzels and candy corn!  Oh my! 

I scarfed down the banana,

sucked the salt off the pretzels,

and immediately regretted the candy corn.

I had a good hour left if I ran, and I did not want to spend any extra time on the course.

It was gut check time.

Run or walk.  Do or die! Now or never!!


So, I dug DEEP and ran my last 5 miles as fast as my body would allow (which was between 10:30 and 12:30 minutes per mile).

I just focused on moving forward, trying to trick my mind by pushing a little bit harder every time I wanted to stop.

And I passed a few people, apparently.

I responded to the encouraging spectators with weak waves of acknowledgement.

In the home stretch I saw TriGuy and mustered a real smile.

After the longest 0.2 miles in the history of EVER, I crossed the finish line!

So did another girl right behind me, with the ironic (?) name "Thug Lyfe" on her bib.

She is in almost every one of my finish line photos.

After I walked through the finish chute and collected my medal, my satchels, my rose, my finisher's jacket, and as much food as I could handle before feeling sick, I sat myself down on the corner and texted with Erika for a few minutes.  She immediately let me know that I had PRed!

Then I got up and found TriGuy.  As we were walking back to the hotel I stopped to get coffee.  The barista told me she had just started running a couple of weeks ago, then another one came up and asked me if I had qualified for Boston.

And I laughed, and laughed.

Um, no.

Once we got back to our room I lay down for a bit, then wandered into the shower.  I may or may not have done a little multitasking.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Getting to the 2014 Portland Marathon Starting Line, Taper Tantrums and All

Last year I ran the Portland Marathon for the first time.  It was a BIG DEAL, and both Erika and Ann Marie ran it with me.

It was a perfect first marathon.

This year, I decided to sign up again, to see if I could run the race on my own.  I do the majority of my training runs solo anyway, other than some long runs. This meant that I had to change my focus.

The question for last year's race was:

The question for this year's race was: 

Heavy stuff.

My training was far from perfect, but I managed to get in 60 out of 71 scheduled runs.  Last year I did 66 of them. My pace was up to 1 minute per mile slower than last year on about half the runs.

I would like to, but it's probably not the reason.

My longest training run this year was a 22 miler, which I did on my own, on the only day I forgot my earbuds.  After that run, I felt like I could likely handle the race...more or less...hopefully.

My taper was 2 weeks long this year, as opposed to 3 weeks last year, so my taper tantrums were limited to general agitation and one big freakout.


The week before the marathon Christy asked me what my bib number was.  When I looked it up I got a very disturbing message:

So I did what any sane person would do, and I tried again.  Over and over.

I decided to email the race coordinator to make sure that I was, indeed, registered.


That really was not comforting.

I posted my query to their facebook page and spent the next 4 hours compulsively searching the website again, and combing through my Active.com profile (since I registered through them).   Right as I was going to bed I got a message from their page letting me know that I had clicked a button that made me not searchable by name when I registered.

However, I was indeed registered.  I sent them a heartfelt thank you.

And scene.

Fast forward to race weekend, and TriGuy and I drove down to Portland.  Everything went pretty smoothly.  After an early dinner we went straight to bed.

Unfortunately, I kept dreaming that I couldn't get to the starting line on time.

I was very relieved to wake up.

I got up and started preparing my breakfast.  That was a breeze because after last year's panic over a lack of hot water,  TriGuy had bought me the perfect gift.

Guaranteed to make your race morning prep 80% less stressful!

As I was prepping, I was already getting texts from Christy and her friends that they were making their way to the start.

I grabbed TriGuy and hurried my way down to the street.  Luckily Christy and I were in the same corral and got to start together.  There were corrals A through H.  We were in G.

It's the little things.

Christy and I chatted with a couple of ladies right behind us.  One of them told us she kept toilet paper in her bra.  I suddenly realized that I had forgotten my emergency toilet paper that I always put in my shorts pocket.  The lady graciously offered to "spare a square" for Christy and I.

We graciously declined.

And then, a mere 16 minutes after the first corral started the race, we were off!

Stay tuned!! The rest of the race review is in the works!


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