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!!

COFFEE IS FOR CLOSERS!!!


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.




UPCOMING POSTS: MARATHON AFTERMATH, VOLUNTEERING AT BEAT THE BLERCH, TRYING OUT A BRA (seriously)

33 comments:

  1. YAY you did it and of course your drawings are hilarious. Congrats.

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  2. Well done. It is so hard isn't it? Your drawings are very funny and very accurate. I know what you mean about the bottom issues, I had them earlier this year. Not pleasant but I was so determined to finish I overcame my embarassment.

    What's your next challenge? I'm tri ing to followi in your footsteps with a tri next year but the swim and the bike are a concern! I will look back over some of your drawings for inspiration, especially the swim ones.

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    1. Thanks! It really is so hard! Yeah, you really learn to lose a bit of modesty on the running course don't you?

      I'm going to work toward a longer triathlon next year. I understand your nervousness over the swim and bike; I've been there myself! In fact, they still make me nervous but I'm working with my physiotherapist who is going to make me stronger and more confident!

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  3. I'm trying to imagine all the things that could be worse than a chafed backside - not good. I love the drawings - sweaty head and flushed face and all.

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    1. Thanks Vanessa :) A chafed butt hole is really no fun at all, especially for 26 miles.

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    2. I'm sure I wouldn't make one mile with a chapped butt hole.

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  4. Congrats on the PR! You are the only blog I follow on a regular basis. Why? It's funny, it's true (cheek chaffing is the worst), it's a quick read (leaves me more time for all those long runs, swims and bike rides) and I find I relate to pretty much everything you draw. Thanks for showing the humorous and yet tough as nails aspect to our sport!

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    1. Thank you Pam! And thanks for the kind words--though I feel you are being very generous with the term "regular basis" since that presumes I post on a regular basis :P

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  5. You make it so fun to read this!!! SO EXCITING ON THE PR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Awesomeness!!!

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  6. How does everyone else just know what "PR" stands for? I had to look it up. Regardless, congratulations on not just the PR but finishing at all. You passed 361 people on the last 5 miles?!? That's a major accomplishment in and of itself. Handing out candycorn to marathoners sounds like a really bad idea...or sabotage. Also, I don't get it, what's the vaseline for? Really, spell it out in excruciating detail. Anatomical names only, please.

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    1. Sorry. But way to take the initiative to look it up :) Yeah I was pretty happy about that last 5 miles when I saw the stat. I really have no recollection of it. The vaseline was for the b-u-t-t-h-o-l-e.

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  7. LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE THIS.
    and the showermultitasking
    I dont run
    I DO THAT :-)

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    1. Thanks Carla! I'm thinking maybe I should do it more often.

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  8. Fantastic! Coffee is for closers! My new mantra!

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  9. Congrats on the PR! Candy corn makes me immediately feel sick even when I'm not running (which I never am...) but I love it anyways.

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    1. Thanks Gia! Yeah I don't know what draws me to candy corn, but I could eat a whole bag of it if left unsupervised.

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  10. WAHOOOOOOOOO!!!!! YOU DID IT!! WHAT UPPPP!!! :D I AM SO PROUD AND HAPPY FOR YOU!! Such a crazy feat. I would and COULD NEVER run a marathon, EVER! I would maybe walk it though! LOL!

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    1. THANK YOU GIGI :D I would have said "I could never" about 2-3 years ago, so you never know :)

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  11. Congrats on the PR! Even better than running with pirates, I bet.

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  12. you go girl!!! this post was awesome. i've never run a marathon so I have no idea what it feels like to run that long.. the longest i've ever run is maybe 5 miles and I feel like passing out just with that! you deserve huge props! *fist bump*

    your illustrations were fantastic- they really helped me to understand what it was like to be in your shoes. especially the one with your fists in the air after you said "coffee is for closers..." and you wrote 'HURRRR'. that one is my fav, it depicts so well your resolve! =D

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    1. Returning the *fist bump*! Thanks so much!

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  13. Awesomely done!

    Also, I didn't have a single clue that Vaseline was something that was freely handed out during marathons. Now I know. Now. I. know!

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    1. Thanks Daniel! Don't you feel better knowing now? I prefer my long lasting anti-chafe stuff but beggars really can't be choosers.

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  14. YARRR! Thanks for the nice post, I was the Pirate running with you!

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    1. That's great!! Thanks for running with me! I hope you were able to go again this year!

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