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 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!



  1. Yikes! I'd be a mess if my registration wasn't there! Actually that happened with Chicago, but I got it all straightened out too.

    I can't wait for part 2!

    ~Wendy at Taking the Long wAy Home

    1. It's the worst, isn't it?! Glad you got yours sorted as well :D

  2. Not sure if my last comment made it through. I was just saying that I love your light hearted style - and the cartoons! I'm not a runner but looking forward to the next instalment!

    1. Ugh, I'm so sorry your comment got swallowed up. It's so frustrating. But thank you for the kind comment and for resubmitting it!

  3. Worst pre-race nightmare ever! I would freak if I couldn't find my registration. And the TP in the bra - when she sweats, doesn't it get all wet and stuck to her skin? Hmmmm...

    1. I know, right? The TP I put in my pocket gets damp. Putting it in my bra is unthinkable. And the registration business was awful.

  4. Fun read! Glad it got sorted :) Looking forward to Part II!

  5. I liked all your interesting little tidbits about pre-race preparations. Fun.

  6. What's with you and the strange ladies you encounter on your races?!

    Staying tuned for the rest...and more weird characters, no doubt!

    1. You're right; I do encounter some strange ladies!

  7. You realize now I'm left wondering if you wind up wishing you'd taken the spare square?

  8. You were offered bra tissue? It's a good thing you declined because in some cultures that means you're her betrothed and owed a dowery to her parents. I hate those anxiety dreams. Whenever I travel I have one of those nightmares where they won't let me on the plane or I'm super late and forgot my luggage...and pants. Looking forward to seeing the hijinks you got up to on this race.

    1. That is very good to know, Pickleope--I think TriGuy might have taken issue with that tissue acceptance. Yeah, anxiety dreams suck. Last night I dreamt that all my 'good stuff' flew out of the trunk of the car I was riding in, and mean people ran off with it.

  9. Hurray! This is awesome! I love when I find new blogger friends that make me feel like I know them! Can't wait for the rest of it. And yeah, I've had that runner not found thing happen, too. Almost upturned our dining room table over it one day. Kidding not kidding.

    1. Yay! New friends are the best, Jennifer! On the opposite end, 'runner not found' is the worst!

  10. You capture so much so well -- especially the reaction to the computer glitch!


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