Portland Marathon recap
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Well, I'm always pressed for time, aren't we all? So my blogs are short... but really I want to take some time to write about my experience some more.
Pre-race- I had a hard time sleeping on my parent's hide a bed with my snoring (love him) husband and almost one year old girl. I took the couch cusions and layed them out on the floor, woke my husband up and asked him to turn on his side, and curled up with a blanket. Around 2am I woke up and noticed that my daughter had some how wiggled out of her diaper... not good... so I put a new one on her and tried to lay a towel down between her and the mattress. A thought came to mind; I wondered how many other people running the race were up with their babies at the same time as I.
We got to the starting line about an hour early. I decided to bear the cold and gave my husband my long sleeve t-shirt. I used the restroom and lined up around the 4:15 pace. There was an annoucer talking about how lining up ahead of your time was only cheating out others from running a good race and wouldn't do you any good.... after hearing that about 5 times I started to wonder if I was in the right spot! I had a hard time figuring my race pace... I basicly compared a female athlete's 10k and marathon time, saw that she was about 1:50 slower for the marathon pace and I added that to my 10k time. I decided to stay put and got to chat with a lady on my right who also had two young children close in age. We joked about how she had to prepare breakfast for her kids before she left and how I was up changing a diaper at 2am. 15 minutes to 7 I had to go to the bathroom again! I didn't want to chance it, so I ignored the urge. Pretty soon we got to start, but as we neared the start line I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention, so I didn't start my watch at the right time.
That was irritating... so much for the pace band I picked up at the Expo! But I still had the 4:15 lizard to follow... so I decided not to worry too much about it.
Race-- The first part of the race I focused on finding the 4:15 lizard. I had read a book called 4 months to a 4 hour marathon, and the author said to never miss an aide station. I had that ingrained in my head! So when I didn't see the first aide station I awkwardly tried to get back in line... I'm sure this was very irritating to the runners behind me... determined to not do that again I stayed to the right anticipating another station in a couple of miles... too bad it was on the left that time and I did the same thing again! From then on I focused on catching up with the 4:15 lizard. Around mile 5 I got to see my husband... he didn't see me coming, so I nudged him as I ran by.
I still had to go to the bathroom... bad. I decided that even though I didn't want to stop and go potty, it'd make the race much more enjoyable. About this time I also saw the 3:30 pacers go by, and I thought, "I wish I was in that group!" So somewhere around mile 8 (that's a guess) I stopped. I must have eaten too much salt the night before or something! But that was a good decision. I then caught back up with the 4:15 lizard. Around mile 11 I got to see my husband again and stopped so he could take a picture. I was feeling fine, the pace was easy and I knew I had a hill coming up.
About a mile or so before the bridge I took my GU and some water. Then up we went. The pace was around 10 for the climb and I really enjoyed it. I know that sounds weird, but I thought it was fun. The next couple of miles after the bridge were ok, and I saw my favorite sign at mile 20. It read, "Holy c-rap! You just ran 20 miles!" Then around mile 21 it started to get hard. I ended up losing the lizard. The mile markers seemed ridiculously far. This was a great experience though... I was playing some inspirational music and praising God, it really helped me. Around mile 23 it seemed like 1 in 5 runners were walking... I caved in and walked for a minute.
At mile 24 or so I saw the balloon marker for mile 6 and asked someone if that was 26. One of the runners had a garmin and let me know that we had another 1.25 miles to go. About this time I started thinking to myself, 'this is why so many people only run one marathon!' It seemed impossible that we weren't almost to the finish... but I was really happy, I was going to finish a marathon soon!
"Hey Mickey" came up on my iPod and I plugged away with that until I got to the finish line. I saw a guy dressed in a blue cheerleading outfit and gave him a thumbs up. I decided not to sprint to the finish, and I was pretty happy with my 4:17 time.
Post race-- All I could think of was how much this whole experience compared to childbirth. My baby was going to be one three days later, so I reflected on the events from a year ago. I was hurting pretty bad and laughing inside at all the marathoners waddling around. I got my medal, rose, tree, pin and shirt and started to panic when I saw the XYZ for family reunion, but no D. Thankfully I didn't end up passing the section. I did not want to walk farther than I had to. I found my husband and we went back to ice my legs. I got some strange looks, and I couldn't help but wonder why there wasn't a line there for icing... When people made comments like, "I don't know how you can do that, I'm freezing." I said, "It'll make tomorrow a lot nicer." I ended up getting the stomach flu the next day, but now, two days later I feel fine. I went for a 4.5 mile run today and it was great.
So anyway, I know that's not the most exciting thing to read. I guess I do wish that there were more people to chat with while running the marathon. It would've been really fun to do with a friend. There was a mom and her 2 daughters in my pace group. They were 10, 12 and 46 and they finished a couple minutes before me. That is so inspirational to me. I want to be able to share these experiences with my family. And I want to do more marathons, maybe even some ultras.
Thanks everyone for your support!