Monday, October 11, 2010

Portland Marathon - Race Report

Portland Marathon
Time = 5:17:38 (pace - 12:07/mile)

If you were anywhere near the Portland/Vancouver area this weekend, then you know how very un-dry it was on marathon day.  Of course now, a day later, it is sunny and crisp and wonderful outside.  Of course.  The weather really didn't get anyone down too much, but it did provide a bit of discomfort.  Soggy socks/shoes + 26.2 miles = fugly ugly feet.
I'll spare you the details of what happens when the rains removes all traces of Body Glide and you swish around with wet clothes for 5 hours.  I'll just say that a running skirt was not my wisest choice of the day.  Another poor choice -- the 16oz starbucks energy drink that I consumed about 15 minutes prior to the start.  It got things moving a little too nicely, and an emergency evacuation at a mile 5 porta-potty ended up costing me a PR.  At least I was well caffeinated for the first half of the race.

Here is the very soggy starting line.  Photo courtesy of Julie Unruly.
Rather than write a full boring race report, I'll list the highlights:
  • The new corral system worked well...with the not-so-minor exception of actually getting into your designated corral.  Seriously, Portland Marathon, would it kill you to place a few signs at the entrances?  Despite having a map in hand, we still couldn't figure it out.  In the rainy darkness, we had to ask almost every volunteer that we saw (which was like 2) how to get where we needed to go.  I hope they figure this out for next year.
  • The Syncopated Drummers at the starting line kicked ass.  I wish they could have followed me along the course.  I first saw them a few years ago at a roller derby bout.  And then again at a cyclocross race.  And then again at the 2008 Portland Marathon.  Every time I hear them I become insanely happy and want to just dance around.  What a great way to start a marathon!
  • The first few miles always feel soooooo easy.  This marathon was no exception.  Although my HR tells another story.  My average HR for the whole event was 171 bpm.  I'm normally in the low 160 range while running.  This may be a very simple explanation for why my stomach shut down.  Again.  I took in all of 400 calories over the 5+ hours of running.  I need to figure this out.
  • Ken kept popping up in random places all over the course.  It was fun to see him when I wasn't expecting it.  Thanks honey!  Here's a photo that he took of me around mile 12:

And one from around mile 14 heading out towards Hwy 30:

  • Portland residents are superior spectators.  Hundreds of people were out there cheering in the rain, keeping us all going.  The volunteers rock too!
  • My phone got drenched and completely malfunctioned.  I'm sorry to anyone who received random texts and phone calls.  It totally died at mile 15, so I ran the rest without music.  Thankfully there were so many awesome entertainment groups and spectators, that I really didn't miss the tunes.
  • The hill leading up to St. Johns bridge didn't seem that bad this year.  Thank you, TRX.  Also, I was able to appreciate the views this time.  Spectacular course!  Here is me crossing over the bridge:
  • My no-slip headband didn't slip at all!  Yay!
  • Why didn't I train for this thing?!?  Ouch!  The wheels completely fell off around mile 20.  Really, I'm impressed that I hung on for that long.  But my oh my, this was a painful lesson.  My post-race pain was much increased compared to my past races.  Even the Ironman didn't hurt this much.  Seriously.  I'm very thankful for ice baths. (This one was brutal core body temp was already pretty low.  I gutted this one out for 20 minutes, much to the amusement of the hubby.)
  • Congrats to all the people who rocked the marathon -- Jenn, Julie, Lisa, Chris, Tabetha, Kevin, both Rachels, and anyone else I forgot.
  • The finishers shirts don't say 10-10-10!  Are you kidding me???  It's the only reason I did the damn thing!
I'm aware that I have a flare for the melodramatic sometimes.  At a minimum, I am animated when the mood strikes.  Apparently, the mood struck yesterday.  Some embarrassing evidence: