Thursday, October 13, 2016

The OTHER Portland Race recap

So, marathon #25 is in the books. Portland (Oregon)  - DONE! My 11th state. As one would expect (although I hoped it wouldn't happen) it rained, for the ENTIRE race. My training was less than ideal so it sort of made sense that the race conditions were also less than ideal. I went along with it though. Cool, cloudy and a little (or a lot) wet for 26.2 miles.....oh wait that's right it was closer to 26.8 miles because the volunteers in the first mile failed to block an intersection and direct runners to the first right hand turn on the course leading thousands of confused runners through a maze of winding streets that were NOT part of the course.
Overall, all things considered and now a few days post-race with the pain and soreness fading, I think I can say it was a pretty good race. I mean, I knew from my Garmin that each mile marker was about half a mile off the distance I had traveled, but I figured it was due to the variability and error of the GPS and it usually normalizes over the course of 26 miles, but this was different. It was consistently off by about the same amount each mile. Oh and there was that part right after the first mile where we saw a bunch of runners apparently cutting the course, but later learned that they were directed correctly at the right turn we missed. And yes, the rain was relentless and add in a little wind here and there and it was a recipe for a pretty miserable day.
BUT other than some nasty chaffing and general aches and pains and a slower than I wanted pace, I felt good. I finished really strong. I looked at my watch a little after 20 miles and did some fuzzy math and figured out a realistic goal for a time and I went for it. It was maybe 30-45 minutes slower than I wanted to be when I started the race, but considering the extra distance and the awful weather, I was ok with it. In the last 2 miles I pushed through a lot of pain in my feet and ankles and picked up my pace as much as I could with my time goal in mind and looking at my watch every few minutes to make sure it was do-able. I made the last turn towards the finish line and 'sprinted' in slow motion past some hobbling 'runners' to cross the line with literally just seconds to spare. 6:59:52 Slow AF, I know. Not at all what I wanted to do or where I want to be with my running, but I wanted to be under 7 hours and I did it.
Before the race, I had a blast in Portland. I really want to go back sometime just to eat and drink my way through the city and not have to run 26 miles while I'm there. Got a Voodoo Donut, did a BrewCycle pub crawl tour, saw the World's smallest park, went to a haunted pizza place (totally saw a ghost) and saw the famous penny used in the coin flip that named the city after my hometown, Portland Maine.

Feels a little weird actually after such an amazing trip and super busy summer doing all sorts of fun and crazy things, I have nothing 'on deck' on my to-do list. For the next 10 weeks or so, my calendar is completely empty. Not sure why, but it makes me sort of anxious and antsy. I feel the need to find something fun to do. 87 days until my next marathon......