Portland Marathon was yesterday. My first marathon. I did it!
I know its a small picture, but that’s me somewhere between mile 20 and 21.
I had planned on waking up at 5am, but instead I woke up at 4. I was having a dream about Michael Jackson. He had just released a new song, and I was like, “He’s a genius!” The song was awesome, I knew all the lyrics and was singing along. I woke up wondering why artists don’t keep a song in the vault and tell their agent to release it after their death. This is how my morning started.
The morning routine went as usual. I was getting dropped off downtown, and we crossed the Broadway Bridge on the way into town. I saw them setting up the Mile 24 marker, and I said, “Yeeeah! Next time I pass that marker I’ll be half unconscious!”
The weather was absolutely perfect running weather. Even a bit “warm”. It was 55 degrees at 6am, zero wind, zero rain. 30% chance of rain. 93 degree humidity. I had planned on wearing a throw-away fleece sweater but decided it was too warm for that, so I just wore a long sleeve cotton t-shirt to wear at the start, planning on tossing it after warm-up.
I was pretty confused about where the starting line actually was. They had us corralled about 5 blocks away from the actual start. It was so crowded, you couldn’t hear anything going on at the start line. They had several arches of balloons and we stepped over several ticker lines that I wasn’t exactly sure where the real start line was. At some point I started my stopwatch because I figured I must have passed the real start. But my Garmin is set to display my split at every mile, and it was blinking about 50 meters earlier than the real mile markers on the street. So who knows where the real start line was. But for my purposes of keeping myself on track it didn’t exactly matter that my watch exactly matched the mile markers.
I felt good the whole run. I had energy and felt strong. Only twice did I start to feel my energy lag, and they were pretty well timed with when I was planning on taking my gels. Gels are like miracle food to me. Suddenly you have energy where before you had none.
Pretzels. I had eaten pretzels regularly during training and they worked really well for me during training. I loved having salt instead of just consuming sugar, sugar, sugar. I had a little baggie of pretzels with me, planning on eating them about mile 18 or 19. I started eating one and it was like sand in my mouth. My mouth was so dry I couldn’t chew it. I forced myself to eat 3 pretzels but almost choked myself trying to get them down. I gave up on the pretzels.
It started a light rain at mile 6. But it was the good kind of rain, it felt good and cooled me off. It did rain harder off and on for about the next 10 miles. But it didn’t bother me at all, because it wasn’t super hard downpour. It was manageable the whole time.
The course itself is pretty easy. The only true difficult part being mile 16-17 when going uphill to the crest of the St Johns Bridge. I had practiced running that about 5 times during my training, so I was mentally prepared for it so didn’t worry about it. Also, you can see the bridge once you turn onto Highway 30 around mile 13, so you can stare at it and think about it for a good half-hour and psyche yourself up for it. Climbing that hill wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t the nightmare I thought it might be. I felt good the whole way up.
I don’t know how else to describe it, but after mile 21 the whole thing felt like a dream. I was pretty wiped out mentally at that point. Couldn’t think, my body was just going through the motions. Just trudging along. I barely remember the last 5 miles. I know at mile 25 I just wanted it to be over already. Sort of out of boredom more than anything else. It just felt like it was time for it to be over.
I’ve never run a race before when my name was printed on my bib. It was totally weird. At some points it was nice to have spectators call out my name with words of encouragement. But at many times it was just obnoxious. People calling out all kinds of names, rambling strange things to everyone passing by. It was a weird experience. There was a Kathryn next to me for a good portion of the entire run. Her name got called out a lot.
I had family and friends tracking me online, it was more encouraging knowing people I knew were watching than strangers calling out to me. But it is nice having spectators. Overall probably more helpful that not.
So here’s my Garmin splits. I estimated finishing in about 4 hours 30 minutes. I finished slightly faster than that, for a total time of 4:21:20, at 9:59 pace, as per official the Portland Marathon website. My Garmin has a slightly different time.
Mile 1 9:43
Mile 2 9:34
Mile 3 10:04
Mile 4 9:04
Mile 5 9:19
Mile 6 9:34
Mile 7 9:33
Mile 8 9:34
Mile 9 9:42
Mile 10 9:46
Mile 11 10:24 (this includes my one porta-potty break)
Mile 12 9:52
Mile 13 9:33
Mile 14 9:46
Mile 15 10:00
Mile 16 10:06
Mile 17 10:53 (The St Johns Bridge)
Mile 18 9:48
Mile 19 10:06
Mile 20 10:15
Mile 21 10:20
Mile 22 9:59
Mile 23 10:12
Mile 24 10:16
Mile 25 9:42
Mile 26 10:06
and the last bit 10:05 pace
Garmin total time 4:21:13.
Official Portland Marathon time 4:21:20
I got home and took a long, hot bath.
They say marathons are addicting. And they are right.
I am ready for my next one. Bring it on!