17 October 2012

Portland Marathon

On October 7, 2012, I completely my first FULL MARATHON! I have been considering running a full for a while now, and at the urging of my friends in running group, I finally decided to pull the trigger and sign up for the Portland Full.

The main reason I hadn't signed up before was the training. Just seemed like SO. MUCH. TIME. I already have enough passions competing for my weekend time, I didn't need to add three hours of running each weekend into the mix not to mention all of the hours during the week....but with the job at the Seattle Storm I knew I'd be spending a lot of summer weekends working at games, so the timing just felt...right.

I found a training schedule online through MarathonRookie and began my running. The first few weeks were great - I could have cut back from my normal routine if I wanted! Then - BAM! A few weeks into training I hurt my foot. It happened on my first real training run: I set off feeling good with a little discomfort in my right foot. Then it started to feel tight. Before I knew it I was 5 miles out and my foot pain had increased from uncomfortable to unbearably EXCRUCIATING! So much so that a friend had to pick me up.

I never officially went to a doctor (I received a "consult" from a doctor friend at a bbq though!) but I think it was some sort of foot sprain. I took almost 4 weeks off from running, then had to train for the marathon in the final 6 weeks. I'm lucky though. I found some new (still minimalist) shoes that worked for me, and by my 21 mile run I was feeling GREAT!

Training Schedule (click to enlarge)

The good thing about this injury is it gave me 4 weeks off from training and it really made me appreciate JUST HOW MUCH I wanted to run the marathon. As you can see from my training schedule above, I hit it hard after coming back, and managed to thankfully remain injury free.

The day of the event was clear and sunny, like most of our summer days this year in the PNW. The start was at 7:00am and my heat crossed the start line about 7:15. Here are some photos from the event:

Starting out. Sunny and chilly, thus the arm-warmers (pink!)
Closing in on the finish - is it over yet? About 70 degrees and sunny. 
Sorry that the photos are all "proof"ed up. You see, I would pay for photos, only MarathonFoto is asking $79.95 for me to DOWNLOAD my photos. Yes, you read that right. Seventy nine dollars and ninety five cents just to download my own photos. Who would pay that? I mean, really? That's egregious. MarathonFoto should really be ashamed. Think about how many MORE they would sell at $20 and thus how much MORE money they would make!!! Okay, end rant.

How did it go? How did I do? Well - I completed my three goals:
  1. I finished
  2. I didn't fall on my face
  3. I didn't poop my pants (it's more common than you might think
I managed to finish in 4:20:22, which places me in the top 33% of finishers both overall and in my age group. That's a 9:51 pace, which I am happy with considering I walked at miles 21 and 23 just because my legs simply could not handle running any more. It turns out running on pavement is a lot more difficult than running on dirt and I should have accounted for that in my training.

I tried to pick it up the last mile to make up for lost time, but my legs just wouldn't do it. They froze up into blocks of cramping calves, and it was all I could do to hobble across the finish line. Here's a look at my race according to my Garmin, which had me running 26.43 miles (and yes, that extra .23 made a huge difference at the end!):

Overall, I have to say I did not feel great on this run. Not sure why. Running is like anything else. Sometimes you have good days, sometimes you have bad days, and the Portland Full just happened to fall on a bad day for me.

Finish Flex

How did I make it through? What fueled me at the end? People like to say you're fueled by adrenaline. Well, I was fueled by ANGER! I just wanted the thing to be OVER! Ever think about how long four hours and twenty minutes is??? When you're running it's ALL you can think about.

I certainly dreamed of sweet Coors Light on my lips (in a mini can, don't want to overdue it) and some delicious advil. After a necessary shower I got my wish! As a finisher, I also picked up not one but TWO shirts, a finishers medal, a keepsake coin, a bracelet charm, AND all of the free chocolate milk I could drink.

Next time I want it to say "High Five!"

I'm very happy to have finished with a respectable time, and I suspect that it will be my last full marathon. I think I'll stick to half's thankyouverymuch.

Happy Finisher! Mmm...beer.

Thanks to all who supported me by training with me and offering words of encouragement and advice. It takes a village to run a marathon, and I really appreciate everyone's support!


Amy said...

Miles 21-24 were definitely the worst when I did my first full last year in Jackson Hole. I feel for ya girl! Fantastic job! Doesn't it feel awesome??

Matt said...

way to go kristina!!! those race photos are SUCH a rip-off, what a bunch of jerks. And for the record, I'm glad you didn't poop your pants too.