What Now?!

First, some official race photos:

I was so freaking happy to get over that bridge!

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21.1 miles. If I remember correctly my quads were SCREAMING at this point.

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Right after I hurt my foot at mile 24, what a flattering photo of me crying and looking defeated. I tell ya, this one is a framer…

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This is close to the end when I forced myself to pick it up and RUN again!

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I’ve never been so happy to see a finish line in my life!

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Now that I’ve had some distance from the marathon I’m starting to look back at it with (some) fondness. And I’m starting to realize and appreciate what an accomplishment it is to run a marathon. 26.2 miles is nothing to scoff at!

I think because I read and interact with so many healthy living bloggers/marathoners every day through Twitter/blogging etc. I kind of forget that not everybody runs a marathon and it is a big deal.

So, the burning question: What now?!

Another marathon?

Yes! Definitely. I will be running another one. You know, when I first started writing this post LAST WEEK I wrote “I will do another one but probably not for a long time.” Now that I’ve had some distance from the marathon (and how freaking hard it was) I can’t stop thinking about marathon training and doing another marathon.

I want to redeem myself and I want to finish a marathon smiling and feeling strong NOT crying and hurting.

Also, despite the fact that running the actual marathon was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Ever. I really, really enjoyed the training process and I want to do it again! I know, crazy right?! But for the most part, looking back, I enjoyed being in the midst of marathon training and doing 2.5+ hour long runs every weekend. I love to run and even a grueling 18 weeks of training can’t take that away from me! I actually love it more than ever🙂

The rest of 2010?

Cross-training! Lots of yoga, swimming, strength training, biking, group fitness classes, you name it and I want to do it! I will still be running 15-25 miles per week (as soon as this stupid foot heals!) and I plan on continuing with a weekend long run of 8-12 miles to keep my fitness up. I can’t wait to devote more time to other activities for the next few months.

2011?

Oh man, you guys I have some BIG goals for 2011 that I’ve been thinking about.

First, in January I’m going to start training to run a sub 2-hour half. I ran my last half in 2:01:40 so I know this is well within my reach. Marathon training has slowed me down so it’s going to take a lot of hard work. I think I’m going to do the annual Kamloops half-marathon in May. It’s along the path I run all the time and it’s flat and fast.

I actually love speed work so I’m really looking forward to training for this.

A few other things on my list for 2011 include:

  • A sprint triathlon
  • Depending on how the above goes, an Olympic triathlon
  • A 5K race with Eric! (I am still working on convincing him this is a good idea, but he’s slowly being swayed)
  • More trail racing, I already have three on my radar for next summer including a 25K one and an 18K one
  • Race, race, race. There are tons of local races in my area during the summer. Last summer I shied away from most of them because I didn’t want to mess with my marathon training but next summer I plan on doing as many as financially and physically possible!
  • Marathon? Maybe. We’ll see… 😀

Now if my foot would just heal up and I could run again all would be right in my world! It’s definitely on the mend and I have a 5K run *tentatively* planned for Thursday morning with my neighbour.

I’m still feeling a little bit down in the dumps and “lost” and I think getting back to a regular workout schedule will help. Wednesday morning I’m heading into the local YMCA to sign over my life (or just $50 a month) so I can start going to the gym again.

So that’s that. My upcoming racing and running plans!

What are your fitness goals for the upcoming year?

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Race Report: Portland Marathon

You know, I had grand plans of bringing my flip camera along on the race with me and video blogging for you guys along the way. I really wish I had brought it because there were times when I really needed to talk to you guys – if that makes sense – but sadly the rain prevented me from doing so. I didn’t want to risk it getting wrecked.

Also, because of the rain I don’t have any photos along the way for you, so hopefully my words will be enough. I’m actually having trouble finding the words to record this experience. It was so much harder then I thought it would be. So much harder.

I guess we’ll start with the morning. Lisa and I had laid out our marathon outfits the night before and we both hopped out of bed when the alarm went off at 4:45 AM.

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We headed down to the lobby where a bunch of other marathoners were eating breakfast. I had my basic pre-run breakfast of a bagel with peanut butter + banana and coffee.

We then headed out for the race start. We got to our corral nice and early and were able to use the porta potty without waiting in a huge line. Then we sat in a parking garage for about 30 to 45 minutes while more marathoners filed in.

Around 6:45 AM, Lisa and I went and lined up behind the 4:30 pace group. At this point it was pouring down rain and we were soaking wet before the marathon even started.

Lisa and I crossed the start line together and I stuck with her for the first two miles, it was really congested with people so we were forced to keep a pretty slow pace.

At mile two I could tell that Lisa had more gas in her tank and was ready to push ahead, and I wanted to be careful to not push myself to hard at the beginning. So I gave her a little push and said “go, go, go! I’m dropping back!” and with a wave she was off (she did amazing by the way!)

By the way, all my splits here are from my Garmin, which said the course was actually 26.44 miles.

Mile 1 – 10:46

Mile 2 – 10:34

I felt really, really good at the beginning of the marathon. There was a ton of people around me and quite a few spectators. The energy was contagious and despite the rain I felt strong.

Mile 3 – 10:40

Mile 4 – 9:18

Mile 5 – 9:59

Mile 6 – 10:20

Mile 7 – 10:06

Mile 8 – 10:21

About mile 4 a long out-and-back started. I entertained myself by scanning the crowd for Lauren and Lisa. I was watching so hard for them that the next four miles flew by. Sadly I missed Lauren, apparently she was right in with the 3:40 pace group but I didn’t know what she was wearing so couldn’t pick her out. I saw Lisa at the absolute last minute as we were passing each other and screamed loudly and high-fived her.

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It was around mile 8 that my feet really started to hurt. Not an injury-type pain but just a sore pain. I had a feeling this would happen, my feet had been sore the last few days with all the walking we had done on our trip, but I didn’t think it would happen so early in the marathon. For the next 18 miles my feet basically ached on and off. I just tried to ignore it.

Mile 9 – 10:21

Mile 10 – 9:52

The first 10 miles of the marathon flew by. I remember seeing the 15 K (9.3 miles) sign and thinking, “holy crap, have we really ran that far already?” I felt good and the energy of the course and spectators was really carrying me through. I actually didn’t even put my iPod in until Mile 10.

This is when things started to go downhill.

Mile 11 – 10:17

Mile 12 – 10:40

I have this thing with Mile 12. In almost all of my long runs I hit kind of hit a wall at it. I just want to WALK. Same thing happened in the marathon and it was at Mile 12 that I started doing my 9:1 walk/run intervals. Up until this point I had just been walking briefly through the aid stations.

Miles 13 to 16 were in an industrial-type area out of town, on one side of us was a big hill full of beautiful pine trees and the river was on our other side. This was probably the most scenic part of the course but it also seemed to drag on for a long time. And, of course, it was still pouring rain.

It basically poured rain on and off the entire marathon. I was absolutely soaked through and my shoes were wet, soggy and heavy. I tried to avoid the puddles but by this point I just didn’t have the energy to.

Mile 13 – 10:12

Mile 13.1 Split Time – 2:15:32

Mile 14 – 10:35

Mile 15 – 10:30

Mile 16 – 10:45

Mile 17 – 12:02

Miles 16 to 17 were the dreaded St. Johns Bridge. I knew this was going to be a big hill but holy man, was it ever. As if my quads weren’t tight enough, pushing up this hill felt impossible. I did a lot of walk/running on this hill and it was tough.

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When I reached the top and was actually on the bridge this was probably the best I’d felt since Mile 10. I had a big smile on my face after pushing up the hill and was ready to sail through the last 3 miles to 20. For some reason, I kept telling myself “just make it to 20 miles, just push through until 20.” I thought the last 6.2 would fly by.

I was so very wrong.

Mile 18 – 10:43

Mile 19 – 10:50

Mile 20 – 11:36

At mile 20 I stopped on the side of the road and stretched out my quads, which were so tight at this point.

I can honestly say the last 6.2 miles of this marathon were the hardest, most painful, most emotional 6.2 miles I have ever ran. Ever.

Everything hurt. My quads were so tight and sore, my feet ached, it was STILL pouring rain and I was beginning to lose faith in my ability to keep going. Looking at my splits afterwards I can see just how much I started to fall apart the last 6.2 miles.

At this point I reverted to 8:2 run/walk intervals. When I was running I was keeping a good pace, 9:55-10:15 but the walks slowed my pace down a lot. And I needed those walk breaks, they were the only thing that kept me going.

Mile 21 – 12:13

Mile 22 – 11:10

Mile 23 – 10:47

I stopped and stretched out my quads again at mile 23. I can’t believe how tight they were!

Mile 23 was downhill and I really picked it up, I love downhills because I just let my legs go. By this point my legs had pretty much gone numb from the rain and the distance so I just let them go and ran.

The 4:30 pace group was quite aways ahead of me by this point and I knew I wouldn’t come in under 4:30 BUT I was on pace to make it in under 4:40. So that became my new goal.

Then it happened. Right around Mile 24.5 I hurt my foot – I’m not sure how, one second it was fine and the next second it hurt to put weight on it. It wasn’t the sore, achey feeling I’d had in my feet the entire race it was an injury-type pain. Along the outside of my right foot hurt SO BAD, kind of a shooting pain every time I put weight on it. It hurt to walk but it hurt even more to run.

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I cropped out half of Sassy’s photo just to show you guys how hard it was raining that day!

I was SO FRUSTRATED AND DISCOURAGED when I hurt my foot. As if this marathon wasn’t hard enough, this had to happen 2.2 miles out from the finish.

I spent the next mile walking and crying.

Mile 24 – 11:50

Mile 25 – 13:56

I don’t even really know how to put in words how I felt at this point. I was SO UPSET that my body was failing me. I was soaking wet, cold, in so much pain and 2 miles seemed impossible. I kept trying to hobble along and run on my foot but it hurt too bad and I’d always have to start walking again.

It was so unbelievably discouraging to see so many people run past me. I wanted to be running too. I just wanted to get to the end.

Around Mile 25 the 4:45 pace group caught up with me and their energy and peppiness was contagious. I forced myself to run despite my hurting foot.

It hurt. A lot. But I pushed through and eventually my foot – or my ability to feel the pain – went numb.

Mile 26 – 10:57

Mile 26 – 26.44 – 9:44

My Final Statistics:

  • Distance (Garmin): 26.44 miles
  • Duration (Garmin): 4:45:26 (10:48 pace)
  • Duration (Official Chip): 4:45:22

I know that marathon courses are generally pretty long, but man it was discouraging to see 26.2 on my Garmin but still have to keep running for another 3 minutes. It’s a bit of a consolation to me that when my Garmin read 26.2 I was actually at 4:42 therefore breaking 4:45.

Crossing the finish line was, anti-climatic for me. I know that I ran a marathon and that in itself is an amazing, amazing accomplishment. But I was just so disappointed with the last 2.2 miles and my time that I didn’t feel any sort of happiness or elation, other then the fact that I was so happy to be DONE.

I got my medal and finishers shirt and grabbed an orange juice to drink but I didn’t eat anything. None of the food looked appetizing to me. I then hobbled – my foot was really sore by this point – to the ‘Reunion’ area to find Lisa. We had agreed to meet under D.

I had no idea what time she had finished in so was worried she might have gotten cold and went back to the hotel, but then I recognized her shoes. I was so happy to see her and started crying when I told her about hurting my foot and having to walk.

We then limped/hobbled/waddled back to our hotel. We did a lot of walking around the rest of the day because I know the worst thing you can do is not move your legs and let them tighten up. I felt pretty good when I went to bed on Sunday night but when I woke up Monday morning I was SO SORE and TIGHT! I could barely walk and my foot hadn’t gotten any better.

OK, that’s it for this post as it’s already far too long! I know a lot of you are wondering if I will ever run another one and I plan on writing another post later this week that’s a “Follow-up to the marathon” post. It will cover things like what my future running plans are, what I thought and took away from the marathon process etc. and, I will tell you if I ever plan to run another one.

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Despite the fact that I’m not all that excited about how the run went and my time, I need to remember that I ran a freaking marathon. A marathon! Only 1% of the population does that, and that in itself is pretty impressive.

Once again, thank you so much for your support and kind words over the past four months and especially on Sunday. It means more than you know.

XO

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Portland Marathon Roadtrip: The Marathon + Portland

First, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who was thinking of me this morning and who tracked me through the website I linked to yesterday! When I logged onto Twitter and Facebook after the marathon and saw so many posts and messages I became overwhelmed with emotion.

I could not have done this without your support. I thought about you a lot during those 5 hours.

Most of you probably already know this but I did it! I ran my marathon.

I finished with a chip time of 4:45:22. I’m happy with this considering that it poured rain the entire time and at mile 24 I injured my foot.

Here’s a quick recap of the marathon by numbers:

  • 26.2 miles, 42.2 km ran BUT according to the Garmin it was 26.44 miles
  • 2 miles – the mile where I dropped back from Lisa
  • 8 miles – the mile where I put my iPod in
  • 10 miles – the amount of miles that flew by
  • 12 miles – the mile where I hit a wall
  • 16.5 miles – the mile with a huge hill
  • 24 miles – the mile where I injured my foot
  • 25.5 miles – the mile where I started running again and forced myself to run the last 1/2 mile

Here are pictures of me and Lisa in our hotel this morning before the race. Lisa did AMAZING by the way, check out her blog to read about it!

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I didn’t take my camera along with me for the race because it was seriously POURING rain outside so this is the only photo I have from that morning. Hopefully the race photographers got some of me!

After the marathon we hobbled back to the hotel – seriously the walk that had taken us 10 minutes this morning took closer to 20 and had showers. I sat in a cold water bath but I was too lazy to go down to the lobby and get ice. My foot is still really bothering me and I’ve been limping around all day.

After showering and stuffing our faces at Chipotle (seriously, love that place!) we visited Powell’s Books:

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This bookstore is HUGE – four city blocks! Lisa and I were kind of in heaven.

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And what section of the store do you think this crazy runner found herself in?

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I bought three books!

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Then we went to Lulu Lemon and treated ourselves to some new workout clothing. We deserved it!

I got some Lulu Lemon Groovy Run Shorts:

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We’re about to head out for some dinner and WINE! Neither of us have drank in a few weeks so we figure we deserve a glass of wine. Or two!

Bright and early tomorrow morning I’m taking Lisa to the airport and picking my Dad up! He flew down to drive this sore marathoner back home 🙂 We are staying in Seattle tomorrow night!

I am so sad our trip is already over.

In case you missed it, catch up on these posts about our epic roadtrip:

And don’t forget to enter my Born to Run Giveaway that ends tomorrow.

Thank you again for all your support the last several months, it means so much! See you on Tuesday with a full race report 🙂

43 Comments