First off I want to say I LOVE YOU PORTLAND. I even might come back to run in your marathon again...because I LOVE YOU THAT MUCH. Please just don't rain the entire race next year :)
I had a great race this past Sunday at the Portland Marathon. I knew I would be running in colder weather than San Diego, but nothing prepared me for running a marathon in 55 degrees in the rain. Didn't Portland get the memo from me that I grew up in Hawaii (hardly rains) and live in San Diego (also hardly rains)?!?!? Geez...My socks and shoes were soaked even before the start of the race, and I knew that was bad sign...
It took me about 20 minutes to physically cross the start line...and the first 5 miles were so crowded and I was watching my feet to make sure not to trip on anyone. The first 5 miles are always my least favorite because most people (myself included no doubt) dash out hopped up on adrenaline, so keeping a decent pace is difficult to say the least. This time around, I decided that I was determined to run a smarter race and force myself to start off slow so that I would be able to finish strong(er) than the RockNRoll marathon.
It was awesome to run in a different city than I normally train in and get to see all the different neighborhoods. I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more had it not been so cold and wet. I was continually amazed at all the volunteers and spectators that still had huge smiles and loads of support for the runners despite the weather. The entire time I was running I was thinking, which is better, running in heat or in the rain? I've now done both and I think my answer is rain. I feel for all the Chicago marathoners!!!
Anyways, a large portion of the course was through a pretty industrial area...not much to report there. The course was also relatively flat with several rolling hills (all of which felt like were in the 2nd half of the marathon...of course!) Crossed several bridges, which provided for some amazing scenery and ran through many a small neighborhoods where all the residents came out of their homes holding cups of coffee and cheered us on.
I felt fantastic and was running on target up until Mile 21 (actually surprised I felt good until then to be honest) and that's when I hit The Wall. The dreaded Wall. When I hit the wall I started walking whenever I came up to an aid station so that I could give my legs a short break. Mile 22-26 were seriously the longest four miles I have ever ran in my entire life. It felt longer than the 1st half of the course!
But, I came around a corner in downtown Portland and saw the finish line and thought HALLELUJAH Warm Shower here I come! I didn't have any strength left in my legs to sprint to the end (though in retrospect I wish I had). Finished the race in 4hr 22minutes...10 minutes faster than my RnR time from June. I am happy with my time, but now it's making me want to run another one to see if I can beat this time. hahaha
And the best part of running in this particular marathon was that I ran with Team Portland's Marathon for the Cure and was able to raise over $1,300 for the Susan G Komen Foundation. At the points in the race where I felt like utter shit and questioned why I volunteered to run 2 marathons within a four month span the only thing that kept me going were my supporters.
I couldn't have done it without them.