2010 Portland Marathon Race Report – Part 1
10-10-2010 – A date to remember!
This is my race report from my 2nd attempt at qualifying for the Boston marathon.
On Saturday the 9th, my wife and I flew down to Portland, Oregon to pick up my race packet for the 39th running the Portland marathon and my 2nd attempt to qualify for the Boston marathon.
My training leading up to this race had been pretty consistent with a slow buildup of long runs starting with an 8 miler then a somewhat quick increase to 12, 15, 18, 11.5(*recovery week) & 21. These were all done on the weekend and were preceded by various length runs through the week that consisted of Monday recovery runs, Wednesday speed or hillwork, and Friday easy or optional rest days. Tuesday and Thursday’s were strength training.
Seemed to me a pretty balanced regime and one that seemed to be working…until the 21 miler.
On the 21 miler, I had planned a two loop 11.2 mile run with my training buddy Steve. On the 1st loop around the 9.5 mile mark my right foot cramped up on the top and at the Achilles. I stopped and walked a few steps and the Achilles appeared to relax and the top of my foot “seemed” okay. So we continued on to the cars where I refueled and said goodbye to Steve. (He’s still recovering from being hit by a car during the Ironman race in Coeur d’Alene. Can you believe the Ironman folks STILL haven’t offered to give him a free entry into the 2011 Ironman?!! But that’s another story. And if anyone out there has the ear of an Ironman official, please put in a word for Steve that in good conscious they need to give him an entry SOON, so he can start making plans!)
Where was I?
Oh, so I went out to finish my long run of 22 miles and everything seemed to be okay. Had a little tenderness on the top of my right foot but I stopped a couple of times and loosened the shoelaces and thought everything was good.
Rested on Sunday and went out on Monday with Steve for an easy 7.5 recovery run. About 3 miles into it the top of my foot began to ache. I kept stopping and loosening my shoe laces but it didn’t seem to help and by the time I got back to work I was in a lot of pain.
I stopped running on it for a couple of days, went to our team sports doctor (I belong to “Team Blaze” and get a free consult with a sports therapist once a year…what a deal!) and she said that because of worn shoes (dummy!) and a run gait that reminder her of someone with 3 left feet, that I should do no more running until the marathon (which was in 3 weeks) and instead do aqua running. Great..there goes my 2nd attempt at Boston…sigh.
So I did as instructed, however I only did the aqua running twice, once for 1 hour and 10 minutes and 1 hour and 50 minutes. Probably not the best training to prepare for Portland. But….it is what is is…or in this case, was. Huh?
So down to Portland we went. Good friends picked us up at the airport and took us down to the expo. Wow…sort of claustrophobic. Down in the bowels of the Hilton and spread out on two dingy floors with low ceilings: All I wanted to do was get my race packet and get up to ground level. But 1st I had to find out where to meet the “Red Lizard” pacing group.
Now I’ve never run in a pacing group and was nervous and excited about what this entailed. But the guy looked at my number, showed me where to go and when to be there, so that was that.
Later that night we traveled to “The Old Spaghetti Factory” and met up with a number of Team Blaze folks who were also running the race.
What a great group of folks!
Wow! What a group! And to think they were all planning on running even after all those martinis..AMAZING!
Okay, so here’s where the real race report begins: (I see that it’s after 10:00 PM so I’m going to break this into two parts for now)
5:00 AM – Alarm wakes me from a good solid sleep. As I step from my bed I hear a loud metallic sound. I stand and listen then realize the predicted rain has arrived. I walk to the front door and poke my head out..woh..it’s not raining a little bit, it’s raining a LOT! I mean big heavy rain drops! Great. But..it’s not cold. I check my phone for the weather and it’s about 61 degrees. Not bad. I change my plans from wearing my Armor All tights to just shorts, a long sleeve shirt and my handy-dandy red vest. I’m pretty sure I won’t need the vest but I’d rather be hot than cold at the start and since I shop at the non-elite shops I can throw the vest away with no sense of remorse. (Except I’m sort of emotionally attached to it….kind of like my blankey…but that’s another story.)
5:10 – Oatmeal, honey, coffee, two pieces of wheat toast, and water…lots of water.
6:00 – I’m down town, sitting in the back of a car, bumper to bumper with all the other marathon runners. It’s pouring rain. All I can see are red tail lights flashing stop and go, stop and go. I finally ask our host to just let me out and I’ll walk to the race start with many of the other runners who have the same idea. I have a rain poncho with a hood so I’m good to go.
6:30 – I’ve found my pace group of 3:45:00 but head over to the honey buckets to do my last-minute …ah..race checks. I’m relaxed. Chatting with folks while I’m standing in line. Many folks from Portland and the surrounding area, but also many from as far away as South Carolina.
6:50 – I’m standing with the other folks who are shooting for a 3:45:00 time and am introducing myself and meeting many folks, many who are hoping for a BQ time. It’s pouring rain and yet we are not getting too wet due to all the large trees hanging over the street. The sun is still not up and the bright lights, loud music, and now announcer introducing Bill Rodgers and Jeff Galloway make it seem like a rock concert. Cool.
7:00 – The gun goes off and all the elites and wheel chair folks take off. In a minute or two we are moving forward to be the next wave to take off. Somewhere around 7:05 we hear the countdown and take off.
I’m excited but relaxed. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be able to make the time necessary to qualify for Boston due to my foot injury and lack of training near the end, but I’m not that concerned. I decide to do the best I can and try to enjoy the run.
We pass by a group of folks playing marching drums and they are so inspiring. We can feel the beats resonating on the inside of our chest. Everyone yells and hoots and wishes we could have them follow us the entire way to help keep us motivated. Feeling good.
(Well, it’s late, and this will be a LONG report..so that’s it for now. But don’t forget to check back..it actually gets interesting!)