Sunday, October 14, 2007

Portland Marathon

Boy am I a lazy Blogger! It has been a month since I have put anything up. Well here goes. A week ago I ran the Portland Marathon, it is the third time I have ran this one and even though it was my slowest it was also the most fun.

(Notice the high leg kick I have. No I am not walking!!)

A gaggle of us met near the start at 0630. It included Rick, Mark, Sarah, Gail and myself. We chatted it up for a bit then headed to the middle of the pack for the start. It was a bit breezy but the temperature was nice in the mid 50's. Gail got us to do the "1-2-3 SLUGS!" start line cheer then the gun went off and as in most big marathons you stand around for a few minutes till the group begins to move. This year they had a different start area because of construction and I thought it worked out much better than the usually way they do it. Once you crossed the start line I don't think we ever had to walk again due to congestion.

My hip and IT band were all fired up so this was going to be a just "get 'er done" marathon. At about mile 1 we hit the Drum Corp that is always the highlight of the music on this course. They are amazing and really get the blood flowing. I wish they could be at mile 23 when I really need them!! For the first 4 miles Gail, Rick, Sarah and myself all just ran in the same area. Once we hit the downhill portion and headed back down Front Street (Naito Parkway I guess) is where I left most the group. This is when my Hamstring and calf started to tweek. I think it is a by product of my hip or sciatic nerve in my right leg that has been giving me fits. I knew right then it would be a cautious day for any speed. My buddy Eric caught up to me in this area and we ran together until I had to water the bushes around mile 7. Eric ran an amazing race having been sick for weeks before hand and hardly training at all. Good job Hitch!

Well after having a chat with a shrub I ran into Steve Vega. Steve works with me and this was his first marathon. He and I ended up running the next 10 miles together. It was a great time and it really made the time pass. The ugly out and back on Front seemed to fly by. Another Slug Katie was out at mile 7 jumping up and down and cheering us on in a pink outfit. (Thanks "Chunks" it was great to have you out there today.) As we hit about mile 16 Steve started having some cramping problems and I tried to help with some E-Caps. He drifted behind and I ended up running the race solo from here on out. As we headed up the hill to the St. Johns bridge I considered walking but just did my baby steps ultra pace all the way over the bridge. Its not really a bad climb its just that you are a bit fatigued at mile 17. As usual it was a great view at the top and you get a bit juiced up as you head down the back side to North Portland.

Running in North Portland is by far the best part of this course. The fans are great and there are allot of them. I continued my even pace past the 20 mile point and felt pretty good mentally but just a bit tired physically. Every step hurt but I have learned to run with pain for years so this was nothing but an annoyance. My nutrition plan continued as it always has this year. Two gulps of water every 10 minutes, one Gel every 45 minutes and 3 E-caps every hour. I hand carried one water bottle and no belt (a first for me with no belt). It was pretty easy to fill my bottle as I just walked every third aid station and just poured 3 cups or so of water in my bottle.

We did have some pretty good south winds as we headed back to town. The big downhill on Interstate avenue was nice but the wind took some of the fun out of it. This is around mile 23 and my legs were getting a bit tired here. I never walked the course except to down a Gel a times or to refill my bottle. Just after mile 24 is where I have bonked pretty hard the last two races here. I ran those much harder so this seemed much better today. Just before we crossed back into downtown Portland they a group of fans had a couch on the sidewalk and were handing out beer. I ran up sat down, crossed my legs and said " I will have a beer please." The guy looked shocked and said "you want one?" I said "sure". I gulped down the dixie cup size beer, jumped up and took off. Damn that was fun! Always wanted to do that!

We crossed the bridge and heading back up Front Street towards the finish. A fellow Maniac came up and ran with me for a bit. He later said his wife to be was somewhere in the crowd so he was looking all around. They had a big noisy crowd for the finish and it was fun to trot by them. I usually don't like big marathons but this was kind of fun. I crossed the line in 4:21:27 my slowest time yet here. But I was happy because I felt good and ran a great even pace. Here is my pace throughout the race
10K 9:47
9.1 mile 9:3;7
13.1 9:43
20 9:51
finish 9:59

Yeah the last couple miles were pretty darn slow but thats usually the case with me.

The finish area was awesome. I talked with tons of Maniacs and other running friends. I ate grapes, ice cream , chips and tons of other junk. I chatted with Jim, Fenny, Hollywood, Leslie, Sarah, Steve W, Steve V and so many more. I ended up hanging out for about an hour. Gail had a great race and finished in 4:30:32 a PR for her at Portland. Rick had a 4:57, Eric a 4:54, Steve V a 4:27, and Sarah who almost caught me had a great 4:22:47.

I never felt bad after this race which was sure nice. Oh except after the ice cream and potato chips.(Yuck!) So after a bit we walked to our car. We parked on the street and only had about 6 blocks to go. We zipped out of traffic and were home in about 20 minutes. I am not a big fan of this marathon but it is sure sweet to be able to be home so quick. I will probably end up doing this every year I figure.

Well an update on this week. I have only ran 6 miles and my leg and hip are not getting better. Not sure what to do so I may go see a doc soon. I have the Autumn Leaves 50 miler in 3 weeks and I don't want to screw up that by being hurt but on the other hand I hate the fact I am losing fitness. I hardly ran at all the week before the marathon so I am sure I am losing allot. This weekend the 20th Gail and I may run the Olympia Halloween Marathon or we may fly off and do some other. (We both have 5 days off) I was hoping to do the San Francisco 12 hour run but it has closed darn it.

Well thanks all for a great time last Sunday. Lets do it again soon!


Sarah said...

It was fun wasn't it? I had a few years of being down on the Portland marathon. But it really is a pretty good road race and I will probably do it every year again. I wish I had seen you on that beer couch! There was another guy on it when I passed, so he must have just taken your spot.

I will see you Autumn Leaves for sure. I'm signed up for the 50k but will likely switch to the 50M after I get through the Sister's Poker Run (34M) this weekend. You and Gail should run it too! : ) Or maybe you should take it easy and rest up the leg and hip. Take care!

olga said...

So, what's up with the hip? Is it better yet, have you checked it with a specialist?
Portland sounds like fun, but I won't budge:)
And Happy Birthday!!!