Friday, 15 October 2010

Portland Marathon 10-10-10

Portland Marathon 10-10-10

It has been a couple years since I have run a road marathon (Philly 2008), but this would be the first "big city marathon" that I didn't have to travel to and learn about the course online.  The Portland Marathon scheduled for 10-10-10 makes its way right through familiar neighborhoods and areas of Portland, Oregon that I have accustomed myself to lately and over the past 15 months.  Even though I didn't feel specifically trained for this event I knew that I had a super solid base and I felt that I could run decently fast for my hometown debut 26.2

Coming off of The Flagline 50k just two weeks prior to this race gave me a little time to taper down, but also left me feeling a little apprehensive about the ever demanding final 10k of a hard-run road marathon.  I decided to just suit up and show up, have fun, and to see what happens.  I had a bunch of friends running and some runners that I've coached in the months leading up to the race.

The great thing about living so close to the start line was that I slept in my own bed, woke up and ate breakfast in my home, and walked to the line.  The not-so-great thing was that it was pouring rain the entire walk to the start and continued throughout the whole race!  I wore my bright blue Inov-8 F-lite 230's after some debate and felt that they did me right for the road race and turned some heads in the process.

I got right up there to the front with a bunch of  fast guys and just as the countdown was being yelled over the microphone we were sent off by some really hard driving rain.  We all took off and the crowd was awesome!  My adrenal glands squeezed and the first half mile felt effortless through the dark, soggy streets of downtown Portland. :-)

Mile 1:  5:52

Miles 2-6 I knocked it back a little as we had a little climb and then back down Naito Parkway.  I heard some yells from people that recognized me on the out and back sections as the sun was coming up.  Ok...20 miles to go...stay under control.

The next 5 miles I ran methodically knowing that I would see Erica at mile 12 and she would hand me a bottle of my secret formula fuel ;-)  Before that I see would-be winner Kami Semick looking strong,  Joe Kleffner, and then Nathan Blair.  As I approached Erica in our neighborhood I see my buddy Nick Triolo and he gives me a high five and some words of encouragement.  I grab the bottle, tell Erica I love her, and give Farah a quick pat and transition into the next section of the race.

Miles 12-16 I have done tempo workouts on leading up to the race so I knew the terrain and what to expect in regards to how to calibrate my exertion levels leading up to the St. John's Bridge.  I moved into the top 20 at this point as I was told by some spectators.

When we hit the bridge/hill I "down-shifted" and clocked off a 6:40 for that mile and we crossed the colossal suspension bridge into the neighborhoods leading up to University of Portland.  In this section around mile 18 I was starting to feel some fatigue settle in but was able to stick with a pack of two other guys and hammer away.  I heard some comments from spectators like, "Oh cool...Team Inov-8...Come on guys work together", and then I got a yell from a triathlete who was in my Exercise Physiology class last year.

Around mile 21 I hit the mile descent towards the finish and just as it was starting to level out I see my buddy Leigh running up towards me shouting and rooting me onwards.  The next two miles I slowed down a little but upon crossing the Broadway Bridge at mile 24 my buddy Trevor Hostetler unexpectedly jumped out and gave me a much needed high-five and boost to finish up.  As I passed him and a few others I heard someone say, "catch that guy".  I don't know who said it but I went for it and crossed the bridge hammering past him and down the other side.

OK now I'm getting close and definitely feeling the pain and fatigue.  The crowds were getting thicker downtown and as I passed the 25 mile marker I started feeling a little something in my leg.  "Uh oh...come on...I'm so close" I told myself.  I could now see my neighbor Chris Schaeffer in front of me and I so wanted to go flying past him ;-)  Just after that I come upon a couple friends from Olympia Racheal Jamison and Craig Dickson and I simultaneously cramped in my calf and hamstring.  They were excited to see me but unfortunately I was in a totally different space.  I said, "I'm cramping up a little right now" and just motored on past them.  I slowed down a little bit, changed my stride, and turned the corner to the finish line.  

Seeing that finish line chute area was a sight for sore eyes and I came in with a time of 2:45:32.  17th place overall in nasty gusty wind and rainy is Portland, Oregon after all

Full results are HERE and you can see some pretty cool interactive data by clicking HERE

Portland Marathon was really fun and I feel good about how I ran all things considered.  It was really cool being a local and reaping all the rewards that has to offer.  

Now, if I could only figure out how to kick and finish like Sammy (seen in the video below) winner of the 2010 Chicago Marathon!!!!!!!


From the time I could stand upright I was chasing soccer balls around with older children at the fields where my father...

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