I’m not sure when running a marathon crept into my thoughts. The last I recall thinking I don’t have any desire to run 26+ miles. I even tried to hush the vague whisperings in my head when they first started showing up. Then, at some point a few months ago, I decided I would go for it. But, before I would commit and sign up I put together a training plan. Could I really do what was needed to finish a marathon? I decided I could. So, I signed up. Then, I was nervous… and excited.
PRELUDE TO RACE DAY
• I had already been training for the Helvetia Half Marathon. So, thankfully, I wasn’t starting from zero. My marathon training plan was 18 weeks. I didn’t get in quite as many 15+ milers as I had hoped, but I did a few.
• The month leading up to race day my family had been sick. Sick, sick. We had fevers, pneumonia & bronchitis goin’ around. I had stayed clear of their sicky germs until 4 days before race day. Then, I started feeling blah. I was hoping it was just a cold. By Saturday, the day before the race, I felt miserable. I was in tears thinking I might not be able participate in the marathon. I went to bed Saturday night figuring if I wasn’t knockin’ at death’s door, I was going to that race.
• Months of training and the Portland Marathon day had arrived. This was a mind over matter game. I wasn’t going to think about how horrible I felt, I was just going to focus on those 26.2 miles, one step at a time.
WAITING TO START
The race started at 7am. Perfect start time, in my opinion. I arrived downtown about 6:00, found my starting corral area, and waited in the dry cover of a parking garage like many other folks trying to stay outta the rain.
Left: Me, in my pre race get up in the parking garage.
Middle: I bought one thing at the expo when I picked up my packet. It was a 26.2 shoe charm – in purple, of course.
Right: I wrote on my hand all the aid/potty stops.
About 10 minutes prior to 7, I ventured out in the rain, to get lined up.
I asked a woman if she would take my pic. She was an interesting woman. Her name is Elizabeth Gray and she is running a marathon in all 50 states to raise awareness about domestic abuse. To check out her webpage and learn more about her story click here.
The time is now. All the months of training for this race start.
Running down 4th.
The first musicians we saw were these powerful percussionists. They were a great way to start the race.
Running through the Chinese Gate
Then it was head out Naito Parkway to Barbur Blvd, turn around and run back down Naito Parkway towards downtown. This was a long, hilly section. Although I felt like I was pacing myself alright, some how by mile 3 I was already 5 minutes behind my goal. I noticed the time, was a smidge disappointed, but didn’t worry about it too much.
Arrived in Old Town. Took the obligatory pic of the Old Town sign.
In the industrial area I found the Pirates of Portlandia.
Ah, even in a non Disney race, I found a Disney nod. Jeff Galloway supported mile 9.
Somewhere around mile 12 I found my hubby and kids. They braved the weather to cheer me on. It was definitely appreciated. A little mid race boost.
Before race day I created a couple photo props to commemorate the event. I was hoping to get super cute pics of me with the props. Instead, I got hurry up and take my pic – it’s raining and I still have a long way to go. Click here to download the props. Then, do me a favor and tag me in your photos so I can see the super cute pic I was dreaming about.
My running IG account: ridgetop_runner
My Etsy shop IG account: ridgetop_digital_shop
Next, it was St. Helens Rd & Hwy 30.
I don’t know what was wrong with me, but I remember thinking at mile 14 – only 2 more miles ’til 16, then only 10 more miles to go. I’ve gone 10 miles lots of times.
Who was this person with the positive attitude? By mile 5, I’m usually wondering when the torture is going to be over. This gloriously rainy marathon day I really was feeling fine. Tired, of course, but perfectly able to continue.
The St. John’s Bridge.
I seriously don’t think it stopped raining the entire race to this point. Sometimes it was a drizzle, sometimes it was rain. But, either way my socks and shoes were drenched. Not the most comfortable thing to be running in.
The next 5 miles were all new to me. Apparently it is a part of Portland I never visit. It was lovely.
The Broadway Bridge. Almost done! Still feeling great.
Then, mile 25. My runnin’ legs decided they had done enough for that day. Boom! Tired. I finally felt it. I walked a bit more than the previous miles, but I ran some too.
The finish line barricades! I had made it! I stopped to take a pic, then hustled my buns across that finish line.
I did it!
Are you freaking kidding me? I finished a marathon!
The photo on the left I am going to cherish forever. It is not my best pic, but it is pure joy. The joy of accomplishing a goal I never knew I could dare to dream.
However… I do have one itsy bitsy complaint. I bought the set of photos from the professionals at the race. The quality is crummy, even on what is supposed the best option. The selfie (on the right) is better quality than the professional photos I paid gobs of money for. Doesn’t seem right.
Again, super happy to have these pics. But, the quality sucks. The images are not sharp and not much contrast. It’s like they were taken with my husband’s crappy $24 cell phone as opposed to professional equipment.
Chocolate milk, apples, cookies and a few more goodies were handed out. Not gonna lie, I appreciated it, but I grabbed a slice of pizza on my way out of town.
A medal, pendant and coin all with the same design. Love them.
The sweetest little girl handed me my rose.
And, a red cedar seedling. I don’t imagine everyone is as excited about this as I am. But, I truly am so very happy to have been given it. I love, love cedar trees. There was a large one on our property, but it died. I am over the moon ecstatic to have earned one to replace it. It will now be my mission to keep the deer away from it.
The medal, pendant, and coin are two sided. Two very detailed sides. I love that one is bordered in purple, the other in blue.
And, of course, I earned the finisher’s shirt!
• I am quite happy with my finish time. Nobody would consider it fast, but it is right for me. I had a 30 minute goal range. I thought if I was really on the ball I could finish just under 6:00. However, I was going to be happy with anything less than 6:30. I finished right in the middle. Considering how sick I was, potty stops with the difficult task of having to pull up my sopping wet pants (from the rain), and the mid race chit chat with my family I am content with my finish time.
• It is Thursday – 4 days after the event. I am still hungry.
• I was sore the first day after the race, a little the second day. Today, day 4, I’m not sore at all… However, I’m not going to go for a brisk 10 mile run either.
• Monday I felt horrible. Running 6 hours in the rain was probably not the best medicine for Miss Sicky Britches. But, I wouldn’t change a thing. It is now Thursday and I’m still sick. Pretty sure I’m losing my voice. The hubby will be happy about that. Bahaha!
• This is probably a one and done deal for me. The event itself went smoothly, actually better than I imagined. But, training was hard. The amount of hours needed was virtually impossible. The final month was so stressful. My kids went back to school, which I thought was going to be perfect to get in those last few long runs. I didn’t know my oldest son was going to come down with pneumonia, then dislocate his knee. My daughter ran high fevers off and on for a week. My hubby was out of town a lot. He had bronchitis. So many farm chores, etsy orders, new school activities, dr appointments, physical therapy appointments, taxi for the kids school and activities. We are not a family who gets sick much. This was uncharted territory and with an already busy schedule it was almost impossible to keep up. To try to squeeze in long runs, or any runs for that matter, was just plain crazy. I did what I could and only missed one long run. But, it was stressful. I will admit, though, at about mile 23 I remember thinking this isn’t so bad. I would consider doing it again. If the right opportunity presents itself I would possibly do it again. But for now, I’m thrilled with the experience of this one.