Tuesday, October 9, 2012

10/7/12 Portland Marathon

41st annual event.  My 4th time here.  First marathon for my nephew Luke.  He is way faster than me in the half and has projected a fast finish time.  We will not run together, but it is fun to stay with him the night before and ride in to the race together.  He also has been having major IT band issues, and may very well struggle in the race.  With the 8,000 runners and walkers I will have to keep a sharp eye out just in case I do catch up to him.  Beautiful sunny day.  It is a little warmer at the start than it was at Bellingham last week.  At the finish it will be warm, but very comfortable.  My quads were quite stiff after last weeks race and my left plantar has flared up a little.  Hopefully I can run OK and have about the same finish time as last week.

Start - We get to the start in plenty of time.  I find my corral, C.  Luke is in corral B.  I sit on the curb for a while and remember the last time I was here.  Three years ago I had the flu.  Thought I was getting better and lined up to run.  But I felt weak and just before the start decided to not run.  Nice to be back and feeling fine.  Not sure how the muscles will be, but I am not sick anyway.  The corral system with chip timing works great and soon we are on our way smoothly.

Mile 2 - I can feel my sore quads from last week. 

Mile 3 - I would like to start off at about 9:30 pace and that is about where I am.  The chip timing system will report me as being at 8:47 pace here, but that is not correct.  It is great to have the whole wide road to run in and the crowd is thinning out just a bit.  I pick it up some on the downhill.  Great volunteers, spectators and course.  I forgot how much I do like this event.

Mile 5 - With the downhill my pace has gotten faster and my average is 9:09.  That is faster than last week and it worries me.   But I feel like I am holding back and running comfortably.

Mile 7.5 - Now my left heel starts to ache.  The pain came on pretty quick and reached a higher than expected level.  I can run, but it is not so comfortable.  Luke sighting.  We exchange a high five as he is moving fast and headed back from the out and back.  He will slow dramatically in the second half but still beat me by 21 minutes.

Mile 13.1 - 2:01 Four minutes faster than last week.  If only my foot felt better I would be having a great day.  It is so nice to be out here and I am really enjoying the event, but that ache/pain is distracting and discouraging.

Mile 14 - Maniac Tracy catches me.  We run together for a quarter mile before I send her on.  So nice to see her though, I wish that I could keep up.  But I have found a slower gear that is easier on my foot and I need to stick with this pace.

Mile 16 - Up the big hill to the bridge.  I am able to run the whole way with no walk breaks.  Just slow.  One guy with a bright orange shirt steams past me looking so strong.  In a few minutes I will pass him as he is sitting on the curb with his shoes off, massaging his feet.  A few minutes later he will pass me again. 

Mile 17 - Great view from the top of the bridge.

Mile 19 - Walk breaks have started.  Also getting fairly warm.  The spectators are very encouraging.

Mile 22 - Mile 22-23 is a gift on this course. Nice long downhill.  I am able to run farther than I thought I would, without taking a break.  I am now fairly confident that I will beat my time from last week.  Maybe I can get in under 4:20.  I have no great desire to push it though and I will just work hard but not tax myself too much.

Mile 24 - There is my brother, who is an excellent photographer.

Mile 25 - Woman in front of me stops to vomit.  Then we get stopped by a train.  More of a bus/light rail thing, we are only stopped for a few seconds.  Now back to running.  The crowd gets larger and larger and it is an exciting final sprint to the finish.

Mile 26.2 - Glad to be done and feeling good (except the foot).  Continue through the finish area to get my medal, rose, seedling, finishers shirt, coin, pin, and refreshments.

Overall I had more energy and felt like a better runner than last week.  Tired quads still functioned OK.  But the heel/plantar is bothersome and may require some time off.  I am registered for the Defiance Ultra for this weekend, perhaps I will have to skip it. 

2687th of 6518
Marathon or ultra #91
Race #282