Sunday, October 7th, I ran my first marathon, the Portland Marathon. And it was awesome! I ran it in 4 hrs 40 min.
I came out of the gate a little faster than planned. I was going to run the first 5 miles with my friends, but felt so good and like I needed the pace to be a little faster that I broke forward. The whole route was mostly flat, except the section leading up to St. John’s Bridge. St. John’s Bridge was incredibly beautiful.
They had bands throughout a good portion of the race. Around mile 11 there were a bunch of people dressed up as pirates which lightened the mood. At this point a guy with the big letters printed Dimitry on his bib bumped into me. He was running with a friend and they were having an amazing time taking photos of themselves while running and of the course. I ended up behind these guys from miles 11-17. My spirits were already pretty lifted as I probably smiled a heck of a lot during that race, but it sure didn’t hurt to see others so amped too. I found out later it was Dimitry’s birthday and he ran the marathon as a bang to start the year.
As planned at mile 17 going onto St. John’s bridge, I took my walk and 1/2 bagel break. On my training runs for 20 and 22 miles I found I was starving by mile 17. It was so funny on my 20, I was out running to the Red Hook Brewery and was so starving, I saw this little corner store and ran in. Luckily the first thing I saw was this cabinet full of baked goods. I recognized one of the rolls from my childhood growing up in Newark, NJ and grabbed it. It was nostalgia and a savior all in one! I was able to finish the remaining 3 miles with no problem. So now I always refuel by mile 17.
I knew once I hit miles 18-22, that was where I was totally going to rock this race. My 22 mile training run, those miles I was flying and feeling great. And I did on the race too. At mile 23, my legs started to get so tight so I jumped off with this couple to stretch behind a white pick-up truck before taking off for the last 3 miles which felt like unknown territory to me since my longest run was 22 miles.
My legs still felt good. No cramps, no spasms. But, they were tight and my pace was crawling into the 11 min mile zone. When I get there, I kind of feel like there’s no point in running and I might as well walk. So I did some walk-running. Walking, my legs felt nice and loose.
At mile 25, coming up to a Portland police officer standing in the middle of the street, I had an asthma attack. It was like, really? I’m almost done. Why now? So I had to walk until my breathing was back to normal again and then I ran the rest of the way in strong.
Coming across the finish line, I was so excited and proud that my race went so well I threw my arms up in excitement. But, the camera guy didn’t even bother to take my photo. Oh well! I knew I totally rocked that race and that’s all that mattered.
I would definitely do another Marathon and I am seriously thinking of doing an ultra now too sometime in my early 30s. I love running and I think distance running is my sweet spot.