Portland Marathon: Quick Update

Good morning, Friends!

As you may have noticed, I went dark after week 4 of training. My computer is broken (still) and I found it challenging to post from my phone… But I wanted to at least post an update about how the rest of the training went and the end result of the marathon.

Training: I actually thought the training went well. I could feel myself getting stronger and faster. I was tired, though, a testament to the fact that the plan I followed was a bit aggressive for me. I think I have another couple of cycles of it to be up to the fitness required for it. But, I plan to follow it again with the goal of making more runs (I skipped more than I would have liked) more so than worrying about the target times (I can try for those the next cycle!) and being a lot more consistent about core work (I trailed off at the end).

The Marathon: in a nutshell, was fugly. The event itself was wonderful – it lived up to all the good things I’d heard and more… But it just wasn’t my day.

I can’t point to any one thing – it is probably a combination of many things:

…it could be cumulative fatigue from the aggressive training and weird (poorly timed) sleeplessness cycle I was in during the training cycle…

…It could be the dry air of the Pacific Northwest – a welcome change from the tropical climate I am usually in, but my body isn’t used to it…

…it could be heat – the locals said “this is so weird! It is *never* like this” and then they’d joke that I brought it with me from NC – and you’re welcome – it was lovely weather while I was there…

…it could be the time change, though I tried staying on East Coast time while I was there…

…it could be my diet…. Though, I didn’t indulge as much this time as I did previously – maybe I should – haha…

On race day, though, I did feel ready and I felt prepared, more so than any other race I’ve done. I had good training. I ate well. I hydrated well. I slept… Eh… Ok. I was in a weird sleep pattern during this training cycle, but I slept great in Portland.

The race started out warmer than we thought it would be (mid 60s) and just got warmer from there. I planned to keep my pace moderate until mile 3 or so (which I did a good job of!), but I started feeling tired around mile 8, and it messed with my mind so I never recovered from it.

I ended up with a 4:16:51, which I know a lot of people would love, but I’m profoundly disappointed about it because I trained for 3:45, and realistically expected just under 4:00. I started walking before the half way point and the only motivation I had to start back to running was that if my legs “recovered” from the swelling during the marathon, it would hurt more after, so I had to continue running to keep that at bay.

I’m not as sore physically as I was after my first… And I’m not mad, either. I’ve been thinking (logically) about what mistakes I made and what I could do better and I’m looking at March for another race to make sure I recover fully before entering another training cycle.

And… One day… I’d like to try a marathon that is not hot 🙂

A full report on this otherwise awesome race once I get my computer back.

Maybe by then I’ll have selected my next race!

Until then…


3 thoughts on “Portland Marathon: Quick Update

  1. This sounds a lot like my second marathon, 2010 in Chicago. I trained hard for it, hit my numbers aggressively and checked off every box leading up to race day. I went for a 3:45 and a confluence of factors came together so I finished in 4:05, two minutes slower than the year before. I was a little upset by it, but ultimately moved on because I knew my fitness was much better this year, and I had better times on the horizon. I’m sure that’ll prove true for you as well. PRs are a combination of training and luck, and it seems like you had only one of those comfortably tucked in your quiver when you started.

    There will be other races though. You just have to make sure to keep fitness and there might be a November / December race with a bright, neon PR written all over it. Keep it up!

    • Thank you, sir 🙂 I’ve learned a lot from this experience. Like the bad training runs, the bad races teach us something. I am already looking at races in March, not as redemption, but as a new opportunity 🙂

  2. Pingback: Tobacco Road Marathon Training: Week 15 | The Devil's Chasin' Me

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