As mentioned, I am hoping to continue with my blog! Here is an overdue race report about the Portland Marathon! It was the first weekend of October.
Portland, Oregon has been one city on my list of “I really need to go there” cities. Luckily, my husband is awesome and agreed to do a marathon he had already completed before and we, along with a some of our favorite running friends, all decided to make the trip to Portland for the marathon. Unfortunately, since I had decided to go back to school, our original plan of making it a vacation and visiting wine country near Portland and having a few days to do touristy things was not able to happen. We landed in Portland Friday night and left early Monday so that I could make it home for class.
As mentioned in my previous blog post, I had found out I was pregnant about a week and a half before the marathon and checked with my doctor before deciding to run in the marathon. Since I was only 5.5 weeks pregnant at the time of the marathon my doctor said it was completely fine since I had been running and just to take it easy, monitor how I was feeling and to not run if it was over 80 degrees. I already hadn’t really properly trained for the race besides getting in my long runs so it pretty much just reinforced my “running for fun” race plan.
Our first night in Portland Jim and I were the last to arrive and had already missed dinner with our group so we decided to venture out and try to make it to Pok Pok, this Thai place our group had just dined at that we had heard great things about. When we arrived at Pok Pok the hostess basically laughed at us for thinking we could get in SO we decided to walk across the street to Appetizing – http://www.yelp.com/biz/appethaizing-portland” . What a “happy accident” as well like to call it. The food was AMAZING and inexpensive. We then headed to Salt and Straw — http://saltandstraw.com for dessert. We waited in a pretty long line for ice cream and I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was SO delicious. I tried olive oil which sounds so gross but was extremely delicious. We were also pumped to discover that Portland has Car2Gos. My husband and his father love these little cars and they were an easy way to get around Portland without having to take the bus or get a cab.
The second day in Portland was spent relaxing, going to the expo and getting our number, drinking some coffee and fueling! OH and some jeans shopping at Imogene & Willy. The next morning was race day!
Race morning I woke up feeling AWFUL, I think I had just come down with a cold and I hadn’t really slept a ton the night before because of congestion (and you can’t take anything when you are pregnant). My husband basically forced me out of bed and promised me we could stop at the halfway point (or wherever I wanted) if I was feeling awful. I got ready and we walked over to the starting line. I absolutely loved the ease of getting to this race, no need to get there super early, plenty of bathrooms in our corral and it was surprisingly warm out so no sitting outside in the cold. We were not pumped about the heat as we had come to the Northwest to escape the heat but that was not the case for Marathon Morning, it was a sunny, warm and humid day in Portland! We definitely were not expecting to be in the sun the entire race! I ended up not wearing my normal Oiselle Team jersey as sometimes I get too hot wearing it and opted to wear a thinner Oiselle Tank (cross top mesh) and the distance shorts (loveeee all the pockets in the distance shorts). (hint hint, the distance shorts are on sale online right now at http://www.oiselle.com/shop/sale)
Jim and I had decided to run together and he was even running with his phone! The first few miles were pretty rough and I wasn’t sure if I was even going to make it to the halfway point but after we hit about 5 or 6 miles I started getting in a good groove and actually thinking I would make it to the finish. I basically started to feel stronger and stronger with each passing mile, granted I was running at what felt like a pretty easy pace and was basically able to maintain it the entire race. Unfortunately for my husband, he wasn’t feeling better with each step and we ended up separating around the halfway point.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the first part of the course — beware if you do the half (unless the course changes) that the course is not that scenic, it pretty much runs through an industrial part of town. The second half of this race is really pretty, I really loved running over the bridge and just enjoyed the entire race. I didn’t start to get that marathon cranky feeling until mile 23-24 and it was just a mental battle to not stop and just keep running, the more I kept running, the closer I was to the finish.
After the finish, I made it through the finish area — one major complaint about the finish area was the total lack of water!! With the sun beating on me for 26.2 miles all I wanted was a giant bottle of ice cold water and they only had ones to purchase in the beer tent where you also had to purchase beer! We thought it as a little strange that runners didn’t even get one free beer (not that I would have had one). Once my husband and I found each other we started the slow walk back to the hotel and he had brought some cash with him so he bought me a water :-).
Overall this is probably one of the most evenly paced marathons I have ever run and I definitely had fun running, it was nice to go into a race not really caring about my time. I ended up running one of my slowest marathons at a 3:53:11 which, considering the training I put into the race, I was pleased with.
This was marathon number 11 for me and I would definitely recommend it! It was the perfect size for me, I had people to run with the entire time but never felt claustrophobic, I definitely just wish we had ended up with better marathon weather. The course isn’t super easy but it isn’t the most difficult one I have run, I actually credit crossfit with getting me through all the hills without much of a problem! It isn’t my favorite course ever but Portland is a wonderful place to visit so run the marathon and make a trip out of it. I really like the finisher shirts (just as a warning they are NOT Nike). The expo was really small and most of us hardly bought anything — maybe a shirt or two.
Have you ever run the Portland Marathon? Please let me know if you have any questions about it if you are interested in running it in 2015!
What cities are on your “must visit” list? I really want to visit Nashville!
Do you and your friends do destination races?