Eleven days until the Portland Marathon. I received my pre-marathon instructions today. Very excited to get some additional information. A race isn’t just about running. There are so many other things involved including; gear, parking and transportation decisions to make. There are schedules to develop and clothing to lay out. There is tapering, nutrition, hydration, rest, and the mind stuff. I’ve been motivating myself by reading running books and chatting with seasoned marathoners.
As Jason Lester wrote in his book “Running on Faith” (and I’m paraphrasing) “You just gotta drag the body to where the spirit is. And your spirit is at the finish line.”
Last Sunday I was scheduled to do a 24 mile run to prepare for the Portland Marathon. Originally I had a different route planned but I forgot about the Susan Komen Run for the Cure. So on the fly, I opened my lap top & decided to run and out and back rather than a loop. When I looked at the PDF of the Springwater Corridor I could have sworn I saw that Powell Butte was at mile marker 9. It is a little more than 3 mile from my starting point (my house) to the beginning of the Corridor. So running 3 down to the route + 9 on the trail = 12. I stop and the 9 mile marker and run back. That would give me 24 lovely miles.
Unfortunately when I got to the Springwater Corridor all of the mile marker signs were gone. Probably due to the recent repaving. The first part of the run was difficult but not unmanageable. I felt that I had been running forever! There were signs that gave me an idea that something was amiss in my mileage. But I have bad spacial skills. (I don’t know how long a football field is!)
By the time I got to Powell Butte, I was all ready tired and not looking forward to running back. But I needed to get my 24 miles in. On the way back, I sang to myself and cheered myself on. My legs were aching terribly and my spirit was low. A fellow runner going the opposite way gave me an encouraging smile and a thumbs up. Instantly I teared up.
As the hours ticked by, I realized that I still had miles to go. I couldn’t figure out how I had run so slow. During the last four miles, I alternating between a slow shuffle and walking. Everything hurt so bad. Finally I made it home but not after shedding some tears.
I was sore for days after that run. Today I went out to run the Springwater Corridor but the mile markers were back. My plan run was 16 miles. As I made the turn to get off of the Corridor and start running home I saw mile marker 8. I paused for a moment because I couldn’t believe it! The week earlier I had only needed to hit mile marker 9 and where I veered off the course was miles closer in! Miles! For the rest of my run today I couldn’t get it out of my head. How far had I run last week?
After showering and eating, I grabbed Andy and we drove out to the trail. I figured I ran about 26 miles last week. So you can imagine my surprise when I first saw mile marker 12. Mile marker 12 was at least 3/4 to a mile from where I had turned around. Andy and I continued walking until we got to the other side of Powell Butte which is where I turned around.
So. Last week I didn’t run 24 miles. I ran 32. I ran 32 miles! 32 miles. Can you believe that!!?? This explains why I ran almost all day. Good thing the marathon course is marked otherwise I might end up in Seattle!
Twenty days until the marathon. After my twenty-four mile run yesterday, I am officially not nervous anymore. Although I wish I could have been much faster than I was, I did it. I ran twenty-four miles. If I had to, I could have run more. Although I am really, really glad I didn’t….
‘Till the Portland Marathon. I was so nervous I wanted to puke every time I thought about the marathon. That is until I came up with Plan B. (*Please note-I love having a Plan B. It lets me relax knowing that everything will be okay one way or another).
If for some reason I am unable to complete the Portland Marathon (aka DNF), the Seattle Marathon is November 28th. Yes, it will be much colder and rainier. But I’m an overweight Oregonian who runs better in the colder weather. Yes,iit is also right around Thanksgiving. But what better excuse to over eat than 26.2 miles!!
I have a pacer. How awesome is that? My pacer is using the Portland Marathon as a training run for a ultra marathon she’s running a few weeks later. I have all the gear. Now to be patient and wait for the marathon.
I was unlocking my bike after working out at the 24 Hour Fitness and overheard a conversation that literally made me want to run after 2 guys and punch them. Two sweaty guys who appeared to be in pretty decent shape walked past me talking about triathletes.
Guy 1: “Cause you know only about 10% of them are gifted athletes…”
Guy 2: “Yeah only about 10% of them.”
Guy 1: “And the rest are….”
Guy 1: “Yeah real wannabes”
Please note: neither of these guys appeared to be a professional athlete. These guys looked like they spent a few hours a week at their local sports bars harassing female servers. I was aghast at what they said. Wannabes? Really?
Urban Dictionary defines wannabe as the following:
Poser, follower, a charlatan of sorts. One who copies or immitates all or most of the aspects dealing with their idol. They may wish to have certain clothing, skills, vocabulary, etc., of their idols instead of their own. Most likely a wannabe is lacking in self confidence and is looking for guidance.
Anyone professional athlete, weekend warrior, or a newbie who trains for something like a triathlon is not lacking in self confidence. Someone who sacrifices personal time to complete a goal is not a charlatan. These individuals deserve much more respect than what the two jackhole’s gave them. And I along with a lot of people I know are wannabes according to the definition provided by these two geniuses.
Andy and I left Portland for a few days of backpacking and whitewater rafting. We went up to the Sisters area for backpacking and to Maupin, OR for whitewater rafting.
Camping with fire!
On the bridge...almost back to the car.
Me with my pack.
Andy being silly...
Painting on the wall of our room.
Hidden chamber pot in a chair!
White River Falls
I’ve officially starting the 20 mile runs in preparation for the marathon. Running for 4 hours is a surreal experience. I thought prior to running these uber long runs I truly understood pain, suffering, joy, endurance, and satisfaction. But I was only experiencing a fraction of those emotions. The 20 mile runs take a lot more preparation both physical and mental. The mental part for me usually takes a full two days of psyching myself up for it. I’ve started using gels to help supplement the protein bars I usually eat. I have discovered that eating a small bit of protein bar every hour rather than waiting until I think I need it,helps immensely!
I’m also coming to terms with the fact that after all of this training, I will be running the Portland Marathon in a little more than 6 weeks. And yes, it makes me feel slightly nauseous, scared, excited, and slightly depressed. I have been working towards this goal for almost a year. What am I going to do after I run the marathon? What’s next?
I’m tentatively looking at races in 2011. I’m thinking my goal for 2011 will be to get faster. Slogging through 20 miles at such a slow speed is incentive enough to get faster. So perhaps the marathon isn’t the end but the beginning of this adventure.
Andy had never been to a state fair before. What? Yeah. Never been to a state fair before. So we went and had a pretty good time. More pictures to come!