Skipper from Lake Oswego, OR (Female)
Age on race day: 39
2008 Portland Marathon - Portland, OR
This was my 3rd marathon and I finished in 4:05:58.
I started running again after my kids got into elementary school and finally had some time to train. My running partner was training for a marathon and I came along with one day to practice and ran 10 miles pretty easily. I ran Portland Marathon 2007 spur of the moment and cramped up on mile 14 and came in at 4:31, so of course, I had to redeem myself in 2008!
I ran this year in the green group (8-9 minuts pace) for Portland Fit. My goal was to increase my mile pace for shorter runs so my marathon pace of 9:04 would be easy. Due to family events and other sports I am invloved in, I ended up running my 18 miles and 23 miler on my own...not the best situation, but what can you do? On my 23 miler I misjudged a trail by the Willamettte River and rather than running back to add 2 more miles on, I swam across part with my ipod and nikes high above my head...the swim felt great, the squish squish after not so much!
Best training advice: buy shoes that fit your style of running even if they are more expensive...just not the time to be shopping the clearance racks!
Also, I'm a huge believer of using a foam roller on knotted up muscles and ice baths for the feet to spped up recovery after runs.
I think upper body and core strength is really important too and hope to improve that for next year.
The Portland Marathon makes the best out of one of the worst marathon courses. PDX is such a beautiful city but at LEAST 10 miles of the course is industrial with head winds. There are so many options for a much nicer course, but I think the cost of police to close roads is just too prohibitive...it is a shame though. PDX marathon prides itself that there are not many turns, but I think a course with rolling hills and more turns is easy on the mind and muscles. The volunteers are the nicest most wonderful people!
The good part, PDX offers awesome aid stations with Gleukos along the way...an awesome carbo drink.
Anyway...after last years fiasco I decided to take the pressure off and start slow; my goal was not to walk any part of the race. I really wanted to start with a 4:15 pace group, but in the end a couple great ladies I was running with chose the 4:00 pace group so I went with them. It was a rainy day so it was difficult to drink water when your body told you not to!
Miles 1-13 flew by-I ran next to a lady that had the funniest comments! Miles 13-17 are along a stretch of highway with trucks and cars whizzing by so by this time everyone was soaked..I was excited to get up St. John's hills b/c at the top I let myself turn on my ipod (almost just called it a walkman!!!)
I felt great miles 17,18,19 and part of 20 and then I realized the next 6 miles were so daunting! My calf muscles were rock hard so I switched running styles and started using my quads instead and lots of arms. I started to make small goals of reaching the next sign and I kept saying them outloud. My pace slowed WAY down probably to 10 minute pace but I was still running! My ultimate goal was 3:59.59 and I came in at 4:05...but a huge improvement from last year!
I hope next year to train with a little more speedwork and mileage so I can do well at Twin Cities..a little nervous for that as miles 21-25 are on a uphill grade and they don't allow for ipods which I think is THE nuttiest rule.
No recovery problems. Ice bath, foam roller on muscles and lots of cross training and stretching.
I think there is less wiggle room in a mararthon than other races. If you start too fast you will deplete all your glycogen stores, so slower is better at the start. I think the race doesn't even start until mile 20.
Find a pace group during the marathon and run with them...it makes the run a lot more fun and takes all the guesswork out!
Plans to Run Another:
I'm planning to run another marathon because I want to break 4 hours or possibly even hit a Boston marathon time of 3:50.
For my next marathon, I'll increase mileage and speedwork and figure out a way to beat miles 21-25 at Twin Cities.