Monday, October 11, 2010

Portland Party 10/10/2010 (first 26.2)

2010 Portland Marathon.

Some party  J

Complete downpour during the 20 minute wait for the gun. I was in a singlet, started shivering a bit.

Then we get going.

Plan for sub-4 was to start slower, then go past the pace group and build up a cushion. Trouble was, I couldn’t catch up to the pace group without my heart rate skyrocketing. Then I started cramping at 8 miles.

What?  I did two 17-milers here on the trails at altitude, a great HM PR, and I’m hurting at 8 and at sea level?

Backtrack one day; we went out for dinner, and I ordered the most benign thing on the menu, chicken and mashed potatoes. Then I spent the next 3 hrs with major GI issues. Forgot to tell them no milk in the potatoes, I’m lactose intolerant. Uh oh.

Drank a little water before bed, got a good night’s sleep. Next time, I’ll forgo sleep in favor of staying up and drinking all night.

Major, major dehydration.

Flexors were nagging from the beginning, but didn’t feel like they were the problem. No, the legs started quitting at 13 miles on the climb toward the St John’s Bridge. That leaves a long way to ‘run’ on no legs Was still hopeful that I could recover on the bridge downhill and slowly get time back, as I was about 500 yds behind pace at this point.

No dice.

At the bottom of the bridge, it’s a sharp right, then another incline. Game over.

I stopped to stretch, hoping to loosen the flexor by pulling my knee toward my butt. Instant hamstring-lock and hopping around like on coals.

BTW, it was still pouring. The whole way. But every step past the bridge was a distance PR for me.

Hammys and calves were hitting me indiscriminately and without prejudice. At one point, I put my toes on a curb, then bent down to pull the toes up some more. A very painful and all-inclusive cramp started at my calf, went through the hammy, continued up my right pec at lightning speed, and terminated in my tricep. My tricep!

What moron gets arm injuries running a marathon????? Same moron who passes on the French dip in favor of lactose-laden potatoes.

At this point, I’m just laughing. And there’s still 7 miles to go.

But I start getting glimpses of downtown.

Now it’s just one foot in front of the other. Bummed that I couldn’t take advantage of a long downhill and just freewheel.

Head down, punching the time clock, just grinding it out. At mile 25, ready for this thing to end, I see a 6’4” guy in drag on the street corner in a Marilyn Monroe pose. Nice diversion.

No bonking in the low-energy sense, just had to deal with someone disconnecting the wheels. Head stayed clear, didn’t get crazy or emotional or pissed. This race wasn’t on my radar until just before the triathlon in June; after that, it took me a month to get motivated again, which basically left me 6 wks. I’m very glad that I didn’t get injured by ramping up the mileage too quickly.

Back at the in-laws, I iced down, then had a hell of a time standing up. Also didn’t think to bring my overnight bag upstairs from the basement bedroom before I left for the race. That meant I had to go down the stairs and come back up. Hurt worse than the race.

Very, VERY cool tech shirt. Actually two of them. But the prize is the one that says ‘Finisher’.

Funny thing is, I don’t hate running right now. Don’t feel like selling all my gear and taking up needlepoint. But, for the next week, I perfected a whole new style of walking.

If you could call it that.