October 10, 2013

Second Portland Marathon

Filed under: General,health — mmrobins @ 8:53 am

I finished my second Portland Marathon last weekend! Finished in 4 hours 40 minutes. I had hoped to do it faster, but just finishing was more than good enough. Busy summer life got in the way of my training, but even if it hadn’t I don’t think I would have been fast enough to get the sub 4 hour time I set out for. I’ve really just been rebuilding the fitness base I lost the last few years as a new father, so having a goal was a good motivator, but not quite achieving it isn’t much of a disappointment. My other excuse is I spent 3 days prior to the race fixing up my rental house, including lots of yard work and work on a ladder, and my legs were tired from that.

The race day was about perfect for weather. It was cold in the morning, so I wore a sweatshirt to the start that I had planned to just through away, but they had convenient UPS trucks to take stuff that you could pick up after the race. I took a Car2Go to the east side of the Hawthorne bridge and then walked across so I didn’t have to deal with parking or other madness downtown. The bathroom lines before the race were a bit ridiculous and I bet there were quite a few people still in line when things started. I was there early enough for it not to matter though.

I lost my favorite LG Tone headphones a few days before the race, so I bought some others on short notice since I couldn’t get replacements delivered in time. I’ve gotten spoiled with having bluetooth headphones and can’t stand wired ones now when I run, so I got another bluetooth pair, Plantronic Backbeat GO. Big mistake. The battery life on those was barely 1 hour. So an hour into my race I was without my audio books and music. On a solo run this might have been the end since I’d have gotten bored, but with all the people around me running and the crowd providing entertainment in the form of signs, music, costumes and encouragement I was good to go.

I was actually running pretty well up to the half marathon time where I was just a tad over 2 hours, the pace I actually wanted. However, around mile 20 I started to get cramps in my thigh near my knee. Uh oh. The next six miles were *slow*. I would run a half mile or so, get a cramp, and hop along for a quarter mile. By the end I wasn’t nearly as physically tired as I was after the last marathon because this time I had gone so slow the last bit. I did force myself to run through the muscle cramps the last quarter mile or so across the finish line so I didn’t look like a total wuss.

After the race I devoured chocolate milk, bananas, peanut butter, string cheese, energy drinks, candy, and a bunch of other food that was laid out. It was sunny and pretty warm, so no space blanket was needed. I found Kim and Geneveve easily and we headed home. I took a hot bat, a nap and started massaging my muscles and stretching. By that evening I was already really tight and hobbling around. Geneveve thought my grunting was hilarious, so I played it up for her. The next day was the worst and I could barely move. The day after that though I already felt better. Usually the 2nd day after a hard workout is when I’m the most sore, but this time that wasn’t the case. All that muscle rub cream, hot baths with epsom salt, magnesium powder drinks, sleep and self massage must have paid off.

Now it’s Thursday, so 4 days after the race and I’m ready to go for a little run again. After my last marathon I didn’t run for months after. This time I want to keep up the training and prep for another half marathon at least where I can shoot for faster times. When I did my first marathon is was mostly just a thing to say I’d done, kind of a bucket list type of goal, but now I’ve realized that running is the easiest way for me to stay in shape with a hectic schedule with kids. Before kids it was easy to stay in shape with lots of hobby sports like rock climbing, soccer, dodgeball, hiking and more, but now those types of activities are much less frequent and harder to schedule. So I’m going to stick with running so I don’t forget to exercise with the new baby coming.

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