Portland Marathon 2016 Recap

Well I did it!! I finally ran a marathon! It still feels pretty weird because I’ve been obsessing thinking about it and planning for it for so long, 2 years! I’m SO happy with how I did!! It was pretty hard, but I just went into it knowing I would give it my all and try not to stop. I ended up stopping twice, but otherwise just kept running.

When I signed up last year, I had no idea what pace I would be running. I hoped for 4:45:00 so that’s what I put in at sign-up. Doing my training this year, it was clear that I would probably be doing a lot better than that, but I didn’t really know what would happen since I was having issues, and honestly I didn’t even know if I would end up running the whole thing! So I didn’t change my corral assignment. There were 8 corrals, A-H, and I was in F. I knew it wasn’t the right one for me, but I just figured that I would use that to pace myself and not go out too fast.


Might have to make this for my car…

When we started out I just tried to run by feel. Not too easy, but not hard either. I think the adrenaline was pumping because I stayed pretty well even almost the entire race. Also, I ended up being one of the runners that went the wrong way! I added a half mile to my distance within the first mile of the race. I really don’t know how that happened, but I wasn’t the only one.

Oh well! I was having a pretty easy time up until about mile 11, then it started to feel like I was starting to work harder. My boyfriend and daughter were waiting for me at mile 12 and that was so awesome 😀 There was also a beer station at mile 12! I thought that was weird, and I almost partook but decided it was too early. Apparently the beer station has been much later in the past, like mile 23. If they had been there then I would have had some beer for sure! But that was the only beer stop. Oh well again. These first miles ran down the Natio Parkway, which is kind of just an industrial neighborhood. Part of it was an out and back, and it took forever to get to the turnaround point. I was so happy to finally get back into the residential area and see something different.

I should mention that it was raining that day, and ended up raining for the duration of the race. I was SO freaking wet!! There wasn’t anything to do but embrace it and just try to ignore it. I had a jacket that I tied around my waist in case it really started coming down, but I ended up giving it to my boyfriend around mile 20. It was soaking wet and wouldn’t have done me any good, and was just an annoyance. So after mile 12 the course continues through residential neighborhoods for a while and then it goes on this highway before St. John’s Bridge. I knew the bridge was going to be hard so I was taking it easy again, saving up my strength for the hill before the bridge, and the hill that is the bridge. When I saw the hill leading to the bridge I told myself “okay, no stopping!”. And I did not stop. I just took smaller steps and went slower to power through it. The hill is 150 feet of elevation gain in less than a mile, so it is no joke! Everyone I was running around though seemed to be doing the same as me and it went by relatively fast, and I didn’t feel like I was going to die LOL

After the bridge I was thinking we might get some downhill, but it wasn’t very much. This is when I really started needing the bathroom, so the first porta potty I found that was free I stopped at. I really didn’t want to stop because I knew it would be hard to re-adjust everything and it was LOL I was tugging at my shorts for a while after that! I definitely felt better though. I saw my bf and daughter again at mile 20-ish and stopped to talk to them for a minute, and then off I went again. This section of the race was in residential neighborhoods again, and it was super cool of everyone to be out there encouraging us. Life-saving! So many people were using our names and it really helped to keep the spirits lifted. I realized I was only going to be out there for another hour or so, and I wanted to pick up the pace and I did try, but I couldn’t really get my body to go faster. I did use a downhill that we had around mile 23 and it felt like I was trying to book it. A few people commented at how fast I was going and that I was looking strong, and that just made me feel like I had to keep it together no matter what LOL At the end of the downhill it started to feel really hard, but I just kept running. No stopping.

It started to feel real around mile 24. I was so close to being done!!! We went over another bridge and I passed a woman that I had been following for a while, but we ended up running side by side for pretty much the last mile of the race. She was definitely helping me to keep my pace, I don’t know if I was helping her, but it was kind of cool. When we finally reached the last few turns I kicked it up a notch. I tried to sprint, which really was probably only just under 9:00, but I wanted to finish strong. And I did!! I had my name called at the finish, super cool. Then got my medal and coin, shirt, and rose and some orange juice and made my way to the reunion area.


My finish time was 4:06:15!!! So much better than I could have ever dreamed of! But if you take away the extra half mile and 4 1/2 minutes, my time was probably closer to 4:01:30. If I had known that I actually went extra, and I was really close to a sub-4 hour, I might have tried to go a bit faster!!! Oh well, again. I still ran a strong race, did not get injured, and had a blast!! I really, really liked having all of the spectators there. That was amazing. It helped SO much, especially in the later miles when things were getting harder.

So that’s it, my first marathon experience! Still can’t believe I actually finished!! And a week later, I’m feeling pretty good. Haven’t run yet again, but I’m planning on one today. I’ll just take it nice and easy 🙂

Taking up space at the pool

My workouts have been going good so far this week. Not quite as planned, but that’s okay.

Yesterday I did 50 minutes of spin in the morning, followed by 35 minutes of weights. I swung my 44# kettlebell for 3 sets of 12! I did pretty well on my chin-ups too, did all but 3 of my 36 with 1 knee in the blue band. The other 3 I had to do 1 leg. I was feeling pretty strong and badass after this one LOL I had planned to go to the pool for running after work, but I got off too late and would have only been able to do a half hour. So I just came home and put my 20# weight vest on and walked on the treadmill, playing with the incline for an hour. I got all the way up to 12! And felt like I was going to die. It was a good workout though. I ended the day with 30 minutes of yoga. That felt awesome. Deep stretches, which I am truly loving lately.

I made sure to call the pool yesterday because they have different schedules for the high school swim team. They pretty much take over the pool for their practices, which are twice a day. They said that the kids wouldn’t be there until 7:00, so I planned on pool running in the morning and then road running in the afternoon. I got to the pool a few minutes before 5:00, got out of my car, and saw a bunch of guys hanging outside the building. I freaked out, thinking that maybe I was told wrong and the high school kids were going to be there at 5:00! I went back to my car, chicken that I am, and debated what to do. I decided I was being stupid, and I paid for my membership and deserved pool time just like anyone else, and why would they tell me the wrong day? So I went inside. It was clear there was no practice, the group of guys were navy recruits I think. I grabbed a lane and got going.

I ended up having to share a lane for a while. I felt kind of silly because here are all of these real swimmers, and I am the only one ‘jogging’ in the water. I just kept telling myself that I deserve to be there too. And tried to shut down my brain and not give a crap about it. Nobody else cared either, I’m sure LOL

I ended up staying there for 1 hour and 50 minutes, and having to wade through all of the high schoolers warming up when I was done. Taking up space again. I could go into that more, but another time 😉 I ended up going 1500 yards total, 60 times across. The longest I’ve done pool running before today was like an hour and a half, so I was pretty stoked to have stayed that long!

After work I went for my run. I planned 7 miles with some intervals mixed in. I warmed up for a mile and then started on 400s. I wasn’t really watching the pace, just trying to keep it under 8:00 and going fast until the recovery part. I was really pushing it! My heart felt like it was going to explode a couple of times and I had to start walking to recover towards the end. Doing the cool down mile totally sucked. I was going at a good pace but I could not breathe properly. I just kept going, knowing I would be done in less than 10 minutes, and then walked 1/4 mile home. I ended up doing the whole thing in just over 1 hour, 8:48 pace.

My splits were: 9:22, 8:25, 8:30 ,8:37, 8:35, 8:51, 9:12.You can see where I started to lose it. I was also having Garmin malfunctions and had to stop a few times to make it do what I wanted to! I stuck a fork in myself because I was DONE.

Now it is time for my ‘mini-taper’. I’m just going to do what I have planned, and maybe not even that if I don’t feel like it! My knee was acting up a little today, probably going too fast. So if I try to run on Thursday and it doesn’t feel good, I’ll do something else.

This week’s planned workouts

I’m still winging it since I screwed up my training so bad this past month. But I do have a plan that will hopefully get me to the finish line – expert that I am. (Disclaimer – I am so NOT an expert so don’t listen to me.)

Monday – Spin bike and weights in the morning, pool running and yoga/stretch/foam rolling in the afternoon and evening. My plan is 3 hours of cardio, so if I need to do more I will incline walk on my treadmill.

Tuesday – 7-ish mile run with some intervals and a mini strength routine in the morning, more pool running and yoga/stretch/foam after work. Again I’m aiming for 3 hours of cardio.

Wednesday – Spin for 45 minutes – an hour in the morning, more yoga/stretching in the evening.

Thursday – 5 mile run, yoga/stretch.

Friday – REST

Saturday – 2-3 mile run.

Sunday – Marathon!

My 3 hours of cardio won’t all be as hard as I can go. Some of it will, but most of it will be under my running heart rate. That’s why I want to do so much of it. I hope that it will help endurance-wise.

No rhyme or reason to this schedule, just what I feel like will be the most beneficial. I know I still need to do a couple of really hard days, and then let my body rest and reset and get ready to run forever LOL

Hopefully this gets me to the finish line and in a good time! I do care about the finish time, but most importantly I just want to finish 😀

Marathon Training Week 16

It was a busy week! I was glad to get back to the pool, and my spin workouts were really good. Tough. I felt like I worked hard all week and definitely enjoyed my rest day on Saturday.

Monday – I did elliptical for 1 hour 3 minutes, 8.36 miles.  I was sweating pretty good, but my heart rate didn’t really get up very high at all, my average was only 117.  I also did weights for 35 minutes. That was tough, since I had taken 3 weeks off from that too. But I was able to up some of my weights with lower reps!

Tuesday – I managed a 6.44 mile run in 1 hour, 9:19 pace. I warmed up for about 15 minutes, did 2 minutes fast and 2 minutes recovery 7 times, then ran the rest of the way home, about 18 minutes. Everything felt pretty good! The knee felt a little weird at first, but once I was warmed up I really didn’t have any issues. I hope that it stays that way! I also biked to and from work, 40 minutes and 5.65 miles. Nothing to write home about, just a little extra activity. After dinner I did this yoga video and it was exactly what I needed. I was SO sore all day and this really loosened me up and got me nice and relaxed. Love that feeling 😀

Wednesday – Spin for an hour, then I did weights for about 40 minutes in the morning before work. After work I went to the rec center and did pool running for an hour. Later on I did some yoga to stretch everything out.

Thursday – 9 mile run, 9.23 miles in 1 hour and 28 minutes, 9:35 pace. I was trying to keep my pace around 9:10 for the most part besides my warmup and cool down miles, but I stopped a few times so my overall pace was higher. Nothing hurt though!!! I felt a few niggles in my ankle, but I just tried to keep good form and everything was fine. I did the Standard Warmup before and after. After was pretty funny, I could barely move, and even  just reaching down to my toes was so painful lol But once I got into it I was glad I had done it. I wasn’t super stiff and sore later on so I think it helped. After work I went to the rec center again and did pool running for 1 hour and 20 minutes, 850 yards. After I got done I tried swimming a few laps. I suck so bad at swimming lol I ended up doing backstroke mostly.

Friday – Spin bike 1 hour, then weights. After work I put on my 20# weight vest and walked on the treadmill, 1 hour/3.3 miles changing up the incline every 5 minutes or so. It was a climb from level 3 to 9, and then a shorter ‘descent’ After that I did yoga for about 40 minutes.

Saturday – Thought about riding my bike outside for a couple of hours, but I didn’t end up doing anything. I decided a rest day was probably a good idea after all I’d done this week!

Sunday – Ran 18 miles! 2:57:29 for a 9:51 pace. This included all of my walk breaks and stops, so I think that’s pretty good! I walked every 2 miles, and fueled at miles 4,7,10,13, and 16. I really wanted to try and go 20 miles, but after 18 I was just beat. And it was almost 3 hours anyway. I didn’t want to push my luck so I just walked home for about 10 minutes. That was painful LOL I took a very cold ice bath after I did my warmup moves again. The knee and ankle were not hurting, but I could tell there was something going on. Too much time on my feet. So far though they feel okay and not hurt **knocking on wood**

It was a long, tough week! But I feel like it’s working. After my long run today I laid around for a while, but now that I’m up doing stuff like making dinner I feel pretty good. I feel worked, but good. Hopefully it stays that way! One more week of as much workouts as I can stand and then it will be time to take it easy,-er.

2 1/2 weeks out

I’m 2 1/2 weeks out from the marathon. I’d like to be more excited than I am, but I am totally unprepared! At least that’s how I feel. It’s hard not to be depressed about how my training has gone. All last year I focused on strength and base building, hoping that I would avoid injury when it finally came down to training for the marathon. Things feel like they have spiraled out of control. I don’t know what I could have done differently, except for a few things like,

  • Not drinking at all, and therefore taking too much time off from working out (though in total I have only probably missed a month or so of workouts the whole year).
  • Not messed around with my shoe choice, trying out too many different things, especially so far into my training – it didn’t do me any favors and maybe made things worse.
  • Picked a different plan? I already downgraded from the one I wanted to do (Hanson’s Marathon method) to less running, and apparently I couldn’t even handle that. I know many people say the FIRST method blows, but honestly it’s looking more and more appealing to me for future attempts. Maybe my getting-older body just can’t hack the higher mileage.

Things I can’t change anyway, so why dwell on them? All I can do now is move forward. I could do the thing that is probably the most smart, and just not run. But that’s not happening, unless I end up not being able to walk after a run up to the race *knock on wood BIG time!*. I’ve decided it’s ON, no matter how ugly it might end up being LOL

So far this week I’ve run 6 miles and some change, doing intervals and things feel relatively good (knocking on wood again!). I felt pretty worked yesterday from weights the day before, but I rode my bike to work anyway. I’ve been doing yoga/stretching at night to work out the kinks. Today I plan on doing some spinning with lots of intervals, then weights, and possibly a pool run later. And more yoga/stretching. Tomorrow will be 8 miles or so with more cycling and yoga. I guess the idea will be to kind of run myself into the ground almost up to the week of the race, and then cool it so that I can recover and feel ready to run 26.2 miles. It will either work or it won’t! If I have to run/walk it I will. It definitely isn’t how I wanted it to go, as I was feeling like I would be able to kill it earlier in the year. Oh well. I can always try again? Or not. I haven’t thought that far ahead and think it’s best that I don’t 😉

Marathon Training Week 15?

I think I just finished week 15. I guess there are 3 weeks left of an 18 week plan, so yeah. Not much to speak of for this week though. I will say that I was thinking about it, and when we were on vacation we were walking and hiking a ton almost every single day. So it’s not like I was sitting around doing nothing…anyway.

Tuesday – I ran 4 miles. It went okay, considering I hadn’t run in 3 weeks. 42 minutes, 9:20 pace.

Thursday – Ran 8 milesThis was a struggle. I guess I was still recovering from vacation and too much booze. Had a hard time breathing and was super tired after. 1 hour 14 minutes, 9:18 pace. I know I walked a few times when it got to be too hard.

Saturday – Biked for 19.6 miles, 1 hour 33 minutes. This was tough too lol I had planned to go for 2 hours, but I felt like I did enough and I didn’t want to trash my legs for my run on Sunday.

Sunday – Ran 12 miles!! I walked for 30-40 seconds out of each mile, just trying to be careful and hopefully stay pain free. I just went at an easy pace so I wouldn’t get worn out too soon. So far so good! I’m not feeling any ill effects, *knock on wood*. I don’t really want to be doing a run/walk for the marathon, but if it is what I have to do to keep from feeling pain then I’ll do it. 1 hour 57 minutes, 9:46 pace. Not too shabby in spite of all of my walk breaks.

I had my phone with me on today’s run and tried to take some pictures of me running when I was done. Didn’t work out so well lol These were the only ones I ended up actually in the shot. LOL

20160918_080155 20160918_080140

Guess I will practice some more next time and see what I come up with

So, not a very productive week. But I’m finally feeling better and I’m going to get in my cross training this week. I already paid for another month at the rec center so I’m planning on getting to the pool for running tomorrow. And I’ll be back to riding my bike to work as long as the weather is good.


It’s been so long…

That my computer didn’t even want to log me in to post here, haha. I haven’t been doing my marathon training posts because well, I haven’t been training. 🙁 I had a bad couple of weeks where I didn’t have any motivation, and then we needed to move up our vacation, so we did that last week. I am just now coming around to getting back to a place of normal. All I’ve done this week is one 4 mile and one 8 mile run. I’m planning a 12 miler tomorrow, but I’m not even sure that is a good idea. On the plus side, so far my body feels pretty good after those runs?!

Add to that that we have already taken the vacation that was planned around the marathon…I don’t even know how to feel. I’m not going to give up yet though.

Today I plan on getting another month’s pass to the rec center so I can get back to the pool running. I think I will try and do the 12 miles tomorrow and see how my body feels. And I have got to get back to the spin bike and strength training.

I’m feeling like it is incredibly stupid to try at this point, but here’s the thing. I’m pretty tough. Even if I just cross train all the way up until the race, I think I can get it done (might not be pretty!) without too much damage. And we already bought tickets to fly back up to Portland and a hotel room for a few nights. So either I’ll be there running the marathon, or I’ll be there and not running it.

So after almost a week and a half of vacation and indulging in too much food and booze, I’m still not feeling my best but I’m working on it. Hopefully I’ll feel all better tomorrow!

Maybe I’ll get a vacation recap together, though we all know how I am about those things lol

Marathon Training Week 11

I feel like I should title it “Marathon Training”. How can you call it training without even doing any running?!

This week actually went pretty well, even with no running.

Monday – I did pool running for 1 hour and 5 minutes. I think I did 900 yards. Sometimes I lose track of my laps 😉 It seemed like a good working, not like running but still a workout. I also did workout #9 of Better Body by Minimalism. After a week off from weights it was tough! I did some random core moves afterward. I also rode my bike to work and back, about 6.25 miles.

Tuesday – I did the spin bike for 45 minutes, mostly staying at gear 11, with some intervals mixed in at the end. Then I did elliptical for 35 minutes at level 6, just trying to keep my heart rate up. I also did a ZGYM workout, lower bodyweight moves and kettlebells. In the evening I did a 20 minute yoga routine aimed at the feet. It was…interesting!

Wednesday Pool running again, this time an hour and a half. I’m guessing about 1100 yards this time. My quads were definitely feeling it after this one. I was getting pretty worn out by the end of it! I also did another ZGYM workout, mostly kettlebells again. In the evening I did another yoga video, Stretch and Soothe with Adriene. I am really liking her videos!

Thursday – I did the spin bike for 1 hour. I tried to keep the rpms around 90, mostly on gears 10 and 11. Added 20 minutes of intervals at the end. I was dripping in sweat by the end! I also did workout #10 of BBBM. I made some good progress with my band pull-ups, most of them I was able to do with 1 knee instead of 1 leg. I also rocked my kettlebell swings at the end, doing two sets of 12 with my 44# bell 😀 In the evening I did some yoga, no video, just some vinyasas and deep stretching.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – were all ‘rest’ days. We went camping and had a blast!! We rented kayaks and spent a few hours on the reservoir paddling and fishing. We didn’t do much hiking, mostly just relaxed. It was a much needed break from work and we had a lot of fun.

This week hasn’t been as productive, but I’m still doing my best.

My new bike

I mentioned I got a new bike a couple of weeks ago. Here it is!

Isn't she lovely?!

Isn’t she lovely?!

So far I’ve taken it to work and back a few times, and went out for a long ride on the parkway trail. So far so good! Not that I really know anything about bikes though 😉 It is the Cannondale Quick Speed 2. I’m loving the disc brakes, like, a lot. I’m not looking to do super long rides or train for any bike races, more just for recreational riding. Like I said, so far I’m pretty happy with it! It is a lot easier to ride on the ride than my super old bottom-end Trek mountain bike.

I’ve been wanting a new bike for a while, and I figured that even if I just rode it in the evenings instead of sitting on the couch it would be worth it. And my daughter is so big now that she has grown out of her bike and taken over my old one anyway! So I needed one. I’ve since made a goal that I will ride to work instead of driving at least 3 times a week.

One thing I have noticed when wearing my Fitbit while riding is that it is pretty hard to get my heart rate up. Most of the time I’m around 115-125, compared to running at an easy pace where my heart rate would be 130-135. Since I will be using it to get some of my cross training in while I’m not running, I’d like to get that heart rate up if I can! So I’ll have to play with it some more and find what works.


Marathon Training Week 10

Well, it was not a good week here. After my long run, my left side was completely messed up. I don’t know what’s going on, but there is a spot on the inside of my calf, like right under the knee joint I guess? It was extremely sore and when I pushed on it, it HURT. So I spent the next few days just being depressed and wondering what in the hell I was going to do. I skipped a few workouts because things did not feel okay and I didn’t want to keep screwing my body up 🙁

Monday and Tuesday – No workouts.

Wednesday – Felt better, so I decided to try out a few miles. I ended up doing 4 miles. I started out in my minimal NB trail shoes, but it didn’t seem like a good idea so I went back home and changed into my Newton Gravity’s for the remaining 3. I was just going slow, trying not to feel pain. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great. 41 minutes, 9:56 pace. I also started riding my new bike to work! I rode about 6.3 miles in 35 minutes or so. Wasn’t exactly timing it. It went good, except I got a flat tire on my way in! I took it to REI and a really nice woman gave me a tire changing lesson.

Thursday – Didn’t have tons of pain from the day before, so I decided to run some intervals. Yes, I am brilliant, I know! I did 6.46 miles, warming up for 20 minutes before running 400s. It did not go well. For some of it, I didn’t have any issues. But that caught up with me. I said fuck it at 4 miles, turned off my watch, and started walking and trying not to cry. But I started my watch back up and finished the last of my intervals and a 10 minute cool down. 57:43, 8:56 pace. I still don’t know what the deal is, I was thinking it was bursitis, but I really don’t know. Anyway. This one left me feeling super depressed again, but I was happy that I knocked out the sub 8:00 intervals. I also did a ZGYM workout after my run.

Friday – Fed up, I finally decided to try pool running. I was SO nervous to do this! I know it sounds silly, but there were so many reasons I didn’t want to go, even though I really DID want to try it. I thought I would feel stupid, what if there were tons of people there? What if I couldn’t do it?! I just made myself get ready and go. I got to the pool at 5:05 am and there was hardly anyone there. Whew! I still had to make myself go from the locker room to the pool, and it was hard lol I finally got in the pool and ended up going for an entire hour! I don’t know if I was doing it right, but I just kept going. I felt like I got a good workout, and when I got out of the pool I could really feel my quads. I timed myself going across a few times, and I guessed that I was going the length of the pool in about 2 1/2 minutes. So I might have gone 600 yards. I was super glad that I went. I felt my knee a little here and there, but nothing major. I also rode my bike to work and back again, so another 6 miles or so.

Saturday – No workout.

Sunday – I thought about running, but in the end decided my knee wasn’t feeling good enough. So I got out on my bike! I rode first for an hour with my daughter, which was kind of just like a leisure ride 😉 After I dropped her back off at home I went back out for more of a workout. I ended up going 25.10 miles in 1:54:52/13.1 mph. Not bad! I felt my knee a little bit, but nothing  to talk about. I was glad to get out for that long and that far. Maybe I’ll go even longer next week if I still cannot run.

So not a stellar week by any means. But I still got some things done, and I think I’m finally in a better mood. I’ve been depressed and pissed off all week. It doesn’t really help. Whatever happens will have to be good enough. If I stay fit and strong, maybe I can still manage the marathon in just 8 weeks : O