Thursday - My Denver Gal Pal and I met up, checked into our weird hotel and had lunch (1 bottle of wine down, for those counting). Then we shopped it up as only we know how. On our way back to hotel, we picked up mas vino to "get ready" (2 down). It was her bday so we went to a fun restaurant called "OBA" in the Pearl District (3rd bottle down). Then it was time for the blogger meet up. I was a bit nervous, but knew we would have fun. Plus with 1.5 bottles of wine in my system, nerves were not an issue. I am waiting for my gal pal to send the pics, but the meet up was Gazelle, Junk Miles, Alisa, Jen, HTC, and Carrie. I think I had 2 martinis. What happens at a blogger meet up, stays at a blogger meet up. That is all. (Queue barf-o-rama here.)
Friday-Saturday - Rest, eat, sleep, rest, sight see, rest. We went to the Expo on Saturday. I love expos. Running + Shopping = My dream day. But I have to say I was a bit disappointed in the expo. Not enough snacky food samples, small, crowded and kinda boring. The Long Beach expo was at the Convention Center and was just huge. I guess I was expecting the same thing. The only memorable part was a creepy experience. As we were walking out of the hotel this guy comes running after me. Apparently my girls noticed that he had been following us since we arrived. He asked if I was running the marathon. (Uhm, that seems quite obvious with the big green "Portland Marathon" bag I was holding as I was walking out of the marathon expo... just saying). I said, "yes, I am." Then he said that I was the most beautiful girl he has ever seen, but I probably have a boyfriend. Then he ran off. Literally. Something you might expect from a 11 yr old, but a 40+ makes it funny. Poor guy, obviously he doesn't get out much.
Sunday - Marathon DAY!!!
We woke up bright and early, ate some toast, peanut butter, banana, cereal and an apple. We got down to the race with about 45 mins to use the awesome porto-potties (my least favorite thing in the universe), drop off our stuff and get to the starting line. All my girls run at different paces, so we decided to line up somewhere in the middle. They knew my 4 hour goal and we talked about not running together once the gun goes off. We squeezed our way to the 4:45 pace group. But right at the last minute, I told him I was going to try to get closer. I managed to get to the 4:30 pace group, but luckly I was at the front of it.
And we're off. The weather (at this point) was nice and I think I block out my surroundings when I run. I remember staring at my Garmin thinking I was on pace. I also remember trying to remind myself to ENJOY THE MOMENT and LOOK AROUND. There were some nice views - lots of sexy runner man legs and some hotties (that I passed!) I think around mile 4 or so, it started raining. I was really cold. I mean REALLY cold. Once I post some pics, I'm sure you will be able to tell how cold I was... if you know what I mean. The muscles in my legs started to cramp. The race had a lot more hills then I was expecting. The rain got worse and didn't let up until the end.
I quickly caught up with the 4 hour pace group. It was a big group and annoying to run with. I don't like running with lots of people, plus I felt like they were slowing me down, so I kept my earlier pace and passed them. REPEAT: I passed the 4 hour group! I knew if I could just keep them BEHIND me, I was good to go. Mile 17 kicked my ass (huge hill). But then I saw Gazelle and Alisa around 18! I yelled "I'm sub 4!" I felt strong again. Alisa took a pic ~ In typical POM fashion, I have my hands up and a weird face. Let's all say a little prayer that the rest of my pictures are "normal." To be honest, a couple times I did have to throw up the JAZZ hands, for pure blogger entertainment purposes.
Then it gets weird up in herre. Somewhere in the middle of the race, I started doing some math in my head. You know the math - if I run at X pace for Y minutes, then I can finish in XY time. Mid-race, I got it my silly little head that maybe I could qualify for Boston. Now, let me tell ya - BOSTON has never been a dream of mine. I don't really care about it to be honest. I would rather run NY or some other country. But the ability to say "I QUALIFIED for Boston" seems really, really cool. Now this is in my head and I'm trying to haul ass..
Mile 20 hits me. Literally. Mile 2o sucked. My legs were so tight and sore and cold. I tried to think Bikram thoughts, but that didn't work. I remember some guy in red telling me to relax my shoulders and push my hips forward. I remember thinking "F*&% off Red Shirt Guy." I tried to get back to my happy place and stay focused and positive. It was hard. My thoughts were slipping to how much this hurt. My training runs never hurt like this, then again, I train on super-flat ground and in warmer weather. At mile 22, I realized that Boston was a SHORT LIVED PIPE DREAM(like 45 minutes short lived).
Not sure why I was so emotional, but I burst into tears on the course at mile 22. Yes, I cried. Then I couldn't breath. But I kept running. I was doing some weird maternity breath thing trying to get my head back to a normal place and stop crying.
Luckily, I saw 3 studly guys in front of me. This is when I decided to start picking people off. I had 4 more miles and those guys were NOT going to beat me. For some reason I take great satisfaction beating men, especially fit ones. Then I saw a big booty skirt girl - no way was she going to beat me. Then I saw something really gross that I can't bare to blog about it. I definately couldn't let this girl beat me. My little head game got me through to mile 25.
I knew I was be sub 4 and was relived. I was honestly worried about not making my goal and having to tell you all that I failed. I crossed the finish line and realized I didn't have anyone waiting for me. I knew this before I started, obviously. But it hit me hard when I was finished. Here I am - done with the marathon, completely alone, emotional and freezing. I burst into tears again. But these tears wouldn't stop. I was hyperventilating and totally out of it. I grabbed a chocolate milk and banana. There was nowhere to just lounge around - a big lawn - nothing. So I sat on the curb, caught my breath, tried to stretch, took a pic, then went to the sidelines to wait for my girls. I wished the Captain was there.
Overall, the race had goods and bads. The adorable Chiarunner has a better detailed report about the race... the homeless, the hills, etc. I love the city of Portland, but not sure I could deal with the gloomy skies and so much rain.
I'm proud of my time.
I'm sore as hell.
I'm happy to be done training (for a while at least).
Pics to follow.