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Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2011

From: Janet

One from Janet about her Portland Marathon

Well, you may have already checked the results and found that I was way off the mark with a projected finish time of 4 hours - 5:13:45.  But, it was a miserable day, rain, rain, rain. I started with the 4 hour pace group, but along the way, people were commenting on how fast we were going. There were pace bands that had times for 1 mile, 5 miles, etc, and at some of these checkpoints we were ahead of schedule.  I forgot to bring my watch so I didn't know myself how fast we were going. My mom and sisters were following my progress on line and even they thought I was going too fast. 

Well, I kept up until mile 12, then fell behind at a potty break. I blame it on a gel I took at about mile 10 and because I didn’t’ drink enough water, disagreed with me in the most disagreeable way! I became focused on each mile, where there were porta-potties and just had a sort of stomach ache, cramps, and all I wanted to do was lie down somewhere. (And not die, but just lose consciousness!)  By mile 14, I was in crisis mode and had to have a serious talk with myself to keep going, it was a very special time we spent together. (Sure, I can laugh now!)

I ended up aiming for the next two miles, then the next, and so on, and I have to say, miles 25 to 26 were absolutely the hardest, longest, unbelievably painful 2 miles I've ever done! (You're all registering for marathons right after reading this, right?!)  It was cold, wet, but the bands along the way were good. I did bring my i-Pod, but it stopped working after 2 songs because of the rain, and God, I missed it!!  By the time I got to 16 miles, I just wanted to finish, and who doesn't want to run 10.2 miles in the pouring rain in soaking wet running clothes? 

My mom and sisters were waiting for me just before the finish line, so I managed to look happy for the camera. And they were happy for me that I'd done it, and honestly, I couldn't have done any better. I tried to go faster, to maybe break 5 hours, but my quads were shot.

I saw lots of people in worse shape than I was, with 6 miles to go. It's incredibly hard to make yourself keep putting one foot in front of the other, but one thing keeps you going, you have to finish. I saw someone's t-shirt that said "Pain is temporary, but finishing is forever." It may sound trite now, but it kept me going.

So that's my story, in a nutshell, what can you expect from a nut?? But please don't be discouraged from doing one yourselves. This was just an example of an especially brutal race, I've had better and believe it or not, I would consider doing another.