Monday, June 3, 2013

2013 Newport Marathon Race Report

Quick look at the stats before the really, really long report... with lots of pictures:

Newport Marathon, Newport, OR
June 1, 2013
Overall:  339/751
Division Place:  133/385
Age Group Place:  (30-34) 31/77
Official Time:  4:01:17 (not my worst... but close)

June 1st was the 15th edition of the Newport Marathon, which I was lucky enough to be running with two of my awesome friends, Heather and Audrey.  I drove up from Coos Bay Friday afternoon to meet the girls, who were driving over from Eugene.  I beat them by a little bit, so I spent some time lounging near the beach reading a book and thinking to myself that life doesn't get much better than that.
The view while I waited.
The drive up the coast had been beautiful and the weather in Newport was phenomenal.  I just knew that it was going to be an amazing weekend.

Once H & A arrived we got checked into our motel (which "lucky for us" (ha ha, more like lucky for them) they had one last room and one last rollaway bed available, since they lost the original reservation) then we headed to race headquarters to pick up our race swag and bib numbers.
"543" a reminder to not go out too fast and get progressively faster.
Ha ha. Nice try.
We were surprised to find that race day shirts were true finisher shirts and only handed out upon completion of the marathon.  I think that is great (outside of the fact that I like to sleep in my race shirt the night before for good luck) and think all races should do that.  Then we loaded up into the car to scout out the course.  (I'll incorporate those pictures later.)  

By the time we had completed our course preview, we were ready to run and, more importantly, ready to eat dinner.  After a quick discussion, we decided on Panini (I think?) but arrived to find it closed so settled for our 2nd choice, Cafe Mundo, which ended up being a fantastic decision.  It was delicious and had a fun atmosphere with eclectic art and a live band complete with it's own groupies fun older ladies dancing it up to the music.
Before we knew it, it was 9:30 and we desperately needed to get back to our motel for some sleep, but not before taking one last picture of the beach (from our room, awesome view no?!)
 and the obligatory "race day outfit ready to go" shot.
A quick nights rest (with only limited interruption from what sound like basketballs bouncing on the floor above us) and we woke to a beautiful, slightly overcast, perfect day to run.
another shot from our room, don't think I'll ever get tired of that view
We dressed and ate and foam rolled and headed out the door to wait for the shuttle,
Audrey, Me, Heather... ready to go in our throw away shirts,
although I've grown kid of attached to cookie monster and ended up checking him.
which was a short wait and an even shorter ride to the start... we could've walked but then we wouldn't have had this awesome shuttle selfie:

We got to the start line at 6:30 (for the 7am start) which gave us plenty of time to stand in line for the multiple portapotties and then take a few more pre race shots.
the start line
the view 
all lined up and ready to run
It also gave me some time to text a bit with Dan and get good luck smiles from a couple of my boys just waking up.
Before too long and without much fanfare(seriously, not even the National Anthem), the race started and we were off.  I had gone back and forth as to what my race plans were and ultimately decided that I still had that 3:30 in my vision and felt like it was attainable so I parted ways with Heather and Audrey to run my own race (which would ultimately be my only real regret).  My goal was to run the first 15 miles around 8:10 pace then speed up to closer to 7:50 for the last 11ish.  Spoiler alert (in case you missed my official time above), it didn't happen... more about that later.

It really was a beautiful route.  The race started at the Yaquina Bay State Park near the haunted lighthouse and then headed through the neighborhood and shops near Nye Beach before looping back through the park and under the Yaquina Bay Bridge near mile 3 to then head to the historical Newport Bayfront and the out and back along the Yaquina Bay and River estuary.  As we were coming down to the bayfront I had to take out my phone to catch a quick picture... it was beautiful.
1 of 2 pics I took while running (the other to come later... it's a good one)
Then we headed east, into the sun and along the bay/river.  I loved the mile markers along the route.  There are permanent road signs every mile complete with a turn around sign, shortly after mile 15.
 There were also encouraging (and sometimes interesting) little rhyming signs along the way.
This group says, "Newport scenery sure is pretty... so much better than running in the city.  Newport Marathon"
 I was glad that we made a point to read all the signs on our preview drive because, as suspected, I didn't notice most of them while running the race.  It truly was a very beautiful course though.
The aid stations were manned by various Newport high school clubs and were very well organized as well as enthusiastic.  One aid station had the volunteers wearing signs on their shirts that said either "water" or "Gatorade", which I really liked.  Also, most volunteers were holding a glass of water and Gatorade and were happy to hand you one or both.  Throughout the race, there was also a spectator bus that did loops along the course and had fans yelling encouragement out the windows.  I definitely have to give the race 2 thumbs up for organization.

As for my race, I really felt like it was going well.  Shortly after parting with Heather and Audrey at the start I had to reign myself in a bit because more than anything I did not want to go out too fast. When I was staying right around 8s for the first few miles, I decided to scrap my negative split plan and do a more even split attempt.  Solid 8s would get me my 3:30 and if I stayed under 8:12 average then I could still get a 3:35 and worse case scenario (or so I thought) if could still easily manage a PR (anything under 3:49).  I'm not really sure what happened, just like in Eugene, I was feeling great and then I wasn't.  Luckily this time though, I made it to the half before I knew the 3:30 was out and to the turnaround at 15 before I realized the 3:35 was out.  Somewhere during those two miles I started feeling extremely nauseated.  I had taken 3 Margartia Clif blocks at the start and then a Strawberry Clif gel at mile 5.  I forced down 3 more of the Maragarite Clif blocks shortly after mile 10 (in an attempt to ward off cramping) and then the plan was for a Razz clif shot at 15.  Of all the flavors, Razz is my favorite and I could not get it down.  I sipped on it for probably close to half a mile before tossing more than half of it in the trash at the aid station.

After the turn around and close to the 16 mile marker I saw Heather and Audrey still running together and looking strong.  It was at that point I thought to myself, "I've made a huge mistake"and began wishing I would've stayed with them.  I contemplated turning around to join them but decided I really didn't want the extra mileage.  I also thought about just stopping and waiting for them, but I wasn't exactly sure how far back they were and I also feared that if I stopped I wouldn't start back up.  Shortly after that point I took my first walking break.  It was brief and mostly to stretch out my super tight legs, but it helped a bit and I rallied for another mile or so.

Then I stopped again, this time for a dry heave break.  I felt so sick.  I thought maybe if I could just throw up I'd feel better but I couldn't.  So, I walked a bit then a bit more than talked myself back into running.  I was definitely fighting with myself and I was losing.  Not too long after that the leg cramps started.  Nothing big enough to keep me from running, but just little ones right above both knees and way high up in my hamstrings that threatened to become major problems any time I made any big changes or attempted to speed up.  Ugh.

At mile 20, I knew that I needed to get some fuel down, so I pulled out my super caffienated, get you going, Chocolate Cherry Clif shot.  It was disgusting and my tummy did not want it, but I walked along sipping on it and chasing it with a lot of water until I managed to get most of it down.  Then I walked quite a bit more before getting running again.  I think it helped a bit because my fastest mile, since the turnaround at 15, was mile 22 (clocking in at a blazing 9:08).

At mile 22 I did some quick math (never my specialty) and realized that if I could manage 9 minute pace then I could still PR.  So off I went.  10:24.  Nope.

At mile 23 I did some more number crunching and figured that if I could get back to 10 minute pace then I could go under 4 hours.  Again, I attempted to rally.  Ha ha.  12:45!  I was done.

At mile 24 I wanted to quit.  This is when I pulled out my phone for the only other during race photo I took.
And then I walked, more than I have ever walked in any other race... ever... and that is including the 50K I ran while 17 weeks pregnant.  I threw myself a little pity party and started texting a bit with Dan. Here's how it went over the next 20+ minutes:

I was so happy to see the 25 mile marker and vowed not to walk a bit during the last mile.  I told myself I could run very, very slowly if needs be, but I would. not. walk.  Despite the slight uphill at mile 26 (or maybe because of it... I've become quite fond of hills living where I do and unable to avoid them) I managed to keep my promise.  My last mile was the 2nd fastest mile since the turnaround.  9:25, which in and of itself was pretty impressive since mile 25 was a 13:57!!!!!  

Then it was downhill and around the corner to the finish, which I was soooo, soooo happy to see and on to get my finisher's medal (best one ever, seriously) 
thanks for the picture Audrey
and awesome finisher's shirt, a 1/4 zip long-sleeved tech shirt.
I then met up with Audrey (who had passed me around mile 18 or so looking strong and went on to have a great first marathon) and then waited (but not too long) for Heather to finish... she also had issues with upset tummy and cramping.

 We got some post race snacks (just fruit for me, although there was quite a spread with clam chowder, sandwiches and beer as well) then headed to the Brooks Cavalcade of Curiosities where I was pleasantly surprised to see Raina from Small Town Runner working

and Heather was even more pleasantly surprised to win a pair of Brooks shoes!!! Awesome! (Yes, I know I use that word too much.)
After we hung out for a bit, Audrey's awesome (see, there I go again) husband, who had brought their three small girls up to surprise her, gave us a ride back to our motel where we decided, despite the 3 flights of stairs we would have to traverse,
Serious, post race effort, going down those.
a dip in the frigid Pacific Ocean was in order.
it was so worth it, though.  Best ice bath ever!
After showers and parting ways, I headed south towards home, where I took my time and stopped a few times to check out the sites along the beautiful coastal drive.
Haceta Head Lighthouse
noisy sea lions
I was happy to be home and then my heart completely melted when I got to my front door.

As if this wasn't long enough already, I have a few random thoughts:

  • I still don't think I went out too fast, it just wasn't my day. 
  •  I wore my Nathan Intensity hydration backpack, which I absolutely love but kind of wish I hadn't.  I didn't carry any water for Eugene and wished I had so I thought I'd give it a try.  I never really regretted having it on but my back and arms are really sore post race and I think it must have played a part in that.
  • I think I need to rethink my fueling.  I like to go with gels because they are easily transported, but lately it hasn't been working for me in races.  
  • Next time I run a race with friends, I think I will actually run it with them.
  • Newport is a great, great race and I definitely want to run it again... maybe even next year.
  • Heather and I are already talking about our next marathon, maybe as soon as September.  
  • We NEED that PR!
  • Oh, and in case you're curious, here is a look at all my splits:


(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

Oh my goodness, that race looks awesome.

I do love it when volunteers wear water and gatorade signs around their necks. I think all race volunteers should have to!!

Great pictures. Sorry this wasn't a better race for you.

Raina said...

Thanks for writing such a detailed race report. You always include all the important details!

Everything looked good for the first half! You were pretty evenly split for those miles..but it seems that your legs and tummy did a real number on you. That is never good. :(

I'm glad you had a chance to get to the beach. The weather was excellent post race for relaxing!
Your kids signs were adorable :))

Curious about your september plans. Will you be in Sunriver?

Diana Martinez said...

That medal is gorgeous, and I love the zip shirt! Very cool.

Sorry it wasn't your day. I hope you get the fueling figured out. I have gotten sick after my last two longer races (10 miler and a half marathon) and I think it's due to improper (read: practically non existent) fueling. No fun.

Heather said...

Loved the race report. Even though the actual race didn't go quite as we had envisioned, it was still a fun weekend. Must've been--why else would we already be discussing September!?!

Audrey Betenson said...

Loved reading this. So sorry it didn't go the way you wanted.You are always an inspiration! Thank you for being a part of my experience. Sept. sounds interesting:)

Anonymous said...

Great photos and nice recap. Sorry things didn't work out better. You are very inspiring to those of us who would never dare to run a marathon. I love reading your blog, keep up the good work!

Dick said...

Sorry you felt cruddy, Laurie. Even though you haven't done quite what you hoped on your last two marathons, you're still AWESOME!!! (I think it's a great word too.)

Marci said...

I love your thumbs down photo and the texts. It shows your sense of humor and says a lot about your relationship with your man. Those photos have me really thinking about Newport next year...did I just really say that. Delete this once you read it and we'll pretend it never happened.
Your perfect marathon is still on its way.