Friday, November 8, 2013

2013 Oregon Marathon Race Report

Well, like most of my posts of late, this race report is a long time coming.  On Saturday, I ran the Silver Falls trail marathon and I'd like to write up my report about it but feel that I really shouldn't before writing about The Oregon Marathon.

The Oregon Marathon took place on September 28th... yes, well over a month ago.  When Heather and I didn't have the races we had hoped for at Newport, we thought maybe we could aim for PRs at the new Oregon Marathon.  It seemed like a great course, a point to point run, all on a paved path with lots of bridges and beautiful fall leaves, plus it was on a Saturday, which seems to be hard to come by.  Then, the rest of summer happened and McKenzie River happened and then the weather happened and we decided, we'd be happy to just run a nice race with a solid effort.  Audrey, coming off her high of being a first time marathoner (at Newport) got sucked into running with us.  When race day eve came as well as the rain and wind, we found ourselves in our Portland area motel, debating race day attire and strategies for running through puddles.

I ultimately decided to repeat my outfit from McKenzie river solely because the skirt and tank seemed to do well with water when I was taking my ice bath in the river.  Seems reasonable, no?  I didn't regret that decision.  I did regret, however, not wearing a hat... that would've been a great thing to have on to keep the torrential downpour out of my eyes.  My other big dilemma was wether or not to carry water.  It took up until we were loading the busses for me to opt against the water.   Anyway...

Race day morning, we found the start easily enough and donned some awesome disposable ponchos, that Heather was kind enough to bring for us, while we picked up our packets.  I was excited to score the Oregon one, it was game day after all.  We rushed back to the car to get our numbers adjusted, figure out what gear to bring, take a few selfies
 then  head to the buses for the ride to the start.  As we were walking to the busses, I started my period (which was Mother Nature's way of saying, oh, you don't think this pouring rain and wind is enough, I'll show you... ha ha ha... needless to say I wasn't amused) so it was back to the car for supplies then again toward the buses.  It was still really dark out and in my attempt to find a Port-a-potty I managed to step into a mid-calf deep mud puddle... so much for trying to keep my feet dry.  Finally though, we made it onto the bus, where all the fun began.  Well, really just some sitting around and more fuzzy/blurry pics:
After we sat for a while, we were told to get off the bus and onto a different one (which was a relief because our original driver didn't seem as though he knew the way) and all of a sudden we were on our way.  After about 20 minutes on the bus, we arrived at the starting point for the marathon (Banks high school, maybe, I can't remember) where we were treated to indoor plumbing and a roof over our heads to keep warm and stretch a bit.  After not too long, we were corralled outside for some pre-race instructions and staggered starts about every 30 seconds or so.  And then we were off.

We didn't really have too much of a race plan other than to just run.  I wanted to enjoy the race and stay with Heather and Audrey and I think for the most part they wanted to run around or slightly under 9 minute pace.  This all went as planned for the first little while.  I felt pretty good and the rain had pretty much tapered off for the first hour or so.  Somewhere around mile 8 or 9, though we got separated and I pulled a bit away from the other two even though my pace seemed to slow down.
Miles 1-9:
Then the rain started and I began battling with myself as to my plan.  I felt pretty comfortable in the paces I had been running but also decided that maybe if I picked it up a bit I could actually PR and what better way to run a marathon in crappy weather then to make the absolute best of it.  I decided to go for it.  For the most part, it was going really, really well... until it wasn't.
Miles 10-19
I'm not really sure what happened other than I hit a point where it just wasn't working out anymore.  This was between miles 20 and 21.  Maybe I had picked up my pace a little too much?
All of a sudden I started feeling really sick to my stomach and my legs started cramping.  I walked a decent amount of mile 21, while I tried to work out some kinks and get my stomach happy.  It helped a bit and I was able to rally for mile 22.
Unfortunately, though that would be the last mile I saw in the 8s as my pace slipped further and further away and my stomach felt sicker and sicker until I was plagued with dry heaves between miles 24 and 25 (right as we got into town and there were tons of cars/spectators/random people in restaurants of course) and cramps from my toes to my hips in both legs that I could not seem to make go away.  In fact I stood, holding onto a fence, with less than half a mile to go at mile 25 because every step I took my entire leg seized up.  It was the most awful thing ever... I could hear the finish line announcer!!!  I probably would've been in tears but instead I was so frustrated that I was laughing.
Miles 23-26
Had it not been for those last few awful miles, I would've felt much better about my race.  For the most part I feel that I stayed relatively consistent with my pacing.  There were obvious fluctuations but nothing too dramatic until the very end.  I'm not sure what the upset tummy came from, although it was most likely my fueling plan.  I think that I didn't take quite enough water in with the amount of electrolytes I was consuming and I might have had too many of them.  I followed my McKenzie River plan with a salt tab every hour along with a clif shot roughly every 6 miles.  A couple of times the aid station wasn't where I expected it to be and I ran further than I would've liked without being able to wash down my fuel.  As for the cramping, I'm really not sure the best way I can combat that.  I've tried salt tabs, I've loaded up on bananas and coconut water pre race, I've done the Magarita shot blocks... it might just be something I have to deal with.  Anyway, here are the end results:

pace 9:05 average
65th of 158 finishers
20th of 92 female finishers
5th of 21 age group finishers (30-34)

I don't have any race photos because I didn't run with my phone due to the super soggy conditions.  I did manage to snag a few from Uberthons though:
It really was a beautiful course.  If it hadn't been for the rain and wind, it might have been a wonderful race.
 Afterwards, they had sandwiches and hot chocolate.  If I could've stopped shaking long enough to get my hot chocolate down, it might have even helped warm me up.  I'm not sure I've ever been so cold.
Heather finished not too long after me, in 4:09:29 and Audrey, who had major cramping issues, not too far behind her in 4:17:54.  It definitely wasn't the race we were hoping for as a "make up for our less than stellar showing at Newport" but we showed up and ran (which is more than a lot of people did) in the rain and the wind and I'd like to believe that we're a lot tougher for it.  I can definitely say that I'm not looking to run another race through typhoon remnants anytime soon though.

Oh, and you'll be happy to note that Cookie Monster survived yet another race.  Ha!

1 comment:

Raina R. said...

Well, that looks pretty wet to me. I can imagine the feeling of not being able to even hold hot chocolate!
Another tough effort and a bad weather day. The leg cramps sound horrible.. :/ If you survive this, you deserve a medal! You deserve a perfect weather race with no stomach issues, cramping, etc.. I am curious.. Have you ever ran without fueling at all during the run?