The Portland Marathon was hard, and it hurt a lot. I awoke at 4:45 AM on the day of the marathon and noted the pouring rain outside. It would continue to rain almost non-stop until after I had finished the race. By 6:45 AM I was wrapped in a plastic garbage bag and huddling under some available cover at the Convention Center with at least 150 other runners in my coral waiting for the 7:00 AM start time. I was in the light blue "D" group, so it was closer to 7:15 AM when we actually started moving.
The start of the race was great! The drum core, the shouts of the spectators! However a mere hour into the race I knew I was going to be in for some hurt. My left knee and hip were starting to bother me, and all I could think was that I pushed it too hard when I had done the Bellingham Bay 1/2 marathon 2 weeks prior to this. So I decided to take it slow and try and finish in under 4:30 rather than delude myself with any idea of a faster finish time. Originally I thought if everything was perfect I could conceivably finish in under 4:00, but just an hour into the run I knew that wasn't going to happen.
Around mile 17 or 18 both hips were really starting to hurt, which is something I had never experienced before when running. By mile 20 I was just trying to keep up with the 4:30 pacer, but by mile 22 the pacer was out of site and I was constantly stopping to stretch and walk. Walking really didn't ease the pain, and starting running again really hurt. I felt as though I had tons of energy, it's just that I hurt. Bad.
I vowed to run my last 3 miles in without taking any walking breaks, if for no reason other than it hurt so bad to start running after I had stopped to walk a bit. I even picked up the pace a bit around mile 25, however seeing mile 26 totally energized me and I gave it everything I had and ran as fast as I could, trying to not let anyone pass me that last 365 feet (one guy definitely did, but he finished only a second ahead of me). In the end I finished at 4:44:00. Despite the pain and cold, all I could think of is that I can't wait until my next marathon so that I can improve upon that time!