Note: Sorry for the late posting!
I left Seattle on Saturday morning by train to make it to Portland by the afternoon. However, there were issues with the train – they had to replace a wheel and there were some brake issues. I ended up leaving an hour and a half late.
I finally arrived in Portland in the afternoon. I made my way to the hotel by the waterfront. It was right near the finish line and not too far from the start. Check into the hotel, dropped my stuff off and went to Subway for lunch. I think I wolfed down my food in a matter of minutes. Jumped on Max to the convention center.
At the Expo I picked up my bib, swag bag and walked around the expo for about 45 minutes. The expo wasn’t too packed, which was really nice! Much easier to check out each of the booths. I must have had about 10 samples of various food and energy chews. Needless to say, I was stuffed!
I headed back to the hotel to drop off my swag bag and relax a bit before dinner. I forgot that about 75% of the swag bag is papers and other stuff that I don’t really want. What a waste! I wish they didn’t fill it with so much waste that will just gend up in the trash!
I had no idea what to eat for dinner. I checked Yelp for Italian restaurants and found one that sounded good. However, I could not find it even with the map on my phone! Pretty frustrating, but finally decided on Romano’s Macaroni Grill. I would have rather ate at a local restaurant, but was pretty hungry and just wanted to eat! I ordered a nice bowl of pasta with meat sauce. It really hit the spot and I didn’t feel too full.
Again back to the hotel to relax and get ready for tomorrow. Did my my usual list of things the night prior to a race – laid out my running clothes for the next day, tied my timing chip to my shoes, attached my bib, charged my Garmin, set an alarm for 6:15AM and checked the weather. I usually check a bag into gear check, but luckily did not have anything to check in this time. For the rest of the night I just watched some television. I went to bed around 10:30PM.
Slept really well! Woke up about 6AM, 15 minutes earlier than expected, but still got up and got ready. Showered, dressed, stretched and was ready to go! I did put one of the samples, Jelly Belly Sports Beans, in my back pocket in case I needed an extra boost during the race. Off I went! The start line was just a few blocks from the hotel, so it was a short walk and a nice warm up.
Arrived at the start line, grabbed a water and half a bagel. I was looking for bananas, but the bagel ended up hitting the spot. Found corral 7 and stretched a little bit more. By now it was about 7:45, so had 15 minutes before the race started. The music really got me pumped to run, specifically Calvin Harris “Feel So Close”. I’m not sure why. It was the right song for the right time.
It was finally time for my corral to make it’s way to the start line. We had about 45 seconds to kill, so the announcer held us back. Then…3, 2, 1 and off we went!!
The first 4 miles I ran a nice pace – it just right. I was loving the course! I’ve never been to the east side of Portland. I didn’t know where I was going, which was really nice. No expectations! The bands were nicely spaces, but at some points it seemed that there weren’t any for too long of a stretch.
Around mile 5 there was a nice big hill. As I approached it, I saw a lot of people stop and start to walk up it. The hill reminded me of one of the hills I trained on, so it wasn’t a big deal to me. It was like I was training at home! I powered up the hill and didn’t look back.
After mile 6 it was pretty much down hill until mile 12. I love that there were a lot of people cheering along the way, being that it was so early and that it was the first time this race was held. Some were eating breakfast and had setup a table on the sidewalk. Other were ringing bells, playing music, holding signs and cheering. I have to admit that I was a little emotional around mile 7 when I realized that all the people were out there cheering for everyone. The last few miles I was in my zone. I know I was so close to the finish line. A slight sprinkle of rain started, but it wasn’t that bad. There was a slight uphill at mile 13 and then it flattened out.
When I got close to the finish line, I heard someone yell my name. It was fellow San Francisco Marathon Ambassador Albert! He finished about a half hour earlier (yeah, he’s fast!). He ran with me for a short while. We talked for a bit and he snapped some pictures. And before you know it, I crossed the finish line! My time was just under 2 hours – official time 1:59:57!
I was in quite the daze after I was finished. I picked up my medal, water, Gatorade, snacks, etc. My arms were full! I finished most of it and made my way over to the free beer booth (priorities!). Drank most of it. It started to rain more and I was getting really cold. I was ready to head back to the hotel to relax before I had to head back to Seattle.
Showered, relaxed, had a quick lunch and headed to the train station. Waited at the train station for awhile to find out that the train would be delayed. 3 hours later I finally boarded the train! When I arrived in Seattle I took a taxi home, since it was a bit late for buses.
Overall I had an awesome time in Portland. I plan to run Rock n Roll Portland 2013!