Saturday, April 10, 2010

Portland Marathon Clinic Long Run #1

It's been a little too long since I checked in with an update so I figured I'd better write this one out as soon as I had a chance!  Thank You, Lord for Ethan's nap - please let it be long enough for me to write a blog.  :D

This morning was the first official training run with the Portland Marathon Clinic.  The actual training runs are free to the community and draw quite a crowd.  We were CRAMMED in a pretty big Nike store in downtown Portland while we waited for things to start.  Driving downtown is a crazy step of courage on my part, especially going by myself.  Hubby asked me how I was feeling this morning before I left and I told him I was nervous to be driving downtown to meet up with a bunch of strangers. He reassured me that they probably wouldn't beat me up.  I replied that I wasn't worried about them beating me up, I was afraid they wouldn't like me.  Oh silly junior high feelings!

But I did it! I braved a drive downtown, to a Nike store (always have avoided "real sports" stores because that's where the cool kids hang out), to wait with a bunch of strangers, to run.  And I'm really glad that I did. 

Pace groups were sorted by anticipated marathon finish time.  I was put in the slowest group, which is just great with me.  We had the option of doing 4, 6, or 8 miles and I decided that I'd just do 4 because our family just got over the stomach flu and I was only able to put in half of my training miles this week.  We shuffled/jogged along at what felt at first like a SUPER slow pace, but which eventually felt comfortable.  The gal leading our pace group shared that she's in her 60's.  She told us that if we want to finish our first marathon (all of us were newbies) and even still be runners in our 60s, we were going to have to trust her and the other coaches when they tell us to do silly things like run slower than we think we should.   She also kept saying, "more is not better... it's just "more" - referring to the amount of miles you run during training.  I liked that encouraging piece of advice.  She said that if we are doing our long runs the right way, we should feel comfortable the entire time and finish feeling like we could do another 2-4 miles.  That's defiitely how I felt today, so I guess it was a good run.

I even made a new friend!  Well, sort of.  Our group had a handful of race walkers along for the fun, and I ended up doing my slow jog right next to a gal who was busting out a really fast race walk to keep up with us.  She started chatting with me and was really encouraging when she found out this was my first marathon.  It turns out she's actually one of the race walk judges this year for the Portland Marathon.  I didn't get a chance to catch her name but hope to next week.  :)  She went with the half of the group that went on to do 6 and 8 milers when I turned back with the 4 mile group. 

Now I'm all home and showered and letting my little one sleep while I get ready to head out to a wedding for a dear family friend.  All in all - it was a great first day!

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