Posted by: David Stewart | October 18, 2008

Portland Marathon 2008

No speed training this time. I’m scared of it. But the weight management and core training seems to be paying off.

Marathon number 16 was supposed to have perfect weather for a race… temps in the 50s and overcast. Unfortunately, mid-race the weather turned rainy and colder.

It was the best of times: 3:44 is a PR by 3 minutes, and 14 off of my BQ time.

It was the worst of times: An hour in the medical tent after the race.

Both of these are linked, of course. I didn’t look at my watch for pace or heart rate for the entire race. Instead I ran relaxed and “comfortably fast”. But late in the last third of the race I started wobbling a little. It’s that darn bridge at mile 17 – it can be a killer. But instead of taking an Enduralyte electrolyte tablet every hour, I advanced things to take one when I felt muscle aches coming on.

I also was trying something relatively new for me: Espresso flavored Power Shots. Each one has 200mg of caffeine, and I found them to be very helpful during my last 21 mile long run to return to that “relaxed” state.

Between the tabs and the shots and the weather, I was in a soggy, cold, and somewhat dehydrated state. Of course, I couldn’t tell that I was dehydrated – I was too wet from the rain to notice if I had stopped sweating.

So I committed the biggest rookie mistake of them all: after the finish line, I was walking around feeling queasy, and perched myself on the edge of a table. Sure enough, within a couple of minutes, my legs below my knees clenched up in a cramp so painful and intense that I couldn’t move.

The medical guys did a fireman’s carry of me into the medical tent and on to a stretcher. Blankets, IVs and a chiropractor working on my legs. First IV attempt resulted in a bent needle. Second attempt in the other arm only nicked the vein. Result? I wasn’t getting much in the way of fluids, so I started drinking and feeling warmer. The DC working the legs did a great job too. As I wandered to my car, I still felt like crap, but at least I was moving relatively well.

One of my friends got her Boston qualifying time, and is talking about running in 2010. That gives me 18 months to cut 14 minutes off my best time. Possible? I’m hoping to cut it by 7 minutes each in two races 6 months apart. Probably need to add back speed training to get there. Oh, and hydrate better!

Tucson Marathon – December 2005 – 4:15
Newport (Oregon) Marathon – June 2006 – 4:01
California International Marathon – 3:47
Newport (Oregon) Marathon – June 2007 – DNF
Portland (Oregon) Marathon – October 2008 – 3:44

Foot Traffic Flat Half – July 2006 – 1:49
Run Like Hell Half – October 2006 – 1:45
Pacific Shoreline Half Marathon – February 2007 – 1:44
Helvetia Half – June 2008 – 1:48



  1. good luck in your pursuit of running a BQ time! I hope to do the same someday.

  2. Thanks, Albert! I “only” need to cut 33 seconds off my per-mile time. Shouldn’t be impossible… I hope.

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