Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Portland Marathon 2009

Portland Marathon 2006 was my first marathon, making last Sunday's race my third anniversary of marathoning. Portland Marathon 2009 was marathon #37, and #47 if you add in ultras. I'm counting down to #50, and thinking about trying to hit 52 by my 52nd birthday on January 2nd. That goal flexes on a daily basis depending on how energetic I feel.

I had a fantastic marathon weekend - coffee with the running club Saturday morning, the drive down with Eric right after, visiting with friends at the expo, stopping by Bob Dolphin's 80th birthday party (where he also celebrated the running of his 452nd marathon!) and a wonderful visit and coffee with Joe at Starbucks. We followed that busy afternoon with a quiet evening with Margaret at her Portland condo, a great home-cooked meal and a good night's sleep.

After some debate, we decided to have Eric drive us down to the start. The bummer was we got there just after security guards were posted and Eric wasn't allowed to enter the start corral area with us. Jenny and Sonya got there just before that happened, so they got to wait with us. Margaret and I met up with Rick, Abi, Jessica, Rob and his wife, also Jessica, plus another local friend. We chatted with several Maniacs and huddled together to stay warm.

The marathon went very well for me - cool weather and solid pacing really helps. Jessica, Margaret and I stuck together for the entire race. My only slight issue was with fueling. I didn't manage it quite as well as I could have and started feeling the lack of energy at mile 23. I kept plugging away though and stepped across the finish at 5:37, my best time so far for 2009. I had a major drop in energy immediately following the race, but that was fixed up with a black bean burger and fries shortly after. Altogether a wonderful weekend!

On a sad note, Eric and I had to take our sweet cat, Charlotte, in for the final good-bye last Friday afternoon. She was 14 years old, a major part of our family and our boy's childhood. Charlotte spent many a homeschooling day in special castles, nests and tents built for her by the boys, or curled up beside them while they studied, occasionally listening to read-alouds, or listening to all the secrets little boys have to tell. It was hard for us to let go, hard to say good-bye, but her kidneys were shutting down and there was no other option. It is simply the price we pay to share our lives with beloved pets. We will miss her.

Now, to end on a much happier note, I absolutely love everything about my new work with the college and Eric is just as happy with his new job. It is exciting to go into work each morning, to watch the growth and development of both my little and big students. The beginning of the quarter rush has settled down and we are all finding our rhythm. Life is really, really good!


Joe said...

Michelle, congrats on a solid race! It was such fun to see the three of you on the course, as well as Eric, Jenny and others along the way three times.

Can't tell you how much I enjoyed our long chat at Starbucks...that was huge fun.

Thanks for inviting me into your worlds!!

Anne said...

So sorry to hear about Charlotte, who lived a very long and happy life thank to your family. And I'm thrilled both you and Eric are enjoying your jobs. I better be next :-)!

Darrell said...

How weird to know that you and Joe both ran Portland in 2006 as your first and you didn't even know each other back then.

So sorry about Charlotte, you do become attached to the little critters.

It sounds like everyone had a great day in Portland.

justrun said...

Oh, I just love reading your posts. Congratulations on your anniversary marathon, and good luck with whatever the rest of the year brings. And I'm so glad to hear you're both happy in your work!
Very sorry to read of Charlotte-- that decision, albeit compassionate, is so difficult.

Thomas said...

Ah, I'm so sorry about your cat!

Wes said...

Congratulations on a great anniversary!! Letting a pet go is never easy, but they deserve the best!!

Jessica DeLine said...

So sorry to hear about your kitty :( Good job on the marathon though! I understand the fueling issue and at least you didn't feel it until mile 23. Probably why you ended up only 6 minutes behind me and I was 20+ ahead at mile 10! Congrats!!

Irene said...

I've recently found out that a very close friend of mine lives in Portland. She is not a runner, but she suggested the Portland Marathon. It's on my to do list. It sounds like you had a very good marathon! Congrats!

Sorry about your kitty. We're facing the same issue. It's never easy.

Donald said...

Very sad about your kitty. Ours is 16 years old, so that time is coming here as well.

Great to hear that everything else is well. Have fun going for 52!

Scott Keeps Running said...

Congrats on a successful 3rd anniversary!

Dori said...

First, congratulations on your great race! You do amaze me.

I'm so sorry about your kitty. I went through that 8 years ago and I know how difficult the decision is and how hard it is to say goodbye. You gave her love and a good home and that's something to take comfort in.

Sarah said...

Sorry to have missed getting together with you and Eric while you were in town. However, I did yell for you at around mile 1.5. :) But there were too many people for you to hear or see me. You are a real pro now when you can lose energy during a race but still pull out a good time. Congrats! Good luck getting your 52 by 52!

And I'm really sorry about your kitty. I grew up with cats and know how much they can become part of the family.

Ovens2Betsy said...

Oh Michelle, I am so sorry to hear about sweet Charlotte. I dread the day when our dear girl must leave this world.

It was great to see you in Portland; I only wish we had more time to chat (I was in full-on race mode!) I've read several reports from the race, and the last few miles were tough on a lot of folks. I too lost energy at the end and was quite light-headed. But of course I'm now looking forward to my next marathon!

lizzie lee said...

Dear Neighbor, when I count Oct2009- Oct2006 = 47, I get nothing but amazed. The strength of your spirit and body is admirable.

Five to your birthday? 47/36 is 1.36 marathons per month. 5 in 3 months is 1.66. You just increase a little bit that rate to get five more in three months and voila!!!!

Annette said...

Congrats on PDX! I thought about you on marathon day. Glad all went well!

So sorry about your cat. :(

Very happy to hear that you're loving your job - so awesome!