Marathon #20. Portland Marathon

marathon-signWell, well, well……….  This marathon was a totally different experience.  It was not even slightly the same as other marathons that I have run, even other Portland Marathons.

It was a mighty good challenge to say the least and I am very happy to say that I got a new PR and actually finished in like the top 10% of all runners.  That was something very pleasing and new to me.  I ended up with a time of 3:33 for the marathon.  This is an improvement of 25 minutes compared to my former personal record marathon time.  For that day, on that course, using the strategy I used; I COULD NOT HAVE GONE FASTER.  That was it.  I gave it my all.  I have had to fight off the disappointment of not finishing the marathon with my goal pace range of 7:30-7:50 miles but I am trying to focus on the positive.  In the last 10 months I have went from a 4:14 (9:41 miles) to a 3:33 (8:06 miles).  This is a vast improvement and my hard work paid off very well.

One mistake that I made was to try and do the marathon using the strategy of the Pace Groups.  They use an effort based model where each mile is run in a different time in order to create the same “feeling” or “effort”.  This is not how I have practiced.  I always run mile goal paced miles strictly within my 7:30-7:50 range.  Using the pace group strategy I was doing some miles in the 6’s and that just was to fast for me even if it was only for one mile at a time.  I normally stick to my plan, go slower on the uphill and make up for it going down the hill.  This has always worked out well.  I should have been more confident in my own plan.  I may not have finished with a 3:20 (the pace group I ran with) but I would have probably finished better than I did.  But like I said, I did the best I could with how things were in reality and I exploded my previous PR.

Running a marathon faster like this is totally different than what I am used to.  It is not as enjoyable to run like this but it has it’s own special appeal and allure.   It is very satisfying in it own way.  For one, you run along side some very focused people and you are just going, going, going, very focused like.  There are also WAY MORE SPECTATORS.  This was shocking to me.  Usually by the time I go by most of the spectators are gone because there person has already passed through.  Being in the top 10% made it that 90% of the people had not yet passed through so 90% of the spectators were still waiting.  And that was a lot of family and friends.  It is fun though, they call out your name (it is on the bib) and it is motivating.

Overall I am pleased with how things went.  I am also sore as hell today.  Much more than normal. 

Here I am waiting for race walker champion Tammi.  Fellow blogger who won the race walk division.  I am also getting teared up by watching everyone push through and finisher their own marathon

Here I am waiting for race walker champion Tammi. Fellow blogger who won the race walk division. I am also getting teared up by watching everyone push through and finisher their own marathon

26 Responses to “Marathon #20. Portland Marathon”

  1. October 5, 2009 at 6:37 am

    Wow, that is amazing! Congratulations! I’m just in awe of how far you’ve come with running. Enjoy your recover!

  2. 3 seanv2
    October 5, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Man, great job!

  3. 5 mac
    October 5, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Congrats Jason! I’m happy to see that you smashed your PR. And I know second hand about the disappointment of not meeting all of your marathon goals. My wife has run many marathons (her PR is somewhere around 3:10) and she thinks that she should be able to run a bit faster but hasn’t ever been able to get over the hump. That’s why she’s switched to ultra marathons and just completed her first 100 miler (hundred in the hood) in just over 19hours. She’s much happier running the longer distances and thinks the ultra runners are a much nicer group of people to hang out with. I was at the portland marathon yesterday, helping my buddy finish his first walking marathon. I walked from the St. Johns bridge to the finish line with him and had a blast. I hope to complete my first marathon in May (Eugene) in under 4 hours. Maybe I’ll see you at the finish line. GREAT JOB!

    • 6 run4change
      October 5, 2009 at 9:47 am

      Hey mac, it was just at that same point that you started walking when I started doing some walking also. That is really cool about your wife doing the 100. My first is scheduled for Feb. 2010. It is in Texas. It is also true that the ultra group of people tend to be way more laid back and not so obsessed with time and PR’s. Your wifes time in 100 miles is VERY good. I do tend to get disappointed but I always try and keep it in perspective and that is that at one time, not very long ago at all, I could not even run 3 miles. HAHAHA Thanks for your comment

  4. 7 Scott
    October 5, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Fantastic job, really. It’s easy to get caught up in not-quite-meeting the big goals, but when you sit back and just think about HOW FAST YOU JUST RAN 26+ MILES, well, come on, it’s amazing. I’m also deeply and profoundly sore today. Badge of honor.

    • 8 run4change
      October 5, 2009 at 11:03 am

      It is truly amazing Scott. Thanks for putting it in these words. It put a big smile on my face. Thanks man.

  5. 9 WeighofLife
    October 5, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Congrats on the run! That is fantastic!

  6. October 5, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Jason. You. Are. A. Good. Man.

    That’s all I got to say about that!

  7. 13 Meg
    October 6, 2009 at 4:46 am

    Congratulations! Not only did you finish, you finished in a blazing fast (to me) time! I’m a 10:20/mile runner (or is that jogger?) after 6 months of running, and your progress is so inspiring to me. Way to go on the PR! Did you do any speedwork in your training, or did your improvement come simply through experience and miles under your belt?

    • 14 run4change
      October 6, 2009 at 7:24 am

      Meg, you are a runner. Jogging is running. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not a runner because of the pace/speed that you happen to run at. Thanks for the comment.

  8. October 6, 2009 at 6:07 am

    Wow, congrats and INCREDIBLE JOB! I’m so happy for you, and once again this totally give me motivation. I love reading about your running and the specific strategies and training. So interesting…and I can’t believe how fast you ran those 26 miles! HIGH FIVE! 🙂

    • 16 run4change
      October 6, 2009 at 7:25 am

      Sarah. Muchas Gracias for your encouragement. I appreciate it very much. I am glad that you enjoy reading about my running

  9. October 7, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Jason–you ROCK! I was looking forward to this post. A year ago I set a goal to walk the Portland marathon, but was unable to due to some medical crap. I’m planning to do it next year and this report just got me all psyched up for it!

  10. 19 RobFitness
    October 8, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Man, I have to say that I am always impressed with your run, your marathon quest and especially your drive and determination to better yourself in all aspects of your healthy life. You are quite an inspiration to me. One day I hope to be at your level, but I have to say that I am a bit worried about my knee. The doctor still says NO running and that has me bummed out. I am not getting any younger you know 🙂
    Congrats on the PR and keep up the good work. Now have you started doing some training for the big one next year or is that to far off to really start up with it?
    Catch you later bro.. have yourself one Awesome and Great day! 🙂

    • 20 run4change
      October 8, 2009 at 11:00 am

      Hi Rob. All of the training that I have been doing is “ACTUALLY” for the 100 miler. It is all preliminary training to get me fit enough to do the more intensive long distance training as I get closer to the race. And about your knee. Try to find a doctor who runs. It is hard but it is possible. I have found and heard that most doctors who don’t run always just say “don’t run”. This is not a nice answer for those who want to run. I don’t know what is wrong with your knee but there are special doctors and such who really know what they are talking about when it comes to running.

  11. October 8, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Awww, I am so touched that you waited for me and put the pic in the blog. Sorry that you fell a little short of your goal, but I think you are SUCH a winner regardless. You will get that 3:30 someday very soon, I think. You were SO close this time!!!

    Congrats on 20 marathons – that is amazing. I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet you in person; maybe another time our paths will cross!

    • 22 run4change
      October 9, 2009 at 4:12 am

      Thanks for your encouragement Tammy. I was happy to see they got in the official winners slot now. THat was cool. Great job

  12. October 9, 2009 at 4:44 am

    Congratulations, and I can’t even begin to imagine the emotions you were feeling in that picture. Wow. And did I read that right? You’re preparing for 100 miles? WOW!

  13. October 23, 2009 at 11:16 am

    That’s a great improvement in 10 months, Jason! I can relate to how you feel, and I think what you’re doing with it reflects the great runner you are— you’re learning from this race too! Can’t wait for the 100 mile race report!

    Oh and wow you’re fast! 🙂

  14. November 27, 2009 at 8:46 am


    I just signed up to run the new Portland half marathon next year!!!

    I am totally psyched!

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