My first Marathon – The Portland Marathon Race Recap

I’m a marathoner!! Yay! But, oh my, what an experience. My first marathon was not what I expected. I almost did not run, especially with my husband nagging me not too. I wanted to but it was ultimately a morning decision made by me if it was nay or yay.

Let’s go back to Saturday morning. I woke up early and had to go to the bathroom right away, like really right away. Sorry for TMI but I had the squirts. I had a headache and my tummy hurt too. I think it was from the sushi I had the night before, or it was from what my kiddos had earlier in the week, but their symptoms were more puking. Either way, I felt horrible. I didn’t feel like doing anything really, but Saturday’s highlight was getting out to go to the expo to pick up my bib. I went with the kiddos and we were pretty much in and out. Here’s a pic from the Expo:

Saturday was filled with numerous times in the bathroom. I drank mostly water and had some nuun. For dinner I pretty much just had two pieces of toast.

Sunday morning came and I felt better. No headache, but still had the diarrhea. I decided I wanted to go no matter what and try my best and finish. Let’s just say I’m so happy I didn’t poop in my shorts during the race lol. When I got home, after eating some post race food, I still had diarrhea though. Everything was pretty much back to normal on Monday. But back to the race recap…

We left the house around 5:30 am and I had a slice of toast before we left and a Mamma Chia Strawberry Banana pouch in the car. I was feeling fine. We parked in the Smart Park garage on Yamhill and 10th. We headed towards the start area and found corral H where I saw Porta Potties and a long line so I went in line to do my business. My awesome support, my hubby and kiddos walked with me to my corral. Here’s a pic with my lil guy:

The race started at 7 am and we got to my corral around 6:35 am. It was cold with the wind. My Garmin said it was 50F with 87% humidity. It was actually great running weather. The waiting part is when it’s cold. Below is a pic of corral or wave D.

After the singing of the Star Spangled Banner, the wheelchair racers were off, followed by the elites. The pic below was taken at 7:04 am which is when we moved to the start line. According to the runpix results analysis, my start delay was 6 min 43 sec.Below are pics I took during the race:

Once we were off, I felt good. Here’s a pic going through the Chinese Gate.
There was a lot of great entertainment along the course. Lots of steel bands and other percussionists. Loved hearing the drums while running.

There was also many cheer squads. There was so much great support and encouragement along the way by spectators and volunteers as well! I loved how our names were on our bibs. It was always awesome when someone said my name to encourage me!

I was surprised to see bubbles and thought that was pretty cool.

This is close to the split point where marathoners continued to the right and half marathoners to the left.
Gotta love the signs and people who dress up!So I felt pretty good for the first half but after that around mile 15ish I just wasn’t feeling it. My pace slowed. The gradual climb towards the bridge was getting to me. I was thirsty. I should’ve used two Simple Hydration Bottles like during one of my 20 milers. But I thought with all the aid stations I would be fine. I should’ve know better. Oh wells. Then I was thinking this is my first marathon and knowing what I went through the day before, I decided to walk the difficult hill right before St. John’s Bridge. I walked the whole thing lol. 
A nice pic of St. John’s Bridge.Once I started running again, I couldn’t pick up my normal pace. My energy was gone or something. I was just going slower. So I walked numerous times throughout the rest of the race.

Heading towards the Broadway Bridge which was around mile 24. The end was near.
Below is the Finish Line and Finisher’s area where we got our medal, rose, coin, pendant, and recovery jacket.
There was so much food/drinks at the end and I didn’t take pics of everything:

Yay!! I finished it!Pic with the kiddos.  In the recovery jacket or disposable cover up jacket.

The medal, pendant, and coin.Woohoo! 26.2 miles done! It was a rough one! I didn’t expect to walk as much as I did. It was a tough course with some big hills. I’m just so happy to have finished, especially with still a good time. I beat Oprah! 🙂 I used a total of four Gu, which I took every five miles or so and had my Simple Hydration Bottle filled with Nuun. I’m kicking myself for not bringing two bottles because I think I was dehydrated. But now I can say I’m a marathoner!! I’m ready to sign up for my next one. Any suggestions?

33 thoughts on “My first Marathon – The Portland Marathon Race Recap

  1. Congratulations!!! What a great recap, I love how you took pictures the entire time and still managed that awesome finish time!
    What a tough way to go into your first one, but you did it. It looks like it was a beautiful day. I laughed when I saw your I beat Oprah comment lol


  2. Congratz to you! As I looked through your photos I was home sick. Left Portland 3 months ago and had so planned to run this as a half! Your time was awesome! You are awesome!


  3. Congrats!! Sorry about the squirts – what a trooper for getting out there and finishing your first marathon 🙂 Great pictures, my favorite was of the bubbles. So much swag with this race – I LOVE LOVE the medal. The color and the rose on the front of the coin and pendant is a nice touch.


    1. Thanks Jennifer! I was bummed about being sick, but there was nothing I could do but try and I did it. The medal is cool, with the detailing. Such great swag and there was even a poster I forgot to post.


  4. Awesome job! You still did amazing considering what you went through the day before! I’d be very happy with that time for my first marathon! Love the swag! Your next one should be in CA with me! 🙂


  5. Congrats on your finish and becoming a marathoner. It is hard to have expectations for a first marathon, but you learn from every race and I bet you will sign up for another soon. Having a stomach issue right before a race can really zap your energy. The photo with your boys after the race is adorable.


  6. Congrats! That’s a great finishing time and I think you did a great job, especially with your tummy situation. That looked like a tough race!


  7. I have been excited to read this recap being as you were a halfer that took that leap and are now a full-blown marathoner! You ran such a good time AND while being sick and definitely dehydrated. I am sorry for you that you had to be feeling like that. You took great pictures and must feel so proud and happy that you went ahead and went for it! All your good training paid off AND no accidents on the road…3 cheers for that!! Run Santa Rosa Marathon – it’s a great Boston Qualifier which I am certain you will be. Fast, flat, AND in wine country. Also, I think Sharon may run that marathon next year (August 2016). Again, great job Sherry!!


    1. Thanks Diane!! I am so happy that I finished and had no accidents on the road lol. I hope to be a BQ’r but am just hoping for sub 4 on my next marathon. Sounds like a great marathon!! I’ll look into it! Thanks!!! 🙂


  8. Yay you are a marathoner! Just how well does that feel? I hope I can feel the same thing. You looked amazing afterwards and I’m so glad your family could be there for you too. I hate you was feeling sick before but you pushed through it and did really well! Congratulations to you!


  9. I’m not surprised at all that you had to take those walk breaks. You lost a lot of fluids being sick the day/night before the race, and it was impossible for you to fuel properly since you couldn’t eat much. I think you ran a fabulous race considering the circumstances. You should be very proud of yourself!

    I love looking at the pictures of you with your sons after your race. It brings back very fond memories of similar pictures of me with my sons. They’re now 28 and 25 and I’ve run half marathons with both of them now that they’re adults, and I even joined my oldest son for about 20 miles of his ultra!


    1. Thanks so much Debbie!! It was impossible to fuel properly. So happy to finish! 🙂 That’s so cool you run with your sons! I hope my sons continue to be active and will be interested in racing so I can run with them too!


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