Sunday, June 3, 2012

Newport Marathon Review and Results

Hey, if you're just looking for results to the 2012 Newport Marathon - here you go.

If you're patiently waiting to read my horror story from the very same 2012 Newport Marathon - hey, let's get into it!

So let's start from the beginning, because I think my issues may have started months ago...when I registered for the race, and then shortly after, reserved my hotel room in Newport. The Newport Marathon weekend had originally been planned as a nice weekend get-away for the whole R's family. Unfortunately, we found out a few weeks after I made my Newport arrangements that Carson had her Girls on the Run 5k on the exact same day. Doh! So the arrangements were changed: Carson and Jen would run the GOTR 5k in Corvallis and I would run the Newport Marathon and take my photographer, Payton with me. And yes, I'm getting to the point. See, the start line and finish line were about a mile and a half apart. And my hotel was close to the start, not the finish. Since I didn't see myself wanting to hike a mile and a half back to the hotel after the marathon, I woke up at 5:00am to drive down to the finish line. They had buses heading from there back to the start line, but in absolutely typical runner fashion, about 50 of us were lined up waiting for the buses right in front of the host hotel...and waiting...and waiting...while the buses were sitting down the road about a quarter mile away from us! Finally, after about 15 minutes of standing and waiting, someone figured it out and we all moved down the road and got on the buses.

At this point, it was about 6:00am, and I needed to get from the start back to my hotel to meet a friend, my main man Manny, then walk back to the start line.

Long story short; this was not my usual, relaxing morning of a race routine.

Manny and I made it to the start line at about 6:30 or so and (hello foreshadowing!), the lines to the honey buckets were loooooooong. It's a fairly small race, about 1000 runners, but even so, they did not have enough bathrooms at the start.

The forecast was for rain overnight, then clearing skies by race time. Didn't happen. There was a heavy, fine mist falling at the start and through most of the race. It was sunny when we went to lunch though!

So we lined up for the start and were off right at 7:00am. I'm not sure what it was, but I didn't feel great from the start. Maybe it was that the first five miles were more hilly than I thought they would be and maybe it was just the start of the issue that would hit me hard in a short time, but I was having trouble keeping my Boston Qualifying time even in the first five miles. I needed to average about 7:50 pace for my BQ and I averaged about a 7:58 in the first five miles.

Miles 1-5 pace: 7:58
Yes, there's half of my body running around the two or three mile mark. I had taken off my sunglasses because they were so wet and fogging. That's easily the best I looked during the entire race.

The second five miles was where the trouble really started. First, my stomach. Ugh. Around mile 8, I just started feeling bad. Upset stomach, rumblings of needing a bathroom soon. Plus the rain really soaked me in the first ten miles. The front of my shirt was soaked through and heavy. And my shorts were so wet and full of water, plus the Mint Chocolate GU in both pockets, that they kept slipping down onto my hips! So I had to tie them tight to keep them up, even though it made my stomach feel worse.

Miles 5-10 pace: 8:20. Going downhill fast.

Miles 11 and 12 were a bit slower, but not terrible.

Mile 13 is where the bottom dropped out. I suddenly, scarily suddenly, needed a Honey Bucket. Or a tree. Fast. On the left were lots of trees...behind a barbed wire fence. On the right, beach. Oh boy. I had to stop and walk before something terrible happened. My stomach was just rebelling. I actually had to stop walking at a few points and let stomach cramps pass. And there was still nowhere to go to the bathroom. If you're not a runner, you probably don't understand this, but I was having visions of the picture. You know, the picture...(I'm warning you, don't even look at this, you don't want to see...but this was the picture going through my head at this point in the race). And there STILL WASN'T A HONEY BUCKET IN SIGHT! Finally, after hobbling through about a half-mile, there was a water stop, and a Honey Bucket. One Honey Bucket. With somebody already in it. Lord.

I finally got in there and took care of business, but while it took care of emergency issues, it really didn't make my stomach feel any better and I made yet another stop at the next Bucket I saw.

Miles 10-15 pace (including two porta potty stops): 9:30.

I felt a little better over the next couple miles and only made one more stop at a Honey Bucket (thankfully my last) around mile 18.

Now the problems were mostly mental. My BQ try was out the window completely and totally. It was a depressing thing to think about and I was having trouble getting myself inspired to work hard. Another thing working against me here was my marathon PR was so slow coming into this race (4:37) that I knew I could walk in from here and still get it, so the whole "run for the PR" thing wasn't helping much either.

I know it sounds like I'm a walking complaint, but the marathon is a long, long race. And when it's not going well, it gives you lots of time to think negative thoughts.

Miles 15-20 pace (including one porta potty stop): 9:50.

So the last six miles, I both died physically and mentally, just wanting nothing worse than to get off the course. I slogged through the last bit to a completely uninspiring finish.

Official time: 4:12:55.

Ugh. So a 25 minute PR and 40 minutes away from my BQ time. Ouch.

Two things: I never had a shot at the BQ because of my stomach, but also I don't think I had a chance anyway because I'm not in good enough shape. I think if I had run with no stomach complications, I would have been around 3:40-3:45. Which is still a long way away from 3:25.

So I think I'll spend a couple weeks deciding on a plan. I know I'm going to run some shorter stuff through the summer and early fall. Maybe start on another marathon training plan around September to be ready for a December marathon (CIM maybe?). One nice thing - I had to walk so much during the race yesterday, I'm not nearly as sore as I probably should be after a marathon.

If you're wondering about trying the race, on a drier year, know that it is pretty flat, but the first five miles are up and down. Also, know that there's basically no fan support, which some like and some don't. Finally, I was a little worried about the road being sloped (I had read some complaints about that), but it wasn't bad. On the way out to the turn-around, I really didn't notice it at all. On the way back, on the inside of the outside lane, since runners were going in both directions in one lane, it was a little worse. But it was never terrible. A lot of people asked me if it would be windy, but apparently the Bay, away from the actual coast, doesn't get that much wind. And true enough, there was very little wind yesterday.

So that's that. Now let's look at the booty.
The race shirt is pretty cool. I don't think I've ever had a yellow race shirt. Ever.
The handmade glass medal is very cool. Best medal I've ever received, for sure.

Congrats to Glen Tucker, who crushed the field with a 2:32:56, and to everyone who finished the race. I hope you had a better race than I did!


  1. I've had GI troubles in a marathon before (yes, I totally stalked you to read your full recap!). On the advice of a friend I took a little Imodium before the start of the race and I didn't have any issues.

    Way to go getting such a giant PR, even if it was way off your goal time! I know it's sometimes hard to be excited about that when you are far away from your goal (this is so similar to my experience at St. George Marathon last year that it's crazy) but you still did a fantastic job!

  2. Thanks Amy. I appreciate the positive thoughts. And the Imodium idea is a pretty good one. I'll have to look more into that before my next marathon.

    Stalk away - I'll take any good advice I can get!

  3. Scott-
    So sorry this was not what you had hoped. Major props for persevering through it all. My input- the picture of half of you at mile 2 or 3- you look like a Lommers brother picture from the past. That's a compliment, and it's eery too.

  4. Marilyn:

    It's funny - since I lost some weight, I catch myself in the mirror sometimes and think, "Good Lord, it's Uncle Leonard!" or, worse for me, "Good Lord, I've turned into my father!"

    Yeah, there's no escaping it...I've got that Lommers look.

  5. That's so true. I was going to say- it's because you've lost that weight. They were always so skinny.