Portland Marathon: Plan of Attack

There’s less than a month to go until the Portland Marathon, and when I am not focusing on the day’s workout or recovery, I am mapping my plan of attack!

Here’s a list of my daily reminders (to myself, because as an introverted runner, I talk to myself a lot…):

  1. EVERYTHING I do is bringing me closer to optimum health and recovery for performance, or farther away. Think before every decision I make and ask myself: Is this (food or action) building me up or breaking me down?
  2. RECOVER, RECOVER, RECOVER! Easy days should be run easily! Daily foam rolling and stretching are not optional! SLEEP is a must: 7-9 hours, which really should be 8 or 9+!
  3. BELIEVE in yourself! I am capable of achieving anything! I will not limit myself with negative thoughts or shoot for anything less than pushing myself to my very best. I will only find out how strong I really am by pushing myself harder than I ever have before!
run happy semi selfie

“Run happy!” Also, inspiration on my front door to remind myself every morning the purpose of my workouts! I am also very bad at selfies, please enjoy this semi-selfie.

Here’s a list of things that I need to start practicing this month to prepare for the race:

  • My pace! During my tempo workouts I need to be comfortable at a 6:30 pace for the bulk of my miles. If I can’t hone in on this pace and settle in for a 6 or 8 mile tempo run, then I definitely won’t be able to run a marathon at this pace! Luckily, I’ve been familiarizing myself with this pace on several key workouts now. I have one long run left this weekend where I hope to progressively increase my pace and finish the last 8 miles at a 6:25-6:30 pace.
  • My race-day morning routine! On the remaining long run I have left this weekend, I hope to wake up, eat, etc. Exactly as I will on the morning of the marathon. I will rehearse my before and during hydration+nutrition plan. I also want to wear exactly what I plan to race in. This weekend will be my dress rehearsal for the big show!
  • Visualization! Starting from now until the marathon, I need to begin mentally practicing the course. I believe in the power of visualization. I will imagine how I want to feel on the starting line (confident, strong, injury-free, excited! Probably cold too…)I can see the starting line and I will be just a few feet behind it. When the gun goes off and people start cheering, I will stride off, calmly in a controlled pace, not letting the adrenaline or the leaders pull me out of my planned pace. And so on, mile after mile I will visualize the landmarks I remember from the past two years I have ran the course. I will feel strong, fast, and controlled as I imagine myself ticking off every mile at my anticipated pace. I can imagine rallying for the end of the race and pushing through the pain (which I am ready for). Lastly, I can see the finish line and the clock ticking toward the time I hope to finish in as I run through the finisher’s chute.
  • I also need to run down a few more steep hills and get comfortable pounding downhill at the end of a training run. There’s a pretty long, steep downhill around mile 21 or 22 of the Portland marathon, which I remember caused me a lot of pain last year!

About 1 & 1/2 weeks until I begin to taper. My last long run is this Sunday. I’ll keep doing shorter tempos and even track workouts until a week before the marathon. I’ll probably do one hard-ish effort the week of the marathon to keep my legs sharp.

Portland Marathon 2014. Sunday, October 5th at 7a.m. I’ll be as ready as I can.


3 thoughts on “Portland Marathon: Plan of Attack

  1. Best of luck with the taper! I ran this race last year and would have enjoyed it a LOT more had I not run a marathon the day before in Leavenworth, Washington. That said, it’s a nice course with one glaring exception (the trainyards), with a few hills peppered throughout. I do remember that steep downhill being just before 23 — right where I bonked. Hopefully you won’t suffer the same fate.

    Sounds like you have some very speedy ambitions — make ’em happen!


    • Hi Dan, I love the course! For some reason I have always ran a fast time there, even with minimal training: 3:04 and 3:11. The “armpit” of Portland is what you are referring to with the train tracks, lol! But that’s where I have been running my long tempo runs, so I am pretty familiar with it. Yeah, the hill at mile 23 thrashed my quads! I was barely running for the last three miles when I ran it last year too!

      That is pretty epic to run back to back marathons! I don’t think I could even jog two 26 mile days back to back, let alone finish respectably! Thank you for reading, I’m keeping everyone posted on how the remaining training goes and the race of course 🙂


  2. Pingback: No-Track Thursday: 10/02 Marathon Taper Time! | Veggies Fuel Running!

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