Category Archives: Races

The Portland Marathon Race Recap

Settle in kids, this is going to be long. Really long.

The morning kicked off very early with the Team gathering at 5:45 downtown at a hotel a few blocked from the race. There were was a lot of pre-race jitters and excitement, as well as a lot of picture taking.



At 6:30am we headed over to the start and headed our separate ways to our individual corrals. I was in corral F without any other TnTers so I was on my own. I bag checked a giant bag of clothing which I had planned on wearing at the start of the race and chucking once I got warm but it was warmer than I though it was going to be so I only wore some arm warmers and gloves. After that I got into the giant port-o-potty line. At 6:59 the announcer started talking and everyone ran to the front of the corral and suddenly the bathroom line was much shorter. The thing is, our corral wasn’t released for another 10 minutes so even though I stayed in the line and used the bathroom, I still caught up with my corral before they were anywhere close to the start line.

As I was standing the bathroom line I started chatting with a woman named Angela, who was also doing her first marathon. We compared training runs, exchanged stories, and basically kept talking to keep our minds off being nervous. We caught up with each other again as our corral starting moving towards the start line and as we crossed the start line we fell into a rhythm, chatting, taking in all the sights, and sharing our excitement about just how awesome it was.

The first few miles passed quickly, chatting with Angela made the time fly by and also ensured that I didn’t go out too fast because if I found myself unable to get a sentence out without huffing and puffing then I needed to reel it in a bit. Angela and I made our way down Natio Parkway and then headed onto Barbur Blvd. when I got a text from my mom.


I missed her in the first mile and then in her silly mom brain she figured that I had been kidnapped. You know, kidnapped in a crowd of 12,000ish runners while I was wearing one of the brightest, hardest to miss outfits. I let her know that I was still alive and that I would find her on my way back though downtown.

Side note for decorating your marathon outfit-be sure to write your name in large visible letters on the front of your shirt so that spectators can cheer for you by name. It’s surprising how much of a boost you get from it. Between the ‘go Maddy’ and ‘go team’ cheers I felt like I had thousands of friends along the race course. Angela was curious about all the ‘go team’ cheers so we talked about Team in Training for a bit and she loved all the enthusiasm.

Around mile 4 I saw my mom and gave her a big hug. She was excited to confirm that I had indeed not been kidnapped. Angela and I continued on along Natio and around mile 7 I saw my favorite running buddy Kelley, and our friends and teammates for last season Jaime and Ken.



I high fived Ken and nearly tackled Kelley when I hugged her. Kelley’s been so supportive and wonderful and getting to see her during the marathon meant so much to me, especially since she had surgery just 9 days before. Thank you so much Kelley! And thanks Ken and Jaime for taking care of her!

Around mile 8 I saw captain Laura. I started to have some knee pain at mile 6 so Laura gave me some Biofreeze to put on it. Unfortunately not soon after that it started to get pretty painful and I kept having to stop to stretch out my quad so I sent Angela on her way with the hope to be able to catch up with her later. While I would have liked to have been able to have spent the whole race with Angela I’m still so happy I got to spend the first 8 miles with her! Thanks for running with me Angela!

I ran through the Team in Training aid station right before the turn around and it was great to see so many familiar faces, thanks to everyone who volunteered! Soon after I hit the turn around on Front Ave. and was running straight into the sun. How the heck was it that sunny in Portland in October?! I continued on trying to get my knee to relax and focus on everything around me. There was some amazing musical entertainment along the course; a mariachi band, a drum line, a marching band playing Abba, and a group of pirates.


Welcome to Portland.

Things started to go downhill at this point. I became frustrated with my knee since I was only able to run more than a few minutes without having to stop. I saw captain Mike just before the full and half marathon courses split, mile 10.5ish. He put some more Biofreeze gel on my knee and gave me a hug as I shed a few frustrated tears and sent me on my way.

The course wove it’s way through Northwest Portland and around my 12 I saw my mom and Kraig again. I scared the crap out of my mom because I ran up to her crying, hugged her, told her my knee hurt, and then ran off. Sorry mom!

The course continued out Highway 30 and I was thankful for having run Hood to Coast in August which got me used to running alongside high speed traffic. I was still struggling with the frustration of not being able to settle into a comfortable running place. Every time I wold have to stop running I’d have to hold back tears. At mile 14 my TnT and HTC teammate Debi ran a few strides with me and I was so thankful for the distraction!


I continued north on Hwy. 30 and kept looking for the St. Johns bridge in the distance.


As I started up the long hill to St. Johns Bridge captain Laura was on her way down to find me. I was a bit of a mess at this point, so frustrated about the way the race was going and still facing 10 miles more of knee pain. Laura reminded me about why we were out there, for all the people who couldn’t be out there, and about the cancer patients we’re run for. I reflected on the last two years with Astraea, her journey through chemo, and how just a month ago she had her last chemo appointment. We made it to the beginning of the bridge and she sent me on my away.


I’ve been over the St. Johns Bridge a few time but I never paid attention to how hilly it is.



About halfway across the bridge my teammate Bling caught up with me and we compared our injuries, my knee and his big toe cramps. After a little while he went ahead and the course turned off the bridge and into North Portland. There was a sharp right turn that had a very steep downhill for a block and then a steep up hill for a block. The downhill was the worst and my knee was very upset with it. The course then settled onto Willamette Blvd and made it’s way through some neighborhoods with families out in their yards cheering. I caught back up with Bling around mile 18.5ish and he stuck with me when I needed to run or when I needed to walk. He got me out of my frustrated funk and I was able to stop crying and start laughing.

Around mile 19.5 Bling’s friend and TnT Tri coach joined us for a mile or so. It was a great distraction.


Bling at mile 20, don’t mind my finger in the photo, I wasn’t at my best. Also, at some point I got chocolate Gu all over my phone and it was really sticky, that’s my excuse. Around mile 21 when I needed to stop and stretch I told Bling to continue on since it seemed like he needed to keep moving. He gave me a big bear hug, seriously, he’s very tall and the top of my hear only comes up to his mid chest, and he went on his way. I kept him in my sights for awhile with the thought I might be able to catch up with him again but my knee wouldn’t let me run long enough to do that.

As I came upon the Team in Training aid station at mile 22 I was excited to see more familiar faces. As I ran through it coach Heidi asked me if I wanted her to run with me. My response, ‘PLEASE RUN WITH ME!’. At that point in the marathon some people don’t want anyone to talk to them but I needed the distraction. Coach Heidi ran alongside me and told me ‘when you want to run, we run, when you need to walk, we walk, just let me know’. We stared down the giant hill on Greely Ave. which is annoying long, steep and painful. We walked the whole way down which was frustrating but Heidi kept me distracted and moving forwarded as we talked about running, Hood to Coast, having kids, and all things in between.

The miles started to tick by. Somewhere along mile 23 we passed Widmer Brewery and there were some people outside with a ‘beer station’, which sounds great in theory but the smell of warm beer that had been spilled on the ground made me want to puke.

We continued up and over the Broadway Bridge, and the down off the bridge which was especially painful. When the road finally flattened out I could see the 25 mile marked and that’s when I started making distance deals. The first was to run to the mile marker. The next was to run a block and then walk a block, which was all my knee could take. I would tell Heidi my plan and she would be right there beside me. She kept talking to me and kept me laughing instead of crying. We made our way through Chinatown and out of nowhere popped out Gina to run with us, even in her jeans and Uggs in the blazing heat. We turned onto Natio Parway once again and sometimes we ran 2 blocks and then walked a block, sometimes we ran one.

Right before the turn onto Salmon St. I saw my mom, Kraig, Jen, and Jenny cheering me on. All I could do was wave since I just had to keep moving forward. Coach Wendy and Mike were there as well and they started running with me too.


Yes, if you were wondering, Heidi and I got many comments on our sparkly skirts, they were a big hit.

Normally they don’t let anyone into the final chute if they don’t have a bib on but Heidi, Wendy, and Mike decided to ignore that since it was so late in the race and stayed with as we made the turn into Salmon. Right before the turn I asked them how close the finish was and they told me 2 blocks up and one block over, and I decided that once we made the turn onto Salmon there would be no more walking. I wanted to finish as strong as I could so I started to pick it up and Mike commented on it and I made a joke about throwing up, which came back to bite me in the ass. I saw my wonderful roommates Jenni and Ryan cheering me on and Jenni made a fabulous sign which I couldn’t fully read as I was running but enjoyed reading it later.

We made the final turn onto 3rd Ave. where Sam was, I waved to him and then made it across the finish line with my Heidi, Wendy, and Mike surrounding me and I couldn’t have been happier. Then just as Mike went to hug me from my left side I had to turn to my right and throw up. Yep, that’s right, I literally threw up at the finish. Heidi made sure that people gave me some space while Mike and Wendy found me some water and after a few moments I regained my composure enough to stumble over to medical tent to get some ice for my knee. I gave Heidi, Wendy, and Mike hugs and they headed back to the Team in Training tent.

After getting some ice taped to my knee I then slowly stumbled my way through the finishers chute where I got a bunch of stuff handed to me, a medal, a shirt, a rose, a coin, a pendent, a space blanket and a tree sapling, but not a bag, which would have been helpful. I chugged some chocolate milk, got my picture take with my arms full of stuff and then slowly made my way to the Team in Training tent to check out and find my friends and family. Pictures were taken, stories were exchanged, I got to finally sit down and take it all in.


Jenni’s awesome sign.






Since this is getting ridiculously long I will leave off here but I can’t thank everyone enough. All the people who came to cheer, everyone who donated to my fundraising, each person who listened to me complain about how tired I was during training, you mean so much to me, more than I can ever express.

In terms of the actual race, no, I didn’t have the race I planned to or thought I was going to have. It took me an hour and fifteen minutes longer than my goal but looking back on it, I wouldn’t change it. I fought through it, I didn’t quit, I got to experience more love and support from my friends, family, and teammates than I thought was possible. The memories that stick out the most for me are the miles when I was running with someone. From the first few miles with my new friend Angela, to running with and laughing with Bling, to the last 4 miles with Heidi when there was a lot more walking than running, to running the finishers chute surrounded by so much Team in Training love, I wouldn’t change any of it.




Damn it, now I’m crying again.

Go Big or Go Home

I’m going big.

26.2 miles of big to be exact.

I know I’ve mentioned it before on here but haven’t talked about it too much, so let’s discuss it. I will be running the Portland Marathon with Team in Training. I’m actually not that nervous about the running itself, I trust that my training will get me prepared to tackle 26.2 miles, and after the Eugene half, I know that I will be supported the whole way with TnT. What makes me nervous is the fundraising. I’ve been lucky to have been successful in my last two fundraising endeavors, raising $2500 since July, $1000 for the Children’s Cancer Association and $1500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. My goal is to raise another $1500. I know it’s possible, but it’s also overwhelming. But if the last 6 months have taught me anything, it’s that if you work hard and trust that you have the strength to do something, you will accomplish your goal. Remember, go big or go home.

Alright, enough of the serious stuff, now for a little update since the Eugene Half. I haven’t done much running since I’ve had some knee and foot issues. Then I went to Palm Springs for my brother’s wedding (which was wonderful and amazing) and only got one run in.

Eugene represent.

I started my run at 7:30 am and it was already 85 degrees. Needless to say, I went 2 miles and decided it was way too hot so I called it a day. Then found a great way to cool off.

In case you’ve never stuck you head in a freezer for a prolonged period of time, FYI, they do not smell very good. My foot felt ok after the run but I took no chances and wore the ugly shoe most of the weekend.

Except that the ugly shoe was on the other foot.

I got my first Portland run in with my favorite running buddy, Kelley, in last night.

Kelley actually is superwoman.

It was a lovely loop around the waterfront full of chatting and catching up/therapy session on life post Eugene. It’s funny how I can run 13.1 miles a few weeks ago but 3 miles last night, so hard. Damn you fitness and your ability to disappear so quickly.

Looking ahead to Portland, our first TnT long run is this Saturday. It’s nice 3 miles jaunt in Beaverton and I couldn’t be more excited. GO TEAM!

Running Head First into the New Year

Happy new year!!! I hope everyone had a fantastic and safe evening and that you’re ready to take on a new year. My Dec. 31, 2011 was was one of the best and sweatiest days of the entire year, let me tell you about it.

The first adventure of the day was our weekly Team in Training long run, which was 5 miles. We started at Duniway track, headed downtown through the park blocks, turned down to the waterfront and then headed back to the track for 3 miles. We took a quick water break and then headed up and back down Terwilliger Blvd.


This was my first time running up Terwilliger and boy did it hurt. I think Jen put it best when she said she always wondered who those crazy people were who would run up it and now we are those crazy people. But we made it! I was trying not to push too hard on the run since I had a couple other physical activities planned for the day but my competitiveness got the best of me on the hill and I pushed myself to pass anyone I could see. The pay off was definitely the view.

Jen, some teammates, and I then hit up Suki’s to get breakfast. Amaretto french toast= delicious.

Next up was my once-every-six-months hair cut.

Sorry about showing up sweaty Tasia.

Then it was time to sweat all over my nicely done hair at soccer with Sped. We had no girl subs, which was exhausting fun and we won so that means we finish the last few months of 2011 without losing a game. Great job Sped!

To ring in the new year it was time to get sparkly. Jen, Karla, Christine, Anna and I went to a fabric store a few weeks ago to pick out colors so that we could make skirts and headbands to run in.

Shiny ladies!

We spent the first part of the evening having a pot luck dinner and playing Cards Against Humanity, which is like an adult version of Apples to Apples. Leslie gave it to Jen for her birthday, well done Leslie. There was also a bit of sparkly fun.

Jen crying from laughter.

Around 10:00pm we headed downtown for the First Run 5k and luckily got to hang out inside before the race because it was pretty cold out.

Bundled up and waiting for the (free) bus. I love you Portland.

The race started right at midnight.

Race face.

We told Karla that we thought she had a good chance of placing in her age group since she’s Fasty McSpeederson and she did not let us down. She finished in 21:59 which was good enough for 2nd in her age group (25-29)!

Karla speeding by.

I should note here that getting good race photos during the day is pretty hard, but getting good race photos at night is extremely hard. Plus, Rigel didn’t know how to turn the flash on on my camera so please don’t mind the very blurry pictures.

Next up was Christine who finished in 26:58. That’s pretty awesome for someone who didn’t train at all for the race and has never raced a 5k.

Good thing we were wearing sparkles which made us easy to identify.

I came in next at 28:19 which means I beat my goal of under 30 minutes. I wasn’t sure what energy my legs would have left after every thing I made them do earlier in the day so I’m quite happy with it. I definitely started out way to fastĀ  and started to die after the 1 1/2 turn around, which is about when Christine passed me. I sort of just waved my arm in her general direction as a form of encouragement and hoped she understood.

I'm re-enacting my running since Rigel and I mised each other on my way by.

Jen and Anna kicked some ass at 38:25. Jen’s back was a bit tender (not also forgetting the 5 miles she did earlier) and this was Anna’s first race ever. So proud of them!

What Rigel expertly cut out of the picture is Anna pretending to shoot herself. Well done Rigel.

For Karla’s medal collect we made sure to dress her up.

Great job Karla! We expect an overall win next year. Get training.

We then tried to catch the but it was so full since it was the last bus of the evening that only Christine’s mom, brother, and his fiance fit so Karla, Chistine, Rigel, Jen and I walked over the river to my house.


I can’t think of a better way to have spent my new year’s eve, it was really a wonderful day that I got to spend with some of my closest friends. I’m also paying dearly for all of the exercise today. Everything is sore. My legs, my arms, my back, my butt. Everything. I also have quite the limp because I did something to my foot. What did I do you ask? Good question. I have no idea. My best guess is that I was walking weirdly after jamming toe (I stepped on the vacuum plug and tried to step back on my foot and jammed my toe into the ground, this is why I hate cleaning) and I angered something. I also have a bit of a swollen lip which came from Rigel accidentally smacking me in the face while trying to balance on my foam roller. I don’t know how I get so injured when I’m sober.

How was your new year’s eve?!

Running Without Actually Running

Sometimes you don’t need to go for a run to feel like you’ve ran 10 miles, you can just spend 4 hours volunteering in the peds ER at Doernbecher and have it feel like your hardest workout for the week. The last 2 of my 3 training sessions were very quiet, kids were staying healthy and uninjured like champs. This evening was a whole different story. It was packed from the moment I got there and never let up. If this is anything like what it’s going to be like being a nurse, it’s going to be crazy and I’m going to LOVE it. It also meant that I got to ride the tram (or jelly bean as my mother calls it) at night for the first time.

The river
The floating hospital

It was quite the way to end my first week of school. Let’s just say it’s been a long week. Although I’ve gotten in multiple swim session and some Pilates and abs work in, there was no running to be had. Without a race to train for I’m not good about putting some miles on my feet. So yesterday I signed up for:

The Run Like Hell 10k!

Problem solved! Guess that means I’ll be out running again come Sunday, hope my feet are too angry with me!

Also, dressing up for the race is encouraged, anyone have any running friendly costume ideas?