At first, I felt like I had to keep defending my marathon time. Yes, it was much slower than my Eugene time. I was pacing a friend, that's why.
As if I needed to justify my time.
You know what? I don't.
I had lost sight of the fact that when I signed up for the Portland Marathon, it was because I made a promise to a very bestest friend: I will help you beat your 2010 time.
And that's exactly what I did.
Know what else I did?
I had an abso-fucking-lutely fabulous time doing it.
I realized this morning that I couldn't remember the last time that running had been fun.
Once we got started -- and don't get me started about how they put us in the walkers' corral. I love people walking a marathon. I totally do. I just don't want to dodge and weave around them for the first two miles, which added almost a half a mile to our race distance -- it was fun. I felt great. (If we ignore the whole Ultima drink debacle.) My first time running pain free in WEEKS.
There were portapotty stops. Just look at my Garmin stats:
Average Pace Per Mile: 16:10.
Average Moving Pace Per Mile: 14:44.
If we hadn't had to make all those potty stops -- almost 45 minutes worth of time. Our last three miles were faster than our first three miles. Isn't that awesome?
There were lots of bands on the course and neither of us was running with music. Which meant I sang. A lot. Particularly from after the St. John's Bridge, meaning in the last eight miles I was being completely silly. One band started playing "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" as we went by. I sang almost the entire thing. Even though we couldn't hear the band anymore. I did YMCA with arm movements. I made up lyrics; Wheels on the Bus is an immortal classic the way I sing it. We even did the Jaws theme at one point. It seemed appropriate at the time.
And above all, I had fun which is how it should be. And Julie got her PR, which is how that should be. Next year I'm still aiming for the Marine Corps marathon and maybe I'll do Vancouver USA in June since I had to sit it out this year. Those races, I can have my own time goal.
But it's almost better to run for your friend's goal.