Surprise! I ran another marathon.
After the horrible, no good, terrible Portland marathon earlier this month, I kind of never wanted to run a marathon ever again. But, alas, I’d signed up for the Columbia Gorge Marathon months before, so I didn’t have much of a choice.
The good news is, this one was SO much better. At no point did I feel like I was going to throw up. At no point did I feel like there was a chance I wouldn’t even finish the race. At no point did I want to just lie down and hope someone would carry me off the course.
And that’s a win in my book.
Let’s hit the highlights:
-It was the most beautiful race I’ve ever run. It started in Hood River, followed the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail through a park before meeting up with the Mosier-The Dalles Highway, turned around at Rowena Crest Viewpoint, and eventually ended in the Hood River Marina. So when we weren’t enjoying views of the Columbia River and Gorge, we were running by fruit orchards and vineyards. Spectacular.
-The weather was perfect. Upper 40’s, cloudy, patches of drizzle, patches of sunshine, rainbows, and gorgeous fall foliage.
-Running downhill. There was a lot of downhill running, which was lovely and glorious and easy in the beginning, but what goes downhill must eventually run uphill. And that’s hard. Especially when it’s miles 18-21. Ouch.
-It was very much a small community race, which was sweet relief after running in the mass blob of Portland’s marathon. There were around 1,000 people between the half and full marathons (as opposed to the 9,000 in Portland), and probably only 150 or so of those were running the full marathon. And that means there was sweet, non-sweaty, fresh air to breath the whole time. And that glorious feeling of being able to move your elbows without jabbing someone in the ribs. The only downside to the lack of crowds was occasionally running completely alone, which gave that terrifying “am I going to come in last place?” sort of feeling.
-And, of course, my rock star of a husband followed me around the course to cheer me on and document the spectacular scenery. He is an incredible human being.
I was also totally jazzed about this particular marathon because of the post-race eats: tacos. Generally, the spread at the end of a race is a bag of chips, some bananas, and a sports drink. And I’m always saying that at the end of the race, I want something with some substance. I want someone grilling meat. And serving that with a side of chocolate milk. Unfortunately, I forgot that even though I’m in serious need of nourishment, I can’t really stand to eat anything solid for several hours after a long run, so my glorious tacos went to waste. Bummer. However, the hot apple cider really hit the spot.
So, to sum it up, marathons are hard, but if you’re going to run one, you might as well run a really beautiful one.