On November 9th, 2013 I signed up for the 2014 Portland Marathon, I signed up sitting on my bed in my house in St. Charles, MO and then I went on with my life. Before I knew it, the training started and then I got some great news, my friend Devon (from Distant Runners) agreed to run with me at the race. So we trained, we encouraged, and then it was time to race.
My hot wife Andrea and I flew out early to Portland, took in some sights, I ate a lot, including Aarons (Devon’s husband) burgers and Waffles made by Jonalee and James who are friends living in Portland from back home in Missouri. I carb loaded like a champ for this race. Saturday for lunch, we ate my customary Pizza with my sister and brother in law and then we all met Colene (Distant Runner) at the expo for our race numbers….I did not buy ANYTHING!!! I was asleep by 9:30….
4:00am – Walked to around the block and then stopped at 7-11 for bananas and Gatorade
4:30am – Laid back down and freaked Andrea out, because she thought I overslept…oops
5:18am – Devon texts and she is on the train.
6:00am – We are walking to the corrals. They messed up on Devon’s corral assignment putting her in E and not B with me where we belonged, so I moved back and we positioned ourselves at the very front of the corral…we made mean faces so no one would try and take our spots.
7:12am – Runners ready – Set – GO! We were off, here is something you may find interesting. Those first few steps of the race were the very first time Devon and I had ever run with each other. Over the years we have talked, I have had dinner with her family, my wife has made the comment that Devon’s husband Aaron is my twin, but we had never run once run together. But, I trusted her, she made the plan, my job was to run.
Miles 1-3 we looked like we were playing Frogger as we dodged in and out of runners, Devon took the lead as we weaved through the crowd. One of the benefits of being tall (Devon 5’11” – Me 6’3”) we were able to see the holes to run through. We were like the Matrix…whoosh 8:23-8:17-8:32
Miles 4-8 after running mile 3 which was a HILL that I did not know was going to be there, we turned the corner to a smooth, easy downhill. Devon had mentioned that we would not be going sub 8min miles during the first half of the race, but this hill was AWESOME and we crushed it. It was flat for the next few miles and we settle in at a comfortable pace. I never looked at my watch, I just ran next Devon and we had good conversation, we took EPIC pictures, and we ran. 7:45-8:02-8:12-8:13-8:16
Miles 9-13 my description of these miles were warm/humid/hilly, but not difficult and I felt strong. Again, I paid no attention to pace, I continued to follow Devon. We found every photographer and frankly I think we scared a few of them. The run continued 8:17-8:16-8:08-8:24-8:14
Miles 14-16 for months Devon and Colene had talked with me about the hill at St. John’s Bridge, my plan when I got to Portland was to drive over and look at the hill and that never happened. So as we eased into the final miles before the hill, it just seemed to get hotter. Devon and I just kept talking and running, it is what friends that run do. 8:18-8:05-8:26
Miles 17 The hill hurt…that’s it. 9:09
Mile 18-20 when we crested the bridge and started the short downhill I knew something was wrong. I felt strong, my legs were not hurting, but I could feel small cramps trying to grab me. With my past disasters I had some panic set it in. Devon was talking, trying to engage me, but I was preoccupied with what might happened. We kept running, we still took epic pictures. 8:29-8:23-8:38
Miles 21-23 at the 20.5 mile mark Colene was there, she was there with water and I think there was a halo over her head. This was the moment that I knew, I was in trouble, because I was not enthused, I didn’t make any jokes, I posed for no pictures, I just kept running. Devon did all she could to keep me entertained, told me stories, pointed out things to look at, and all she got from me was….nothing. What I wanted her to know was I heard everything she was saying, I laughed at her stories in my head and saw the beautiful sights, but I had to focus. I was hurting bad. 8:47-8:18-9:10
Mile 24 as we approached the mile marker sign I was prepared for it to say 24, instead it said 23 and I was deflated. Devon just kept moving and encouraging, but that disappointment was more than I could stand at that point. It is amazing how things affect you when you are exhausted, but that simple mistake in my head was devastating. Devon had begun insisting that I drink more water, and proceeded to run ahead and fill her bottles and force it on me, at times she raised her voice “Drink it NOW”. At some point in that 24th mile, I told Devon that I had to walk and get myself together. She just ran ahead, she got me water and we continue running. 10:35
Mile 25 this is where it gets hazy. I am going to include the link to Devon’s recap so that you can read her prospective of the race and get a much clearer description of the last 2.2 miles. Here is what I remember; Devon continued to encourage, but also understood when quiet was the best encouragement. Although on the outside I am sure I had a blank face, inside I was a hurricane of emotion. I wanted to see Andrea (hot wife), I was so thankful to Devon, the crowds began to build and they were completely supportive, but I was not just hurting, I was in pain. Yet, we kept running. 8:57
Mile 26 The truth of the matter, I don’t remember a lot of the last mile. I remember making sure to focus on Devon’s right elbow as it swung back and forth, who knows why, but that is what kept me on track. I kept looking ahead for the turn to the final .2 and it seemed to be going away from me. The thought running through my head was “Devon, keeps telling me it is just ½ mile away, it is taking a long time to run 800 meters”, I am pretty sure it was further than a 1/2mile. That last mile, I gave everything that I had, I knew that when I crossed the line, Andrea would be waiting, I could stop running, but for that moment I ran as hard as I could. Devon and I just kept running. 8:19
Final .2 we made the right turn and Devon ran in close and said “this is what we have been waiting for let’s make it epic”. We pumped up the crowd and high-fived who we could and then we made the final turn and I saw finish line. I love the finish line and I had enough running, I wanted to cross it. The adrenalin was flowing because I absolutely ran with whatever I had left to that line. Devon and I crossed the line together, we stopped running. 1:57 7:30pace
Reist Mummau 3:42:28
Devon Johnson 3:42:27
Post-Race – as we walked from the finish line I began to cramp and it was nothing like I have ever gone through before. Devon found Andrea for me and before I knew it I was in the medic tent. The cramps were rampant and in time they moved me to the bigger med tent. For 2 hours they worked on me, the doctor was shocked at advanced stage of dehydration that I was at and they just kept giving me fluids. My mistake was not taking enough fluids in at the beginning at the race. The weather turned hot with high humidity and I was in trouble before I even knew it. I am more knowledgeable about my body after this race, the lessons learned will only benefit me in upcoming races, and they better, because this race hurt.
I have run 9 marathons now and this one by far was the best. I didn’t reach my goal of a PR, I did not run a perfect race, but I ran a hard race and left everything on the course. I ran with a good friend, who was strong, encouraging, funny, and she is an excellent runner. Thank you Devon, it was an epic day. This was the first time that I had ever run that far with anyone, and I can’t wait to do it again. For a different perspective, check out Devon’s blog about the race.
I ran hard and finished, and just like at every race my beautiful wife was there to make me feel strong again. She knows just what to say, she has the ability to boost my ego when my confidence is low, and she is what I would l think about when it got so hard on the course. I write so often about impressing yourself with your running and it is true, but there is always a part of me trying to impress Andrea. Thank you Andrea, we make a great team. – Reist