Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wineglass Marathon Race Report

Sunday I ran my 2nd ever marathon (I don't count the IM marathon as a real marathon since for me.. there is not much real "running" after about mile 13) and first marathon since 2009!

I didn't really have a time goal going into this race. Due to my 9 week training plan and stress from school, I was happy to make it to the starting line. I was also grumpy because I had spent about 20 hours in the 3 previous days working on a huge project for class. I guess I hoped to run faster than I did in Philly (3:59) but I really had no idea what was going to happen.

me and Solveig at the start of our trip
I rode down to Corning with Solveig and we picked up our packets and wine glasses. For some reason, the half-marathoners got really nice colored shirts and the full marathoners got construction cone orange ones. Awful! We hung around Corning for a bit until it was time to go to the pasta dinner at the Radisson where we both met Bart Yasso (of Yasso 800 fame) and got autographed copies of his book. He was awesome! If you ever have a chance to go see him speak - do it! He's hilarious and even though he once was pretty fast and now is not (due to Lyme Disease) he still runs, loves it, and advocates for it around the world. Then we went to our hotel in Elmira and went to bed. Woke up at 5 and took a shower, stopped at Dunkin' Donuts for coffee and a bagel and then got on the shuttle to take me to the marathon start. It was about a 30 min. ride on a school bus. The start was pretty laid back. There were lots of porta-potties so the bathroom lines weren't unreasonable, and while it was a bit chilly, the weather could have been much worse (i.e. rain) at the start. I headed over to the start line at about 10 til 8 and lined up with the 3:55 pace group.


Bart Yasso!
impossible to run the Wineglass Marathon  without having a glass of wine the night before the race!
The start is downhill and I immediately felt like crap. I felt like I couldn't stick with the pace group which was slightly disheartening. This went on for about 4 miles - I didn't like running in the middle of the pace group because it was really crowded, hot, loud, and smelled like BO. But I didn't want to run behind it because I thought I might lose it. I ended up running right in front of it while worrying that it was going to engulf me if I slowed down, and then after about 4 miles I started to feel really good and dropped them. I ran along by myself just listening to music (good decision to wear the headphones) until about the halfway point where I then found myself running and chatting with a random lady. I ran with her until about mile 18 (and my friend Will for a while in there too) and at that point, I started to feel REALLY good and eventually took off from them. Somehow, my fastest 2 miles of the day were miles 19 and 20 at 8:16 and 8:15 pace. Considering my longest run since 2011 was 18 miles and most of my long runs were done at about 9:30 pace, I don't know how I did this. All I know is that I was FLYING through marathoners. I was passing people like they had been running for 20 miles and I had just started. I don't know where this burst of speed/energy came from or how I was able to do it. I ran like that until about mile 22 and then my quads started to really complain. At mile 24, I was done. At that point I was forcing myself to keep running (hobbling) and not to walk. My Garmin was also 0.20 miles ahead of the actual distance so that was annoying, I would look at it and think I was closer to the finish than I actually was. I crossed the finish line in 3:53 and was sooooooo happy to be done!

right after finishing - too hot for that space blanket!

Solveig and I with our medals!
what a lovely finisher's medal!
I found Solveig and my parents, got changed, pounded some caffeine (mmmm Coke.. liquid crack), went to lunch (where I couldn't eat anything because my stomach was messed up still) and then headed home to.. do more homework! And eat a TON of desserts that I shamelessly bought from Wegmans.

Nutrition worked out well for me - I ate a Shot Blok every 2 miles and drank mostly Gatorade at every aid station. I guess it was pretty hot and humid out, but there was no sun, so the heat didn't bother me until I finished, and then I felt like I was on fire.

So, thoughts on my race.

It's weird, in some ways I am really happy with my race. I knew going in that it was going to be a crap shoot. My knee has still not 100% recovered from my injury (from almost 2 years ago now), I essentially did all of my training runs at endurance pace, my weekly mileage peaked at about 40 mpw, and my long runs did not give me a lot of confidence towards the race. Just a lot of mediocre feelings going in (plus so much school stress in the weeks leading up to the race that it was literally the LAST thing on my mind).. so the fact that I a) ran the entire race (with the exception of a few walk breaks at aid stations to avoid splashing Gatorade all over myself) and b) I did PR - make me happy. I was really happy that I was able to pick it up so much at the +18 mile mark. I have never been able to do that before, that's for sure. And I definitely have more durability after the 3 Ironmans.

That being said - it was an easier course than Philly and I think I paced better (did not go out too fast) because my goals were much less optimistic than they were in Philly. So only a 6 minute PR after 4 years of massive amounts of training hours and an easier course is not very impressive to me.

It really just lit the fire to do another stupid marathon. I am looking towards Pittsburgh in May. (Even I am not stupid enough to try to do anymore serious training until this class is over).

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