Event: Wineglass Marathon (and Half)
Place: Bath, NY to Corning, NY
Time: October 5, 2014 8:15 start (8:00 for the half)
Weather: 36 degrees at sunrise, mid 50s but the end
Well folks, this was my FIRST marathon. I’ll spare you the details of every thought and moment from when I was born until race day and save it for a rainy day. Until then, let me enlighten you with one of the best days of my life.
Wake up time: 5:55. First things first: Coffee.
Getting up was easy. Getting ready went smoothly. My breakfast of an original english muffin with Whole Foods salt free peanut butter (you know, that kind from the machine that is loud and pours too fast) and a banana settled well. Things were looking good so far. The next series of events included getting dropped off in downtown Bath to take a bus to the starting line. I got to the bus around 7:10 and there was no wait and and it was a short ride. The weather was cooler that I would have liked it to be, but the sky was clear and I knew the sun would warm things up eventually.
Check. Out. That. Scenery (and flat start!). I even almost look excited. The race was a little behind schedule but the officials kept us updated on when we would need to be lining up. A little before 8 I ate a few strawberry cliff books to give them time to settle. Around ten minutes until go time, I took off my warm ups and put them in the provided clear plastic bag and gave them to the UPS truck that would meet me at the finish line. It was probably the most organized system ever.
I originally wanted to line up with the 3:40 pacer, but the crowd pushed me more toward the 3:45 group. This being my first marathon, I was ok with that… for the moment. Before I knew it we were off and I already made my way up to the 3:40 group. Adrenaline. City.
Miles 1-6: Like I said, I quickly made my way to the 3:40 pacer… that lasted about a mile… then I shuffled in front of them. I really had no idea what my pace was (probably why I should buy a watch), but my Nike running app told me every mile mark. The problem with that was every mile it was a little ahead of the actually marker so by the end of the race I had almost ran 27 miles according to Nike. The course had a few rolling hills before the 6 mile mark but it nothing too extreme and the scenery was beautiful. Most importantly, I felt great!
That is actually a “concerned that this was going too well” smile
Miles 6-13.1: Around mile 6 I had the 3:40 pacing group in my sight. In my mind I was like whoahhh Nelly slow down this is pretty aggressive. But why listen to your mind when you can run fast? Somewhere between mile 8 and 9 I scarfed down a Stinger gel that I had brought. By mile 10 I had caught up to that group and coasted with them until the half way point that I hit a few seconds after 1:47.
Half way there! And smiling… Normal, right?
Miles 13.1-19: This is probably where things got questionable. I had went ahead the 3:40 group and the course brought us up a tiny hill, which led to a downhill where I think I got too excited. I took a salted caramel GU (provided by the race) a little after 16 and then I went through a weird funk. The course got flat and headed into the wind. It went along the highway and there were not any spectators in sight. This is when I realized that the 3:40 group was right behind me. As in I glanced around and almost kissed them. I decided it was a good idea to stick with them and see how things went. So I did.
Miles 19-26.2: Around mile 19 I got some sort of life back to me. The group had dwindled since I had first made contact with them at mile 10 and the ones left were very determined. Things were getting easier and I knew for a fact I could finish with them. After all, I only had 6 miles left… an easy run, right? Then at mile 22 I decided I was going to have a second wind (or 47th at this point) and I left the pack. Thank goodness another runner left the pack with me too or else I would have never made it to the end. Those last four miles were a battle of keeping up a good pace without passing out. After going through a lovely park, under a tunnel, over various bridges, I reached the final stretch. I could see the finish. I knew I was under 3:40, but I had no idea how much. Then I saw the clock:
Boom. Boston qualifying time right there! My actual chip time was 3:32:45. I would have been happy with anything under 4 hours. I think the “You’re going to qualify for Boston” chant I started doing in my head around mile 17 really helped me get through.
Overall thoughts about the course: Well, I feel like I picked an amazing first marathon course. It was relatively flat with only a few rolling hills here and there. After training where I live (hill city), it was a breeze. There were water stops every two-ish miles with lemon line Powerade. I utilized every water stop starting at four miles. Those little sips of water alone gave me boosts of energy. The crowd was great with a few larger spectator spots and the course was relatively interesting. The first half was most scenic than the second, but by the second I was so busy concentrating on not falling over and passing out that I didn’t really care. The last few miles were the best with people all along the park and then finishing mile cheering the runners on.
So in a nutshell, go run a marathon. Go run this one. And then go drink some wine. Stay tuned for what I wore and all the other random ramblings I have about running and life.