Wineglass Marathon 2013
Well Marathon #5 is in the bag & I couldn't have asked for a better feeling race than this one. There is something very special about running your hometown marathon...especially when that hometown is very small. I am sure the tourists out-numbered the locals here the past few days! I have a confession...I almost didn't register for this one. I actually thought "well I've run it twice, maybe I should find a different fall race". So glad I didn't!
|About to board the bus for the start|
|How do you like THAT outfit?!?|
Miles 1-5: 10:13/10:20/10:27/10:22/10:31
Downhill, Flat, Uphill
The gun went off & I stood still. With around 2400 runners, it took 6 minutes to cross the starting mat. Soon enough we were off. I started with a couple Ragnar ladies, but they were soon ahead of me. That's fine, I wanted to run my own race. This whole race, I just wanted 2 things: to make sure I didn't go out too fast & just run what felt comfortable for me. As a result, I really didn't look at my Garmin too much. I had my 5 mile 'beat Oprah' splits on my arm & I checked my watch a every couple miles or so if I noticed my watch beep, but mostly just ran to feel. I wanted so much not to have a race with a section where I wanted to die or stop. In that respect I succeeded. This was a smooth race....I guess some-what turtle-like...slow & steady. I positioned myself between the 4:30 & 4:40 pacers. I soon lost sight of the 4:30 guy & I hoped the 4:40 wouldn't catch up! The first mile is a little downhill, then it flattens out before you do a long slow climb from miles 4-5. Crowds lined almost this whole section and then thinned out as we climbed the hill exiting the city of Bath to country roads. I just tried to run easy and loose & find my place in the crowd. I skipped the first water station too. Pretty sure I can run 5K without needing water!
Miles 6-10: 10:42/10:12/10:25/10:20/10:30:
One hill, Flat
As you make your way up and out of Bath towards Savona, you run a long county road & I wish I had a picture of the long line of runners out in front of me for as far as I could see. Normally, if I see one runner when I am out, it is an event! So to see so many runners in my area is pretty cool! For some reason, I hate to train hills and tend to avoid them, but during a race, I seem to be able to just power up them steadily and ride the downhill with fast legs. This is where I started to steadily pass people. I took my first Gu at the 10K mark & was feeling pretty good. It was good timing and as it kicked in I arrived in Savona at the 9.1 mile to what felt like the entire town at one intersection! This is a great spectator course because you can drive on and off the highway to 4 super easy viewing points. Savona is the first big one. Just before you get there too you can see the highway and all the cars are tooting their horns as they drive by. Cool! Through Savona, hang a right and you have just 4 miles to the half way point along a flat farm lined road. I just ran steady, hit every aid station, and soaked up the atmosphere. I was feeling good. It was still overcast, but it was humid. I could feel the salt on my face. I knew I'd need the Hammer Endurolytes I'd packed.
Miles 11-15: 10:36/10:43/10:54/10:46/10:42:
Flat, Last Hill, Downhill, Flat
The numbers are weird. I 'felt' like I was running strong, and I was. I was running a comfortable pace and passing people steadily. I had dropped several of the people that had been running around me in the last stretch and really was in a good state of mind. Miles 14-20 are normally the hardest for me, but I was ok mentally and physically. My body felt good. Just the normal tired, nothing crazy. I had taken my endurolyte capsules at the half along with another Gu. I think, in hindsight, what had happened was that the majority of runners are early morning runners....people who thrive in cold conditions. I, on the other hand, because I only run on my days off, generally don't get out there until about 10am. I have run in plenty of humidity. Not always well, but I've done it for most of the training cycle. So, while it was still overcast around at 10-11am, the temps were into the low 70's and the humidity was sucking the life out of alot of runners. I saw people sobbing in the medical tent at the half way point. Apparently the race organizers sent a bus out to collect several people who called it a day at the half. So a ton of people were struggling which made my slower paces above feel fast because I was still passing people. I wasn't looking at my watch so didn't realize my splits were getting higher. Maybe if I'd looked I could have pushed it a bit more in this section, but maybe if I'd done that, the last 11 miles would have been a suckfest. I think I just ran what was right for me. Around mile 14 you hit the last hill. It's not long, but suffice it to say that when I bike this section I drop into my granny gear. Again, I just plodded steadily up it passing walkers. Yes, I was starting to encounter ALOT of walkers. I hit every aid station and started taking both Gatorade and water. I wasn't dehydrated but I was sweating alot and wanted to be safe. So far, So good.
This was a miracle. Not kidding. To have those splits on 16-20 was like a gift from God. Usually this is my personal sufferfest. Something hurts or my brain gets the better of me. Not this time. I have biked every inch of these roads and know them by heart. Again, just slow and steady. No bursts of speed. Just running what felt good. By mile 19, as we entered Coopers Plains, it was hot & the sun came out. I had my last Gu, some Gatorade and water here & enthusiastically turned the corner to head into my neighbourhood.
Miles 21-26.2 (26.35 by my Garmin): 10:56/10:57/10:53/10:43/10:59/10:03/3:20 (9:39pace)
By Mile 25 I knew I'd have to really kick it in if I was going to PR. This course has always measured long for me....and let me tell you that when your watch beeps 26.2 and you are not even at the 26 mile marker it is hard! The last 1.35 I gave it everything I had and I'm sure if any cameras had caught me at the beginning of Market St I would have been wearing a giant pain face, but coming down that last stretch you can't help but start to smile. People from one end to the other screaming...I mean SCREAMING...for you! It is awesome! I finished in 4:38:50 and Trail Buddy was right there to congratulate me and give me a hug. I was initially disappointed that I didn't PR, but that didn't last long. It was my 2nd best marathon overall & my best showing at the Wineglass. As I started to look at the results, I realized it was a slow day overall. People that should have beat me were 15-30 minutes behind me. I am happy to have performed so well under such adverse conditions.
This is not just a race...it is a race weekend! On Friday I met Bart Yasso twice! What a great guy! First I went to a talk he was giving where he spoke about his 'Life on the Run' as Runner's World CRO (Chief Running Officer...where can I get that job?!) and then the race organizers brought him to speak to the Cross Country Team at practice! He is such a down to earth and engaging speaker the kids were just brimming with excitement afterwards about meeting "such a cool guy!" And although I did not attend, there was a Saturday evening pasta dinner where Bart spoke and mingled with the crowd.
|With Bart Yasso!|
I highly recommend this race!
|SD finishing the half in 1:37 for 3rd in AG|