Monday, October 3, 2011

Wineglass Marathon Race Report

30th Wineglass Marathon
Corning, NY

So anyone who has been following me knows that this was my 1st Marathon. I registered on the day it opened: January 3rd...and have been slowly working toward it all year.  I have been part of the Team Relay & have watched my husband run this race, but now it was my turn.  I never, ever thought I could achieve something like this! I am positively giddy!

Our race weekend started early when we went to hear Dick Beardsley speak on Thursday evening. If you missed this post, you can read about it here. He really is the most dynamic, enthusiastic, friendly guy.  He is a brilliant speaker & when he spoke of his drug addiction, everyone, but most noticeably the teens in the audience, were really paying attention.  He was an inspiration. Thing 1 and his friend were interviewed for the 11pm news & I was impressed at how well spoken they were.  He got a signed copy of "Duel in the Sun" and went home to read it right away.  The following day, Dick showed up to Cross Country practise & not only gave them a pep talk for their big meet the following day (over 7000 runners from the U.S. & Canada!) but he went out for a run with the team.  Then afterwards he stood in the parking lot, surrounded by teens happily telling stories & signing everything under the sun! He didn't leave until the kids were done with him. Classy guy. Thanks, Dick!  I went back to the race expo the next day because Thing 2 asked me to get a photo of him.  I thanked Dick for taking the time with the kids & I wanted him to know the positive impact that he had on them. The fb chatter was incredible. This was Thing 1's status:

He gave Thing 2 this & had me text Good Luck to the team as they were riding the bus to the meet:

Signed by Dick & Alberto Salazar!

It was a good way to kick off my big weekend.  But on to the nitty gritty of the weekend:

Friday was packet pickup. It was at the local YMCA. It was very well organized and the swag was great! In our Wineglass marathon reusable bag, we got an awesome long sleeve tech shirt, wineglass & a split of Finger Lakes Champagne both with commemorative labels, along with the usual bunch of samples and coupons.  One of the great organizational details was the inclusion of a course map, that not only marked the water/gu stations and route, but had recommended spectator viewing locations with specific directions for out of towners.  A nice touch, I thought! The expo had all sorts of other high quality Wineglass marathon gear available to buy.  I got another nice long sleeve tech shirt & a jacket.  It's my first marathon, sue me.

I was also fortunate to run into a fellow runner that I had 'met' on the marathon's facebook page. Heather is a fellow Canuck & also first time marathoner.
Like any good runner, I obsessively checked the weather reports on a daily basis for the past week and a half.  All was good until Friday night, when partly sunny turned to rain 'shower' and then on Saturday to just plain 'rain'.  This is the 30th running of the Wineglass and it has never been rained on.  Well, mother nature made up for it and I'd have to say that 30 years worth of rain fell on us yesterday. I went to bed around 10pm Saturday & set my alarm for 5:10...hit snooze once (not a morning person...again, sue me ;-)).  Got up had my coffee, cereal & banana and proceeded to have a clothing crisis.  The tank, headband, skirt & socks no longer seemed like a good idea given the rain & temp of 37F!  So, after 3 wardrobe changes, I ended up keeping the skirt & socks, and changing the sport bra & tank to a full fitted tank with a long sleeve tech shirt on top.  Dug out some gloves (thank god!) and a medium weight running jacket from the winter gear box.  I was still planning on the headband, but when we got to the starting line my husband insisted I wear my hat.  He was right & I am thankful I didn't have the rain in my eyes the whole time.  I made a couple key decisions that I think affected my overall comfort & success.  First, I bodyglided everywhere, including a very generous slathering of my whole feet. I decided to forego the heart rate monitor.  Too much of a chafing risk in these conditions.  The hat & gloves were lifesavers.  I was cold enough, I can't imagine what it would have been like without them. Even my DH stated that my 'crazy socks' were the best thing to wear. 
Ready to go! This pose is in honour of Jim& Michael at 50 after 40 & Slowly tri-ing
The race is point to point, so we drove out to Bath, NY for the start.  The starting line was set up well.  The main parking area was approximately a half mile from the actual start so they had buses to take runners to the start, which was nice.  There were ample port o potties at both the parking area and the starting line.  They had tents, and a bag drop too.  Mother nature decided to psych us out as the rain stopped for about 5 minutes, then started up again as we were starting.  What a gal! The race was approx 15 minutes late starting, but finally we were off! The spectators were still at the parking area, which was really nice because DH & Thing 2 had no trouble finding me at the back of the pack.  Thing 2 had the best signs & by the end of the race, his own little fan club.  Runners really appreciated this one:
At the start. It's rainy, & I am goofy happy!
My first 5 mile splits: 10:38/10:55/11/10:48.....saw DH at mile 4 & he told me I was going out too fast.  Mile 5 11:15. Still feeling good:
Mile 4. Your going to notice a theme here...I couldn't keep the goofy smile off my face! Thing 2 holds up "Good job!"
At around 4.5 miles we hit the first of 3 hills.  I do ok at hills as long as they are not too long.  I plodded along and got to the top.  Around 7 we hit the 2nd.  It was longer and slower & there were less spectators along this stretch. Actually, it was practically abandoned except for the water stations, but those volunteers out there freezing their butts off made up for it. They were wonderful, so encouraging and enthusiastic! So far I am sticking to my plan of walking through every water station.

Miles 6-10 looked like this:
12:22 (potty break)/11:10/11:07/11:05/11:08
I was a little worried about my pace because I planned to try to hold an 11:27 pace which would have me finishing at 5 hours.  I knew I was hitting it fast, but it was just feeling like a natural pace at the time.  I took a Gu around 6 & kept going.  I was looking forward to seeing my support crew at mile 9! As I was climbing that second hill I saw the car zoom by on the highway...I was pumped! I knew they'd be there in time!
9.2 miles done!
Then I was off to tackle some country roads.  I took another Gu around mile 13. I knew I'd be able to see my crew again around the 14 mile mark.  I was starting to get really, really cold in my hands and arms by now as the light rain had increased to another downpour as I was coming into Campbell, heading towards my guys. 
Miles 11-15: 11:12/11:36/11:21/11:32/11:09
Yeah, that lady who was in front of me for many, many miles is noticing that she has a crazy lady running beside her.  Seriously, it is crazy pouring here.

Yeah, the other runners WISHED they had socks like mine at this point ;-D. My legs were the only parts of me toasty warm. Plus Thing 2's sign said "Don't Die!" here.  Good advice. Thanks kid.
I was so boosted by seeing them my pace picked up again.  I knew I was in for a long, lonely haul here.  I wouldn't see them again until 20.5 miles.  But lo & behold, at mile 15.5, the rain stopped! It was incredible how my spirits soared & I found a good groove again. Somewhere in this stretch I met a lady who was achieving her 50th state!  She told me this was her 83rd marathon & 50th state! Wow! And she told me that when she told the race director it was her 50th state, they assigned her bib # 50. Very cool!

Miles 16-20: 11:11/11:13/12:47 (potty break)/11:03/11:18

Around mile 18 I started to know where I was.  I was entering my training territory.  Yay! At mile 19 a troupe of girl scouts were running a water station & were dancing and cheering us on to some rockin' tunes! They were fabulous! And finally, at 20.5 I saw my crew again! And this time, I was FINALLY able to give up my jacket!  Only 11 miles after I planned...but I was thankful that I had warmed up and dried off enough to do it!  Thing 2's sign here said "Nice Socks"....hahahaha...that's right, they ARE pretty nice socks ;-) I also realized that as long as I didn't slack off, I could really, actually meet my goal of getting under 5 hours!
Woohoo! This is my neighbourhood + I can give up the jacket that as I took it off, probably weighed 10 pounds!
Ikk, look at that form...or lack of it...Thing 2 called it my 'granny shuffle'
The home stretch! I was pumped! I knew the rest of the route. I ran it when I trained because I figured that since I didn't run anything longer than 20, when I met that wall that everyone speaks of, at least my feet would know where to go even if my brain & legs were reluctant participants.  I kept waiting. Wall, where are you?  NOPE! NO WALL! My splits for the last 10K were the best of the whole race! Check this out:

Miles 21-26:
+ my garmin registered 26.41 miles, so the last .41 was in 4:03

I have give credit to some anonymous strangers to plastered about a 400 meter section of the bike path with signs on both sides of the path.  They weren't 'for me' but they gave me inspiration and quite frankly, almost made me cry with the love & support in their messages.  There were 2 especially that touched me: "run with your heart" & "There's no whine in Wineglass". That along with someone who yelled at me "you can run 4 miles any day of the week!" gave me wings.  I knew where I was. I knew I was almost there.  Just before mile 25 I came upon the last water station & it was filled with Thing 2's friends cheering their hearts out for me! They were looking out for me! Thanks guys!

As I ran down the street before the last turn into the finish, I saw 'the wall' on many faces. I saw the faces of true pain, suffering & knew sheer stubbornness was getting these folks across the line.  They are tough.  I must have passed 50 people in the last mile.

And finally, I turned the corner to the best race finish ever! The main street in Corning was closed down & it was packed with people! I have to tell you that I felt like an Olympian running down that center line with no one around me!
All I could think was "I'm going to do it" the theme of Chariots of Fire ;)
I can see Thing 1 (who volunteered all race at the finish line) & my personal running inspiration, my friend Sheila (who did an awesome job as Assistant Race Director) waiting for me with my medal!  Best thing ever! (oh, & FYI, chip time was 4:53...took 2 minutes to cross the start)
Woohoo! I am a MARATHONER!
Me & my guys!
The post race spread was awesome! I had some delicious Wegman's chicken noodle soup & pizza made in an actual pizza oven on site along with the regular bagels/fruit/cookie etc fare.  It really was superb food, and there was plenty available even after I came in.  There was also a half marathon that had completed well before I arrived! No shortage of food! I was started to cool down & was happy for the space blanket Thing 1 had given me.  We head home, I was delirious with happiness. I took a bath, assessed my appears the only casualty of the marathon are my lucky socks...hole in the toe :(
....and finally relaxed....
Yeah, it's a large size glass....I had 2! I earned it!


Jim ... 50after40 said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! You were awesome! I love reading first marathon reports ... now, no matter what, you are a MARATHONER!!! No one can ever take that away from you. Wonderful report ... and great pre-race pose - I'm sure that's what put you over the top! Ha. Great job ... you were indeed GREAT TODAY!!! Congrats!

Jose said...

Congrats on becoming a marathoner!!! I agree with Jim..... you earned this title and no one can take that away!! Way to go!!

Holly said...

Awesome job! Looking at your pictures, I don't think I saw you at all. Glad you did so well! You're a MARATHONER now!!!

Penny said...

Congrats MARATHONER. Love reading about your first marathon. Nothing like that feeling of crossing that finish line. So Happy for you.

Nelly said...

Awesome job! First, what Dick Beardsley did was great for your boys and the cross country team. That is really cool. And giving out that poster is awesome too!

Great race report, you are a trooper to be in such high spirits despite all that rain! It seems like the race pretty much went perfect!

When running races I love seeing signs on the course, even if they aren't for me, haha And I'm not sure if you had your name on your bib, but if any spectator calls out your name during a race, its a very personal feeling to me - that they chose to call out my name among everyone out there.

Congrats again, and enjoy being on Cloud 9 from the post marathon afterglow!

bobbi said...

Awesome awesome awesome!! What a fabulous race you had!! CONGRATULATIONS MARATHONER!

Jill said...

Congratulations on your first marathon, and a fantastic race!! I love reading first time marathoner's race reports, they just give me chills. Well done!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Catching up! Good for you girl. You will always and forever be a marathoner. Nobody can take that away. You did a great job training and staying dedicated. You definitely earned that second glass!

Suzy said...

What a wonderful report! It was cold and windy for the marathon and you persevered. Congrats on being a marathoner.

Thanks for all the kind words on my marathon posts!

The Green Girl said...

Wow! Congratulations on becoming a marathoner and finishing so strong with less than ideal weather. Loved reading your race report. Way to rock it, girl!

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

I know this is late but CONGRATULATIONS! Can't wait to join the club myself!!!