4:38:07 (officially...wait for the story!)
Yesterday I ran my 7th Marathon and my 4th Wineglass Marathon. I was under-trained but knew I could finish. I wasn't planning on running for time and mostly wanted to go out there, support my waterstation volunteers, and just plain enjoy the run. That I did, but it was an adventure to say the least!
|I've definately got the finish line pose down!|
Since this is the hometown marathon for our small little community, I have been getting more and more involved as a volunteer the past few years. This year I was asked to take on the task of organizing the waterstation volunteers. 875 volunteers later, it was a done deal. With 3 course monitors in place for race day, though, I was free to run.
As usual, the race SWAG is top notch:
|Also a bright yellow race bag to put it all in at the expo|
For the first time, I believe the weather was pretty close to perfect. Started in the 30's and ended in the high 50's. Sunny, light breeze. For me, that is perfect. There were plenty that thought it was too cold or I heard a couple people complain about the 'headwind'....that was not my take on things.
As it is a point to point course, and SD was riding in the lead car with the Sheriff as Race Marshal, we took the bus out to Bath together. It was chilly but I didn't have to check my bag until the last minute so I was fine.
|So much awesome in this picture!|
I started slow and steady and really, really tried not to go out too fast. I just ran comfortable and easy. The first 4 miles are through the town of Bath and the community was out in full force to cheer on the runners. I saw Jamie & Mike from Couch to Ironwoman at the 3 mile point! It was pretty cool that they drove down from Rochester to spectate! I ended up seeing them 2 more times along the course! Loved it!
I could give you a blow by blow of the race, but suffice it to say, I really just enjoyed the people, day and run for most of the morning. The backdrop of fall colours sillouetting the runners was spectacular!
I even stopped at mile 10 to grab a selfie with the Elmira College Eagle...'cause normal people running a marathon do this, right?????
Even though I was stopping at each waterstation to thank the volunteers and snap a quick pic of their stations, I was moving at a respectable clip. I was somewhere between the 4:30 and 4:40 pacers. I hit the half at 2:14 and was feeling pretty good. By the time I got to 17, I realized that I really WAS feeling good (remarkable since my longest pre-race run was 15 miles) and I could see the 4:30 pacer right in front of me! Even if I slowed a bit, I'd hit a course PR and could come in in the low 4:30's. So now it was ON. I had a great mile 16-20. I hopped into the soft shoulder and clipped along the inside edge of the road and just put one foot in front of the other trail style! Saw a couple familiar faces in mile 21 and as I was entering the park, SD caught up to me on his regular run (when you volunteer to drive in front of the lead runner, you are finished early!) and ran/chat with me for a few minutes. He split off and headed back home so he could be back at the finish line for me.
Now this is where it gets weird. Just before the mile 22 mark, a runner comes racing back along the course in panic and tackles me! She was having trouble breathing and was panicking. It was weird because of all the people on the course, I was the one that had the RD on speeddial! The runner was fine once she sat down but I called for medical nonetheless because she needed someone to look her over and retrieve her. Once I had her settled, I continued on. It wasn't a huge amount of time, but a few minutes anyway. Unfortunately, it was just long enough for my legs to start tightening up. I was slowing down and stiffening up. I was able to suck it up and get through 24 because Thing 2 had run ahead of his waterstation (his XC team runs the mile 24 waterstation) to see if he could find me. He ran back to the waterstation with me and I definately felt boosted by all the kids cheering me on! They were incredible!
But around 24.5, my right knee was in a world of hurt and started giving out on me every once in a while. I had to walk a bit. Miles 25 and 26 were almost 12 minute miles for me.....shouldn't have been that way but this was already an unusual race so I had to just take what the day gave me and do my best....because I was definatly crossing that finish line! I walked twice in the last 2 miles....something I have never done. I didn't like it one bit. Once I turned onto bridge street I resolved to just finish this running despite what I was feeling. I had a first time marathoner beside me who was feeling the same way so we started running the best we could.
I was able to make it to the finish and my friend Laura snapped the awesome finish picture of me that is above. It's important to smile at the finish even if you don't feel like that! LOL!
The post race chute was extremely well organized to keep runners moving and not clog up the finish line. I got my medal, water, food (best post race food I've ever had....Wegmans chicken noodle soup is the only thing I want after a race and we have it here at Wineglass!).
Yesterday I was a little pissed because I thought my time was 4:40...turns out that that was gun time. Chip time was 4:38, which I can live with because despite the weirdness that happened over the last 4 miles, I still managed a course PR. If I hadn't stopped and I'd kept on at close to the pace I was on, I would have been pretty close to 4:30 I think.
I went home, showered and headed back out to the mile 24 water station to collect the leftovers for the team. When I was packing up a car came by and told me there were 5 runners left on the course and the RD's were deciding whether to pick them up or let them finish. They decided to let them finish. I'm glad they did. Wineglass is classy like that. So the least I could do was keep my waterstation open for them. I waited around 25 minutes for them to come through and give them a drink and cheer them on. In the end, this is the heart of a marathon....these ladies knew they were slow but they were determined to finish this hardest thing they've ever done. It was a priviledge to be a part of it. Suddenly my little problems seem inconsequential....
Kuddo's to you Ladies! You are marathoners!