Monday, May 11, 2015

Maine Coast Marathon--in which I emerge from the gates of hell to gain superstar status (or so I think)

Maine Coast Marathon was yesterday, Mother's Day, and it was a doozey.  We will get to that in a bit, because first, there was prom!

Back when I signed up for the marathon, prom was supposed to be the following weekend.  Once I signed up, they changed it to the same weekend.  Fabulous timing.  But really, it didn't matter too much because who actually sleeps before a race anyway?  Not me.

But I digress...

Prom.  Yes back to that.  Somehow I actually managed to pull off all the things on my list of shit to do on Saturday that I planned out in the last blog.  I did run 4 miles, get to baseball, host a bunch of people (with food) and managed to remain sane.

One small crisis with sticky boobs, but really that was it.  The girls all looked beautiful, the boys shot some guns, (yes, we are rednecks) and all the parents enjoyed some food and company.

 cause who doesn't shoot guns in their tux? #totallynormal

having some trouble with the boutonniere 

my favorite

That's my baby!  wah.

Anyway, with them all off to prom safely it was time to get ready for my marathon the next day.  The weather has been kinda eh these last few days but Sunday was predicted to be sunny 80* and humid.  Fan-freakin-tastic.  Nothing like training in snowpocalypse and then running in hell.  So much for acclimation.

Thankfully, I had received a new tank to wear in the mail so at least I could look like a rock star.  You know that old saying, "don't do anything new on race day"?  Well, I pretty much ignored that and was going to wear this tank anyway.  Turns out this was maybe not the best decision, but I sure did look good!!

 flat Michelle


New fish tank tank from InkNBurn (LOVE), tried and true Altra Torin sneakers, favorite black shorts and Rev 3 visor.

After very little sleep, 4:45 arrived and it was time to get up.  I packed all the race clothes and supplies I could think of just in case the weather changed.  I even remembered the Body Glide this year!  My buddies and I hopped in my car and we were off!

The start was about 1:30 away from our house and another runner friend offered the use of his driveway to park my car.  Otherwise, we would have needed to park at the finish and take the shuttle to the start, adding another 45 minutes onto our morning.  That would have been a REALLY early wake up call.  Thank you so much my new best friend, Dan!!

We walked the short walk to Kennebunk High School which is where the race started.  Of course, we snapped a selfie on the way.

probably the only selfie I look half decent in
best running buddies ever--Stacey, me, Lauren

Right at the high school, I ran into my other running friends, Speedy McFast aka Sara and Mr-Ironman aka her husband Eric.  Sara had raced the half marathon yesterday and was taking on the marathon today to complete the 39.3 challenge.  Amazing and crazy all at the same time!


Eric was to be spectator extraordinaire today and he sure was!  I saw him at least 3 times and he cheered for me each time!  Yay for Eric and spectators!!

The race started right on time at 7:30 after the playing of the National Anthem (for which I proceeded to get all teary eyed during per usual). It was already warm at the start so I unloaded my shirt onto Eric for safekeeping.  Thanks Eric!

And we were off!

My plan was really no plan--it had gone back and forth between starting around 9's and then trying to negative split or going out with Stacey at 8:30's ish and keeping with her until I couldn't and then trying not to crash and burn.  Starting at 9's felt slow so I decided to get to Stacey and go with her.

Mile 1: 8:26
Mile 2: 8:29
Mile 3: 8:40
Mile 4: 8:33
Mile 5: 8:24
Mile 6: 8:37

These miles felt easy and great!  Really.  I felt awesome.  The temp was perfect and the run through Kennebunk was pretty.  It was around Mile 6 that I started to feel some discomfort under my arms.  My very fancy and pretty new tank was rubbing and starting to chafe.  Fack.  20 miles was a long way to suffer with chaffing.  I texted my friend Danielle to see if she could grab some body glide to save the day.

Mile 7: 8:30
Mile 8: 8:29
Mile 9: 8:18

We were right behind the 3:45 pacer.  I actually could not believe that this is where I was running.  It was so easy.  So comfortable.  other than my underarms.  Danielle texted back to check at the aid stations, they should have vasoline.  Brilliant!  Day saved.  kinda.

Mile 10: 8:34
Mile 11: 8:26
Mile 12: 8:53

This is where I asked about Vasoline.  They had some, just not out.  Dammit!  I lost a bit waiting for them to get it out for me.  I slathed it on then ran off to catch up with Stacey.  After that aid station and trying to catch up with her, I felt myself starting to slow.  She went ahead and I stayed a little behind.

Mile 13: 8:49

Danielle was here around this mile marker and jumped in to save me.  Stacey was ahead and I knew I was done running with her for the day.  She was off to get her BQ and I did not want her to wait on me.  Danielle ran the next few miles with me and chattered away which was great.  I didn't have to speak and she did all the talking.  It was a nice distraction since running was starting to get hard here.

Oh, I should mention that my half marathon split was the fucking bomb!  I killed my PR by about 3 minutes.   1:52:02.  Bam!  Take that bitches!  Maybe I should have run the half the day before and called it good.  Oh, well.  Too late now.  Still another 13.1 to go.  Jokes on me.

Mile 14: 9:05
Mile 15: 9:10
Mile 16: 9:31

I think this was the first hill that I walked.  It was the beginning of the downward spiral into hell.

Mile 17: 9:26

Danielle jumped off around here to try to get to the finish for other people she was helping and rooting for.  I sadly, went on alone.  I think she really helped me keep pace here as it was starting to get super hot and my legs were wanting to be done.

Mile 18: 10:54
Mile 19: 9:38
Mile 20: 10:03
Mile 21: 11:21
Mile 22: 10:45
Mile 23: 11:07

This group of miles totally sucked balls.  It was so damn hot, we were away from the ocean running on this boring ass road.  Bugs were getting me.  Black friggin flies.  Wtf.  Seriously?  Black flies?  I was not mentally prepared for bugs.  It pissed me off.  There were some hills here and I walked all of them.  I was adopting the "try to run a mile, then walk a half mile" method.  It morphed into "run as far as you can, then walk until you are too embarrassed to keep walking then try to run again" mode.  I walked all the aid stations and was taking water and gatorade every time.

I cannot remember where it was but somewhere around Mile 20? there was a man and his wife handing out popsicles.  I got the last one.  I swear I almost kissed them both.  I have never enjoyed a red popsicle more than I did at that moment.  It literally saved my life.  Or felt like it at the time.

It was also during this group of miles that I had a man and another woman that kept passing me when I walked, then I would pass them when they walked.  Ordinarily, this wouldn't be of any interest but the man was the most smelly man I have ever smelled in my life and the woman had this frankenstein run/shuffle thing going on that drove me batshit crazy.  Each time the man would pass (or I passed him) I would literally get slapped in the face with his body odor.  It was unbearable, in that I would hold my breath each time he passed me.

Really bad.  I promise.

The woman with her clop/shuffle thing drove me nuts because she wouldn't get out of the damn dirt on the shoulder and it made this noise that made me want to push her in the ditch just to get it to stop.  The man finally went far enough ahead of me that I was free of that stench and the woman dropped behind me so the torture was over.  At least the noise and smell torture.  The other tortures would continue, like the raw spots under my arms…..

I stopped at one aid station for water and gatorade, around mile 22?, not sure cause it's all a overheated blur, and I saw the 4:00 pacer pass me.  I almost cried.  Then I was pissed.  Then I said fuck it.  My 3:55 was clearly a pipe dream at this point, but I still had a 15 minute buffer to keep my B race goal (which was really my A race goal cause I kinda knew there was no way in hell I could get a 3:55 on my first marathon).  So I just set myself to finish this bitch and be done with it.  I seriously would have lost my shit if the 4:15 pacer had gone by me.  Thank God that didn't happen.

Mile 24: 10:36
Mile 25: 11:39
Mile 26: 11:07

The last 3 miles to the finish were really, really hard.  The terrain wasn't particularly difficult but my hamstrings hurt really bad, the chaffing was almost unbearable and my toes were killing me too.  The path to the finish was cool in that it was a walking path under the road and plenty of spectators were lined up along that path cheering.  It really pushed to me to finish strong.

badass status

I had no idea my legs could look that good!
marathon training for the win!

so happy! the most happy!

Finish time:  4:08:37!  Yeah baby!!

After I crossed the finish I got my water bottle and just sat.  And laid down and sat some more.  Then tried to get up and decided that wasn't the best idea since I felt dizzy and wanted to barf.  So there was more sitting down.

I found out my friend Stacey had finished in 3:54 ish so she made her BQ time!  I was so happy for her!!  It turns out she also won her age group!!  We hung around and watched our other buddy, Lauren finish.  I tried to get up again and wasn't doing so well, so I got some help to the medic tent just to make sure I was ok.

They took my vitals while I got to sit in a shaded tent with an ice bag on my head.  It felt divine.  The doctor took my blood pressure and said 96/80, I said isn't that strange?  She said yup.  I can't say that was the answer I wanted to hear....  But her diagnosis was dehydration and not death so I guess I was going to survive.  Honestly, just sitting in the shaded tent was all I needed.

three happy finishers!

I need to thank these ladies for all their support and help while training this god-awful winter.  Who knew when we were running in snow and 12* weather that it would be 85* and humid for the race.  Zero time for acclimation.  Just jump right into hell and run there.  Well, we all did it, and finished!  These ladies made 20 mile training runs fun.  Well, maybe not fun, but bearable.  And Danielle, my cheerleader in another town, just makes my life better.  Believing in me when I didn't, sending me cards in the mail that make me laugh and cry with happiness and always helping me to make poor life decisions.

Overall finish 265/702
Female 109/380
Age Group 11/53

I am pretty damn proud of myself and my first marathon effort!  And I may or may not be looking at another flat/fast marathon in the next few months…… shhhhh!




4 comments:

middleagedrunner said...

THIS IS EVERYTHING! What a fantastic recap and what a great race for you!
I laughed so hard at your fury over smelly man and clopping woman- you have no idea how much I am bothered by the sound of shuffling at a certain point in a race. It makes me feel like I should be shuffling too and it kills me, hahah...
Awesome job, I am super proud of you! (pro tip: stay on your feet for 20 min or so post marathon next time, if I sit immediately my BP crashes too. Even just standing helps. It sucks, but is slightly better than passing out!)

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

Huge Congrats!!! I have only done one marathon but I remember how easy it felt at the start and then the spiral into hell. That is probably why I have still only run one!! It was a bad spiral!

Too bad about the chaffing! that is so painful and you got it so early, at least you looked good doing it.

Love the redneck pre prom shooting.

Dan King said...

Awesome. I made the blog. You nailed it Michelle ... Sunday at the marathon and with the recap. I haven't even started trying to recapture my glorious 16, 17 miles and then near total meltdown at 18.

Sherry said...

What an awesome first marathon, and good luck for the next one!
I get the frustration of those 'irritating' runners. I had a foot-slapping girl with a jiggling backpack, puffing bad and run/walking inconsistently but keeping pace with me for the first few miles of my marathon, I was so relieved when she dropped behind!