our hotel room (aka bomb shelter) sucked, there was body hair all over the shower and floor in one of the bathrooms, ty didnt fit in the bed (although he is freakishly tall....), and we didnt get the "marathon" room rate (but it did come with a crock pot!?). the "race expo" consisted of a few tables of free trade products. no race shirts, sweatshirts, shoes, or marathon/racing products of any kind. our dinner (double diamond steakhouse) took over an hour and 25 minutes to arrive due to only having one chef- marathon weekend planning fail (during this time tyler drank 3 crown on the rocks and we plowed through 4 loaves of bread). the athletic center and hot tub we apparently had access to closed down early without any prior warning. and to top it all, the super awesome sugarloaf 26.2 stickers we all thought we were going to get in our race packet (or at least have for sale) stopped being made two years ago. we got sugarloaf golf stickers instead. this whole experience gets one huge fat FAIL.
(and seeing this pic now... liquor total $21? im pretty sure 6.25 x 3 = $18.75. apparently this restaurant thinks ginger ale is liquor. bad news for the pregnant lady, since she was the one drinking it. bad sarah, bad!)
this was really the only cool thing about our room.
so if youre planning to run sugarloaf next year, make your reservations early (to get a room in the actual sugarloaf inn, at the marathon rate) and either bring your own food or spend the money to attend the all you can eat spaghetti dinner. alright, enough of that.
THIS MARATHON ROCKED!!! end of story.
ok, just kidding.
after dinner and hanging out with everyone in melissa's super sweet room at the inn (where ty fit in the comfy beds and she paid almost $50 less than we did), we went back to our shelter and watched the sox game. i got into bed at 11:11 and i couldnt fall asleep. i looked at the clock after some time and it read 12:22. i heard rain and wind outside shortly thereafter. i kept thinking i was going to sleep through my alarm (although we had 4 cell phone alarms and a dinky clock alarm set haha) and i was thinking about the race. (and with tyler taking up most of the bed, i mentally wrote an email in my head to sugarloaf about everything that sucked about our hotel experience. will be sending that one out soon....)
i must have fallen asleep for a little bit but woke up again at 3:15. i then fell asleep again until the alarms started going off. andrea and i got up about 4:30am, had some breakfast and got our stuff together (and she dropped some of her hair elastics in the toilet when we were getting ready haha). i had laid out everything i would need on sat night so i wouldnt forget anything... dont ever think you can just up and go run a marathon, it takes a lot of stuff! (and yes, the bud light is essential to running a marathon, obviously!)
after getting ourselves ready we headed over to the base lodge to meet up with everyone before leaving on the busses at 5:45. (they actually sent over one mini bus first, then came two more school busses. we didnt leave until after 6:00am).
first time marathoners, jenn and andrea
second time marathoners rebecca, melissa, and myself
i also decided to use my massive calves as an operation jack billboard... and a few people actually stopped me before, during, and after the race to ask about it. success! one woman told me she took a picture of it... because her friends name was jack. but maybe they will visit the site too? (and i just got word that Train 4 Autism would like to use this picture in their upcoming newsletter... woo hoo!!)
it was an awesome day for a race (albeit just a little hot, but ill take it over rain and wind and other junky weather any day). i think it was in the 40's when we started, maybe a little higher, and got to the mid 60's by the end. we also got a nice strong wind pushing us, which helped quite a bit and kept things cool in many places where the sun was shining bright. (but alas, wind doesnt keep you from getting sunburnt in places you forgot to put sunscreen. whoops).
we got to the starting line about a half hour before the starting time at 7am. the lines for the port-a-potties werent bad, and thank god they had them there because i only saw ONE along the course, and that was around mile 5. runners were ducking in and out of the woods all along the course, which is pretty unacceptable (especially with water stops every two miles!) the whole race was very scenic though, and i snapped a few photos with my phone during the first couple miles.
this sign was approximately 4 miles into the race, and the finish line was in kingfield. 22 is my favorite number which is really why i took the pic, but it also put the distance of the race into perspective.
since the race was out in the middle of nowhere maine/close to canada, there werent too many houses along the route, so spectators were few and far between. they did not close the road down, however, so people who had come up to see their friends and family run the marathon were able to drive from point to point and stop to cheer us all on. shaun and andy (rebecca and jenn's boys, respectively) were all over the course to help push us along, and i absolutely couldnt have done it without them. and after mile 12 tyler and my friend sarah did the same, and their support made all the difference (cowbells and all).
my first three miles were really great... mile 1 at 8:31, mile 2 at 17:29, mile 3 at 26:05. at the first mile i sent out a twitter update and text to my mom and a few friends: "1 mile down 25.2 to go!" my mom, who clearly has no clue how to text, sent me back this message "PP s spr t t tv". try figuring that one out!! haha. classic.
i had told ty i would probably be at the entrance to sugarloaf mountain around 9am but i ended up passing by right around 8:45. so i put my cell on speaker phone and gave him a call. they were just leaving the hotel, so i told him not to wait for me since i was cruisin :) i then called my mom and asked her to decipher her text. laughing hysterically, she admitted to not knowing how to use the cell phone (duh) and said she was trying to write something along the lines of "run run run!" love that woman.
the website for the marathon claimed the "last 16 miles are downhill". dont think they were kidding....
by mile ten i could feel a blister forming under my big toe, and it kept screaming at me over the next few miles. i got to 13.1 in exactly 2 hours, which is not my best half marathon time but pretty good for still having 13.1 more miles to go. (this race was interesting not having timing chips, but i started my watch when the gun went off at the beginning so it was nice to know exactly the time i would be getting when i got to each mile instead of having to guess how long it took me to cross the starting line... with only about 400 runners, it probably took about 3 seconds, but still nice). i knew if i could negative split the marathon (run the second half faster than the first) i would run sub 4 hours, but i didnt think i had it in me, and my knees agreed. although nothing was like the pain i felt in last years marathon, they still ached pretty good.
dont know where these pics were taken but i was still feelin pretty good up until about mile 20 (so we will say they were most likely somewhere before that). in the second pic you can almost see the impact on my legs from the downhill slope. quads are payin for that today.
i didnt necessarily hit a wall but i really began to fall apart close to the end. my camelbak was annoying me. i tried to eat my peanut butter sandwich and my mouth was so dry i just ended up spitting it out. no song on my ipod(s) was helping to pump me up. i wanted to stop and walk so bad. luckily shaun was at the top of a slight hill at mile 20 and screamed at me when i stopped to pet his dog bishop... "WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? THERE IS NO WALKING!!!" haha. thanks, shaun :)
here are two sweet pics that sarah took... first rebecca, then melissa. you both did absolutely amazing in this race!
i figured since i had a pic of mile 22 from my first marathon, i might as well take this one too.
just getting to mile 23 i looked at my watch and it said 3:39. it was about this point when i realized i wouldnt run sub 4hours (even in my wildest dreams i cannot run a 5k in under 20 minutes, especially after already running 23 miles). but alas, i started crying (not an uncommon thing for me). (and obviously as im writing this im tearing up... this has been one of the more difficult blog entries for me to write for so many reasons). but i wasnt crying because i wasnt going to come in under 4 hours.....
my friend melissa (pic of her above, bib #61) has put her heart and soul into training for this marathon for the past 4 plus months. she had a trainer, a heart rate monitor, a special diet, weeks where she logged 100 miles... all for one goal. that goal? to qualify for boston. not an uncommon goal for this marathon- sugarloaf has been noted to be one of the top 15 fastest marathons, and a lot of people are able to use this as a BQ race (despite no chip time... dont know how thats possible but whatever). melissa stood right on the starting line to make sure she didnt miss this by mere seconds.
i had seen ty and sarah at about 3hours and 20 minutes and told them to go on to the finish so they could see melissa finish. when i looked at my watch and saw 3:39, i started crying thinking of melissa. there was nothing more i wanted today than to have her cross that line in under 3:40:59. shes a tough cookie, and if anyone wanted it badly enough, it was her. i waited til 3:41 and texted tyler "did she do it?" a minute later i got back this text "youre doing great, keep it up". i texted him back "TELL ME". i got nothing in return. then i lost phone service. i started crying even more, and then realized i cant run, cry, and breathe at the same time. i stopped running, pulled my self back together, and then continued on hoping tyler just didnt have service at the finish line to text me back.
so i continued on, slowly but surely. and i was so happy to see this sign.
and i was even happier to see this sign, poster, and smiling face of sarah :) ty was there with her too, and had put on his running shoes so he could run the next .2 miles with me. (all together now.... "awwwwww") hehe
the second ty started running with me, i asked him about melissa. he told me she was just about 8 minutes shy of qualifying. clearly i started crying again. i guess he had texted me but since i didnt have service it never came through. i was probably better off not knowing this for the last three miles because i probably would have broken down. but i tell ya, that girl is super strong. and if anything, this is only going to push her even harder to qualify in october at the maine marathon. you WILL be at boston on your birthday next year, melissa. and you can bet we will all be there to cheer you on.
i was able to power through the finish line, and my official time was 4:15:25. can we say PR!?!?! i somehow managed to take a full minute off each mile (and then some) from last october and finish 27minutes and 48seconds faster. i was hoping for a PR during this race but really? im still pinching myself. i had made a bet with sam on saturday night... he said he would spot me an hour from what he gets in his marathon in cleveland on sunday. if i got under that time, he'd send me OJ shirt. if he won the bet, i buy one myself (which in turn helps support his cause, yay operation jack). needless to say this man is super fast, and ran 3:08. but hey, i was only off by 7 minutes or so :)
shortly after the race i ripped off my shoes and socks having remembered that rebecca had written something on my foot before the race started. from a message she wrote on a blog back in april:
"This story was told to me by a friend who's father (100% Greek) was told to him by his father (200% Greek). During war as warriors and paiges would march to battle- they would write something on their foot with wine, soot or vinegar. A problem that was plaguing their life, a hope to survive, something to pray for. As the word disappeared with every step- they left it behind-so that when they went to battle their heart was clean. when they survived they came home new and if they died they met God with a clear conscious.
I was told that Phiddipiedeas wrote “Peace” on his foot as he ran across Greece proclaiming that the war was over.
For my first marathon I asked my boyfriend to write my word for me. Something for me to either leave behind or fuel me through the miles. It was really neat to have something to think about other than "ow my hip hurts" for all those miles. After I crossed the finish line I stripped my sock and shoe to find the work "PASSION"."
and this is what mine said.... (please disregard the utter grossness of my feet. thanks)
although she claims she wrote it about me getting a PR, i blame her for the two newly formed blisters on that foot ;)
heres a pic of me and andrea at the finish line. so proud of her!!!
and i seriously heart this pic of jenn, rebecca, melissa, me, and andrea post 26.2. you know its a good day when everyone wears a smile!
so race #5 is now in the books, and a PR at that. i must also say the rock tape i used actually kept my legs feeling pretty good. left me with some pretty sweet tan lines though. fail.
recovery has been a zillion times better than last year. i even think im going to try to go for a little jog tomorrow before work (definitely didnt run for almost a week after the last marathon). was it my freakishly painful ice bath i took last night? or was it the fact i drank about 2 gallons of water as opposed to about a 12 pack of beer like last year.... you make the call. (and before you even ask, here are the answers: yes im crazy. yes the ice bath was painful, almost more painful than actually running the marathon. yes you get numb after a few minutes and dont feel much of anything after that. no i didnt get frostbite. three 5 lb bags of ice. maybe i might do it again. i wore shorts and a hooded sweatshirt and read a book for 20 minutes. end of ice bath question & answer session).
5 down. 7 to go.