Tuesday, October 16, 2012

MDI marathon- caw! caw!

ive been sitting in front of this blank screen since i woke up at noon (yes i slept last night, yes i went back to bed... after getting up at 3am to take meg to the bus station and getting pulled over and having to run in and stop the bus and save the day!) but thats a whole other story...

ive said this a few times before on this blog (most likely on all of my marathon recaps), but this is a very difficult recap to write. i have NO idea where to start. most people would say "well duh, start at the beginning". which makes sense. but i think ill hold your attention a little better if i start at the end...

at mile 24 i was walking at a 14:30 pace. tears were rolling down my face. i couldnt feel my fingers and the rain was beating down on me. there was no dry spot on my clothes or body. with 2 miles left to go, 29 minutes if i kept walking, i contemplated stopping and figuring out a way for someone to pick me up. my first marathon DNF. i didnt think i had it in me to keep going.

TWO MILES. after powering through the previous 24. this was the mental game i was now battling.

one final up hill, the "final push" water station, and a sign at the 'top of the hill' restaurant that said "MDI runners, 1.5 miles left. its all downhill from here". so i started running. albeit not fast, but i was determined to cross that finish line. andy met me on the bike with less than a mile to go, i handed him my water bottle, and i took off. as i crossed the finish line, got my medal, elizabeth wrapped me in a tin foil cape, i saw sarah and hugged her and cried.

then i did something ive never done in any race ive run. i went to the medical tent.


minus the pouring rain, this marathon/marathon weekend went just like all the others for the most part. scratch that, the rain is included. 3 out of my past 4 marathons were in the pouring rain. thanks for that, weather gods. i dont mind running in the rain but come on!

a bunch of us crazy runner people got together friday night for food (CAKE!), drinks, and scrabble, and eventually the baseball game after spending what seemed like hours on the phone with time warner cable threatening to burn their place down (i cant believe i did this in order to watch the yankees game!?)

must be mdi weekend!

meg, ally, and christy had flown in earlier in the day, brendan, andy, sarah and ruddley joined us for the festivities, and once the night calmed down, i cheered for the cardinals while andy passed out from a few too many bud lights. sarah and i woke him up bright and early for an easy 2 mile run (and it was a whopping 30 degrees. yay). we packed up our stuff, ate 9 pounds of bagels and french toast for breakfast at mr.bagel, and headed on our way... mount desert island bound!

love these girls

clearly we needed to stop to see the moose

andy wanted in on all the picture action too

we got to the expo, picked up our jackets and bibs, and snapped a few pics, obviously.

two bad ass crow chicks
caw! caw!

we then proceeded to stuff our face with ALL THE CARBS... bread, pizza, ravioli, chicken, pasta... you name it, we pretty much ate it. i of course had the same meal i ate last year (i pretty much havent stopped talking about it since)... bucatini pasta with pecorino cheese and a poached egg on top. filled with garlic and butter and yummy goodness. amazing.

post pasta face stuff fest

i could bore you with the late night details, but long story short... i became a huge emotional mess and needed to let it all out, and didnt want to scare my bed mates. so after watching a few innings of the yankees game, after we all headed to bed, i put on my jacket and uggs and took a walk around the hotel parking lot. the night sky was clear, and i just tried to clear my head and focus on the race the next day. i walked back into the hotel room, sat down on the bed with andy, and started bawling. it just all came out. he didnt really know what to do and i felt pretty stupid, so i said "apparently my walk isnt over yet" and i went back outside, sat on the hood of my car and cried. and cried and cried.

heading back into the hotel after i had somewhat pulled myself together, meg had gotten worried and came to see if i was ok. we all headed back into bed and apparently sara was awake too, so we called in to andy to ask for a bedtime story....

"once upon a time there were three craaaaazy runners who couldnt sleep the night before their very hilly very long distance race... along came the handsome gallant bike rider who inspired them to go faster..."

i think we eventually fell asleep, and woke bright and early to the sound of rain. lovely. it actually ended up being water just falling off the roof, but the forecast had rain. and rain it did.

self explanatory, complete with big pimpin sweatpants and race braids
per the norm

crazy awesome runners ready for the day
sara, me, christy, sarah, ally

christy and me

after crying through the national anthem (wtf is wrong with me?!) and cheering/jumping up and down during "thunderstruck", the gun went off and the race started. sarah, christy and i ran together for the first few miles, talking and just enjoying the run. we met up with my friend kelly and talked with her for a few minutes before she took off (and crushed her first marathon! yay!)

mile 1: 9:44
mile 2: 9:35
mile 3: 9:47
mile 4: 9:17
mile 5: 9:39

sarah and i decided to stop at the port-a-potties during mile 6 just because we could. we were not running for time (after coming off her first marathon at smuttynose and my sub 4 there, we just wanted to enjoy this race together... which we absolutely were). our stop took a bit longer than we had thought but we headed out again and made up a little time and carried on.

mile 6: 12:34
mile 7: 9:05
mile 8: 9:09
mile 9: 9:25

the miles were going by so fast. we both were enjoying ourselves, talking to others around us, cheering, laughing, and for once... not complaining! it had started to rain a little bit but we just kept having a great time. all along the way were messages spray painted on the road, much of which read "caw!" and every time we would pass one, we'd yell out "CAW! CAW!" clearly we were slightly delusional. (for those of you who dont know, MDI marathon is put on by Crow Athletics. join us, you'll see what its all about)

this boat was out in the water with a sign that said "i like running!"
only in maine...
mile 10: 9:36
mile 11: 9:27
mile 12: 9:26
mile 13: 9:14

we got to the halfway mark/relay exchange at just over 2:06. i felt good overall but was having knee pain (normal). i stopped and hung onto meg so i didnt fall over stretched at the exchange and then we took off. continuing to have fun, meet more people along the road. the miles just kept going by, and we both commented on how carefree it felt.

mile 14: 10:12
mile 15: 10:04
mile 16: 9:57
mile 17: 10:08

the rain started to come down harder, the hills were getting a little bit longer, a we started to slow down a little. we shared a few miles in silence, which is perfectly normal for the two of us. sarah and i have shared our entire year (particularly all summer) training for these races together. weve had our ups and downs, fast days and slow days, smiles and tears... but we have never given up on each other. we have been side by side through thick and thin...

at mile 18.5, something went wrong. my heart was beating out of my chest. and fast. i slowed down to a walk, with sarah a bit up ahead of me, and when she turned around to see what was up i stopped and bent down...

"i think im about to pass out"

she came running back and held me up. i have no idea what was happening, and i have never felt this way before, but i was really scared. i hate some sports beans, walked through the upcoming water stop, drank some gatorade, and grabbed one of my salt pills when our support car came by. i felt better and we carried on, but the whole situation kept in the front of my mind. i wasnt comfortable with what had happened and was worried it might happen again.

mile 18: 9:49
mile 19: 10:56
mile 20: 11:07
mile 21: 11:25

as sarah wrote on her daily mile entry: "miles 16-20 were a little rough and i could feel my body starting to get tired. D needed to back off on the pace a little around and she told me to go ahead. i had promised her we would cross the finish line together and i did not want to leave her. we argued from mile 18-21....

D: just go, ill be fine... youre gonna fuckin PR this thing
me: no, im not leaving you out here
D: you pushed me to bust my ass this summer, now it's your turn... GO!"

she also told me that she had promised ty she wouldnt leave me, and im pretty sure she said something along the lines of "your husband will KILL ME if i leave you!"

but as i walked through a water stop up a hill after 21, she powered up and kept going. she turned around to see where i was, i gave her a thumbs up, and she never looked back (she did send andy back to check on me though, i know i never left her mind). (side note: she went on to CRUSH her marathon pr by 17 minutes... which was two weeks ago in her FIRST marathon. holy crap, so proud of this girl!! xoxo)

mile 22: 10:37
mile 23: 12:03

the next few miles were brutal. my head was everywhere. i was walking a lot and running very little. i was freezing and wet. i couldnt feel my hands. our support crew had driven by to go to the finish and i knew i had missed my chance for them to give me my warm/dry jacket. i only had one glove so i kept switching it from one hand to the other. at mile 23, i started feeling my heart beating again and i got light headed. i was really scared now. i didnt know what was happening, and i was afraid of dying. i know that sounds dramatic but that was where i was at right then.

mile 24: 14:21

and with 2 miles left, i contemplated ending the race.

mile 25: 12:22
mile 26: 12:40

head back to where this blog starts... i somehow found the strength to get to the finish... with a smile on my face... and was greeted with all my friends at the end.

finish line love
photo courtesy of Kevin Morris

i headed to the medical tent, told them what had happened out there, and they sat me down in front of the heater and gave me a warm blanket. my heart rate and pulse ox were fine (92 and 100%), and my blood pressure was 105/60.

**...we interrupt this blog post to bring you an earthquake. weird. apparently a 4.5, felt from maine to boston. i thought my house was going to explode. carrying on (and im not going to even start with the zumba situation... horray maine.)**

so as i was saying, i got checked out in the med tent, sat for a few minutes to warm up, and figured i should try to get to my car and get into some warm clothes. we had to walk about a half mile, i changed in a gas station bathroom, and meg bought me a hot chocolate and a banana which were the two greatest tasting things EVER. and i saw this car in the parking lot and had to snap a photo:

marathon freak, run long, crow athletics, marathon maniacs
i was meant to find this car.

we all headed back to geddys restaurant in bar harbor to stuff our faces with 10 lbs of spinach and artichoke dip (ok maybe just me and andy), then we all took off for home. but alas, our weekend adventure was not over as i somehow took a wrong turn and almost drove ally and christy to canada.

butttt we made it home in one piece. oh wait, we also stopped for gas and got the leftover chocolate cake out of the trunk and indulged.

the end...

...well not really...

congrats to SO MANY friends (i apologize if i forget anyone...) sarah, sara, brendan, jamie a, jamie t, jen, donna, john, kelly, molly, Ryan & bethany, christy, ally, ruddley, lauren... a HUGE THANK YOU to andy, meg, elizabeth, and sarahs mom for their course support, and a SUPER HUGE THANK YOU to mary ropp and gary allen for yet another great race. caw caw!!
theres a lot marathon maniac in this photo

mount desert island
marathon #8
481/907 overall
33/65 age group

a bittersweet end to a crazy 4 year marathon journey

to be continued... october 20th 2013


  1. proof that you never left my mind 4:22:50... <3. so proud of you for overcoming that mental mind fuck out there...and also for encouraging me to go for it and do what you knew i was capable of...and not unfriending me.

  2. you rock! I cannot believe you ran another marathon in the pouring freakin rain! great job! caw!

  3. Whats this end? I seem to recall seeing some crazy person with the same name is already registed for next year! I am so glad that you didn't pass out and that I could cheer you guys all on!

  4. Awesome recap of an awesome race :-) I can't wait for next year!!!

  5. it's not the end! love ya sugar.

  6. sorry race day didn't go as planned. I ran MDI last year, and thankfully, we had great weather. considering the weirdness at 18.5 and the rain, I think you ran very well.

    keep the recent PR in your mind (congrats ! )

    excellent post race pic

    onward !

  7. Congratulations on a great race! I've never run a race in the rain before so I can't imagine how mentally challenging it must be to finish a rainy marathon. Great job!

  8. That sounds like my race at Sugarloaf this year. Ugh.

    At least you made it! Sounds like it wasn't *too* bad.