You’ve all been patiently waiting for my recap of the marathon and I’ve been patiently attempting to write it up.
Let’s recap: I went into the Wineglass marathon after having to defer my entry into Chicago until 2018. Moving up to New York put a damper in our plans for Chicago and it just so happens the Wineglass marathon is in my hometown just one week prior to Chicago. It worked out perfectly, I had already been registered for the half marathon and my mom was running the half. It was easy to upgrade and everyone I talked to said this was a great course.
I won’t go into a race without a goal. For some, finishing is the goal, and I totally respect that. I had a lot of people say to me “It’s your first marathon? You shouldn’t have a time goal, just cross the finish line.” While that is all fine and dandy, I personally, do not operate that way. I will never go into any race without some sort of time goals in mind because my training forms around goal pace. Speaking of goals: I had 3 going into the wineglass. You all know my ABC plan 😉
A: Qualify for Boston with a 3:30
B: Sub 4 hours
C: Cross the finish line happy
^^ See, that goal is there, but it’s not my primary goal. In order for me to train effectively, push myself, and pace myself during a race, I need to have a time goal/pace in mind.
I got up at 3am to get dressed, pack my bag, and head to Corning. It’s about a two hour drive from my house which gave me plenty of time for pep talks, bagel with jam, water, and nerves. I got over half way to Corning when I realized I forgot the mouth piece to my hydration pack. FUCKITY FUCK FUCK FUCK. I’m not censoring anything, these are the exact words I screamed in the car the moment I looked over and saw I forgot it. I’ve trained with the hydration pack, I didn’t want to deal with water stops, trying to drink water and run, slowing/starting back up again. I frantically called my husband, who got it, and was going to try and meet me somewhere on the course to get it to me since he couldn’t get to the starting line.
I arrived, found my mom, but we had very few minutes to spare before having to board the buses to the start line. It was really easy, I had no wait, and I hugged her and told her to kick ass. When I got to the starting line, which was about a 20 minute drive, there was a huge tent that had heat blasting through out it. This was great because I was freezing my butt OFF. All of us runners huddled around each other, chatting about goals & stories of other marathons. I loved listening to the people around me give advice, talk about the course, and just share the love of the marathon.
In hindsight, I should have warmed up a little bit but it was too cold and I just wasn’t having it. I literally walked to the starting line from the heated tent right as the gun was about to go off. I shed all of my layers, took a selfie, one last deep breath, and off we went.
There was NO 3:30 pacer. I’m still kind of annoyed by this. There was a pacer for ever 5 minute increment it seemed except 3:30. There was a 3:40, 3:35, 3:25. Seriously?! So I set myself in front of the 3:35 and told myself not to let them catch me. Spoiler… they all caught me. Anyways, the race!
Miles 1-4 Tony had called me to tell me that the first water station had volunteers and he left my mouth piece with them. I frantically would forget to pay attention and wonder if I passed the first water station. When I did happen upon the first one, it was not the volunteers I was looking for. I wasn’t sure if I missed a station or that Tony wasn’t right about the correct stop. Damn… I didn’t have time to spare so I just kept trotting along. I drink like a fish when running and I just don’t have it in me to slow down for water stops and try to take in water. I love the ease and control I have over a hydration pack so I was on the hunt for the next water stop, praying they had my mouth piece.
The course was a net downhill but there were a few uphill battles. I trained 90% of the time in Charleston, which is flat as a pancake. Even the tiniest of hills sent me into a complete melt down in my head. I’m sure everyone from upstate New York was rolling their eyes at me when I legit said curse words out loud at the small hills.
I’m on pace for my 3:30 finish. I find my mouth piece at mile 2 and stop quickly to add it on, thank the volunteer and continue on. These miles felt easy enough. I was just trotting along to my music and looking at the pretty boring scenery. (I rather run in a city)
Miles 5-10: I found a pack to run with who seemed to be cruising along the same pace as I was. I started talking to them about how I just moved up to Rochester from Charleston. The group was actually from the Rochester area, so we started talking more. Come to find out, the woman I was running with is actually my new neighbor! Such a weird coincidence to run into her during the midst of a marathon. Around mile 10, they picked up the pace a little and I fell back. Trying hard to just stay with the pace I set out to do.
Miles 10-14: I started to panic. My toes were starting to hurt. My toes have never hurt during a run before so this was all new to me. I kept considering it was all in my head but the pain was growing. I could see my splits falling behind maybe 5-10 seconds. Nothing crazy but the drag was starting to take over. These miles were out in the Country. We ran by horses, cows, smelly farms, and lots of back roads. There were very few crowds, in fact I think the only people we saw, were those at the aid stations.
Mile 15: and here is where it ends. I stopped. I felt my toes. I curled them up in pain. I knew I couldn’t do 11 more miles at the pace I was cruising at. I wasn’t even sure I could finish. I had a moment where I was thinking in my head if it were physically possible to finish. I got frustrated with myself because just a few weeks earlier I had done an amazing 18 mile training run. So why now could I barely complete 15 and question my ability to finish. A guy patted me on the back and told me to go with him. The beauty of the running community.
Miles 15-20: I was not in a good place. I was walk/running. I was irritated. When I was running I was managing my normal marathon pace but with the added walking my mile splits were in the 10 minute range. My toes were in so much pain. I still had yet to see my family on the course until mile 19. I saw Tony at mile 19 and collapsed in his arms. He knew my BQ was well out of the window but he pushed me off him and he said “go run!” I was like “I’m not going to qualify so what does it matter.” and he responded “Go do your best, now go!” and off I went.
Seeing my family gave me a bit of a boost but one mile later the pain of everything was right there to remind me of how much training slacking I did with the move to NY.
Miles 20-26- It’s all a blur. It just hurt. This is the part of the course where we were heading into Corning and the cheering crowds got much larger. Coming into the city helped me stop walking as much but my pace was unbearably slow to the point where it almost hurt because I was dragging my legs. I at least knew that I was going to finish and hit my B goal of under 4 hours as long as I just kept trucking along.
.2 – the finish line sprint. I’m not the type of person to let a finish line crowd pass me by. I stuck my arm out and gave a high five to every person along the line. Of course my smart husband was on the wrong side of the course screaming my name and video taping me and I didn’t see him till the last second.
Did I hit my goal of 3:30, nope. Am I upset? Hell no. The race was a humbling, amazing experience and I’m so proud of my body for getting me across that finish line. I know that I’ll get my 3:30 someday. I’m not one to back down from a challenge.
After the race I ate some delicious food and sipped a yummy beer. My mother, a rock star, knocked out her first half marathon like a damn rock star. She’s already registered for next year with the goals of getting faster. I have no doubt she’ll accomplish it and I can’t wait to be at the finish line this time to greet her.