Maine Marathon (Oct 2, 2005)
Husband and I traveled to New England for a two week vacation. Of course, I launched it with the Maine Marathon in Portland.
Unfortunately, I came down with a cold the 6 days before the race. That, along with a general sense of overtraining and a nagging post-ultra fatigue kept me from running at all the week before.
The airline lost our luggage but I always carry my running things with me in the carry-on bag.
Portland is a great town and we have fun exploring, though, as usual, I probably put too much time on my legs the day before the race. At packet pick-up we ran into some fellow luggage-less passengers from our flight.
The weather started out nice for Fall – 60 degrees. It was sunny and windless. The race starts along the bay and continues out into the countryside north of the city. Lots of beautiful rich people stood outside their beautiful expensive houses to cheer us on all along the route.
I had heard the course described as fairly flat but found it otherwise. There were lots of rollers between the flat stretches and I was again glad I train regularly on hills. I felt well rested and ready to go at the start, hopeful that the rest days I took helped me to recuperate enough to do well. My goal was a PR or at least a repeat BQ.
I kept a steady pace through the first half. The ambient temp came up fairly quickly and by the turn around point I was pouring water over my head at the aid stations to keep cooler. This was the first road race that I took my salt tablets every 45 minutes and I think it helped a bit to ward off leg aches.
However, it did little for general fatigue. Around 19 miles my pace began to drop off and the more miles I pushed under my feet, the less I cared.
I kept a number of fellow runners entertained with my favorite slogan emblazoned on the back of my singlet “WILL RUN FOR FOOD.” Towards the end I was thinking more that I would rather starve than run one more step.
I did eventually pull out of my funk and do my best to at least hit my BQ goal. I sprinted at the end to pass a several people, including the luggage-less woman I had met at packet pickup. I missed my PR by almost exactly 1 minute but made the BQ cut off.
As is apparently my lot in life, the day of the marathon was “unseasonably warm” — 78º by the time I crossed the finish line. It was an exhausting day, mentally and physically. Still, I managed to walk the 2 miles back to my hotel, rather than call a cab. It just took me 45 minutes.
That’s a 22.4 min/mile.
I believe my current training regimen has reached the end of its usefulness and I need to move on to something different. But what?
I’ll keep you posted!