Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Prince Edward Island Marathon

My First Marathon.  Ever. The only first marathon I will ever have.  SIGH. 

They say you only get a First Time once.  After that it's just AGAIN so you have to make that first time count. I doubt they meant Marathons, but it's the same sentiment. 

I trained, I tapered, I ran, I rested.  I did what the program said and what friends who know said.  And I doubted.  I didn't trust.  And I was proven somewhat wrong. 

Because the marathon was just fine. 

We made it to PEI Saturday afternoon, after a nice rainy drive and no sleep LOL.  we went to the Expo which was not very big.  Picked up my race kit, looked at the few booths and very little Loot left, and bought an 'IRUNLIKEAGIRL" hooded long sleeve shirt.

Hopped over to the mall where we got some dollar store rain capes. That was the extent of my shopping ;)

 Then we went to the hotel to check in.  My stomach may have been a bit sensitive but I thought there were an awful lot of weird smells on the way to our room.  i mean really, the hotel shows the new section across the street but our room? In the old section. it smelled funny. The room appeared mostly clean, so suck it up.

checked in, and then met friends Dawn, Lori, Catherine, and Drea.  Drea was the driver for the 3 ladies running the half marathon; 2 of them for the first time. Dawn was aiming to break 2 hours.

We did not have any reservations (ooops) so we were kind of searching for food.  There were waits at a lot of places, and we ended up at the Claddagh Oyster House which has actually been featured on Regis and Kelly (this past summer they were in PEI?). 

I had a little trouble finding something on the menu that appealed to my squeamy stomach. Terribly nervous and jumpy.  And everyone says you should not try something new before a race.  Everything on that menu included something new.  What I ended up picking was Haddock (I like haddock) that came with some sort of cornmeal concoction (I like Cornmeal) but corn can play havoc on my digestive tract; anyway I had it (and little pieces of bread yum with cranberry something butter.....) and it was tastey and then we had Bailey's Cheesecake and Warm Brownies with ice cream for dessert and went to the hotel. The hot tub was not working SIGH but Sleep came easily.  I didnt get any of my clothes or anything ready; I was waiting to see what the weather would be like in the morning. 

The weather tried it's best to ruin my day.  I actually stopped checking the weather Friday (ok not completely) because it just got worse and worse.  Or at least no better.  Ugh rain, wind, chill, beachfront run, early.  It was a forecast for disaster. I actually do not mind runnin
g in the rain so much, although Im not fond of being cold. But I hate the wind. It is exhausting. And I despise running in rain that is blown sideways by wind.  Which is just what we got. 

I ended up picking the layers option since I knew I could change when Scott met me along the way if I needed to.  I wore a new tank top (yes new) along with my new CEC running shirt (again, new) covered with my running coat and capris (not new).  Got the new belt loaded with Tylenol, Oatmeal Bar, and Gu Chomps.  Attached my number.  With my name on it LOL  I didnt really get any photos of that.  Unfortunate.

We took some instant oatmeal and a kettle, so had some breakfast in the room and Tim's coffee.  The coffee and those 2 cups of water I had as much as I could before the run sure did come back to visit me later. 
I put on my 2 shirts then put the Ipod armband over that; then put on my coat.  Over the shirts i had my new belt with bars and number attached. It was also under my coat and was very light weight; could barely feel it.

We left the hotel about 45 minutes before the run was due to start at 8.  The garmin was charged and located satellites.  The Ipod was loaded with good music. I was doing all I could to be ready :):)

But the weather was terrible! LOL  All I could think was THIS is my first marathon?  This wind, with rain, was where I was going to have to test my ability to run that distance?  Doubt was overwhelming. 

When we arrived at the race start about 25 minutes before the start, the rain was falling heavy and sideways due to the wind. We sat in the car for a few minutes while the buses landed and the wind battered the car around.  Waiting for the buses = FAIL.  The bathroom lines got very very long very fast. Big mistake on my part to not attempt to beat them but I was thinking of other things like the way the wind was blowing and OMG what was I doing there? Who was I fooling? lol

So I got into the bathroom line and Groused out some old lady who tried to butt in line in front after I had been standing there for 10 minutes I was so pissed!  I was struggling to keep my rain cape from blowing around my face and I was cold and shivering and my feet were already wet and she was like 2 people up, "maybe I will just hop in here to line up?" I said Line starts back there; thumbing some 30 people back.  She was like "well Ive been standing here for a few minutes and I could not tell if you got here before me.  I looked at the line up way behind me and was like....this line has been waiting for a long time. She ended up butting in front of a few people behind me.  I dont want to be rude but I am starting the same race as she was, and why should I wait in a wet line when she just wanders in?

The bathroom cleaned out really fast all of a sudden and I was like....welllll if I miss the start, I will just start by myself ;) I still need to pee!  I like to go 3 times before I get into a long run. It's a habit. and I did have a 2 cups of water and a cup of coffee this morning then a long drive to the start....but what I should have done was get into line instead of sitting in the warm car, for those 5 minutes LOL. 

Finished in the bathrooms and went out to the start which was NOT going without me. I had time to wander down, get into line somewhere behind the 4:30 pace bunny, chat to people, saw someone from Truro I occassionally see at races (I think this was her first as well) and although we could not hear what was going on at the front, we did hear the start and moved towards the line. 

Crossed the start line pretty fast; there were only 270 some people in the run I think I heard?  I think we were about 30 seconds out.

The wind was brutal. But it was mostly from one side and behind.  IT was strong and gusty; my foot kept blowing in front of the other (Im sure that sounds dumb lol) but I am sure it could have been worse. It kept blowing under my coat and I was pretty soaked and chilled from the start. If I so much as slowed down I was cold.  If I kept going I  was warmer.  Soaked right through.I had on 3 layers of shirt; way more than I have had since last March.  I kept hoping to get to shed one but it was way too wet and cold.  Shirt tights were wet.  Not so big a deal until you have to deal with a porta potty.  Then imagine soaking pants and unders and 3 shirts and a coat all tangled together and see if you can do that quickly. SIGH. 

Running along was pretty funny; a fellow stopped within 5 minutes and peed beside the road. JEALOUS me, wishing to be a man for how easy it was.  There were a lot of people running in rain coats and capes; the wind was way too much and I had left mine behind. Im sure most of those people were equally wet, the way the wind was blowing.  This woman had a garbage bag on and she kept having to pull it down out of her face.  It would blow right over her head and she would struggle to pull it down; She had no arm holes so she was running inside of it.  As I passed her I saw her bag blow up again and she was hugging a water bottle to her chest and she was so bundled up; I cannot imagine running for hours that way.

Pace was really good, I kept thinking "good job, going slow, slow down a little more, no rush" and I would check my watch and see I was going 6 minute km and often less. It did not feel as tho it was too fast but I did take it super easy which Im sure paid off later. The road along the beaches was so flat with only a few rises or sometimes bridges over water ways.  It wasnt hard to make an even pace.

I talked to a few people and listened to the waves from the ocean which was REALLY high surf. Hard to tell what was waves and what was wind.  We were beside the ocean a lot; the trees we ran near did not sheild the wind.  Tonnes of people were running their first marathon too.  I ran with one guy from Fall River who was running his first; he is a salesman and travels for work.  We talked running and PEI and other stuff for awhile.  Mostly people were struggling with the wind too much to be chatty.

Passed Scott missed another photo opportunity. Somehow while taking photos of others he missed my start too.  There  I go; The red coat fellow is Fall River Dude. 

Still following the 4:30 pace bunny but within 4 miles I wanted a bathroom. The first one, was way off the road!  It was around a corner and across a parking lot. I should have reconsidered; I maybe could have waited. I didnt trust LOL wasted some time there, struggling with wet clothing.  Felt better.  Lost the pace bunny and Fall River Dude.

Had a combination of water and gatorades at the aid stations. I carry no water along so took advantage of most water stops.  I wonder why I had to pee again before 7 miles had passed LOL.  This time it was a lone portapotty SIGH and there were others waiting but I really had to go. IT was even harder to manage the pants and stuff this time, so cold and wet and my gloved hands were clumsy.  Still, felt better. I figure I lost a good 5 minutes to portapotties SIGH.  But this was the last time I had to stop.  3 times is the charm ;)

I guess about 12 km in I passed Scott again and maybe at this point requested a banana ;) I think I had had half a bar by now (around 10) as well as my tylenol (dry) but it was too hard to mess with the belt and went clothing/jacket so I took my food from Scott.  It got a little funny with people commenting on my husband popping up with arm loads of stuff to figure out what I wanted this time. I almost always requested something different for next time ;)

Things get a little confusing after the monotony sets in.  LOL Pace was still steady aroun 6:10 now, which was about goal at this time.  The 4:30 pace bunny had people dropping off like flies; she went out fast and was not consistent and alot of people felt the fast pace at the start lead to their slower pace later. She did finish in 4:32 but had lost groups by then who could not keep her pace up.  I had a feeling my pace would be slower later.  I counted on it.

after awhile we left the ocean behind and went onto roads with woods and houses on both sides, This change of direction meant the wind was now from the side and occassionally blustered us sideways but settled down a little bit away from the open ocean.  Rain was steady.  This road was a little more rolling hills (small ones) with more ups than downs but they were insignificant and made it interesting.

At about half way (21 km, 2:18 ish) we turned off the main road and onto Trans Canada Trail.  These are old railways that are pulled out and made into walking trails. Very unchallenging. VERY muddy.  It was slightly uphill in places, more than downhill but it's subtle and only really able to tell by pace.  Of course through here pace slowed a little.  But I was passing people as well :) There was one fellow who I would pass, then he would pass me, and walk while I passed him; I called him man in blue but I see he was Wayne from Denver Colorado. Wonder what he was doing in PEI? lol  I actually passed a lot of people on the trail; It was very good for moral.  LOL  People were struggling.  As we crossed roads I saw Scott again; he delivered some stuff for me.  Tylenol, snacks.  I also decided to try some Poweraid Gel (chocolate) as a diversion. It likely took me an hour to eat it all but it was interesting and distracting by times LOL.  It didnt taste bad.

The trail was a different direction; now the wind was hitting head on. LOVE it.
On the trail my hip did start to ache a little but there was not the annoying pain of last week; it was more of a dull ache.  Hip Flexors started to ache shortly after so Im sure it was a lot of just tired and overuse. No noise from the knee, ankles. 

32 km at about 3:30.  this was uncharted territory which in the past did not go all that well :):)  Remembering the St John Celebration of Greenspace run; the last 6 km then were pretty awful.  Different course, different weather, different preparation.

I came across Fall River Dude again late on the trail. He looked good...but slowed down a bit....

Eventually the trail did end and we got back on the road.  That is where the real hills started. The roads were for much of the way closed which was nice; on some of the unclosed roads the cars drove awfully close to us :(

Just before the hills I saw Scott for the last time.  Had a piece of bagel LOL.  Then down Sherwood and up a big ol hill. Once back on the roads, pace picked up again.  Was able to get to under 6 minute kms again :) Guess just needed some rest on the trails?  :):):) 

There were 3 big hills on the way back into downtown.  The first wasn't bad, about 6 km out and there was a downhill first. ran up that, turned onto the road that leads to down town.  Lots of cars in places :) The police did a great job of holding back intersections for us :) Passed a couple of people on the hill; Gotta remember hills are your friend. 

Next hill leading up to the malls. Figured this could be the last place for a walk so did a little walk there on the hill.  Hip playing up a lot now but still ok. My feet were tired :) About that spot I noticed the rain had kind of slowed to a sprinkle. 4 hours of rain. Nice. SO cold.  And clothing So heavy :)

Only one more up hill now and it was to the college.  I ran the last hill and passed another person :):):) Now all downhill to the finish.  There were about 2-3 km left.  And at no point did I think this was not going to go well.  Really I spent most of the time wondering if I could up the pace or should I just take it easy :)

Those last km were long LOL Im glad I did not have to go further since I really pushed the end a little bit :) But the end was in sight and it didnt matter now what was behind :)  I ran into the chute and heard them announce my name and then I was over the time matt and it was finished.  That was sort of surprising. What, that's it?  LOL  Someone wrapped a space blanket around my shoulders and asked if I was ok which I was.  I walked through the last bit and there were people with medals but no one gave me one ;) I did not stop; there were medals on the table and I saw the guy in front of me take one so I did. I dont even know if I have the right one; it does say Marathon so whatever ;)  The chute emptied right into the area with food and water and I seriously had to nudge around a really fat woman with a cane dressed in normal clothes and her 2 fat children who also did not run, but rather ran from food to food grabbing all they could and were picking up food and tossing it back into the bins. I was almost bowled over by one of them; Seriously? Get out of my way.  Before I fall over.  I grabbed some food and left the area.  And that was it. Marathon over. What an anticlimax.  Scott snapped a photo but did not get many.  And he parked at the hotel so we walked from the end of the race to the hotel.  Still raining.  Got a little cold. LOL

At the hotel room I stripped off the very wet nasty (and somewhat snotty) clothes and had a hot bath to get warm.  Packed up the room and left.  There was no rest LOL.  We had a late check out but didn't stay until the end.  We were out pretty fast and into the car.  Other than coffee and pee stops we went straight back to Truro and to the hockey rink where the girls were playing.  It was great that we got back in time to see it although Im not sure sitting in the cold was the best; I still think it was likely better than being too still and getting more sore. Cannot really say I had stretched by this time; legs were really sore from top to bottom and hips were raging.

Anyway so that's that.  It's over LOL.  Day after was not bad although I did not love stairs and sleeping was hard because rolling over woke me up. Day 2 was not worse; had a massage and Day 3 has been pretty much normal. There are no lasting effects evident; tomorrow I am going to run a short easy run.  For all the build up and worry, it's just...over.   LOL I kind of expected the "after marathon blues" but luckily it's been so busy the last few days, who has time to induldge.  Next up: Triathlon?  And another marathon next year, for sure. LOLOL


Gaspegirl said...

WOW! It sounds like you really conquered it... with grace. Great work this year on all of your training and running. Are you planning a round of P90x this winter to help build your strength for your running? Insanity would definitely work on your endurance - not that you really need to work on it... it seems that you have that one nailed!

Scrappytbear said...

:D I want to try P90X; it's a discipline thing! But reducing the running outside fora few months might be a nice change BRR :)

Trevor said...

Congratulations on your accomplishment! Good on you for sticking through the weather and frequent potty stops :-) Maybe next year they'll expand the Cobequid Trail race to a full marathon, and you could run closer to home. Or ... do PEI again. We're thinking about going there again next year ... after all, the weather can't be that bad two years in a row, can it ?!?!

Anne said...

Congrats! You did a great job, especially considering the weather. I hope I can feel as relaxed about my own first marathon next May :)

city said...

thanks for share.

2012 km Goal