Wineglass Marathon Race Recap
WINEGLASS MARATHON RACE RECAP
Several weeks ago I wrote a post describing how marathon training is a lot like being pregnant, comparing the marathon to the big finale, the event of actually giving birth. At the time that I wrote it, it was more of an assumption that something I had personally experienced since I had yet to run my first marathon. Now, three days post Wineglass, I can confirm that it’s true.
In fact, at the starting line, I had some nervous small talk with a woman standing next to me. She told me that her goal was to BQ, I told her this was my first marathon. We wished each other luck and as we were about to take off she looked at me and stated “I always say it’s like giving birth, definitely not easy but so worth it in the end”. I nodded in agreement as we took off and those words stuck with me every single step of those 26.2 miles.
Before I get into the actual race recap, let’s rewind to the expo.
WINEGLASS MARATHON EXPO
The Wineglass expo is held at the Corning Museum of Glass which in and of itself is incredibly impressive though due to the excitement of the marathon, I didn’t get to take it all in like I wanted to. The expo itself was a little more underwhelming than it’s actual venue.
For whatever reason, I expected the expo to be bigger than it was. I’ve been to races with similar field sizes where there were way more vendors. All in all, there were maybe two short rows of vendors plus an outside area where some race apparel was being sold.
On the flip side, I was impressed by how easy it was to pick up the bib packet and didn’t have to wait in any crazy long lines. Plus it came with a nice long sleeve tech shirt, wine glass and mini bottle of celebratory champagne which is always bonus! 😉
The days before the race I hydrated like crazy and of course, the night before I got in a delicious carbo-load with a massive gluten free flatbread from a local restaurant in Corning called The Cellar. Sleep, on the other hand, did not come easy. I tossed, turned, flipped and flopped. I am a bad sleeper to begin with, add in pre-race nerves the night before my very first marathon and I was a bit of a wreck.
Before bed I did myself a favor and laid out all that I’d need the next morning to prevent any race morning frenzy. I woke up at 5:30, dressed in all my race apparel, checked the weather 3 times (the rain in the forecast had disappeared) and peed approximately 10 times.
Since I was staying in Bath, the shuttle bus to the start was right down the road from my hotel which made it easy to find and the actual bus ride to the start was rather short. I arrived and peed another 3 times and just before 8:15 AM, I made my way to the start right at the back of the pack with the 3:45 pace group.
I never really announced my marathon goal time publicly because I didn’t want to set myself up. This was my first marathon, after all, and it’s really supposed to be about the experience, not about the time. I did have some goals though.
First and foremost, my “A Goal” was to finish. My “B Goal” was to finish in under 4 hours. My “C Goal” was to finish in 3:45. I knew my “C Goal” was a bit lofty…I had only ever trained up until 20 miles though I did finish my recent 18.12 race with a 8:35 pace (which translates to a 3:45 marathon time). So, with that in mind, I decided to start with the 3:45 pace group and see what happened.
This is what happened as told in stages…
Miles 1-7: The Self Doubt [AKA WTF DID I GET MYSELF INTO] Stage
I was nervous, so nervous but much like when you’re about to do something epic (like give birth to your first child) you just let adrenaline take over and go for it. The first mile was great (LET’S DO THIS, you think) my leg that had been hurting me didn’t bother me at all…then mile 3 happened.
My IT band started to flare up, my right leg felt like it was dragging and for 3 miles there was NO relief. And much like your first major contraction during childbirth, you think WTF did I get myself into? HOW am I going to do this for another 23 MILES?! Is it too late to turn around?
Despite all this self doubt and self induced torture, my pace was relatively on point and thankfully by mile 7, I found my groove and the kinks in my legs got worked out.
Mile 1: 8:21 Mile 2: 8:27 Mile 3: 8:27 Mile 4: 8:33 Mile 5: 8:30 Mile 6: 8:32 Mile 7: 8:40
Miles 8-13: I’ve Got This SH*T Stage
Once I worked the painful kink out of my right leg, I felt like I was golden. The air was cool, crisp and comfortable, the water stations were plentiful, I casually stopped, sipped and caught back up with my pace group without a problem. I even was able to take off the the long sleeve I had on and re-pinned my bib on my tank all while keeping a steady pace.
I felt like I was floating, I could do this forever. If I could work through the initial pain, there was nothing I couldn’t do. I’d compare this to the stage right after a first major contraction…the whole, “I can handle that, no problem. I am woman, hear me roar!” type of feeling. Marathon? Bring it on! I could run an ultra!….aka the type of hubris thinking that bites you in the ass later.
Then you hit the halfway point and realize…you’re only halfway there.
Mile 8: 8:26 Mile 9: 8:23 Mile 10: 8:40 Mile 11: 8:28 Mile 12: 8:32 Mile 13: 8:29
Miles 14-18: The Calm Before the Storm Stage
When I reached the halfway point at 13.1, there was a moment of “crap, I’m only halfway” but I was still feeling great. Miles 14 and 15 came and went with ease at mile 16 I was still feeling pretty good and mile 17 I even picked up the pace a little bit.
You realize at this point that there might be some rough patches ahead and try to mentally prepare yourself for them but unless you’ve been there, you really can’t. I guess this would be much like the point of labor right before you’re ready to push. You know sh*t is going to hit the fan but you’re not quite there yet.
I did get a little taste of what was to come by mile 18. I slowed down to grab some water at the station and for whatever reason couldn’t muster the legs back into my previous pace. It was at point that I watched my 3:45 pace group get further and further away from me.
Mile 14: 8:37 Mile 15: 8:29 Mile 16: 8:44 Mile 17: 8:22 Mile 18: 8:48
Miles 19- 24: PLEASE JUST LET ME DIE Stage
Without the pace group to keep me steady, I started dragging serious ass. Looking back at my GPS, my pace didn’t dramatically decrease until about mile 21 but I could feel myself bonking HARD at mile 19. I was completely out of fuel, totally my fault and despite some fairly desperate pleas at the aid stations (I didn’t actually beg, just asked), there was no GU to be found.
I was mentally cursing myself at this point. HOW did I underestimate the amount of fuel I needed? WHY can’t I just push myself? Can this race PLEASE just be OVER? That tree looks awfully shady…what if I just took a nap instead?
Full disclosure: I never got to this point during childbirth since I had two emergency c-sections BUT I can only imagine that it’s best compared to the point where you’d prefer the little darling to kindly exit your body instead of torturing you in a painful limbo.
Mile 19: 8:38 Mile 20: 8:46 Mile 21: 9:16 Mile 22: 9:17 Mile 23: 9:16 Mile 24: 9:27
Miles 25-26.2: The Final Push Stage
I think most people hit the final push point around mile 24 but for me, it didn’t come until the end of mile 25. I honestly tried like HELL to push myself at mile 24 but my body just wasn’t having it. Even at the beginning of mile 25, I was just putting one foot in front of the other. Mentally, I was trucking along….physically, I was stumbling.
Eventually, in that last mile and half or so, my mind conquered my body the best it could and we pushed toward the finish. After chugging up over the little bridge, I turned to make my way back to Market Street and once the finish line was in sight I “sprinted” with all my might.
As I stepped across the finish line, I saw the 3:49 time and while I felt a twinge of disappointment for falling behind my “C Goal”, I was mostly just elated to be done. Hence my finish line photos….
….I am smiling but don’t be fooled, it was through pain and happy tears. I wanted to collapse, I couldn’t move and I could barely speak but like the woman that I started next to said, it’s a lot like childbirth and it is.
That moment that you finally have that baby in your arms, much like the moment that you cross the finish line and that medal gets draped around your neck, you realize that every ounce of pain and every single step was totally worth it.
Mile 25: 9:36 Mile 26: 8:59 Mile 26.36: 2:53 (Based on GPS)
I have some lessons I learned to share as well but obviously this recap is a little lengthy so I will spare you and save it for another post! 😉 In the meantime, be sure to linkup for Wild Workout Wednesday if you have a workout, fitness find or healthy recipe to share!
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