Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Patience in Pace (Maine Coast Marathon race report)

Scott has always said, “Let the run come to you”.  It’s a great mantra and I believe in it, but I hadn’t fully practiced it and felt the reward – until Sunday.  Sunday, I embraced that sentiment and implemented into a plan.  A plan to manage my race, keep the pace steady and sustainable, and most of all, have some gas in the tank for the latter, harder miles.  Patience in pace is where the physical training meets the mental training.  That sweet spot.

Maine Coast Marathon was a great race.  It was formerly held in the 1980’s, but then stopped for 26 years.  2013 marked its revival running and it did not disappoint.  It was a small race (results reflect 262 finishers) but packed a punch.  A punch in its rolling and sometimes very long hills, a punch in its beautiful rocky coast scenery (though race day was rainy and foggy), and a punch in its support – both volunteer and spectator.  I couldn’t have run this race without the volunteers and spectators.  For a point to point race along the coast of Maine, the support exceeded my expectations.
Before the race started, there was a moment of silence to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing followed by the National Anthem.  The rain was light but steady.  The humidity was already a force to be reckoned with.   Within the first mile, I stripped off my long sleeve throw-away and turned on my focus.  That first mile felt like a slight decline so I monitored my body and my watch and let the nerves shake out in that first mile – 8:46.  Perfect.

This is also where I fell into step with Jeannine, who was running her first marathon ever.  We got chatting and suddenly found ourselves already 7 miles in –

At this point, Jeannine had to visit a tree and I continued on.  She had a very different goal and so I knew at some point we’d likely separate.  I did find out later that she finished in 4:08 – go Jeannine! 

The next several miles brought us to the driveway of the President Bush Compound in Kennebunk –
These miles also brought some hills and a dip in energy for me around mile 12 – (queue the salt tab!!)
The power gel and salt tab seemed to do the trick because I found my mojo again between miles 14 – 19.  I’m happy to report that the slower Mile 16 reflects where I finally had to retie my shoes; not because I was fading –

I think Mile 19 was a downhill; that 8:30 split gave me such a lift and a great spring board into the REAL race:  the final 10K.

When I hit Mile 20 and saw I was under 3 hours, I got excited.  Then I got nervous.  Then I got out of my head!  Mile 20 was far too early to set my sights on some ridiculous finish time I was suddenly dreaming up during my running stupor.  I quickly settled down and refocused.  Mile 21 split shows where some dizziness stepped in, so I dialed back enough to shake it off and recovered during Mile 22.  When I rounded the corner at Mile 26 and headed into the final .2…..I was floating!  I found that final gear and used it, passing a handful of people in that last .2.   

The great thing about Scott finishing in 3:24 (yeah!!!) was that he was at the Finish snapping pictures of me! 

I had a solid training cycle, I had a realistic plan for race day, and I had a combination of things go very well on race day (i.e. stomach cooperated, the sun didn’t come out until mile 24, manageable wind).  The magic of Sunday for me was finally understanding and leveraging the importance of  managing my pace early on and throughout the race.  

During my taper, I purposely went back in time and remembered Cape Cod Marathon I ran a couple years ago.  Yeah, my 3:57 was a great time for me.  But the way I ran the race that day?  Notsogreat.  I started out like a bat out of hell and convinced myself that I would be fine.  The latter miles slapped me in the face!  I was lucky that day to have Meaghan run me in during the last 7 miles, so she talked me through some of those really rough moments.  I did not want to relive that.  Been there, done that…..

3 days post race, I’m feeling great!  The legs are a normal tight, but I’m enjoying my rest and taking this time to milk my celebration of an amazing day.  They do say that patience is a virtue.  And sometimes, it also gets you a PR!!  Now if I can only apply that patience to holding off on signing up for another marathon….or something!



36 comments:

  1. Can I borrow your strategy for my next marathon, please? This is exactly what I want my next 26.2 to look and feel like. Seriously, I am impressed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amy!! You can absolutely borrow that strategy :) It's taken me a long time to get here, but it was worth it!!

      Delete
  2. A huge congratulations for you!!!!! You killed it. I've never tried salt tabs for long runs. Please tell me about them! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Jen! I've just updated my blog to include the link to Salt Stick Caps buffered electrolyte salts (what I used). They include sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. I first took them during Boston 2012 when it was 800 degrees out :)

      Delete
  3. great job! that's a BQ right? woo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michelle, it sure is :) And actually, Scott qualified too, so it was a very happy household of runners this weekend!!

      Delete
    2. Didn't he just run Boston 1 month ago?

      Delete
    3. Why yes Scott, you absolutely did just run Boston 1 month ago! You are an amazing superman :)

      Delete
  4. Great race! Congratulations to both of you on the BQ! I think I better follow your plan so I can slide in under 4 hours! Patience is key!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sandy!! I'm rooting for you big time :)

      Delete
  5. Fantastic race report! So happy it turned out to be such a nice race or you. I'm also glad to know I'm not the only one who temporarily fades at the 12 mile mark! ;) I pretty much followed a similar plan at the Eugene Marathon... didn't crazy in the beginning so U was able to finish strong. "Let the run come you." LOVE that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!! Yeah, it was so wierd to feel so "blah" at that point in the race, but I think part of my past experience helped so I knew it would pass and I knew I could do something about it (i.e. the salt tab, etc).

      Congrats on your Eugene!!!!

      Delete
  6. I was anxiously awaiting this race report. So happy you had such an amazing race with such great pacing. Where the hills worst than you were expecting? Hope to do this marathon next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jill :) I've run hillier courses and am actually a hill-hugger (hee)...so I'm not averse to hills, but for some reason did not expect the constant hilliness of this course. With that said, I would do this course again for sure.

      Delete
  7. Yay Lisa!!!! Great job!!! That part of Maine is hilly so kudos to you!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Replies
    1. Thanks Maureen!! Funny, I was just commenting on YOUR blog :)

      Delete
  9. Apparently, commenting from my phone didn't work - so I'll say it again. Absolutely incredible!!! You are inspiring in how to run a smart and fabulous race! Congratulations again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks for taking the time to comment again!!

      Thanks for all the kind words :)

      Delete
  10. I love this report! Kudos to you for letting the race come to you and mastering a new "skill" for the marathon!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Congratulations! Seems that mantra works well for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Abbi! Scott's been saying that for years; I finally figured out how to make my body/legs listen to it :)

      Delete
  12. I'm glad that you included so many details and your splits. This is just what I'd like to do in a week or so! Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just reread that and thought I'd add... What I'd like to do is to BQ and PR like you did! Maybe someday!

      Delete
    2. Oh good, glad if it helps in any way! I know I've learned tons from others' experiences (good and bad).

      Have a restful week and sending good race day vibes from New England!

      Delete
  13. Congratulations on the PR! That's AWESOME news! And congrats to Scott, too!
    It sounds like you ran a really smart race. And how great that you found someone to pass the time with in the first few miles? I also love that you told yourself to get out of your head. I think that's a line I need to remember during long races!
    Enjoy your relaxation time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Abby! Yes, biggest success during any tough time in a marathon is getting out of my head :) I don't spend too much time there normally, but marathons have a sneaky way of bringing you there.

      Delete
  14. Woo!!! Awesome race! Congrats on the new PR!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Congrats! You raced very smart, you did great!

    ReplyDelete
  16. congrats on the PR and running a great race!

    ReplyDelete