Monday, May 20, 2013

Sugarloaf Marathon Recap

Marathon #3 is done!   Yesterday was the Sugarloaf Marathon and it was an amazing experience.   If I could register for next year, I would have definitely registered by now.  It was that good!


isn't this the best marathon sign ever?


The Day Before
On Saturday, Jill, Wade, Izzy, Tucker, and myself headed up to Sugarloaf for packet pickup and to meet Stacy and her family.


The skies didn't look too happy for most of the ride up there and we hit quite a few downpours.  It wasn't supposed to rain at all!  





I was quite happy with this year's shirt.  Don't you just love the sleeve?





Stacy knew someone with a house on the lake 15 minutes from the starting line.  This place had tons of space - a loft on the third floor with 5 beds, the second floor had 4 bedrooms, and the 1st floor had a bedroom.  Needless to say, we had tons of space and everyone had place to sleep.  Awesome!  Considering our crew had 5 kids, a babysitter, 5 runners, and then Ward, Joe, and Stacy's husband, Scott, (14 people in all!) we needed a pretty large place to stay.  And we had this incredible view:  



Marathon Morning
We set our alarms and got up at 4 am Sunday morning.  The shuttle was leaving for the starting line at 5:30 am and we didn't want to be late.  Carrie, on the other hand, hung out and waited in her car for a bit until her shuttle left to take her to the 15k starting line.  She was so sweet to come along and see us off!   Here you can see a little bit of my incredible Spandits skirt!  I loved it.  I felt like I should have been listening to non-stop Poison the entire time.   I also chose to wear my Crow Athletics shirt from My Happy Pace.  I will add that the skirt and shirt were both made in Maine.  


The shuttle bus got us to the starting line at 6 am, just as the early starters began their marathon quest, which meant we had 1 hour to wait.  It was about 35F and a bit chilly.  We tried to keep warm by walking around, visiting with friends, and of course we visited the port-a-potties several times.  A few minutes prior to the start, I checked my bag, gave the girls a hug, and then the gun went off.


The Marathon
Moments into the marathon, I noticed I messed up my watch the night before when I was playing around with it.  Instead of average pace, I somehow managed to program my data field to overall time and distance.  Instead of freaking out, I really had no choice but to embrace this and just go with it.  My plan was to just pay attention to my overall mile paces when my Garmin beeped at me at the end of each mile.  Which was an okay plan had I been paying attention to the miles or had the volume of my iPod a little lower so I'd hear the beep.   Most of the time I'd look down and I'd see that I had just missed the pace/mile.  So I really just ran by feel.  Good and bad.  Of course, by doing this, I started out a bit too fast, but I feel like I still ran a strong race.  I didn't feel like I fell apart at any point.  I kept my goals in check, took in the scenery, enjoyed my music, and tried to keep smiling.

Photo Courtesy of Carrie @ Maine Mom on The Run 

I took Ward's advice and decided to take a shot block at every mile.  Keeping that constant level of fuel really helped.  I never hit that low feeling.  I even brought my Camelbak and took a sip whenever I wanted, which was probably just about every mile or so.  It wasn't a lot, but it was enough.   At one point, I decided I wanted Gatorade, so I did stop and drink a cup at one of the water stations, but that was the only time I stopped.  Well, not really.  I did see these awesome kids (along with Stacy's husband and kids, and our babysitter - Beth) at one point.  So I did have to stop for some hugs and kisses.  It's not like I was winning this thing.  


Ward was riding his bike on the course supporting his brother and it was his plan to come back to me after Wade crossed the finish line.  I didn't see him until mile 23.  Which meant - I did 23 mile BY MYSELF!   At that point, I was pumped to see him because I barely uttered a word to anyone for the last 23 miles.  As always, he was incredibly supportive and I loved seeing him.  But I will admit, I did get a little cranky with him with less than a mile left.   



My Garmin time said 3:56:30, but my official time was 3:56:14.  I like my official time better, so I'm going with that one.  This earned me a solid 4 minute PR.  And that is a huge score on my part.  


The Girls
Stacy and Jill were running together.  This was Stacy's first marathon and Jill's second. Jill had sworn she was never going to do another marathon again - but then when Stacy announced that she was going to do Sugarloaf, Jill changed her mind.  I'm so happy these two fabulous ladies had each other to get them through the race!  The looked awesome and strong coming in.  


And Stacy had the best signs and cheering section ever!  


Carrie had already finished long before I finished since she was far smarter and did the 15k.  It was awesome coming in to the finish to see her jumping around and cheering for me.  She had a fabulous race herself and I'm positive she'll be posting about it shortly.  


Sugarloaf Finishers!  Wade, Jill, Carrie, Jen & Stacy


All in all, it was a great marathon.  My first marathon with perfect conditions.  Not too hot, not too cold, zero rain.   Next big races - Great Cranberry Island Ultra, Beach to Beacon 10k, and MDI marathon.  

17 comments:

  1. I wish I could have stayed with Carrie to cheer you in to the finish line... :( but I'm so happy you had a great race. It was a truly amazing day!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I ran this marathon last year and loved it too! Glad you PRd and had a great time.

    ReplyDelete
  3. CONGRATULATIONS!! Wow, sounds like a great race and a most perfect race day :) ANd super time!

    Happy recovery!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great job Jen! I love how you look so happy all the time you are running. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great job Jen! I love all the great pictures, you do look happy! I am in LOVE with the skirt, I may have to cave and get one. I keep stalking that website everytime I see you in something from Spandits. so awesome! Hope the stairs are starting to feel a little better!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congrats Jen you did GREAT! The stairs will stop biting back pretty soon :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow - great running!! That's nearly the same time my RELAY team did our marathon last weekend. You're fast girl!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Congratulations on a great race and a new PR! Love the shirt too!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Congrats on the PR! So inspiring! What a totally cool place to sleep the night before the race! How fun to share the day with so many special people in your life. (LOL - I always mix up Ward and Wade - which is spouse vs. bro-in-law).

    ReplyDelete
  10. Congratulations on marathon #3 and sub-4 hours!! Very exciting!

    I will do this marathon someday :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. GREAT TIME GIRLIE!!
    I do the same thing with my Clif Blocks taking one every 2-3km and I found it has made a HUGE difference!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've said it once I'll say it again ... CONGRATULATIONS :-) xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. Congrats on a great race and a PR!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yay, Jen!! Congrats on a fantastic race and new pr!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. First, I loved your outfit. Second, you did AMAZING!!!!!!! What a smart race you ran. Congrats!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Way to go Jen! You are awesome!

    ReplyDelete

Please comment and I will respond!