Temperatures were in the high 50s and a fine mist was falling at the beginning of the race that turned into a steady light rain as the race wore on. Ideal racing conditions, rain and all, in my opinion. There was quite a bit of fog along the coastline that robbed some of the views that I was hoping to see, but I was still able to appreciate its beauty.
I was secretly hoping to PR and felt that if things went my way, it was possible. I had run in the Flying Pig Marathon the week prior, but I'd treated it as a training run and I felt fully recovered going into Maine Coast. I settled into an 8:30 pace and maintained that for the first 13.1. Kennebunk was a really cool seaside town to run through and I was surprised to see a lot of locals out (in the rain) cheering us on. Many parts of the course were on rural roads which made this marathon feel more like a weekend long run (just the way I like it!).
After crossing the halfway point, I dropped my pace down to about an 8:20. By mile 18, I was averaging an 8:10. My legs were definitely feeling it, but I still felt like I had enough in the tank to push on. Crossing mile 20, I was right on target to PR, which excited and encouraged me to keep pushing. Then, mile 23 happened. I hit a MASSIVE wall. I've hit plenty of walls, but this was like no wall I'd ever experienced before. Typically, my body gives me a good warning that I'm about to max out. However, I got no warning at all. One second I'm running strong, the next my legs feel like jelly and 10 pounds heavier. From that point on, I was in complete survival mode. It was a pretty helpless feeling.
3 hours, 47 minutes and 22 seconds after I started, I crossed the finish and missed out on my PR by about two minutes. Yet, I had no disappointment about not PRing. I left everything I had out on the course and it wasn't enough this day. But hey, that's running. I don't look at falling short as a failure. Instead, I see it as a motivator to keep pushing and testing my limits. Running a marathon isn't suppose to be easy and that's one of the main reasons why I love this distance.