Thursday, May 23, 2013

Race Recap: Maine Coast Marathon

Running in the Maine Coast Marathon definitely solidified my feelings about small town races...I love them! Runners seem more friendly, the locals are excited to have you in their town, you're not jockeying for room on the course, and the race logistics are much less complicated than the big city races. Held just south of Portland, the Maine Coast Marathon course was a point-to-point (my personal favorite). The race started in the quaint community of Kennebunk and finished on the University of New England's campus in Biddeford, but not before winding me and my fellow runners around the twisty, surprising hilly roads, that lead us to the gorgeous Maine coastline.

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.


1 comment:

  1. You'll get the new PR soon! Sounds like a great race to run :)