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My first two Maine marathons

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My first two Maine marathons Empty My first two Maine marathons

Post  Diego on Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:28 am

“A Foolish Consistency is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds”. I don’t think Emerson ever knew marathoners. Without boring consistency(and higher mileage), running a marathon, let alone 3 in 2 months was arduous, at best.


The short time line before I get into the marathons:
December 2010—ankle fracture that knocked me out of Boston and swells up once in a while
June 2011 allergic illness that knocked out 2 weeks of training(Thanks, brown tail moth caterpillar!)
July 2011 two more weeks of illness, maybe due to some(gross understatement) bats in the belfry we just got rid of).
August 2011 Saint John, NB Ben’s Smart Marathon, i.e. Diego’s Not-So-Smart Marathon

August 14th, 2011.
I tried to BQ on 30 miles a week on a hilly course in August weather the day after driving 4.5 hours to get there and after I had spent the week at Old Orchard Beach in the sun and ocean with my extended family. I was smart enough to turn that one into a training run after 12 miles. Outcome 3:45, 2 minutes faster than my first marathon in 1998.

August 15th through October 2, 2011. I lost any desire to train, especially after my ankle swelled up on a 14 mile hard run around Labor Day. I may have run 20 miles a week, averaged over those 6 weeks.

October 2, 2011
The 20th Anniversary of the Portland, ME Marathon(aka famous for the sideways bib chips--oops)

I live 50 minutes from Portland and this marathon is a no brainer. I thought I might have an outside chance at a BQ 3:25 if conditions were perfect. Um, nope. Wet, wet, wet and a bit windy. It was wet enough that Joan Samuelson, our Maine native decided to run the half marathon instead. That’s too bad because she would have won her first ever Maine marathon with an average effort for her.
I modified my expectations to 3:30. I thought that if I went out conservatively into the wind, I might be able to negative split the course. The course runs north from Portland toward Scarborough before it returns back to Portland. It winds around the bay before climbing into some beautiful upper end neighborhoods that had amazing fall foliage(when you could see them through the rain drops). The course is rolling but reasonably flat for Maine. There are no long hills and no hill steeper than 2% grade.

I made it to the half way mark around 1:44:xx and thought I might be able to pick up speed to come in with a 1:41. I just had no legs(surprise , surprise!!) and just coasted in to a 3:34, walking a bit in the final miles because time goals didn’t really matter at that point.

Normally, October 2nd brings beautiful weather. One of my colleagues brought her dad and sister from Wyoming to run with her on her first marathon and she did great, finishing around 3:50. Too bad about the weather, though.

The course, spectators, organization and post race spread were great. It is very easy to pick up your bib at USM the morning of the race.


Ok, more drama. I didn’t run for 4 days and after I did, I noticed significant pain on the top of my foot. In fact, I was limping a bit. I took it easy and didn’t run until a few days ago and it still hurt pretty good. From Thursday through Saturday I stretched my foot and wore my heaviest, stiffest running shoes around the house. That helped. I figured I had a stress reaction or fracture but the pain improved enough to allow me to head up to Bar Harbor. Whether it was a fracture or not, running the marathon wouldn’t change the fact that I was going to take 3-4 weeks off anyway.

The 10th Mount Desert Island Marathon

I signed up for this marathon months ago and wanted to see Bar Harbor without the crowds. We stayed at the Atlantic Oceanside with beautiful views of the ocean. We ate lots of fish, drank lots of wine and beer(Bar Harbor Real Ale and many other microbrews are awesome) , and even ventured out to hike around Cadillac Mountain—the first place in the US to see the sunrise. With two kids in tow, we had to be careful because the wind was gusting 40mph making it easy to run right off the mountain.

The day of the marathon came with the announcement that Michael Wardian was running(and winning) the marathon. The course is acknowledged by RW as the most scenic marathon out there. I was excited. I had no time goal in mind and took my camera with me to take pictures. I stopped many times to take some pics. The wind from Saturday calmed down a bit, and although we had a bit of rain waiting to start, the weather wound up being perfect.


Here is the website. Their pictures look better than mine, which I will eventually post in my blog. http://mdimarathon.org/


The first mile out of town is downhill. Miles 2, 3 & 4 climb out of the town and out of the valley. Around every corner in this marathon is a surprise. A glacial pond here, a beautiful ocean view there, wondrous fall foliage everywhere. Once we arrive at mile 6, we head left down a carriage path where no motor vehicles can go. Absolute peace. Well almost. Martha Stewart and some other Zillionaires have mansions hidden in the woods around here. (Aside: there are over 55 miles of carriage paths, mostly gravel but some, like we were on for the marathon, are paved.) Example of one such path below and Seal Harbor.My first two Maine marathons Seal-harbor-3152



My first two Maine marathons 250572_1247875164742



After mile 8, we reach Seal Harbor with lots of nice boats floating in the water—very New England. The sight of the ocean after being in the woods is breathtaking. For every hill there is a downhill, and for those who train specifically for this race, a negative split is very possible given that most of the climbs are in the first half.

We head back north up toward another harbor at the top of the inlet and one of the only Fjords in the Eastern U.S. Miles 9 and 10 include the most severe hills on the course. Mile 11 brings us by the Thuya Gardens and Asticou Terraces on the right and ocean views on the left. As we near the half way mark, we pass NorthEast Harbor and some nice coves.(Thanks to Acadiamagic.com for these pics!!)



My first two Maine marathons Pa110038a




Here’s their description of mile 15-16. “Mile 15 to Mile 16: Be prepared to be blown away when you reach the bottom of this hill you're now running down. At the bottom you will be almost at sea level along the only fjord, Somes Sound, located in the eastern USA. We're not sure if it's the combination of the cliffs over your right shoulder, the salt air, or ‘The Tree’ featured in our logo, but this is our most favorite and perhaps the most beautiful piece of road you will ever run on. Also called the Mile of Champions, you can even adopt one of the beautiful granite copingstones that line the road you're now running on. We could go on and on describing this mile, but trust us mile 16 will arrive way to soon. We hope you enjoy this one! Only 10.2 miles to go!”

My first two Maine marathons Somes-sound-01



Mile 16 gives us a chance to grab a gel and get more energy as we wind around the sound to head back south toward the finish line. I really started to slow down here because both my inside calves started to cramp. I’d run well for a bit and walk for a few seconds to get rid of them. My foot was hanging in there..



There were a lot of spectators who came out to cheer us at mile 18(and at miles 6, 12, and 24-26.2). That helped a bunch. From 19-20, we go uphill and I don’t recall much about this stretch. Mile 20-21 takes us through Somesville. You can really feel that the marathon is winding down, but not before some rollers from 22-24. Once we reach the top near mile 25, it’s all downhill to the finish. I finished in 3:50-- my slowest marathon. No problem! It was gorgeous. It took some doing to find my family who drove by me at mile 25 but had a hard time finding me after the race because they were directed to a parking spot a half a mile away. I finally borrowed a guy’s cell phone to call them and headed out for a great lunch at Rupunini. I also grabbed the free Bar Harbor Real Ale at the finish as I headed to find my family. The drive on the back roads to get back to Bar Harbor was brilliant. Lakes, swamps, lots of granite and all the yellows, oranges, and reds mixed with the pine and fir trees.

I’ll do this marathon again sometime, but only when I am fully trained. I would like to one of the top 10 Maine Males at the finish line.

Around 1000 runners signed up for it this year. They had relay and early walk/run options. I’m also proud of my wife who pushed Emme in the jogger for the inaugural fun run from Bar Harbor town to our hotel(all uphill). They also have a pasta dinner before the race at MDI HS, a post fun run breakfast and a post race party. Those might be fun to attend in the future.

Now it’s time to heal and then start back on a training program that will allow me to run the 30th anniversary of the Sugarloaf marathon(the third of 3 Maine marathons) in May and make a sub 3 hour attempt on a very fast course.

I’ll update my blog with more stuff as I get it.
Shoot, I think they have changed their website for 2012. I'll try to post my pics soon.

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Post  healdgator on Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:37 am

Great report, Diego. I'd like to do that Acadia marathon at some point. We vacationed there about 4 years ago and loved it.
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Post  Alex Kubacki on Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:05 am

Living in New England MDI is on my To Do List. Congrats on getting them done.
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Post  Jack_Scaff on Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:36 pm

@Diego wrote:I tried to BQ on 30 miles a week on a hilly course in August weather the day after driving 4.5 hours to get there and after I had spent the week at Old Orchard Beach in the sun and ocean with my extended family. I was smart enough to turn that one into a training run after 12 miles. Outcome 3:45, 2 minutes faster than my first marathon in 1998.

That made me chuckle! But that you did that in 3:45 mad me mad!

What an amazing course - great report - yet another on the bucket list I guess. I need to step it up!
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Post  Diego on Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:51 pm

Thanks for the replies. Acadia is amazing. I will return someday soon. I also think that being part of a 2 or 3 person relay team would a fun way to do it and to save some energy to explore the carriage trails on the other days. And of course, to drink a lot more. I do like amber ales, too, but malty beer tastes so much better after a run. The blueberry ale went well with our halibut on Friday night(and a nice Pinot, too).

My first two Maine marathons Images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRD5n7tS6t9xKOY95qmSIYaBBbujHQz-4_gscCPIDYE3sYWhkZ5l8l-VbFsMy first two Maine marathons Images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQQS_Tr-V2pJoj9Og0L18U0S4X5xwaScSicYklYOPt7B4_qjojvCtsKPFSYMy first two Maine marathons Images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTINDhYPYYlg68bdKZ64sh6HkKVU75Kxvvh3rBU0L_FO9-Wd6aecoFWIHEDMy first two Maine marathons Images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ6Bq6EvuZ_nHGTcAE-Yefda7_olUBz4qLm8I6ozaknSa_qFuRs1HNEuZxQ

Cheers.

I may be also back to running sooner than I thought, given what is most likely a 2nd cuneiform stress fracture. I'm almost pain free walking. Only 2 more weeks of cross training.
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Post  JohnP on Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:55 pm

That's some good stuff, Jim. THose sites look breathtaking too. You did pretty well for so little training. Hopefully everything goes well for the sub-3 attempt, I think you will make it.
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Post  mountandog on Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:06 am

Congrats Diego.

The 2010 Mt. Desert Island Marathon is my favorite so far. (Boston x 2, Marine Corps, Beaver Island being the others). Other than the non-scenic and uphill shared road of miles 20-25 this is a spectacular race. Small, intimate, wonderful scenery, fabulous town. I wrote a race report on this one last year and recommend that everyone have this one on their bucket list. Like Diego, this marathon was also my worst performance. I was somewhat undertrained and the course will kill you if you are. But still, my fav.

Oh yes, the Blueberry Ale --- yum!!!!!!!
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Post  Matt W on Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:50 am



Congrats on the marathon finishes. The MDIM certainly had some spectacular views. I may have to put that on my bucket list if I ever get crazy enough to go for 50 states. Hopefully, you are back to your old speedy self before you know it. Good luck in your future running.
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Post  Chris M on Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:43 am

Nice runs. Your report and pictures made me miss Maine so much. I love Acadia! We were last there 11 years ago....wow, has it been that long? I really need to make a return to Maine. Sugarloaf 2012....hmmm....maybe as a bad weather backup to Boston....hmmm...
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:15 pm

Congrats! Someday I'll get back to Maine for a marathon and MDI is probably the one I'll choose. I have not been to Acadia since I was 10 yrs old, and I don not think my hsuband has ever been.
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