Peak Performance Maine Marathon

For the record, this is not the first time that I have run a Saturday-Sunday Marathon combo. It's just been a while since the last one, and I was training for faster marathons and running more mileage back then. But with the cost of travel, trying to complete the 50 states would be out of the question without pulling a few crazy stunts.

The last thing that I wanted to do when I woke up was get ready to run another marathon. My legs were stiff and my heel was still raw and bleeding a little. But after a cup of coffee (Christopher Bean's Organic House Blend - perfect with a tiny bit of milk and sugar) I was feeling more like I could handle another 26.2 miles. All I had to do was get my heel to cooperate. Covering the blister was like an art project. First a layer of neosporin to prevent addtional friction and protect the open area. Then one of the 2x2 dressings. Next a large band aide to hold the 2x2 in place and to serve as another layer of protection. Over that, two tegaderm. Finally, the the finishing touch - athletic tape to hold it all in place. I was confident that I would be able to run, but still really worried. Walking in my running shoes was hurting at that point.

This was a much bigger race then the NH marathon. There were nearly 3500 people in the marathon, marathon relay and half marathon. The starting line was crazy busy, but I did manage to meet up with a few other nuts running the double. We talked a little, then seperated to the appropriate areas of the starting line. I decided to be optomsistic - lined up right behind the starting line. I knew that the half marathoners and the relay runners would take it out fast, but thought I would be able to manage the pace.

A loud cannon sent us on our way and the half marathons bolted. Once I started running, I couldn't feel my heel except for the occassional stabbing. I really needed to focus on running my own pace. My legs were tired, but responding well to moving again. Somehow I managed to miss the first three mile markers - not a good thing when trying to run a reasonalbe pace with half marathons streaming by. I came through the four mile marker in 27:05 - ouch, silly - way too fast. At that point, I said goodby to the other doubler I was running with (he ran a 3:05 on Saturday and was hoping to run the same in this marathon) and really backed off the pace.

The course for the Maine marathon was mostly out and back, starting downtown and heading out into the countryside. Again, the leaves were starting to change and the clouds were floating in and around the trees. It was really pretty and quiet in the middle miles. There were plenty of spectators at the road intersections and the other runners. This was a quieter group then the previous day. Everyone was focused on the job of running and no one seemed interested in talking to much. The weather was much warmer and the sun was trying to break through the clouds.

At about mile 18, I caught up with the other doubler. We ran together until mile 20, then he started fading. Everyone was telling me I was the second women in the marathon, so I was willing to hurt a little and try to maintain the postition. Those last four miles were a struggle. I really just wanted to back off and slow down, but I knew that there was someone right behind me. After that many miles, I did not want to lose second. In the end, I ran 3:06:18 - the third place woman ran 3:07:00. Pretty close after 26.2 miles. (First place was flying - 2:59:16)

This was a good choice for Maine. It was a well run event, a pretty course and convinent. I thought all the volunteers were awsome and to have a shower after the race was also great.

After the race, we drove to Freeport, home of LL Bean. That was an adventure - LL Bean is huge, with four seperate stores surrounding a little park. One of the clerks steered us in the right direction for supper and we enjoyed clam chowder, sea food soup and lobster cakes. Walking wasn't the easiest, but it was worth it.


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