Monday, October 1, 2012

Wineglass Marathon Race Recap

This is a hard recap to write (and it is long so I'm sorry for that but 26.2 miles is a long race to write about, also sorry about the lack of photos).

I guess I will start at the beginning and just let the story unfold for all of you.

After heading to the expo on Saturday, eating at Olive Garden and relaxing, we headed to bed on Saturday night to get ready for the next day.

Bright and early at 4:55am our alarm clock went off and we were up and ready in about 30 minutes.  The start of the marathon was about 1 hour and 20 minutes away so we wanted to have enough time to get there, park and hit the port-a-potties.

Thankfully, Mike's parents drove us to the race so we didn't have to deal with the shuttles.  Once we got there we did our thing and as we were waiting in line for the port-a-potties a second time, I saw our friends Sarah and Mark who were also running the marathon. 

We took a quick photo and then worked our way through the masses to line up for the start.  Mike started out with the 3:55 pace group and I was right behind the 4:10 pace group.  They didn't have a 4:15 pace group so I thought that being slightly behind 4:10 would be good enough.

A little after 8am, we were off!

The first few miles were pretty uneventful, I was slightly under my marathon goal pace (yes, I know that isn't good but I felt great) averaging around 9:30 pace.  At 4 miles, I thought I would see Mike's parents but I guess they couldn't get out of town quickly enough.  I did end up seeing Laura though and I really appreciated her being there cheering for us.

I saw Mike's parents around 10 miles and I said, "I'm under where I am supposed to be".  Mike's mom told me that Mike was also under his goal pace, so I knew that he was still doing well.

Around this point I started to slow a little bit, but I knew that I had a little bit of a buffer because of the slightly speedier miles in the beginning.  I had taken my first energy gel at 6 and then another at 12 miles.

I started to feel slightly fatigued around the half marathon point, but I was still under 9:45 pace.  I crossed the "split" (half marathon distance) mat at about 2:07, which is basically my current half marathon PR.

I saw Mike's parents again and I indicated that I was struggling slightly, but they encouraged me by saying that I had a good rhythm going and I kept pushing.  Unfortunately, right after the water stop around 14 miles I just slowed to a walk.  It wasn't even a concious decision.  I walked for a few seconds and then continued going.  I actually felt better for a little while because there was a slight downhill.

My pace slowed to 12 minute miles, which I was fine with because at that point I was still under my slower goal pace of 10:15. 

I saw Mike's parents again at around 16 miles and Mike's mom said something about Mike and his pace, but I couldn't really understand what she was saying.

I kept going a little ways but then I slowed to a walk again, but only for a few seconds because these other runners forced me to keep running.  They said that I would get there faster if I ran and that I put in all the hard work so I had to keep going. 

I kept running and then around 18.5 miles everything went downhill.  As I was running along, I saw someone that looked like Mike on the sidelines cheering me on.  Even though I was slightly delirious (to be perfectly honest I stopped taking in nutrition after 12 miles, so I went 14 miles with just water and Gatorade), I looked again and realized that it WAS Mike. 

I asked him what was going on and he said, "don't worry about me" and of course I did just the opposite.  I can't remember if I slowed to a walk then or not but I tried to get him to come with me.  He was with some spectators who were outside of their house watching the race and they all kind of laughed, and I just kept urging him to come.

When I realized he wasn't going to, I lost it.  I started to cry as I ran/walked away from him, I didn't want to keep going.  I even said, "well then I don't want to do this either".

After pulling it together, kind of, I started to run again and saw Mike's parents driving toward him.  I motioned that he was behind me and they kept driving.  Later I found out that his legs/hips had cramped up so badly that he had to call it quits.

I kept running and at the mile 19ish water stop, I was so hot that I dumped some water on myself.  I continued on but I had slowed down a lot.  My paces after seeing Mike plummeted to around 15 minute miles, my heart wasn't in it anymore.  I didn't want to accomplish something without my training partner, who is also my husband, doing the same.

At that point, Mike and his parents drove by as I was walking, yea I ended up walking a few times in the last half of the race, and I saw them pull off to the side.  Mike put his head out the window and said, "you are going to finish this thing" and I again said that I didn't want to.  He kept encouraging me and I knew that I had to keep going.

I do have to say that other runners were really encouraging during the race.  One time while I was walking, a pace group leader ran by me, rubbed my back (slightly weird) and said "keep going girl", another time a woman asked me if I wanted some of her sports beans, which I declined.

One reason I did end up walking a lot in the end was because my lower back was in excruciating pain almost the entire race.  One guy who wanted me to keep running, and not walking, said that I needed to bend over slightly and focus on twenty yards ahead of me because I tend to run really upright.  I guess we were close enough to each other most of the race for him to notice.  I gave this a try around 23 miles and it kind of helped.

Right around 23 miles, as I was again walking, I heard, "you've got this Jamie".  It was a familiar voice and I looked to see our friend Mark running beside me.  I said that I was struggling and really tired, but started running again.  At this point in the race we went through a short tunnel and at the end I saw that Mark had stopped and was waiting for me.

He said, "we are running this together" and we kept going.  I said a few times, "you can go if you want" and he kept saying we were going to finish together.  I do have to thank him because I picked up the pace again to 12 minute miles but eventually I had to let him go with a little less than 2 miles left.

Eventually, we were passing a woman that said, "only about 10 minutes left" and I was so thankful and I knew that I was just going to keep running to the finish.  Eventually we rounded the second to last corner and I saw runners who had already finished walking in the opposite direction.  Then, I turned the last corner and saw the finish line.

At that point, I thought it was really cruel that I could see the finish line so clearly because I just wanted to be done, which probably explains my 10 minute pace the last few tenths of a mile. Then, I saw Mike and his parents on the sidelines and I started to tear up a little bit because I was sad for Mike. He was also signing, "I love you" to me which made me feel even worse.

I crossed the finish line and I had done it, I was a marathoner!  I got my medal, a shiny blanket thing (that I threw away pretty quickly because it made me hot) and a bagel.  I then tried to look for Mike and when I saw him I just sat down in a chair and started to cry.  I was so upset and I said that I had wanted him to finish too.  He tried to comfort me but I really wasn't happy like I should have been.

After I calmed down, we went to go wait for Sarah and her friend Jenna.  Eventually we saw them finishing and they were so happy, I was a little jealous of how they felt as they were finishing their first marathon.

 After the race

Everyone who ran the half and the full

I know that some people will say that I should be happy, and I am to a certain extent.  Yes I am upset about my finishing time, 5:01:23, but I am more upset about Mike not getting to experience finishing his first marathon.  We worked so hard for this and it was really difficult for me to keep going, when he couldn't.

I know I could have done things differently, I probably should have started a little bit slower in the beginning but to be honest I felt great up to about 15 miles.  Even after I had slowed slightly, I was still having a great time but when I saw Mike, I gave up mentally and slightly physically.  I stopped taking in nutrition, even though I should have kept taking my energy gels every 6 miles (although my stomach didn't feel great almost the entire race).

I really don't feel like a true marathoner, yes I know that I am, but without my training partner, my best friend, my husband experiencing the same it is slightly tainted. This was not how it was supposed to go, which I realize that a marathon can do just that but I wasn't expecting this at all.

Now, some of you already know this but we are getting our redemption.  I want to run a better race and Mike wants to achieve the marathoner status.  Which is why this happened, last night.


  1. What a great recap! Sorry to hear that your husband wasn't able to finish but I am so happy to see that you have a redemption run all lined up! Congrats :)

  2. you should be so proud that you finished the race! what an amazing accomplishment!!! i cant imagine how hard that was for you, because i could never imagine running a marathon. you are a rockstar!!! spa love!

  3. I agree with Jenna above - you should be proud of yourself for working hard and finishing! So many people cannot do what you did!

  4. Jamie, You seriously made me cry for you. I know I would feel exactly the same as you. Which is probably what made me feel overcome with emotions for you.

    You are a marathoner! You are amazing! Mike will definitely bring it all the home next time. (Probably thanks to the fact that he quit when his body told him to)

    Great job to the pair of you!!

  5. Great recap, contests to you and hopefully you'll cross the finish line together at the next one!

  6. Jamie, I'm so proud of you!

    I teared up reading your recap--what an emotional roller coaster ride. I'm so sorry about what happened to Mike. That's tough. I would've completely lost it too after seeing him on the sidelines; I would've totally and completely checked out of the race. It says so much about you that you were able to push through and finish strong. No matter what happened, you *are* a marathoner, and no one can take that away from you--you worked for it, and you earned it! I like how you're planning your redemption race. You've definitely given me the marathon bug ... 2013 might be my year, too. :) Congratulations!

  7. I am so incredibly proud of you. You ARE a true marathoner. I am very sad that Mike was in pain and didn't finish. Next time for sure. I'm am sure it must have been incredibly hard to see him along the sidelines and to leave him there. He's been your training partner all the way through. Hugs to you and Mike.

  8. Congrats marathoner! :) so sorry to hear about mike but so glad he helped encourage you to finish it! You'll cross that line together soon enough...enjoy your amazing accomplishment!

  9. Jamie, that sucks, but it's also inspiring! You got through, and that's so huge.

    Congratulations - this is only the beginning!

  10. 1. You should BOTH be incredibly proud - training for a marathon is no easy feat, for anyone!! And you both did it. And you crossed that finish line, even when the odds were totally stacked against you!

    2. I totally get that it is bittersweet. How could it not be? Nothing went according to plan. But I know that you will use that, as fuel, for Cleveland. Marathon #2, here y'all come!!! Ready to kick some butt.

  11. You did it! That you didn't want to when your husband had to stop makes it an even more amazing accomplishment, even though it doesn't feel like it right now. So congrats on probably the toughest mental race you'll ever have to endure.

    Great recap, and I hope the next finish is MUCH happier! :)

  12. What an emotional roller coaster and what great support from Mike, his parents, and other runners. Marathons are an emotional battle and you did great overcoming every hurdle trying to get you to quit. Be proud of yourself. But trust me, I understand. After my first marathon I was majorly depressed. Unhappy with my time. Unhappy that dear hubby placed first in his division for his first half marathon. So I know where you are coming from and you will bounce back!

  13. Oh, I wish it could have gone better! I'm super proud of you for toughing it out though! You are a marathoner!!!
    Cleveland better watch out! :)

  14. Congratulations on your first! While it may have not been everything you had hoped for, you can still call yourself a marathoner. And then you can look forward even MORE to the redemption race!

  15. I am so sorry for you. It is horrible when your first race does not go as planned. I was there this January. We can both make marathon number 2 the redemption run and I know we can both do it!

  16. Jamie I totally teared up reading this. Colin and I are SOOOOOOOOOOO f*cking (the fbomb needed to be in there) proud of you! I can't imagine having to see your husband on the sidelines and having to keep running! especially at 18.5 - right when you hit the wall. It's too bad about Mike but you should try to be proud of yourself. I know it's easy for us to say Mike you should've just went for it but I think he probably made the right decision. It's better that he can still run. I can't wait till May!

    YAY for you :) I think you guys were crazy to start with such fast pace groups for your first marathon! but I've never run one, so what do I know ;)

    CONGRATS! you are one strong woman and you should be super proud of what you accomplished. I know Mike is your running/training partner but I think it's awesome that you finished without him :) Maybe you didn't know you could even do that ;)

  17. Great job girl! Marathons are tough (for SO many reasons!!) I almost teared up reading this just imagining everything you went through. This Wineglass was the "redemption" marathon for my husband and I after one we did in the Spring. It's definitely tough on the body, but we did both improve from the Spring. You WILL both have a great marathon, but no one can overlook that you did complete this one and it's something to be very proud of!

  18. Oh, Jamie- what an experience! Marathons are tough no matter what, but without Mike and with all the other stomach and fueling stuff, it sounds like such a battle to get to the finish line. But you did!! You could have easily dropped out. Congrats on your first marathon!!

  19. You are amazing. It would have been so easy to give up when your husband couldn't finish, but you did it even in the worst of circumstances. In my opinion, THAT makes you a real marathoner, and not someone who just had a good day. BE PROUD!!!

  20. Don't beat yourself up. I did the same thing in my first marathon - went out too fast, feeling great, and crashed and burned in the teens. Several marathons later, I've learned to start much slower than my body wants to, because even one fast mile will eventually catch up with you. And keep taking nutrition, no matter what! Your body and mind will try to fight you and you have to ignore them! Congrats on signing up for another - you already have a new goal!

  21. Awww girl - way to stick with it. Congratulations!!!! My first marathon wasn't what I hoped it would be either... The second one was awesome and still my favorite. Go get it in Cleveland!

  22. Sorry it was tough, but you are AWESOME for getting through it!!

  23. I'm so sorry it wasn't the experience you had imagined. But congratulations for sticking with it and finishing - that's amazing!!!!!!!!!!!
    And Cleveland?????!! Whoo hoo!! Girl, I am SO THERE to cheer you both on!!

  24. Very emotional post here. I'm so sorry for the rough race for both of you, but so pleased at the same time for you to have stuck it out and persevered even with everything conspiring against it. Angels come in all shapes and sizes - glad you had some on the course to help push/carry you along. Congrats on signing up for another.

  25. Nice job on finishing your first marathon! You should be proud of yourself even if it didn't go as planned.

  26. I can completely sympathize with you. I know how you feel to have put in all that time and effort only for the big day to fall short of what you expected for yourself (and your hubby). But you know what? Not many people ever have the courage to actually put in the time and effort and toe the line on race day and you should feel so proud that you were able to dig deep and finish! You just have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and kick Cleveland's ass!

  27. Good job on your marathoner status. It's really sad that Mike's race didn't go as planned, but it's awesome that he pushed you on to finish. I know that you guys will have an awesome race in Cleveland!

  28. Congratulations on the marathon. My wife is my training partner and I worry sick about her when we're both out on the course no matter what. I guarantee you that if I had a problem and had to pull out I'd still want her to go on and do her best no matter what. I bet your husband feels the same exact way so don't beat yourself up over it!

    You can always use it as a comeback after he gloats about beating you at another race. ;-) (My wife ALWAYS seems to remind me that her marathon PR is faster than mine! lol)

    Kick some booty in Cleaveland :)

  29. Oh, Jamie! I cried!! You finished, you are a marathoner! The physical part is only a small fraction of the big picture ... but mentally, that's the real marathon. I would have felt the same way, once something impacts your mental strength it is almost impossible to get it back.
    I am so sad to hear about Mike - no doubt this s just as hard on him as it is for you.
    But, RIGHT ON!!! Cleveland Rocks!!! Redemption in May!!! That's my kind of thinking!!

  30. Great recap! I will admit to tearing up. What a champ you are for pushing through the physical and mental pain to get through 26.2 miles! No one can take that distance away from you! I am sorry about Mike, but it seems as though redemption is near :)

  31. Congrats! You are now a marathoner. There will never be a first. I feel that way about my first half (not sure if I will ever do a full). I bet Mike does well on his 2nd attempt.

  32. Congratulations Jamie! I'm sure both of you will have an amazing race for your second marathon and you are going to blow your time out of the water. Hooray for a strong finish!

  33. So sorry about Mike but I'm so glad you continued on and finished your race!! Sounds like Mike was a fantastic sport and so great in supporting you. You guys are the best! Congrats girl, and Mike will ROCK the Cleveland marathon!

  34. I'm so sorry you did not have the marathon you wanted and bummed for Mike's DNF. My first marathon was a broiling hot, cancelled train wreck and I vowed never to do another. Its so easy to get knocked out of your plan. Can only imagine how shaken you were to see Mike not running. WTG pressing on girl. You are indeed a marathoner. And BTW, revenge is sweet!

  35. Congrats on your first marathon! Well done! I totally understand the feeling of wanting to quit and not run anymore. I felt very similar during my marathon. I am sure next time will be much better!

  36. Congrats! You should checkout POSE running, CHI running or Good Form Running... It will help you with your form...

  37. I'm sorry that the race didn't go as planned but it is still a huge accomplishment and I hope that once it sinks in a little, you will look back and be really proud that you've done it even though it didn't turn out exactly how you'd planned!! You are a champ for finishing, I'm sure it was really hard once you saw Mike on the side. You're both awesome for already registering for another one and you will rock it!! Congrats!

  38. Great race recap. You are going to crush your next marathon Jamie