Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mt. Desert Island 26.2 Beauty and Ease

Bar Harbor, ME
Mom, Linde, and I arrived in Bar Harbor Friday night.  The drive from Portland to BH was dreary and sometimes raining, but we were excited to begin the week to see the beauty of the fall in the northeast, and I was on a mission to eat as many lobster rolls as possible in 1 week.  Success!
2nd Crow Athletic race (Lobster 10K a few years ago in Southwest Harbor, ME)
Caw! Caw! Caw!  Excellent Job!

My intention for this race was to run it as a training run.  My plan was to train through this race, so when I arrived at the starting line on Sunday, I had 44 miles for the week.  If you look at the elevation chart, you obviously notice that miles 20-25 are uphill on the chart, but you also see the chart shows bumps over the entire course, so I went into this one expecting hills, hills, and more hills.   As we drove the course on Sat., it was really close to what I had suspected, but I had no idea how my body would respond on Sun.  I had run Tupelo 26.2 in Sept. but the hills for MDI would be more challenging.  The only other hilly race that I have run is Boston. My first attempt at "racing" on hills, Boston 2010 - 4:08.

Sunday am, race start at 8:00, I'm in my room at 7:45 because the race is right outside my door.   We stayed at the Villager Motel.  It's NOT fancy, but adequate, and super convenient.  The weather was nice.  The day before, the winds almost blew us off the top of Cadillac Mountain, so I was a little concerned about the wind for the race.  It ended up being wasted worry because the weather was perfect.  We had a little wind, but nothing bad at all.  Whew!

Very early in the race I began chatting with Tim who was running his first marathon.  We ended up running together until somewhere around mile 16.   We chatted about running and training and we quickly realized that we both shared a passion for "the details" of training and data.   I quickly "got lost" in conversation and was amazed how fast the miles were going by.  Let's face it, I'm in Mississippi.  Let's just say.... running is not the number 1 activity in our state.  Yes, I do have running friends, but it's rare to find someone to chat with that enjoys the numbers, details, tough training plans, data, etc.,  like I do.   So Tim, thank you!  I enjoyed the conversation.  Several miles later a couple from Minnesota joined in the conversation.  

Here is a pic of my new friends.  (Tim is on the right - with the red shorts)
This was my first time to take pictures "on the run."  I had purchased a new camera just before this race and was happy with the way the stabilization feature worked. 
coming to the finish.....4:16
Today I felt GREAT the whole way.  I have run other marathons as training runs, but even when running a slower pace, I have always come to a point in the race where I was tired and ready to be DONE.  MDI was different.  I never felt tired.  My goal for the training run was 9:45 pace.  I ran the last 2 miles @ 8:47 and 8:03.  I ended up running 26.38.  I didn't pay much attention to the tangents today because it was a training run.  By the Garmin, for 26.38 miles, my average pace was 9:44.
Stats for MDI
334 / 925
Division - 17 / 69
9:48 avg pace for 26.2 miles

My personal observations after the race:
**This was the hilliest marathon I have run so far out of 21 marathons.
**I did not taper for this run, and in fact, I went into the race with 44 miles to finish the week with 70 miles.
**Even with the 44 miles prior the marathon, this was the easiest marathon I have run, to date.
**This means I'm getting in shape.  
 **MDI is my 2nd favorite out of the 21 marathons that I have completed.  St. George is still number 1 for me.  I'm sure running my PB (personal best) @ SGM has a lot to do with my ranking, but the beauty at St. George, UT is hard to beat.  Had I been racing at MDI, and had I finished with a PR (personal record), I wonder is my ranking would be different.  Possibly????  Both are beautiful courses, and both races are special.  

I was happy to finally meet Bethany & Ryan of Our Love on the Run
 @ MDI.  I have been following their adventures of running for a while.  (Bethany helped me with some of the details of my trip to Boston.)  ......bummed we didn't think to take pictures. 

Today, I'm 6 weeks away from the Baton Rouge marathon, my goal race.  
This week we toured Nova Scotia, and I took a recovery wk.  
I took Mon - Wed. off from running. (walked 30 min - 45 min each day, in various locations of Nova Scotia)
Thurs. - I ran 3 miles easy, in Bangor, ME. 
(we left Nova Scotia Thurs. @  3:30 am CST time, and it was Fri., 2:00 am CST when I climbed into bed at home in MS)
Fri - 5 miles easy and then I did Supreme 90 day - This was the first day,  of round 2,  for S90D.
Sat. - 8 miles easy.  Today, I felt tired.  I think the marathon, the wk of vacation, and the lack of sleep caught up today.  I slowed the pace, and finished the run feeling tired, but ok.  I will take it easy on Sunday.

The upcoming training wk will be back on my regular training program.  I have 70 miles with some quality runs in the mix.  Totally excited about the upcoming training.  

Once again I'm at my HAPPY PLACE.  
Training hard - that's the way I like it!



..:danielle:.. said...

so happy that you liked MDI!! this was by far my most favorite marathon. good luck in your upcoming races!!

Jim ... 50after40 said...

AWESOME!!! Those marathons you can use as training runs are so enjoyable. No stress and not pressed to beat the clock. Ha - "running is not the #1 activity in our state" ... I've ran and spent some time in MS ... that is a FACT! Glad it went well and congrats!

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

Wow, what an incredible "training run"! The amount of mileage you had going in impresses me- especially to add hills to that. Great job!

Amanda@runninghood said...

Amazing training run. To not feel tired and finish your run with those times is incredible! This is awesome. And I loved the pictures!!

Jill said...

Ah Ginny, I have been waiting for your RR and was so excited to see it! I am super excited for you that you ran with ease and never tired, you ARE getting so freaking strong Baton Rouge is going to be easy peasy (well, relatively :)) for you. Looks like an absolutely beautiful course, love the water and the turning leaves! I think I will have to add this to my bucket a few years when I can handle hills more.

Congratulations girl, well done!! :)

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

That's a great finish time! Glad you had fun! Excited to see how fast you'll be at your goal pace!

HappyTrails said...

You SHOULD be in your Happy Place! You achieved your training goal PERFECTLY - consistently getting stronger and not feeling blown after 26+ miles - WOW. We are very happy for you! Looks like a very lovely area to run. Hey, have you ever looked at the Steamboat Marathon in Steamboat Springs? It is a beautiful setting, too. Of course, we are partial to the mountains. :-) Very glad, too, that you could spend some wonderful time with your mom and sis.

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

I would love to run Steamboat, but I'm always nervous about attempting the CO marathons because of the altitude. Do you think I can handle it?

HappyTrails said...

Yes you could do a marathon at altitude! The biggest thing, when coming from low altitude to higher altitude, is to not start too fast. You might need to start a little slower than normal and then, once you settle in, try to raise your pace but remember - your pace is ALWAYS going to be slower up high. Another good race to check out (from what I hear) is the Colorado Marathon in Ft. Collins. A Boston qualifier, it is supposed to be fast. They have some good altitude recommendations for racers coming from low altitude on their FAQ page. Our friend, CW, won the womens this year. :-)

Robbie said...

I'm proud of you and glad you enjoyed the race! Keep up the good's paying off. You're still my inspiration and it's reenforced each time I read a new post. You won't believe this, but the one thing that comes to my mind a lot is what you told me when I was deciding on my marathon: "You can if you want to". Thanks, my friend, for such a great saying to recall!!

Christine said...

Wow, i'm so impressed about your training and the mileage! You did gret at the marathon and the pics are beautiful! Good job :)

Bethany + Ryan said...

It was so nice to meet you!! We already signed up for 2012 and I think we will look into staying in the hotel that you stayed in...ours was nice but it'd be nice to roll out of bed and be right at the start line. Shucks, why didn't we take a picture? lol

Timothy Magee said...

Ginny it was great running with you at MDI! Given how diligent you've been in your training, I think you just might have a PR waiting for you in December. Regardless, your blog is terrific and you're a real inspiration!

John Green said...

Really great finish time, congrats on your time...