What it feels like to be a “marathoner”

At about mile 3 or 4. Thanks for taking the photo, Jill!

#1. Move over under-trained century bike ride. Move over LADU with no training at all. That marathon was, without a doubt, the hardest (athletic, at least) thing I’ve ever done.

#2. I did everything right. It would have been hard no matter what.

#3. I’m glad I did it. (Let’s just get this out of the way now.)

#4. So at the start it was warm-ish. Warm enough to wear a tank top. And it got hotter. I think it might have been in the 80s when I finished. But it wasn’t the heat that did me in.

#5. It was the sun. There was a lot of direct sun on this course. And as you can see from the above photo, I am a very fair-skinned person.

#6. The race organizers (Sugarloaf) did a FANTASTIC job. They told us there were going to be water stops every two miles and in the latter part of the race, I’m sure they had one at least every mile. It was my LIFELINE. The Gatorade was a little watered down, but I didn’t care, it was better that way. Thank you to the very concerned volunteers when I started bawling at the mile 22 waterstop.

#7. There was a lot of crying in the last hour. It was hard. I don’t care. I’m just glad I was hydrated enough to cry.

Mile: Split/HR
1: 9:59.86 / 141
2: 10:15.34 / 139
3: 10:09.35 / 143
4: 10:15.30 / 144
5: 10:30.51 / 145
6: 10:11.76 / 148
7: 10:20.97 / 145
8: 11:08.99 / 147
9: 11:53:57 / 149
10: 11:14.89 / 148
11: 10:24.38 / 147
12: 9:10.19 / 147
13: 12:01.43 / 147
14: 10:53.41 / 148
15: 10:34 / 148
16: 10:38 / 146
17: 9:16 / 148
18: 13:06 / 147
19: 11:31 / 148
20: 13:18 / 140
21: 12:33 / 146
22: 9:37 / 149
23: 13:11 / 147
24: 12:11 / 146
25: 18:07 / 138 
26: 11:44 / 137
.2: 2:15 / 156

#8. The downhills in this course helped — see the splits vs. my heart rate — but I had feet, not wheels.

#9. At mile 13 I saw the split (2:17) and was on target for my (asterisk) goal of 10:30 miles — but it was getting hotter and there was less and less shade. I amended my goal to not being taken away in an ambulance.

#10. At mile 17, I decided that if I kept running, I *would* get taken away in an ambulance.  The ambulance had driven back for people three times past me by this point. “If I walk the next 8 miles, it still counts.”

#11. Cheryl, Jen’s aunt and my traveling partner yesterday evening, did get taken away in an ambulance and hooked up to an IV. She is so Jen’s relative — she described waking up with emergency personnel after passing out at mile 24 and demanded Gatorade. Then she had someone drive her back to where she was picked up to finish the race. CRAZY! If I had the opportunity to get picked up at mile 24, I’m not sure that I would have turned it down.

#12. I had Britney Spears at the end for my “power album” but I was not in the mood for that — I was in the mood to be DONE. I put on my happy music, Lady Gaga, and Bad Romance came on. That’s my ring tone for Tony and I started crying because I just wanted to be with him and not doing this any more.

#13. As we were starting, I thought to myself, ” I spent too much time worrying about how I was going to perform on this race and not enough time worrying about how painful and miserable it was going to be.”

#14. But at no point during the race did I think that I didn’t want to do this again. Instead, I was thinking about how I wanted a better day to do this again.

#15. Things I will do differently during the next sunny, hot marathon:

  • Bring sunblock
  • Bring chapstick
  • Wear a shirt with sleeves and a back (how the hell did I make that mistake again after the nasty sunburn on the century?)
#16. Carrabassett Valley is the new most beautiful place in the world.

#17. Did I mention I got a PR? That’s right, I did — by 5 full seconds. Second marathon finished, PR accomplished, boo-yeah!


Pattie Reaves

About Pattie Reaves

I'm a new mom and renegade fitness blogger at After the Couch. I live in Brewer with my husband, Tony, our daughter Felicity, and our two pugs, Georgia and Scoop.