Maine Marathon Report

Happy (and Exhausted) After Finishing My 11th Marathon
Welcome to the blog post in which I tell you everything you wanted to know about the Maine Marathon and more!

Race Date: October 2, 2011

Results: 4:02:44, 96th out of 401 females, 7th out of 46 in 45-49 age group, 13.1 mile gun time: 2:01:30. This was my 2nd fastest marathon, my 11th marathon and my 6th state.

Course: Portland and Falmouth, Maine. Beautiful woods and bays, nice houses, hills and lots of puddles. The uphills made me feel like my lungs would explode and on the downhills I kept thinking, "Don't fall!" - afraid of the slick, steep roads.

Weather: Most of the time when I trained this summer, by the time I neared the end of a long run, I slowed down because of the heat so I'm so glad that it stayed around 53 degrees for the race. I wore a trash bag for the first 3 miles. Just make mine a size 39 - gallons, that is! I didn't need my jacket (or my arm warmers and sun glasses in the pockets!), but I'm glad I wore a hat because it rained the whole time.

Only 19 More Miles To Go! 
Volunteers: I'm so thankful for the volunteers. It was not a good day to volunteer. There was a group of teenage girls who helped me up a long hill by screaming their lungs out. We slapped hands. Another volunteer cheered me on and high fived me as I ran through the intersection where he directed traffic.

Spectators: There weren't a lot, but they made me smile.

Runners: We smiled at each other when we could see each other's faces on the out and back course. (A lot of smiling going on in this race!) I saw Joan Benoit Samuelson who ran the half in 1:25. A runner came up behind me in the 24th mile and said that he'd been trying to catch up to me for 20 miles and to keep running strong. I wanted to find him later to say thanks.

Fuel Pre-run: I increased my carbohydrates by 100-150 grams for three days before the race, trying not to increase calories, too, but I failed a bit. It takes planning. Race morning, I had a bagel and Gatorade. In the middle of the night, I woke up and drank Gatorade (unplanned).

Falmouth, Maine - Feeling Good at Mile 19 (9:04 Pace)!
Fuel During Race: Mostly, I kept to the plan: one cup of Gatorade Endurance at every stop (there were 14) and not when I ate a GU gel (2 vanilla, 2 Roctane) at miles 5, 11, 16 and 21 with water.

Post-marathon Food: My favorites: locally grown McIntosh apples, raisin oatmeal cookies and blueberry Greek yogurt. They also had pizza and Fig Newtons.

Expo: It was small. They had everything I needed except safety-pins in my packet. If you need some, try craft stores. Our race packet included yummy almond butter and snack bars that I ate while hiking later.

Unplanned Occurrences: We wore our bib sideways because of a mistake they made while attaching our timing strips to our bibs, but it didn't cause me any problems.

Because of the rain, I stayed in the car as long as possible before the start. When the race began, it was the first time I ran that morning and my shoes went clip, CLOP, clip, CLOP. I think my shoelace needed adjusting. Next time, I'll run a little beforehand.

There were quiet times when the marathon was like a training run though quiet woods.  My Ipod shuffle didn't work right when I tried to listen to music so it was just me and my thoughts during the race, which was fine.

We had to stop for a fire truck. I almost stopped my Garmin, but then remembered that this wasn't a training run and that stopping it wouldn't give me a faster finish time. Later, I forgot to stop my watch at the finish line. Oops!

Post-race Stretch with Food Tents Behind Me - My Next Stop
What Went Well: Except for the hilly portions, I didn't slow down until the last 3 miles. Maybe it was the training miles at marathon pace or faster, the increase in carbs for 3 days, the gel plus Gatorade during the race, the cool weather or all of those factors that helped me to feel great for most of the race.

To Improve: I checked my average pace on my watch every once in a while and was happy to be near a 9:09 average pace (for a 4 hour finish) much of the way. The problem with that is that I always run longer than 26.2 during marathons so I need to factor that in next time. However, I'm really happy that this was my second fastest marathon. I hope that with more marathon paced miles in training and maybe even more carbs in the days before the race, I might be faster next time.

Race Shirt
Special Thanks to My Best Race Support: My husband took hundreds of pictures of me while standing in the cold rain and found me on the race route twice. At the finish, he treated me like a queen, carrying all my food and clothes, opening my bottle of milk and pointing out the best porta-potty - the large one! During this vacation to Maine, we celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary!

Portland Press Herald article about the marathon

Quick Maine Marathon Recap Thanks to all for your great comments on that post!


  1. Happy Anniversary! So glad it went well. I thought of you that day because it was raining here. I didn't want to jinx you so didn't talk about this marathon before you did it but it was not a good marathon for me. I died. When I mentioned it the other day my husband also remembered it as the one I died in. He was worried about me at the finish because I didn't come and didn't come. It was my second slowest marathon - only my first was slowest. I fell in it. Hard. I kept changing my goals as it became so obvious I wasn't going to meet it. My final goal was to just keep running and not walk and that I did. In spite of my poor performance I won an age group prize. Never even checked but they mailed it to me. A nice water color with a nameplate on it.
    Glad it went so well for you. You are fast!
    I haven't done a marathon since mostly because of injuries. I don't want that to be my last one and will do one again. I will probably do Mt. Desert Island some year.
    Again, congratulations.

  2. ajh- Thank you and oh, no, what a rough race! What a nice award you won at the Maine Marathon, but you can't let that one be your last one! MDI would be beautiful - we drove on part of the route this week, but it seems like it might be hillier than the Maine Marathon.

  3. That's going to be me in the trashbag tomorrow too I'm afraid. Too funny, with all our gear, that a piece of plastic is the most helpful thing sometimes.

  4. What a fantastic recap! It's too bad you didn't get to see the beauty of Portland and Falmouth in the sunshine. They really are gorgeous cities this time of the year. Congrats on a great race though!! Sounds like you had a great time despite the weather :)

  5. Congratulations!! You sound so much like my husband in that you didn't let the rainy weather damper your enthusiasm :) And to celebrate your anniversary as well...awesome!

    I'm still chuckling about the sideway bibs :)

  6. Amanda- One good thing is that it wasn't really too much trouble running in a bag!

    Monika- I thought Maine was beautiful even under cloudy skies!

    Lisa- Thanks! Now, my husband thinks I run best in the rain!

  7. Congrats, Tina! I never mind running in the rain/cold after a long summer of hot training runs. You did great! And happy anniversary!

  8. Terzah- Thanks! Cold running definitely beats hot running - for me!

  9. Tina you are amazing! You have very few hills to train on, but yet you go and run a hilly marathon and run your 2nd fastest time, in the rain too. Congrats!

    Happy Anniversary!

  10. Happy Anniversary you two lovebirds! What a special day all the way around! Congratulations on a well-run race - beforehand with your training and fueling and then during with your great attitude and consistent pacing on a day with less than stellar conditions. I can't believe you ran in low 50's, in the rain in only a tank top!!! I would have been freezing! Plus, I do not enjoy running in the rain - maybe b/c rain usually = cold here. But you are right - cold IS probably preferred over hot. So happy that you guys had a great time in Maine! :-)

  11. Ginny and Kathleen- Thank you! I can't wait to run another marathon and I'd love to visit Maine again someday!

  12. So many things about this post made me smile for you. Joan Benoit Samuelson? Wow! And I love that you mentioned the others runners. Imlove hoe encouraging other athletes can be. You just never know how much a kind word can come at just the right time!
    Congrats on a GREAT finish and Happy Anniversary!

  13. Fantastic recap! That heat training really paid off and your time WITH HILLS is just AWESOME!
    congrats and happy anniversary! so much to celebrate! :)

  14. oh yea, just one question... how did your shoes/feet hold up in the rain? any blisters or soggyness or were they not too wet? i've often wondered what it would be like to run a marathon in rain with a fear of getting just that - wet feet and blisters!

  15. That Pink Girl- I heard a couple of runners encourage friends that they were running with - their helpful tips helped me, too!

  16. Kate- I'm fortunate when it comes to blisters. I hardly ever get them and if I do, they're tiny. My shoes must have been soaked with all of the rain and puddles you just couldn't miss - not worth trying to anyway, but no blisters for me! And, thanks!

  17. Happy Anniversary! And congratulations on a great race! Too bad about the weather but you seemed to handle it well. (I was so lucky with the weather today in Portland OR; perfect temp and though it rained lightly in hours 2-3, it didn't get me any wetter than sweating.)

  18. Congratulations on a great race! Sounds like you had a great race plan and all went well. Sorry that it rained, but better that and be cool than to be too hot. So happy for you. Yeah!

  19. I always appreciate all the details you put in your race reports about fuel, etc...

    The scenery and the fact you ran such a fast race makes me want to do this one!! Nice work, Tina. I will enjoy seeing your next RR after the "even more MP"


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