Martha's Vineyard Marathon RR
On Saturday, I ran the Martha's Vineyard Marathon, my quest for the state of Massachusetts and another running adventure. We had tons of fun!
Since this race required a bit more traveling, including ferry rides, driving, etc., we took off on Thursday morning en route to Boston, MA. We spent the night there and then drove to Falmouth, MA (where the ferries to Martha's Vineyard are) and the island. We left a rainy and stormy Miami for a rainy and stormy MA and the weather forecast for the race including 100% of rain, 15-20mph winds, and clouds. I was glad for the rain (not so much for the wind), and the clouds, as this race starts too late for May (8:30am) and, without the no sun and rain, it would've been too hot to marathon. But we were lucky.
We arrived in Falmouth before noon and headed to the ferry to travel to MV for the expo. It was a very windy day and they only had one ferry that arrived far from the expo (the same for the race), so we had to take not only the ferry but a bus. It ran us around $50 for the expo trip and another $40 for race day. But I was glad to stay on the mainland because between the weather being windy and rainy, and the island not having much to do except the beach, we would have been stuck on the island without much to do all Friday. Instead, we drove around Cape Cod and found a great Mexican restaurant for lunch!
The expo was at the finish line, and it was just a few tables with the package pickup and all the goodies. I forgot to take a picture of the goodies but here is what we got with each bib, with the exception of the medal, which would be received after the race, of course:
This is the second year for the race and it appears that they took every suggestion given last year and improved it. It is a small well-organized race, for sure, with lots of fun activities to do at the finish that I think were not as many due to the weather, but not their fault.
We spent the afternoon driving around the Cape and having lunch, and resting. We were in bed by 11pm with a 6am wake up time to head to the ferry in time for the last ferry to arrive before the race, the 7am. Because of the wind again, they only had one ferry arrival location but the race had school buses waiting for us. Last year, there were complaints about not having enough buses, but they had two this time around and everybody on the ferry managed to get on a bus so they worked it out well.
The start of the race was located at the MV High School and we got there with enough time to hit the potties. There was a big line but from what I had heard about last year, they had more potties this time around. I had no issue going to the potty and arriving to the start line as the Anthem was being sung. Perfect timing.
Hubby and I started at the same time (Wave 2) but, again, he left me in the dust like in KY. He finished in 2:15 or something like that and he didn't get any rain (but he was rained on while waiting for me, lol). The race goes straight into a tight little trail (paved) that spanned at least half of my race. The HM split from us by Mile 3 or thereabouts, but those first miles were so crowded even though the race is small, since the paved path was narrow. This part of MA, and MV included, looks like it's still in late Fall, with the path in the woods looking straight out of the Blair Witch Project. It had an eerie feeling for me, and I wouldn't have liked to be around there at night or alone, ha.
I had not planned on racing this, but at least I want to run it at easy pace. By Mile 4, after our split with the HMers, my operated knee started hurting, a sign that it would rain soon. Then, my right ITB started hurting, and for good measure the left ITB and my left inner thigh. I was like WTF by Mile 5, get your shit together, legs. I was regretting not running my shakeout run due to laziness, since I know it always comes back to bite me not moving for two days and I guess this was it. But it was not good for my patella to be hurting this early or at all. But, it was what it was. I was running an easy pace, but feeling off due to the pain.
This is where the mile markers appeared off. At first, I was ahead of the mile markers by 0.12 after Mile 5, but Mile 6 and it's 5.5 "mat" was off by 0.50! I asked a guy running next to me, my new BFF, I guess, what mileage did he have and he said 5.5. I'm like nope, you're wrong, but I won't tell you. The marker was wrong. There is no way I was running a 1:01 for 5.5 miles; that is way slow for me. So, I opted for just letting it go and hoping I didn't end up having a 26.70 marathon, you know? But in the end, the markers corrected themselves and I didn't.
Also, I found Miles 6-13 hillyish. They advertised the race as having GENTLE rolling hills. Bullshit! If you go up 40ft in 0.02 miles and you have to walk because it's faster to walk uphill than to run it, and the downhill makes you stop for fear of falling, that is neither rolling, nor gentle. I know I live in a 0ft elevation location, but I know a hill when I see one. I had around 20 of those "gentle" rolling hills in the first 11 miles.
This is probably the gentlest rolling hill I saw:
We passed by the airport, and all I remembered was the show called Wings and Joe Hackett flying from Nantucket to MV:
Around these miles, I quit and got my shit together. I had to walk an uphill that was faster walking than running, and after the walk, my knee felt better, so I incorporated walking at the water stations and while eating my gel, mostly because my ITB and the knee were a fucking PITA. So, at Mile 11 I felt I was slow, but Miles 13-15 were fast notwithstanding the walks. We finally got out of the Blair Witch woods and headed towards the beach for what my husband texted me would be full headwinds. It started raining at Mile 11.
Miles 16-17 were OK, but Mile 18 is where I quit. FTS. We headed to the only fully flat section of the course, towards the beach, in a full headwind. I had started stopping to fix my shoes at Mile 14 on, thanks to all the sand and debris coming into my shoes due to the wind and the rain. The back of my legs was black and this is how I looked at Mile 25 when I texted my husband that I wouldn't break 5 hours because I was lazy and was removing sand from my shoe:
I really had quit trying at this point, although I thought I could still run a sub-5. It was raining, windy, going slightly up and down, and mentally I was like whatever, not going to break a record, why bother trying. I was still having fun, but it was tough going at this point, mainly because of the weather. However, I was glad I wasn't running there on a sunny day because there is no share anywhere on the course. I texted hubby my progress every so often, and at Mile 25, I took the picture I just posted and sat for a minute. Making sub-5 impossible. But at the time, I didn't care.
Here are some pics of me from this section. At least I look like I'm trying:
That Fucking 0.20
This is what happened at the finish. I am finally turning towards the park where the finish line is. You have to go and do an almost perfect rectangle to finish, so I passed by the finish line, turned left, then turned left and another left and then straight to finish. I still thought I could run a sub-5 until I saw what I had left to run, ha.
Then, this guy by my husband, who was taking pictures of me, started taking pictures of either my ass or of someone right behind my ass. So, I decided to run like the devil was out to chase me and not let her pass me. I was fine until we headed to the grass. Did I mention my knee was hurting? Well, she does not like grass. I tried as hard as I could and was running 9mm or something like that, but in the end, she fucking passed me right near the finish. These are the pics my husband took of my attempt to not be passed by someone who was probably 10+ years younger than me, lol:
Then, I was done. And what do I do when I see the second photographer for the race? Priorities!
I finished in 5:01:02. I wish I had cared about the sub-5 at Mile 25 instead of on the last stretch. Still, it's my fastest marathon this year, believe it or not, and 12 minutes faster than KY and 8 minutes faster than Disney (which is flat as in, really flat, people). So, there is that...
I have 5 weeks before my next marathon. And this one is hillier than KY. This is the last time my husband chooses my races. The end. :)
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