Sugarloaf Marathon Recap

One word to describe yesterday’s marathon-hot.

I wish I could say I had an awesome PR yesterday, but I can’t. I do have a PR though-by 3 minutes. Whatevs, it still counts. In the end, the heat got to me in a bad way.

When I started the race, it was 72 degrees. When I finished it read 85 in the shade and over 100 in the sun. However, there was no shade on this course. Just sun beating off the asphalt.

From the beginning, here goes the report.

We got up to Sugarloaf on Saturday afternoon. The last time I was at this mountain was spring break my second year of college when I was still at The University of Maine. I forgot just how much I love this area and this mountain. Something about big mountains and ski resorts that have managed to remain undeveloped really tugs at my heart strings. This is one of those places.

The Loaf

The morning of the race began with the usual bagel and cream cheese with oatmeal and coffee and then tragedy struck. I got everything together that I needed-the ipod, the gus, and the Garmin. I put the Garmin on my wrist and pressed on. Nothing. No beep, no screen. Nothing. Dad took over the watch trying to work his magic,  but it didn’t work. I went into panic mode and just told myself that I would have to practice some “zen running” and know when to eat the Gu according to the mileage rather than time.

We left the house and drove up to the start. Dad thought maybe the gas station would have a digital watch. We pulled in with our fingers crossed, but no dice. However, the attendant told us we could probably find one at the gas station next to the campground, which was where the start of the race was.

Bingo. I had a watch.

The race started and I felt great. No nerves, no bathroom issues, no aches or pains. Gravy. Everything was gravy.

Miles 1-3.Instant calf and hip pain due to the camber in the road. All race I had to be incredibly cautious of the camber of the road, especially due to the screw in my foot. I can’t run with a lot of pressure on that area.

Obvious tilted road camber here

I reminded myself that it takes about 4-5 miles for my body to warm up.

Miles 5-10. Just like the course description on the website said, it got pretty hilly here. Surprisingly I powered up these hills no problem and even dropped a few of the girls I was running with. I wouldn’t see them the rest of the race. I was feeling strong and hitting 9-10 minute miles no problem. At mile 10 I turned on my headphones and settled into the fast downhill.

Miles 15-End. At this point the heat became unbearable. I was struggling to keep nutrition down, my stomach was upset, and I became dizzy. I had to start taking short walk breaks around mile 21 as my body needed to cool down. It was slightly frustrating because I was running strong and had a sense of a strong finish in me, but the heat was devastating and there was not much that I could do about that. I started pouring water over my head at the aid stations and  a lady at various points on the course handed out ice that I put down my sports bra. I wiped brine and salt off my face, but hardly any true sweat. This combined with a full bladder told me that I was hydrated, but that I was not keeping in electrolytes.

Followed the river mostly the whole way.

The course was gorgeous and I enjoyed the scenery the whole time. Understandably, I wanted it to be over by Mile 20. My Dad and his wife followed me along the course, stopping about every 2 miles and cheering me on as I went by. When Dad saw the heat getting to me he started stopping every mile to mile and a half to hand off water or check on me.

I am slightly dissappointed with my time, especially because I was not nearly as sore as I could have been when I finished. I felt that I still had a bit left in my legs. Yet, there is nothing I could do about the heat and I could not push my legs to go any faster in the heat. And I suffered quite a bit afterwards with major intestinal issues. Not to mention that today I hurt from head to toe and feel incredibly dehydrated.

One thing that I am excited about is how fast the time flew by for me and the miles ticked away. I wanted it to be over more so because of the suffocation from the heat, but really I couldn’t believe mentally how fast it was. I know that I was off on my time, especially expecting a 4 hr 15-20 minute finish, but I accepted my slower time. That gives me some hope that they will get easier with each one that I do. That’s the hope anyways.

Anyone else run this weekend? How was it? Did you race?

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21 responses to “Sugarloaf Marathon Recap

  1. CONGRATS!!!! who cares about your time (easy for me to say) you ran a marathon!! heat can be so killer! so awesome your Dad was there to had you water!
    No race this weekend for me, but i ran a 10km last weekend…terrible time, but i had fun running it! next event is the Spartan Sprint in June… what do you have planned next? or are you giving your legs a rest for a while?

  2. Congratulations on your huge accomplishment! You can’t do anything about the weather, you still rocked it. Thanks for the recap! I’ve got my first half marathon coming up this weekend!

  3. Congratulations on finishing on a tough day! I read they stopped the Green Bay marathon the same day, and I think it was cooler in Green Bay! I ran Sugarloaf also. Had the same sort of experience. Far off my PR, and I was on a pace to kill my PR until mile 16. By mile 17-18, a woman I fell into running with suggested that the goal should be to not wind up in the medical tent. Sage advice. Beautiful course, but the heat was killer and maybe it was me, but I just didn’t feel all the downhill everyone talks about.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience-that heat was tough. I read the same thing about Green Bay. A lot of raises are pulling the chord early on with the heat. That ambulance went by me quite a few times with the sirens on and I did hear about people passing out. The advice you were given is quite true and why I slowed down.

  4. Heat is really devastating….it’s my least favorite weather to run in. I’d rather have wind, snow etc. I think you did a great job. And now that you’re home you can maybe turn all that training into some faster short races. Just give yourself a lot of time to recover.

  5. Congrats on the PR despite the insane heat! Go you! You should run the Xterra Balarat trail 13.1 (it’s in Jamestown, CO) with us in two weekends (June 2) if you’re up for it! Registration is only $30! Congrats again!!

  6. Good job! Not a bad time at all for that temp! At least you got to finish your marathon 🙂 Mine was called 2 1/2 hours after the start because of the heat…If only I was an elite runner…

    • I was wondering if that was the race you did! What a bummer. Are you thinking of signing up for another in the near future since you trained?

      • I found one in about 4 weeks that I am signed up for! Knocking on wood that the weather is more cooperative! It’s on the lake so 99% of the days during the summer stay in the 60’s but we shall see. I happened to have a half marathon on the one day of the summer it was 90 last year 😉

        Now just trying to reenergize and get through more running and then another “taper”?!? I don’t even know how to train for this now… they don’t have too many 3 week training guides 🙂

  7. Congratulations on finishing despite the heat! I can’t even imagine trying to run a marathon in 100 degree temperatures! Good job!

  8. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it!! I absolutely love reading marathon stories. But the watch thing? I felt panicked just reading that!!! Lol. Glad you got it resolved!! good job!

  9. Congrats!!!! Seriously, way to go for powering through such horrible weather conditions. I ran the 2007 Chicago Marathon that had similar temperatures. I was so mad with my time I signed up for one 6 weeks later and ran it 35 minutes fast…not because I was in any better shape, but because the heat makes a HUGE difference, so you should be really proud of yourself!

    What a great father, seeing you so many times along the course!

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