Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Adirondack Marathon- Fun Weekend, Not So Fun Run

Amber and I headed up to the Adirondacks this past weekend so that I could do the Adirondack Marathon. I am training for the Cape Cod Marathon and wanted to use this race as a predictor on how well I could do. We went up Saturday, drove through the devastated towns of Killington and Rutland, VT. If you haven't been out on Route 4, it is worth the trip to see the havoc Irene left on these towns. It was also amazing and touching how it appeared the town came together to help each other. All throughout these towns were signs, hand-written, printed and sometimes spray-painted on whatever medium they could that conveyed their appreciation of the help they received.

Once we arrived in Lake George, we hit the outlets upon Amber's request. Not exactly my idea of a fun pre-race activity but actually turned out to be somewhat so.
Amber hugging the biggest pumpkin she had ever seen
After having an excellent dinner at the LogJam restaurant, Amber challenged me to a game of bowling. Had it been a swim, the results would have certainly turned out differently but I was able to hold off a late-charging Amber to secure the win.
Amber waking away after hitting just one pin down

Amber quickly consoled herself by winning some candy.
I never see people win at this but Am did!

And that would be the last anyone would be winning for the weekend.

The morning of the marathon started out innocuous enough with us leisurely having breakfast and packing our stuff to head up to Schroon Lake, which Mapquest stated would take us 30 minutes to get to. Well about 50 minutes later thanks to construction and its subsequent lane closures and traffic, we made our way there. We were directed to park in a lot that was full, but with some creative maneuverings we were able to get the car situated. Having now only about 30 minutes before race start, I wanted to get my packet, head to the bathroom and have a chance to warm-up. Plenty of time right? Right, if you don't lose your chip. Or supposedly lose your chip.

Packet registration went seamlessly enough: went right in, got my packet, a nice jacket and the ubiquitous bag and walked out. I was, literally outside the door, when I realized that I had my bib number but not my chip so I went back in, was directed to the "questions guy" and had this conversation:

Danny: Where can I pick up my timing chip?

Questions Guy: It is in your bag.

Danny: Ummm, I just checked and I don't think it's in here.

Questions Guy: Let me check[not finding it in there]. You must have lost it.

Danny: Ummm, I literally just got it and haven't gone anywhere... Okay so I lost it, what now?

Questions Guy: Find it.

Danny: Find it? [Mind you this is now less than 15 minutes before the race start]

Questions Guy: Find it, you probably just dropped it.

Danny: Ummm but I literally just got it and haven't gone..... Okay I'll look for it.

Danny upon returning without chip: I can't find it.

Questions Guy: (Sigh) Well, it looks like you'll have to pay for that if it doesn't turn up.

Danny: What if it wasn't in the bag?

Questions Guy: It was in the bag.

Danny: Ummm but I literally just got it and haven't.... Okay, so can I get another one for now?

Questions Guy: Yeah, fill out this form.

Danny: Now?

Questions Guy: Yes

Suffice it to say, it was not the relaxing morning that I had planned and by the time I had finally gotten everything in order I was all riled up. So riled up in fact that I apparently didn't notice the substantial increase in temperature. I had surveyed the course a little online and it seemed a little hilly but I figured it would just be a better training run. Plus, it's in September in the Adirondacks-nice cool temperatures to run in. Well, it was a bit more than a little hilly and was hot and humid. While I was hoping for a day in the 60's, by the end of the race it had gotten all the way up to the low 80's. That didn't help.

What also didn't help was my desire to run a PR on a course that is challenging than the first eight miles of Pack Monadnock. To describe it as hilly would be an understatement. In reality, however, this is me just making excuses. No one made me run the first three miles at 6 min/mile pace. And no one told me to do this race in the first place. I just can't remember the last time that I wanted to quit a race within the first 1/26th of it. Every mile was a painful compromise with my body.
First, okay just make it to the 5k and you'll be able to get a drink.
-- Still was thirsty but now had the three cups of water sloshing around in my stomach.  
Then, okay make it to 5 miles and take a GU.
--Didn't help.
And, okay make it to 8 miles and you only have Pisgah ahead of you(Crap!).
--Certainly didn't help.
Okay, if you make it to the half marathon, maybe someone can give you a ride home.
--No one seemed willing.
Okay, make it to mile sixteen and you can swim across the lake to get home.
--Thought twice of it. What if I swam to the wrong section and STILL had to run ten more miles.
Okay make it to mile twenty and you can walk the rest of the way.
--Certainly would have done this but the darn half marathoners kept cheering for me that I felt obliged to keep running(ever so slowly).
Okay make it to mile twenty three and you can really walk from here.
--They were still here! Did have several extended "water stops" though where I walked while drinking and purposely took several cups and "savored" every moment.
Okay don't let this guy pass you! You're in fifth place still somehow.
-- That's not going to happen. Sorry

Danny after the race
So I ended up finishing about 25 minutes slower than I had wanted to run, but (mainly due to size of the race) did manage to come in 6th overall  and first in my age-group. So while I didn't have the race that I wanted to, I am glad that I finished it and got a long run in. And despite all my complaining and besides the "questions guy", the race was actually quite nice.
 Good aide stations, nice fan support, and a beauiful course makes it a nice that I may come back to. Also makes me look forward to running a fast half-marathon this weekend at Pocono's.

Up Next: Danny and Amber: Pocono Mountain 70.3

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