Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Maine Coast Marathon, a big day!

Sunday was a big day around here.
All of us on the interwebs (and in real life) were pretty damn excited. It was Maine Coast Marathon Day! A day where almost everyone who knows anyone gets together to either run a damn stupid marathon, cheer lead or sherpa. I feel like this race more or less marked the beginning of the summer race season and reminded me how much I miss all my running buds (and how infrequently I see their faces.)

This day was all about Danielle.
You all know the age old story. Girl runs races and is fast by normal standards, girl meets freakishly tall boy and marries him, girl and freakishly tall boy have a devilishly handsome child (while girl maintains a damn quick pace, running sub 4 marathons while preggers with said child and generally kicking ass.)
Child gets born
Girl gets STUPID FAST. Like, childbirth has given her wings or some crazy shit. She PR's every distance by a sick amount while remaining uninjured which makes me think that she is a cyborg.
Girl prepares to run fastest marathon in history!
Yeah, that story. Normal stuff right? 

Back in February at the mid winter classic, seeing her face of irritation as I chased her down I knew that my obnoxious presence might be exactly what she needed in the final miles of her goal marathon. (I kid, she can run with one hand tied behind her back blindfolded. I just wanted to share in the excitement!) I offered up my sherpa-ing services and she took me up on my offer (the offer was to shout at her if she tried to bitch out. that was about it....)

Anywhoo. Fast forward to now.
I am not going to tell too much of this story (since Danielle is the worst blogger alive and it is going to take her 400 years to post about her big day)
However, I clearly need attention from the internet (duh) so here is my side of the story.
And it will be awesome.

The day of May 11, 2014 dawned cool and pleasant.
And that did not last.
Why in the ever loving fuck do the hot days have to fall on marathons? WHY? Why.... UGH.
I woke up at 4:30 ready to go for my big day I mean to support my friend on route to her big finish.

I showed up at the start and I'm saw some of my favorite people and some strangers, who will probably become my favorite people soon (since they are crazy marathoners too...)

Ok, so there is Leslie (new friend), Sarah N, Danielle, Kristal, A girl from Daily Mile (who are you? are you Karen?) and me!

After the start, which seemed so tiny and small after the 309,857 people at Boston, I booked it over to UNE to prepare to tackle 20 miles, 7 or so which were to be at race pace with Ms. Danielle the super speedster.
It was 64 degrees at 7:45...

Parking lot selfie. Gotta have photo documentation...
I headed out onto the course just before 9:00 to run backwards for 6-7 miles.
Not literally backwards. I was running the route from the finish line, haha. 
When I headed out to run it was 72 degrees. Uh oh.
I was obnoxiously warm while running, it was grody and nasty with sweat and slime everywhere.
And I was running slow- like 9's. I started to feel concerned.

And when concerned I lazily stop to take ANOTHER selfie. Wow, I love me.

I reached mile 19 right around 10:10, which was perfect timing to see Danielle and Sarah making their way towards me.
By that time the temp was reaching the upper 70's. And I was glad I wasn't racing.
I had gotten a text from Sarah N hoping that I had some salt tabs but I did not- watching the runners go by was like watching a replay of Boston and I was not liking what I was seeing....

I certainly can't tell any part of this from Danielle's perspective but I knew what her goal was, I knew what pace we had to maintain to get there and I remembered, far too clearly how it felt to maintain pace past mile 20 at Boston. Half of my brain was seriously concerned before we ever got going, and the other half was ready to push, pull and help her to the finish.

So we ran. It was hot, relentlessly hot, not a cloud in the sky and the only noticeable wind was the one pushing us backwards up the annoying hills of the last miles of this race.

We have the same amazing running form. Go us!!!!

Dudes, she fought hard. I was scared to death that if she stopped that she'd become me at Boston (a waste of space) so the poor girl, every time she walked thru a water stop I was like "MOVE! DON'T FUCKING STOP! RUN YOU SLUT!!!!!" She was overheating, cramping, dehydrated and still motoring along.

When all else fails, you must remember to Fly Brave!!!! (thanks to Sarah E and Sarah N :-))

I managed to keep up my end of the bargain by yelling at her mercilessly, like a total jerk.
After my shit show run in Boston, in the heat, I knew exactly what she was going through and I figured that if her brain was wired anything like mine even a tiny bit of sympathy/commiseration would cause BOTH of us to burst into tears and park it on the roadside waiting for the ice cream truck. So when she said worrying things like "I can not feel my legs...." I replied, sensibly, with: "that is the BEST CASE SCENARIO right now!!!!" Oy. Don't ever listen to me.

I feel that I might have had several more gems like that but here's the bottom line:
She kept running. Much faster than was comfortable. And not just running, but passing people.
When you really, really want something you fight through some pretty nasty shit, and that is exactly what I saw play out. I was just along for the ride, she dug deep and gutted it out.

And the final result? Like I said, I'm not going to tell her story.
From my perspective I saw amazing things and heartbreaking things happen.
That's running right there, isn't it?
(UGH!!!!!!!!! and YAY!!!! God, so confused!!!)
Bottom line though, I'm damn proud of her. She's a tough lady, a fast runner and she has the tenacity to pull off some fast paces in horrid conditions. (fall marathon: watch out!) She finished strong, mobile and she stayed classy (and her hair looked great- see below pic. hello my hair- take notes!)

So glad to be done!!!

After the excitement and drama of Danielle's big run I got to death march, for 6 more miles. Gross. By that time it was 80, so hot, gross in all ways and I was ready to be done. (I would have had a horrible race- as jealous as I was at the start, by mile 14 on the day I certainly was relieved to be just running....)

I saw Jen S an she carried me for a while! Nice!!!

So there is my day. 20 miles. Very hot. Really, really proud of my friend.
Isaac deserves some honorable mention- he was a cheerleading FORCE and literally seemed to be around every bend. How he managed this, I do not know.

Anyway marathons, you stupid beasts!  excited to see how it plays out next time (Chicago... Uh Oh!)



  1. Good report ... Danielle is everything you reported in this fun post - definitely one badass but fun CROW. I saw ya' on your last 6 running back out as I was finishing in the heat myself ... glad you were there to share the experience with her.

  2. Maine is sooooo where all the cool kids were at on Sunday. Wish I was there. Glad you got to run with her.

  3. i cannot thank you enough... and marathons are so DUMB! cant wait for chicago ;) (i think we're a little dumb, haha). xo

    1. You are entirely welcome!!! (and you don't need to thank me, this is what running friends are for!) I have a feeling that we are both going to have excellent races in Chicago. I can't wait either!!!

  4. You are a good friend. What more needs to be said?