Maine has been conquered by the Feld Marathon Machine. I finished my 13th marathon on Sunday – the Mount Desert Island Marathon that started at Bar Harbor, Maine. It was hilly.
Really hilly. But beautiful, perfect weather (40 to 50 degrees), no wind, blue skies, and wonderful people along the course including the "beer girl" (a girl – probably 12 – with her mom that had a sign that said "Finish = Beer"). Did I mention the course was hilly – check out the insulting, endless, torturous climb from mile 21 to mile 25.
A few days before the marathon, I read the "mile by mile route description" and decided that it was highly unlikely that I’d break my goal of 5 hours given how difficult the course appeared. So – I just decided to go out slow, stay comfortable, and finish. I went through the half marathon point right at 2:30, felt great, and picked it up. Remarkably, I did my first negative split marathon (2nd half faster than the first half) and finished in 4:57:02. It seems like the extra training in the mountains is starting to pay off. Yes – I’m really pleased.
This course has chip timers but the stupid chip kept falling off my shoe laces. The third time it happened I punted and carried the chip. Of course, I forgot to drag it across the finish line chip mats so I didn’t get an "official time." Whatever – my Garmin has it all recorded and it’s on the web for anyone to verify. Oh – and I have one of those snazy finisher medals.
My legs feel better than expected, but everything else is totally messed up today. I keep reminding myself that the second day after the marathon is the hardest.
Thanks – as always – for everyone’s support and encouragement via email and twitter. And a special thanks to my anchor sponsors – Return Path and Pixie Mate – as well as everyone else who has sponsored me – for your contributions to Accelerated Cure for each race I finish.
Next up – the Rocket City Marathon – Huntsville, AL in Huntsville, Alabama on 12/13/08.