Long story short: On Sunday, October 6th I ran my third marathon, The Wineglass in Corning, New York. My chip time was 4:29:34, which means I ran about 13 minutes faster than my last marathon. Of course I’m happy about that, but I was hoping to shave a good 20 minutes off of my previous time.
Short story long: Why the hell did I pick some obscure marathon in Upstate New York? For starters, a big group from Your Pace or Mine were going and their persuasive ways convinced me it would be fun. Besides, when I signed up back in December 2012, Randy and I planned to visit some of his family who lived in the area and make a lovely trip out of it.
Fast forward to a week before the race: I was involved in a car accident in which our car was totaled and Randy got a new job. Randy and I both agreed it’d be better for him to stay behind since a new job is more important than a marathon. Since we were down to one car, I pleaded to my YPOM buddies for a ride to New York, and was given an offer I couldn’t refuse: Three ladies had rented a house in a winery and one of their housemates had backed out. For only $125 for three nights I could hitch a ride with them and stay in a house instead of a dingy motel. SOLD!
After a seven-hour car ride we arrived Upstate. I can’t even describe the beauty of the Finger Lakes region. The buildings are historic looking, it’s full of quaint downtowns and marinas full of sailboats, and the valleys surrounding Lake Geneva were full of trees changing color for fall. Here is a picutre I stole from online of a waterfall we visited in Watkins Glen:
Freakin’ gorgeous, right? I would go back in a heartbeat.
For those who don’t know, Corning NY is where Corningware is manufactured. For those of you who aren’t married, Corningware dishes are those things your mother demands you put on your registry and they really come in handy when making casseroles. Anyway, my point is that glass is a big industry in Corning. There’s even a glass museum! Hence, the Wineglass Marathon. Every participant received a wineglass and a small bottle champagne along with a custom glass finisher’s medal.
Now, on to the big event. I’ll break it down by the three main lessons I learned while slogging through those 26.2 miles:
1) An Australian Accent Does Not a Good Pace Group Leader Make
When lining up at the start line I noticed there were pace groups. My goal time for the marathon was around 4:25 or faster. So, when I saw the 4:20 pace group, I figured I’d be able to hang. Besides, the pace group leader was Australian and extremely charming, cracking jokes and taking our mind off of impending doom. I stuck with his group and miles flew by listening to him tell tales of the many marathons and ultramarathons he’s completed.
His charm started to wear thin, however, when for some odd reason the subject of Islam was brought up. Little did we know, our goofy Australian pace leader was a closet bigot! He didn’t think too highly of Muslim people and warned us that all Americans would perish at the hand of Islam is we didn’t read the Koran and educate ourselves. Needless to say, this was not the conversation I wanted to be listening too. I started distancing myself from his group soon after. To be honest, I was beginnning to feel exhausted as well. The sun had come out and the 100% humidity and 75 degree weather were killing me. It was obvious that 4:20 was an overly ambitious goal given the weather conditions.
2) Don’t Listen to Bigoted Australians When it Comes to Your Personal Hydration Needs
So, you caught the part above about the crappy weather, right? Well, a smart runner, especially one like me who sweats like a whore in church, would take careful measures to keep properly hydrated. Well, my dumb ass listened to Mr. I-Hate-Muslims-Australian who instructed us not to drink any sports drink until mile 21, and only take tiny mouthfulls of water at each aid station. Maybe for someone like him who runs ultramarathons in 90 degree weather, that advice would work. For an average runner like me, listening to that stupid logic cost me precious time in the last 10 miles. I felt dizzy, my head was pounding, and I didn’t even have the strength to say “thank you” to the volunteers handing me precious, precious Gatorade. By that point it was too late, I was officially dehydrated.
3) Wear Shorts That Fit
Again, it bears repeating, it was hot. At some point around mile 21 I began taking full cups of water to pour all over myself to cool down. It felt good, until my shorts became so soaked that the weight of the water was causing them to fall down. I can’t describe how fun it was to have to constantly pull my shorts up every few steps for six fucking miles. At least the fear of displaying a full moon in my marathon photos took my mind off of the dehydration.
Somewhere around mile 24 I swore off marathons forever. After I was able to recover for an hour, I settled on no more marathons in heat and humidity. Despite the weather, I would highly reccommend The Wineglass. The scenery was beautiful, the aid stations stocked, and volunteers cheerful. The food spread after the race was plentiful with pizza, bagels, fruit, and chicken noodle soup. The only thing I had an appetite for after the marathon was a cold can of Diet Coke, and by God it was the most amazing can of Diet Coke I’ver ever had in my life.
I have no marathons on the horizon until January. I’m enjoying being lazy and running when I feel like it without a plan. However, it would be nice if my “marathon training appetite” adjusted accordingly. I’m giving some serious thought to running the Salt Lake City marathon on April 19th, 2014.The best thing about Utah? No humidity.