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 Wineglass Marathon Report
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Wineglass Marathon Report Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:59 pm 

I ran the Wineglass Marathon in Upstate New York yesterday. It was my 8th marathon, but my worst marathon preparation, so it was really a test of how much you can expect from a decent base but half-assed training. I averaged somewhere in the 30s for weekly mileage, with a few weeks in the teens, and nothing but easy running the whole time. The only concession to "training" I made was to make sure I got in three 20-milers to help prepare for the distance. Despite the lack of training, I was hoping for a decent time, maybe 3:25 - 3:30. That would be well off my marathon PR, but still respectable.

The race-day weather forecast was for rain with possible thunderstorms, so I geared up with two long-sleeve shirts, gloves, and a hat. But 30 minutes before the start, it was dry and in the mid-50's, and I was too hot while warming up in all my gear. 5 minutes before the start, I ditched the extra clothing and switched to a singlet instead, and I'm really glad I did. It turned out to be dry and pleasant all morning.

I ran the first mile with OldManRunner, winding through the streets of the little town of Bath. From there we poured out into the bucolic countryside, with nothing more than farms, cows, and autumn leaves most of the way. While this part of the state is fairly hilly, the course follows a valley and is actually quite flat. It's quite a beautiful region, actually, and all the nicer for its comparative emptiness.

For about the first 10 miles, I averaged a very regular pace of 7:42/mile +/- 8 seconds. That seemed about right, just going by intuition and perceived exertion level. But by around mile 12, it took more of a conscious effort to keep that pace. My poor training was leaving me running out of gas, barely halfway through the race. My half-marathon split was 1:41:08. I pushed myself to keep with it, and stayed on the same pace all the way to mile 19, although it took a much greater effort to do so. I actually kept all my miles through 19 between 7:36 and 7:50. A lot of other runners were flagging, and I started passing lots of people.

At mile 18.3 I passed my family and got some cheers of encouragement, but after that I was really just mentally ready to be done. Mile 20 was 8:05, and abruptly I slowed to about a 9 minute/mile pace. It was "the wall", right on schedule. Surprisingly I was still passing lots of people. I also managed to resist the temptation to walk. But other than that, there's not a lot of positive things to say about those final miles. They just seemed to crawl by as I labored on.

The finish was on a pedestrian bridge spanning the Chemung River, entering the city of Corning. I appreciated that you could see the finish from at least a quarter mile away, instead of having it sneak up on you like some other races. That gave me one more chance to muster a bit of a finishing kick. I did manage to drop down to around a 7:00/pace for the last 0.2 tenths, and caught one other runner just before the finish.

I was grateful when the line finally brought an end to my journey after 3:29:15. Checking the official results, I was 12/46 in my age group, and 93 of 606 finishers overall.

Lessons learned? Training is important-- you can't just expect to go into a marathon semi-cold, even if you are "in shape". But at the same time, base conditioning is certainly critical too, and the training is more like fine tuning. After all, I was only 7 minutes slower yesterday than for April's Boston Marathon, and I trained pretty diligently for Boston.

I also enjoyed Wineglass. It's a small race with fewer than 1000 marathoners, but it's still big enough to have good services and logistical support. It certainly didn't feel like a rinky-dink operation. The scenery of New York's southern tier in autumn is great. And while the spectators may not be numerous, they're still friendly and cheerful.

For now I'm going to rest my legs, then probably concentrate on "fun running" or maybe 5K/10K races for a while. I'm feeling marathoned-out for the time being. Maybe in 2007...


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Wineglass Marathon Report Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:45 am 

I too ran the Wineglass Marathon. I managed to meet and get acquainted with Rickshaw and Oldmanrunner during the packet pickup the day before (Saturday). It was a pleasure to meet you guys and put a face and voice with your Runworks personas.

After having decided last spring that I already had too many marathons on my schedule to do the Wineglass Marathon I started rethinking it again about a month ago. I do all my running alone and I'm getting a bit bored doing long runs. I've been trying to come up with ways to make them more interesting. It dawned on me a couple weeks ago that maybe it was time for another marathon training run. So I started to reconsider doing the Wineglass Marathon. I figured it would be a nice weekend get away with my two daughters (my wife was busy that weekend), a chance to see the Fingerlakes region of New York, and a chance to do a long training run with lots of support along the way. So with only a week left before the marathon I decided to register. My plan was to run a nice easy training pace to mile 22 and then ease back even more and jog/walk to the finish. My intention was to be able to get right back into training the following week.

My daughters (Grace and Melissa) and I arrived early afternoon on Saturday in Bath, NY (the start). We immediately went to the start area and then drove the course. Since the course was advertised as being open to traffic we scouted out places where they would be able to park the car and cheer me on as I ran by. In fact, I decided that I'd take advantage of this opportunity to have extra clothing and fluids in the car in case I needed it. The weatherman was calling for a low of 40 degrees with a 60% chance of rain and possible thunderstorms. So I had several bottles of Cytomax, gels, extra shirts, jackets, socks, and even shoes waiting for me in the car in case I needed them. You rarely get a chance to have this level of support for a marathon so I planned to take full advantage of it.

The course route was pretty easy to follow with very visible markings painted along the road. We made it to about the 21 mile mark when the course goes onto a bike path. We managed to pick it up again around the 25 mile mark and followed it to near the finish in Corning, NY.

We actually had a little trouble finding the packet pickup location. The race information didn't very clearly state where it was. The web site info stated "SAME CORNING LOCATION - in the Baron Steuben Building at the Information Center, on Market Street in downtown Corning, NY (At mile 25 for those familiar with our course.)." Yea, for those familiar with the course, and how about those of us who aren't. There wasn't a single sign anywhere around the area that indicated where the packet pickup was. All they had to do was post a sign or two with an arrow and it would have helped a lot. I drove around the area twice before finally parking. I wandered around a bit and then noticed an athletic apparel company booth setup inside the parking garage nearly hidden from view. Someone there told me the packet pickup was inside the building next door. As I stepped inside I noticed the small 3"x12" sign plate that indicated the Information Center was inside. Okay, no big deal. I'll know where to go the next time I run this marathon. But God help the newbies next year.

So after getting my race packet, meeting Rickshaw and Oldmanrunner, my daughters and I headed to a movie, had dinner and called it a day.

I was pleasantly surprised to find mild temperatures the next morning (55 degrees) with overcast skies but no rain. We got to the start about an hour before the 9am start time. One of the things I love about these low key marathons is the ability to get to the start and move about with relative ease. I kept my eyes open for Rickshaw and Oldmanrunner but they blended into the small crowd. I knew they were both going out faster than my planned pace (9:00 min/mi) and I wouldn't be able to run with them anyways. I found it interesting that though there was a sound system in place at the start area (I could see at least one very large speaker connected to a sound system in the back of someone's van) there was no music being played. In fact, I don't recall hearing any announcements other than a count down to the start about every 10 minutes. In other words, the start area was pretty subdued with people just milling around.

I met with my support crew one last time back at the car. We had decided that they should try to find a spot to stop along the course at the 5, 10, 15, and 20 mile marks. I was a bit concerned though about something unexpected happening and so I decided to take my cell phone with me. I found that I could fit my cell phone in a pocket of my RaceReady shorts. I also had a disposable camera tucked in another pocket. A short test jog proved that they probably wouldn't be a bother. I made it back over to the start area with about 5 minutes to go before the start. One of the runners sang the Star Spangled Banner and about a minute later we were off. I hit the start button my Garmin 205 and I was off. I waved goodbye to my support crew and began to focus on a nice easy pace.

The sky was still overcast and I thought I felt some drops of rain near the first mile mark. But it never really materialized. I figured it was just a matter of time before the rain started. The first couple of miles were rather crowded but with my pace I was in no hurry and tried to step out of the way of the runners behind me who wanted to come through. The pack started to thin a bit around mile 3 and by mile 4 I had plenty of buffer space ahead and behind me. My splits up to this point had been a little faster than planned and I struggled to slow down. Every time I looked at my Garmin it said I was running somewhere between 8:20 and 8:40. I hit the 5 mile mark with a split of about 8:50 and felt encouraged that I might be able to be more disciplined with my pace. I saw the girls just shortly after mile 5 and had to run across the road to grab a few swigs of Cytomax and a couple gulps of Gel. I diluted 3 packs of Gel with water in a Gel Flask and that helps make it much easier to swallow. I had prepared two Gel flasks. So after about 30 seconds I waved goodbye and was back on the road again.

Around the 6 mile mark I saw a few people run off the course into a field/lot to pee amongst a bunch of those large waste containers (the type you see at constructions sites for disposing of construction waste). I suddenly had an urge to pee. So I took another 45 second detour. A lot of people had been passing me and they continued to pass me for most of the first half of the race. And every time someone did I thought to myself "I just may be seeing them again before the finish line."

I've given a lot of thought to why my New Hampshire Marathon last fall went so well (another "training" run where I ended up winning 3rd place in my age group) and I believe it was that I made a conscious effort to say something to most, if not all, of the people that I passed...like "Hi, how's it going so far?" I think the act of doing this helped release endorphins or adrenaline and made my run feel easier. So I decided to make an effort to do the same during this race. It was interesting and fun to see the different reactions I got from people. Some people obviously weren't in the mood to carry on a conversation (neither was I) and just gave me a quick nod or smile. Many more returned my greeting with a nice hello and maybe a little bit of info about how they were feeling. I got a lot of "I feel great" and "Oh, pretty good." And I got a fair number of "Oh, I'm hanging in there." I was surprised a few times when my greeting was returned with just an odd look. I quickly noticed that these people were wearing headphones and most likely couldn't understand what I had said. So I made a point to look for headphones from that point on and leave those people alone.

Around mile 9 I took the opportunity to make a quick port-a-potty stop. That took about a minute or so and I felt refreshed again. I saw the girls just short of the 10 mile mark. I was feeling pretty good at this point and my pace was averaging about 8:50. I downed some more Cytomax and Gel, posed long enough for my daughter to take a picture of me, and I was on my way again. I was really appreciating these planned refueling points. It really re-energized me each time.

Just after mile 10 I managed to get into a short conversation with an older gentleman who told me he had run 31 marathons so far and one on each continent. He had already run his qualifying time for the 2008 Boston Marathon and so was just running this was for fun and was hoping for a 4:15 finish. From the sound of his heavy breathing and labored stride it didn't look like he was going to have a fun day. He bid me farewell at the next water stop and I took the hint that he didn't want to converse any longer. That was fine because I was thinking the same thing.

I continued to greet other runners as I continued on and in the later miles it was fun to see their positive reaction. Many of them looked surprised to see another runner asking them how they were doing and it appeared to perk them up. I don't know if it truly did but it seemed so at the time.

For the next 5-6 miles my pace stayed steady and I really started to enjoy the rural scenery. The rain seemed to be holding off and I noticed a few breaks in the clouds where you could see blue sky above. I had been taking pictures with my disposable camera and tried to capture the runners ahead of me with the hillside in the background. The leaves are still in the beginning stages of turning color and I'll bet the scenery will be absolutely stunning in another week or two. Regardless, the subtle colors of red, orange, and brown made this course especially enjoyable. Keep in mind I was running a pace that was a good 45 seconds slower than what I was probably capable of and so it was much easier to enjoy everything about this marathon.

The sun soon broke through and it looked like it was going to be a magnificent day after all. I soon realized I need to change out of my long sleeve shirt and into a short sleeve one. I had my bib number pinned to my shirt and figured I need be prepared to unpin it and switch it to my race belt at the next rendezvous point with the girls. I didn't see them at the 15 mile mark and decided to make use of my cell phone. I called Grace and she said they were near the 16 mile mark. I told her to get a short sleeve shirt and my race belt out of my gear bag. I unpinned all but the last pin on my bib and continued to run until I saw them on the other side of the road. I made a quick switch, downed more Cytomax and Gel and in less than 45 seconds was back on the road again. The course had been relatively flat to down hill the entire time and my legs felt great.

According to my Garmin I was a bit ahead of pace and so, feeling a slight urge, I decided to take advantage of another port-a-potty stop around mile 18. I headed out expecting to see the girls around the 20 mile mark. When I didn't see them I figured they'd be near the 21 mile mark must before the course goes into a small park (off limits to cars). But they weren't there. For the first time all day I started to feel a little fatigued. I had been counting on getting more Cytomax and a couple gulps of Gel around this time. We had planned that they would simply meet me at the finish line after the 20 mile mark. When I didn't see them there I figured I wouldn't see them again until the finish. So I was a bit disappointed not to get more energy drink but I felt confident that I could carry on with just the water and Gatorade handed out on the course.

I found myself passing a lot of people in the last six miles. The number of people walking began to increase. I spoke words of encouragement to many of them and they thanked me in return. I thought back to earlier in the race when so many people were passing me. I wondered how many of these people had passed me and simply gone out too fast.

My original plan had been to get to the 22 mile mark and then finish the race with a combination of walking and jogging so as to minimize the damage to my legs. I didnít want to have to take too much time off the following week before getting back into my training schedule. As I crossed the 22 mile mark I found my pace had quickened. I was ready to make a surge to the end and try to better my goal time. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to remind myself that a better time was not what I wanted. I wanted to finish the race feeling good. So I had to force myself to slow down and resist the urge to speed up. My goal was to hit mile 22 at 3:18 and my actual time was 3:17. So I was pleased that I had so far managed to stay on task. Though my actual running time was a bit faster considering the number of stops I had made along the way.

From about mile 22 onward the race was rather uneventful and boring. The miles seemed to go by fast which is very odd. Usually the last six miles or so always seem to drag on forever. Around mile 24 I saw a guy ahead of me who was walking but before I could catch up to him he started running again. He was running pretty fast...I would guess about a 7:30-8:00 pace. After running about 100 yards he stopped to walk again. And again, just before I could catch up to him he started running again...fast. He continued to do this for a good half mile before I finally caught up to him as he was walking. He was walking a little bit longer this time and I thought he had finally decided to walk the rest of the way. As I passed him I encouraged him to join me. He told me he was okay and said something about his glycogen being depleted. Ahh duh. He then started running again....fast, and passed me again. But after about a hundred yards he stopped to walk again. I heard him tell some spectators that he was going to start running again real soon. I didn't have the heart to suggest to him that it might help if he ran at a slower pace. I rationalized that if he knew enough about what glycogen is and that his was gone then he was probably experienced enough to know what he was doing.

Having circled the finish area several times the day before, I was very familiar with the course in that area and knew what to expect. I made the final turn towards the walk bridge and let my pace quicken. This involved a slight incline to the bridge and for the first time my legs felt heavy. There were a lot of people lining the side of the bridge cheering the runners to the finish. It was fun to see so many people at this point who I had seen several times already at various points on the course. This is unique to a small race like this where the spectators can travel along the course and you start to recognize some of the same faces after while. I could tell by their cheers that many of these people recognized me too. It was like having a large cheering squad following your along the course.

As I approached the finish line I wasnít sure where it actually was. I donít know if I missed something or it just wasnít well marked. There were plenty of people there but I didnít see the customary timing mat that you usually see at a big race like this (this race used a different type of timing system). So I just kept running to the person holding the finisher medals. I figured that would be a good spot to stop.

After getting my finishers medal, a Mylar blanket, and a bottle of water I looked up and over to the side and there were my girls with a great big smile on their face. What a great finish. Usually after crossing the marathon finish line I feel exhausted and ready to collapse and soooo relieved to be able to finally stop running. My finishing time was 3:53:04. I was extremely pleased to have finished within the time goal I had set and with my legs feeling as good as they did. Donít get me wrong, the bottom of my feet started to ache and it was a little painful to walk, and my hips were a bit sore but I could tell that I still felt strong. Within minutes of crossing the finish line I saw Oldmanrunner as he was headed somewhere and we quickly exchanged stats. Iím pleased to see they both did well also.

After getting something to eat and drink I relaxed with the girls near the finish area. Within minutes it started to rain lightly and this caused a lot of the people milling about to leave. We found a tree to stand under and managed to stay dry. I was once again surprised to see a sound system set up at the finish area but no music being played. I donít know if Iíve ever been to any running event (or any sporting event for that matter) where there wasnít at least a little bit of music for entertainment. I heard the announcement that awards were going to be handed out soon and realizing that was my cue that it was time to go home.

Overall, this was a great event. The packet pickup and ďexpoĒ was very small and not anything to get excited about. The race start was low key and that helps quiet the pre-race jitters. The spectators were sparse along the course with the bulk of them at the relay exchange points and in the few small towns we passed through. But because the course is open to traffic it makes it very easy for family members to follow the race and find spots along the course to stop to cheer. The volunteers were fantastic. They did a great job of identifying whether they had water or Gatorade to hand out. Unlike some large marathons where the teenage volunteers sometimes look more like indentured servants than volunteers these kids all looked like they were having fun. I could feel their enthusiasm rub off on me each time I went through an aid station. I would definitely do this marathon again.

So now I'm back and after taking the day off yesterday I feel ready to get back into training for my next marathon in two weeks (the Mount Desert Marathon in Bar Harbor, Maine on 10/15). Judging from how well I felt during and after my nice easy 5 mile run today at an 8:30 pace I'd say my "training run" marathon this past Sunday was a success.


Last edited by mfox on Tue Oct 03, 2006 6:32 pm; edited 1 time in total


mrbill

Sub-Chicago
Joined: 09 May 2006
Posts: 84

Re: Wineglass Marathon Report Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:44 pm 

Sounds like you guys had fun! Great reports from both of you!!

Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Wineglass Marathon Report Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:00 am 

Great RRs! I love reading reports where runners say things like, "I wasn't going for a PR", or, "I was just gonna take it easy", and they run sub-4 hour marathons! Good jobs, and my hat's off to you both.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Wineglass Marathon Report Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:05 am 

Hey mfox, OldManRunner, what were you race numbers? Did you get any decent photos? Here are mine, including a lovely one of me stopping my watch at the finish line:

http://www.brightroom.com/view_user_event.asp?EVENTID=11891&BIB=599&S=230&PWD=


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Wineglass Marathon Report Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:31 am 

My bib number was 662. You'll notice from the photos that I changed out of my long sleeve shirt and into a short sleeve shirt (around the 15 mile mark) after the sun came out and it started to warm up.

http://www.brightroom.com/view_user_event.asp?EVENTID=11891&PWD=&BIB=662

I had a good week of easy runs this week with a 19 miler today. I'll continue running easy next week and then take a day or two off as I travel up to Bar Harbor, ME for the Mount Desert Island Marathon on the 18th. I'll try to post a race report a few days after I return.


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