18 October 2009

MDI Flash!

A quick report from the front, after the battle. The full report will follow.

This is number 10 for me, so what’s the big deal? Yet my heart was racing last night, pulsing away at 52 as I lay down to sleep, rather than my usual 41 (which is, I note, still not in the league of the famed Chris Russell, who camps in at 36 and carries a ‘do not revive’ order should any misinformed EMT think that’s abnormal). Why be tense?

Because this one was sort of a meter to the future, that’s why. My first post-surgery for-real, serious (or at least as serious as someone at my level can get, which isn’t very) marathon. This wasn’t running Boston on 42 days and 140 miles of training post-surgery just because I was already signed up and I live there. This was training for (well, more or less) and running a race of my choosing. This was rebuilding my confidence at the marathon distance.

I woke at 3:30 AM, not part of the plan, it just happened, and I was overjoyed to see stars outside the window rather than blowing trees and an impending gale (and yes, I went back to sleep). Driving into Bar Harbor, I was treated to the finest sunrise I’ve seen in a long time. Never mind that I’m not usually awake to see sunrise. This one was truly spectacular. All of this was about a strange thing that happened. The feared storm fizzled. Hanging out in Bar Harbor before the race (where, I note, parking was easier than any other marathon or even most local races I’ve attended), everyone’s talk was about the fortunate turn in the weather. After all that planning and indecision, I ditched the tights at the last minute. I guessed right. Other than a cold stretch heading north into the wind from about 13 to 18, it was a comfortable and excellent day for running.

The race? Well, the full report will follow, but I ran 3:13:18 the hard way. Not even close to a well executed race strategy. The last five were pretty much awful, punctuated by five one minute walk recovery breaks, which blew out the stretch goal of three-oh-anything, but I’m happy. Besides my ever standing primary goal for any marathon which is always to finish, my chief goal for today was a Boston qualifier for 2011 (2010’s already all set). That bar, at 3:30:59, was met easily, so the pressure is off for next year. Goal two was sub-3:20, to get back in the game, so to speak, of racing marathons. The stretch goal was three-oh-anything. I’ll happily take goal two.

Damage? I’m sure I’ll hurt a bit from this one, I can feel it, but really nothing to speak of. I scored a nice blister. Last night, on my thumb. From cranking down my fuel belt bottle tops too tightly. Of course, I’ve yet to take off my shoes. I may not have any toes, we’ll have to look and see.

More extensive report to follow…


  1. That's great for a Victorian carriage! Way to go on the BQ!

  2. Great run Gary! What do you think you would have run on a normal course?

  3. Thanks, Mike! The Victorian reference - from the shoe rock caper - was actually quite apt, since Acadia is a great place to catch a horse-drawn carriage ride on the park carriage roads!

    And to anonymous, thanks also. How much time did the course add? Well, it's hard to tell. Only 6 runners broke 3 hours, a pretty low number for 600 finishers (though to be fair, MDI welcomes walkers, so the field is really a bit smaller). My time would have been way down at 54th place in Wineglass. So the real impact? Maybe five minutes? Who knows? All I can tell you is that it was a great course to run.


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