Just a warning- this post is lengthy!
On Sunday I ran the Lake Placid Marathon, my 7th marathon! Lake Placid is about 2 hours away from where I live which is why I chose this as my NY race. Actually, I wanted to run the NYC Marathon as my NY race but I was itching to sign up for a race a few months ago (even though I told myself no spring marathons) and this was the winner. I questioned that decision multiple times towards the end of the race. We’ll get there soon.
My parents made the trip to hang out/watch me run. I’m so glad they came! It was nice to spend time with them and have their support during the race. They’re my #1 fans 🙂
view from out hotel room!
I met up with them on Saturday afternoon and we went to lunch. I wish I had the other half of my delicious sandwich right now! After lunch, we made our way over to the ‘expo’ which was not really an expo at all. I guess it did say ‘runner registration’ and not ‘expo’, but I was expecting some type of expo! There was nothing there besides some race clothing to buy. Not really impressed but it was a small race so it is what it is. I was a little worried at this point because on Friday night when I was packing, I noticed that the fuel I had was expired. Oops. Meaning, I was banking on buying it at the expo. Thankfully there was a running store right in town which was stocked with the fuels I like to use!
Once we left the expo, we went to check out the Olympic Museum which was pretty cool. After that, we walked around the town for a bit, checking out the shops and taking in the scenery. While we were walking along the main street, I looked up and saw my freshman year roommate and good friend, Nora! It was so funny & I couldn’t stop laughing about it. Her sister was running the race also. I still can’t get over seeing her there!
We hung out at the hotel bar for a little bit before heading to dinner at an Italian place. I just wanted to eat some macaroni because I was afraid to eat anything else in fear that my stomach wouldn’t be happy with me. After dinner, we went back to the hotel to relax & prepare for race day!
Race day weather was not looking too promising. The weather was calling for temps in the low 50’s, dropping to the mid-40’s, plus rain. When I woke up on Sunday morning, it was very cloudy but all I could do was hope for the best. I was in it for the long run… literally!
This was a pretty small race, about 1,800 runners, with only 300 participating in the full. We all started at the same time (8am), at the Olympic speed skating oval, and made our way around Mirror Lake (about miles 1-3). I saw my parents again after looping the lake & before making our way to the out and back part of the course.
Miles 3 to 7.5 were the out part and this is when things began to get hilly! My watch decided not to connect at the beginning of the race (major anxiety) so I was literally just running by how my body felt plus making it a point to run a bit slower than that. I became friends with a woman around mile 5 who was running the same pace as me and decided to use her as my pacer. It’s always fun making friends on course and hearing about their running journey.
I didn’t think that the turnaround point was ever going to come! Slowly but surely it did though. The hills on the way back were harder than the hills on the way out. My headphones died around mile 10 so I texted my dad to grab my extra pair from the room– I forgot to bring with me to run.. rookie mistake! I’m not sure why my headphones died after 2 hours but oh well. I played my music out loud of a little bit.
Around mile 12 is where the turnaround for the marathoners was. My parents were waiting for me with headphones and long sleeve shirt. Don’t know what I’d do without you guys! I’m so thankful for that long sleeve because the weather took a turn after this. Also, it would have been miserable to run the rest of the race with no tunes. I stretched for a minute while re-adjusting my headphones and bib. This stretch was a total game changer.
After seeing my parents, I was ready to rock. I felt amazing for miles 12.5 to 19, even though at this point the wind had picked up and it started raining pretty good. The miles literally flew by. I definitely picked up the pace because I was feeling so great & ended up passing my friend that I made. Looking back, I should have paced myself but I was just feeling so good and wanted to get to the end!
Just after mile 19 is when my left calf and right quad started to cramp up pretty good. I was still running but definitely stopped to stretch a few times. I told myself that I needed to get to mile 20 before I could walk. I didn’t think the 2nd turnaround was ever going to come either and mile 20 was after the turnaround.
It was all downhill (I wish literally) after mile 20. This is when my very slow run/walk began. Eventually, it was mostly a walk. It was so cold that I grabbed a garbage bag from one of the aid stations to put over me for some warmth/to keep me from getting any more wet from the rain. Then my phone died aka no more music… ugh! I’d like to personally thank Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, and Drake for getting me through the first 20 miles.
After mile 23, I began to do more running because there was just a 5k left and a 5k is nothing. That’s what I kept telling myself at least. I really just couldn’t wait to be done. This is the point when I started asking myself ‘Jackie, why TF do you do this to yourself?!’
pretending to run
Slowly but surely the finish line was near. But first, a ridiculously cruel hill (about ½ mile or more long) before entering the final lap around the Olympic speed skating oval to the finish line. Once I rounded the final corner of the evil hill, I saw my parents at the top and almost started crying. OMG I just wanted to be done. There was a cheering squad that was screaming my name so I started running again.
Marathons always make me so emotional. I cried during the race and almost burst into tears after crossing the finish line but pulled it together. I crossed the finish line in 5:40 and I was just so glad to be DONE! There is no better feeling than crossing that finish line.
After the race, I took a quick shower at the hotel before we grabbed some food. I was a bit too nauseous from the race still to eat but tried! I had a few bites of mac & cheese but it just wasn’t settling. I did eat a good portion of my French onion soup, though. After eating, of course I had to get Starbucks for the road 😉 I said goodbye to my parents and hit the road in time to make the 4:30 ferry. I couldn’t wait to get home and get in my bed!!!
Overall, I’m proud of my outcome compared to the amount of training I did. I was in half marathon shape, not marathon shape, so finishing was all I really wanted to do. I think that making sure I was properly fueling also added to me getting as far as I did without walking. I enjoyed the course even if it was a bit hilly. Lake Placid is just so beautiful! It’s a shame the weather wasn’t a nicer. The aid stations were very frequent and each one was stocked with water, Gatorade, gu’s, pretzels, bananas & oranges. All of the volunteers were so amazing!
I was feeling pretty sore on Monday but feel much better today! The stairs are no longer the enemy. I will probably try to go for an easy run tomorrow. It’s going to be time for a new training round before I know it!
What’s your pre-race fuel? I need some new ideas