Friday, July 6, 2012

Maui Marathon - 2009

First night on Maui

Race start!

4th post!  Here's my recap of the BEST VACATION EVER that also included the Maui Marathon.  Picture an azure blue sky, breeze blowing gently across ocean waves, tropical flowers blushing at how beautiful they are as I lounge on the deck overlooking the beach.   This post is exclusively about the marathon.

Aloha from the magic isles of Hawai'i! It's the day after the marathon and now I can put my experience in writing with some new perspective. 

Jeff and Jessica ready to run!

Jeff and Jessica ran a 5k the day before and ended feeling way overheated.  Jess won an age group award!  
Jessica with her awards

We awoke at 3:00 am, which wasn't so difficult as the time difference between Washington and here made it feel like 6:00 am, and I was anxious to start the day. Slept terrible in a different bed, different sounds. Planned to leave at 4:00 am, but instead leisurely left at 4:20ish. Not a good start as I was already nervous.

Roads were a little slow getting around the Mario Andretti Driving School of orange cones splayed along Highway 30. I'm glad Jeff was driving. We finally approached the general area of the start, but really didn't know the EXACT way to get there. Uh-oh. I assumed there would be a big sign for a mall, but I've learned in 3 days that signs aren't necessarily a given here.
After the 5k the day before the marathon

After circling some areas, we came upon a couple police women. We followed their general directions and finally saw Macy's, the parking area for the start. 5:20 am. Ran out the door to the porta-potties, a MUST before running 26.2 miles. 
Jeff and McNoodles the frog chillin' in the deck

I think I was THE LAST person to use any porta-potty there. Seriously. Waited and waited, and finally it all cleared out as the hordes of runners paraded to the start. Ran in the porta, ran out and ran to the front of the line miraculously with 3 minutes to spare. This is not chip-timed, so I wanted to get as close to the front as I dared. 

The horn blew and away we went running like crazy people in the dark. I was worried about running into a pothole at one point as there was a convenience store ahead with lights that blinded my sight directly in front of me. Running by faith for a few minutes.

The starting weather was about 76 or so. It really wasn't bad as there was a nice breeze. I don't remember running in the dark very long. Cruising along about 7 to 7:30 pace for the first half. Met some nice guys to run with from mile 4 to mile 9. I anticipated losing them on the hills, which I did. Hills and I have an ongoing battle. I peered over cliffside and saw a rusty smashed vehicle that had apparently not made the curve. Hoped it was not an omen for me.

After the rolling hills, nothing too steep, I caught up to and passed 2 of the 3 guys that I had been running with. They were slowing down, but I think I was too. At this point I think I was the 3rd female.

Sun is up, and the heat came with it. Started pouring water on me at every aid station. The sponges helped but they were not at enough aid stations. And only 2 times were they ice cold. 
Run fast!

Jeff had been following me throughout the first half of the race, giving me water and any support I needed. The first place woman begged him for the bottle of water in his hand, but he saved it for me :) My hero. I just found out that this support is against USTAF rules. 

And then the second half. Now I really anticipated the heat. And I felt like I handled the heat really well. I stayed hydrated and cool with water. I didn't feel overheated. Really. EXCEPT for the legs. Somebody lit a match in my quads and hamstrings and kept the fire burning the next 13 miles. At mile 16, I did something that I haven't done in many marathons that I've raced. I walked. And I walked when it wasn't even an aid station. This is difficult to admit and feel as though I should attend a support group. :) My pride will recover from this in time. You can send me condolenses via flowers and chocolate.

Finish! And that guy is in the 1/2 marathon, btw!
Jeff and I loving the Maui sunset
So each mile from 16 to the finish seemed further and further apart. I passed the last guy in the original group at mile 18 as he was walking. So it wasn't just me. He encourage me as I shuffled by him. To take my mind off the embers slowly roasting my legs, I would watch the waves and look over to Molokai. Beautiful flowers, hula dancers, drums, dead cats on the road (that didn't help). 

Running through Lahaina with about 4 miles to go was nice. It wasn't as hot as I anticipated, and there were few spectators. Wishing my legs would cooperate because the course is awsome and the terrain has the potential for a good time as long as the heat doesn't get to you. 

I started passing the half marathoners here walking. They has also started at 5:30 and so they have been on their course as long as I have. One older man was walking with arm braces and reminded me to stop being such a whiner and realize how fortunate I am that I can run.

Two miles to go, usually by now mentally and physically I'm ready to fly to the finish even if I'm tired. Not today. Kept shuffling and in the last .5 I managed to pick it up just so I could finally be done. 

3:30:34 on my watch. Was on pace for 3:10 - 3:11 the first half, which would have blown away my PR of 3:17. I had expected 3:20, but there it is. 

After the race, we walked through Whaler's Village seaside and I jumped in the ocean - ah, sweet! No injuries, finished my 26th marathon in Maui! Jeff said, maybe I can try again next year now that I know the course. You are my witnesses :)

Time for vacation! And the chocolate covered macadamia nuts are delicious!