I haven’t had a chance to recap that race, but I did check off Maine from my list of states!
In fact, I liked this event so much, that if I decide to run a full marathon in every state, I may return back to run this one.
After I arrived in Portland, Maine, I immediately rented my car and took off north for the Sugarloaf Ski Resort. Being an avid snowboarder here in Colorado, I was super curious what the resorts were like on the east coast. It was a pretty drive, I loved the scenery! It was actually sunny on my first day in Maine, it just rained all the rest of my vacation.
I made it to the Resort in time to pick up my packet. I wandered the grounds a little, trying to imagine what it was like filled with snow. After talking to some locals, they said they really loved skiing at Sugarloaf, but it’s probably nothing compared to Colorado! I still want to try it someday.
Since I didn’t really want to deal with the hassle of finding somewhere to eat, I just elected to pay for the pasta dinner that they had put on for the runners. It actually wasn’t very good, to be completely honest, but at least there was chocolate cake for dessert! I sat at a table by myself and was then joined by another lone runner. We talked all about where we were from (he was also a 50 state runner, but I forget how many he had left) from Seattle I believe, and he traveled A LOT.
He told me some interesting tips on cheaper flights, and car rentals (i.e. Costco members can get super cheap car rentals). What I remember talking to him the most about was why I was out here by myself. I told him, “Well, if I waited for people to join me, I would never do anything.” He shook his head to agree and then told me that I was very brave and inspiring for traveling and doing most of these races by myself.
I wished him luck then went on my way to find my hotel. I did NOT stay at the recommended place, as it was well over $100. I found a nearby place called the Spillover Motel. It was actually pretty decent and was only a 10 – 15 minute drive to where I needed to be in the morning. This cute motel was run and owned by a little old lady….and the best part: Breakfast was provided!!! (Breakfast being included needs to be a must have for race travels).
After getting my outfit prepared for the next day (while watching Harry Potter on TV, mind you), then foam rolling (I found a cute little travel foam roller at my local running store), I hopped online to check my email, then tucked myself into bed.
I woke up the next morning feel super ready for the day! I didn’t have to worry about gathering all my stuff up, I just changed into racing clothes and made my way there, but not before stopping in the kitchen to grab some breakfast. I loaded up on a bagel and coffee while listening to other runners who were also staying there talk about the events at Boston. (Remember, this was about two months ago, so Boston was still fresh in everyone’s minds). Actually, a pair of guys eating breakfast and story telling had run Boston this year. While they were finished with the race when the bombs went off, one of their friends was really close and even witnessed one of the horrific injuries. I was dumbfounded and couldn’t believe how close and personal they were to it.
I shook off the thought, and wished them all luck (they were all doing the full). I finished my bagel, and drove back to the place I picked up my packet. There was a shuttle there taking runners to their respective race starts. From here, we were above the elevation of where the 15K course actually was, and you could see the low lying fog that we were all going to be running in. I hopped on the appropriate bus and did what I always do, chatted to the person next to me about running! I could talk for hours and hours about
running. One of the reasons I like this blog so much!
Once we got to the race start, we were greeted with the chilly, misty air. Not really knowing what to do with myself, I aimed for the “warming bus.” I debated with the lady I sat next to on what we should wear to run in. I opted for my shorts with my omni-heat long sleeve and my most recent race shirt (It was the Dino Half that had just been a week or two previous).
After taking off my warm sweats, putting on body glide (it was looking to be a humid race), and getting out my Ipod, I finally got off the warm bus, dropped off my bag and went to use the port-o-pooty one more time….only to find horribly long lines! “Ten minutes until start time!” was announced from the bullhorns. I looked ahead; there was no way I was going to get to go. I opted to just run! Sorry if this is TMI, but I had already peed earlier, I am just a “nervous peer” when it comes to pre race. It’s usually all in my head. I dashed out of line just in time to hear the 1 minute warning. PHEW!
I re-tied my shoes (like always), and we were off! I didn’t even have to pee until I got to the end (see, it’s all in my head). There’s not much to report from the actual run itself. It was a great temperature, although it was misty the whole time. Not raining, just foggy/misty/humid stuff. Which left me pretty sweaty. I would have been cold if I had stopped running.
The course was almost all downhill, a total of 300 feet elevation change. Something weird happened with this race though. The whole time running, I felt like I was running uphill. It wasn’t hard by any means, but the way the trees and the road looked with the tiny bit of hills here and there left me with almost a vertigo type of feeling, like I was going uphill the whole time. Has this happened to anyone before??
I made good time, with an average pace of 8:27. Which means I beat my last 15K time (from the Tiger Trot I did last year in Kansas) by about 4 minutes! My total time was 1:18:41 (previous 15K was 1:22:29). I never really know how to pace myself or what to make out of races that are weird distances. So take from that time what you may.
After crossing the finish line and stopped running, I grabbed my race bag to call my mom (like always) and realized how freakin’ cold I was!!! It’s crazy how just a little bit of moisture in the air, mixed with sweat and no activity can make you feel like you’re in a freezer.
I went back to the finish area to grab a space blanket and immediately huddled under it. I asked some nearby people to take my picture to capture the pathetic moment.
Soon after, my nose led my next half hour. Yes, I did say my nose. What I was smelling was homemade, hot chicken noodle soup. It was delicious! After eating my share of soup and drinking Chocolate Milk (have I told you how much I love chocolate milk after a race and how good it is for you??!) I found the buses and made by way back to my car.
The aftermath: I actually wasn’t that sore or anything from this race. I made sure to take a hot shower when I returned to my hotel and stretched afterwards. The only bad thing I had was a bloody toe. I stupidly forgot to cut my toenails and one nail dug into another toe. Silly me.
Things I liked about the Sugarloaf 15K:
-It was a pretty typical, by the book race for me. Everything went smoothly from the pre race routine, post race routine, nutrition, running, and bodily stuff (like aches and pains).
-The bibs had our names on them!! This is the first race that I had ever seen this! I thought it was awesome! My marathon also had our names on the bib. When did they start doing this!?
-Beautiful course! It may have been foggy, but it was through the trees, along side the road. There was a lot of traffic, but they were all going super slow for the race (they were all bumper to bumper, sucks to be stuck in that!).
Things I didn’t like:
-not enough porto-potties! The nervous pee-r in me did not like this one bit!
-There was only one bad moment during this entire event. When I went back to grab my space blanket, I was pretty out of it from being cold and just having run. I didn’t even noticed a line (there was only a few people waiting) and stepped up to grab a blanket. I asked the lady handing them out if I could have one and she yelled at me to get in the back of the line! She completely embarrassed me, but none of the other runners care, nor did they even noticed. I went to the back and when it was finally my turn, I apologized and let her know that I had no idea there was a line since people were walking all over. That was the only thing I didn’t like at all.
Sugarloaf Marathon Website