Yesterday I ran my 10th marathon in Sugarloaf Maine. The race began at 7 AM in the pouring rain. Thankfully the rain turned to a drizzle, but the humidity stayed high and the temperature held in the 50's. The Sugarloaf Marathon begins with 10 miles of uphill including a sharp rise from mile 8-10, and then the rest of the race is flat or downhill with a couple of rolling hills. The race is point to point with no turns except at the very end before the finish making it great for spectators. I got to see my family every couple miles, which was awesome compared to big races such as Boston.
I could tell by about mile 5-6 it wasn't going to be my best race, but I kept going all the way to the finish. The hills at the beginning made it hard to get in your groove, but I found a great group of guys to run with around mile 12 and stuck with them most of the way. As much as I love running solo, it really helps to find others to run with. It allows you to change your focus from trying to maintain your pace to just keeping up with the group. I also have been working on positive thinking and instead of focusing on the pain, I focused on each individual mile and how I knew I was going to finish. My final time was 3:22:15, my second fastest marathon. I was the 10th female out of 275 women, and I placed third out of 70 in my age group.
We drove to Maine on Saturday and stayed in a great condo at Sugarloaf Mountain. We had a fun time driving to/from the race, and we were lucky enough to see seven moose along with a mother fox and three of her kits playing. The moose sure are plentiful in Northern Maine!
We also stopped at Rangeley Lake and took an obligatory handstand picture. It was so beautiful! There is really not much out there though - it is quite rural. Good food and cell phone service are hard to find!
Next up is lots of rest and relaxation to let my body heal and get my legs fresh again. Then, we will see!