Sunday, October 4, 2015

Portland Maine Marathon (Maine)

October 4, 2015
Marathon 54, State #47 (Age 47)
Portland, Maine

So this story picks up where NH’s story ends.   In the car, driving from NH where I had just finish New Hampshire’s marathon and heading to Portland, ME to the expo for my Maine Marathon.  The drive from Bristol to Portland is about 100 miles and all state routes (i.e. mostly back roads) which took about two hours.

Main Marathon Expo
The expo for Maine Marathon is in a building called the James V. Sullivan Recreation and Fitness Complex on the university campus adjacent to downtown Portland.    Easy to find a couple blocks off the highway.  I think we may have been the first that made the drive from the finish to the expo.   As George and I walked through the doors sporting our orange race shirts from the morning’s earlier marathon were instantly recognized.  (apparently the race shirts from NH have similar graphics every year!)    The organizers said they always have a lot of runners that do both races.   Unlike Saturday’s race, this was a larger event where the number looked to be as high as 4,000 in all races. (vs. 100’s that morning!)  

Packet Pickup
While 4,000 runners were running  the combination of all of the races, based  on such a small vender participation at the expo, the race had a strange feel of both a small race as well as later at the start line the vibe of a larger race.   We were in and out of the expo in only a few minutes.   On our return to the parking lot another car load of NH runners had just arrived and they looked to be hurting a little bit more than George and  I.    Next was to plug in coordinates of the hotel and go check in.   

Our next two planned nights were at the Holiday Inn.   Portland isn’t that large so to stay almost anywhere in town would be convenient.   Just an exit up the road and we were checking into our hotel.   Again breakfast included, which greatly helps with our morning routine.   Another plus, is that where many times I have to check out in the morning because I don’t usually spend Sunday night after a race, this time I had the luxury of not being homeless after the marathon and could come back for a shower.  (and nap)

George was itching for a post race beer, so after discovering our hotel didn’t have a bar, we walked across the street to the Marriott which was full service.   George got his beer (I had one as well) and it just happened the Buckeye’s were on TV so we were able to watch the first half at the hotel bar.    The food menu at the Marriott didn’t do anything for us, so at half time we decided to drive a mile up the road to a Macaroni Grill.   We were able to bypass the long line and find a seat at the bar and even convince the bartender to tune one of the TV’s to my game!  

Sunday morning the alarm goes off and still not feeling too bad, given the fact just a day earlier I ran 26.2 miles.   The morning’s routine was like clockwork, roll out of bed, throw on running clothes, and head downstairs for breakfast.   Like New Hampshire, again a tour bus of old folks were lined up at the breakfast buffet and getting ready to board their bus.   I would learn the following day that touring the coast and seeing the many lighthouses is a big tourist activity in Maine.   For now that would have to wait and it was on to business.  
East Coast Sunrise Marathon Morning - View from hotel
It was also cold again, in the low 40’s, still pretty chili for this California boy.   The good thing about this marathon is that there were two start times.  Slower runners could start at 6:00 but the official start time was 7:45 the majority of the field.   The start line was a few blocks from the expo so we knew where we were heading, but unexpectedly there was a huge traffic jam feeding into the parking area which delayed getting to the start line.   By the time we parked and walked to the start, we only had a few minutes till the start. 

Picking the perfect clothing for race day is always a crap shoot.   Since the start time was over an hour earlier than Saturday’s marathon, It was also a little cooler.   I sweat a little more than usual with the extra layer of clothes Saturday when I wore a long sleeve running shirt with a light jacket, so for Sundays race I opted to go with same light jacket but with a short sleeve shirt underneath.   At the start I even had a third layer, but by mile 5-6 was ready to shed that and then felt pretty comfortable the rest of the day.    I did talk to one guy who was running his first marathon at the start line and wished him well.   I talked with another guy that had run this marathon the last 5 years in a row.    This was my 54th marathon and 47th state, so between the 3 of us we had all kinds of different experiences, but were all there for the same reason.

I brought a camera to snap a few pictures around the course, but later discovered they didn’t come out very good.  I stopped a few times in the first couple miles and fumbled with digging the camera out, getting my music to play more than one song in a row, and finally after it was working just decided to keep it stowed the rest of the marathon.   Unlike Saturday’s marathon, there were a large number of runners.   The half and the relays all started at the same time (and place) as the marathon.    The 13.1 race was pretty much an out and back, so soon started seeing the leaders running towards the main pack on our way away from the start/finish line.    The crowds did narrow out after the turn around, but unlike Saturday there was no solitary isolation.   Especially with the walkers with a head start, there was always someone to pass.  Actually with the slow runners starting early it was a big confidence boost after running two days in a row as tired as I was I was still passing other runners!
I never know what to expect on race day when doing a crazy thing like a “double”, but was pleased with my legs and body’s performance.  My Garmin watch has a feature, not exactly sure the purpose, but whenever I finish a run, it suggests a number of hours before my next work out, then the next time you workout about a mile into the workout it beeps and flashes a message, “recovery good”.   I supposed that means I rested the appropriate amount of time before running again.   This morning my message was “recovery fair”, I guess a warning I’m running before I’ve fully recovered.   I guess I could have figured that one out on my own!

Looking back on the day, I never pushed myself, tried to take in walk breaks every mile, and still I averaged just over 10 minute miles.    What was interesting and makes some sense, since I ran slower than Saturday, my average heart rate was also lower at 141 bpm compared to 150 the day before.   I remember a year prior when I did the double in CT & RI I suffered a little more on day two.   This year I felt pretty good from start to finish.   Now that it’s done I’m pretty happy I don’t think I’ll have to do this again!

Lookin' Good after about 52 miles of running in two days!
 The out and back course didn’t go exactly out and back but eventually merged back to the same first mile of the course which was along the lake.  Perfect place for a photo and again my friend George who again ran the 13.1 race was there with his camera and caught a great action shot!   Thanks George!    The finish line had some great snacks including some homemade pizzas from a local pizza chain.   Pizza is always good, but after 52.4 miles in two days it never tasted better!

Maine Marathon 2015 Finisher!
I could feel the two days toll of running on my body as I walked back to the car and on the way back to the hotel we each got to share about how our races turned out.   Next stop a hot shower, a Red Bull, and a few hours of laying low in the hotel to recoup and post some social media updates.   

Later that afternoon our consensus was head to downtown Portland and check out “Old Port”.    We found an old saloon called 3 Dollar Deweys Ale House and had some great grub including a victory beverage.     Next was just to walk around the area and stumble in and out of all the many stores including many art or craft stores.   I was looking for a souvenir for Parisa and ended up talking to one of the local store owners and asked for suggestions of what to do with our next two days and walked away with a list of four things he recommended as his favorite spots along the coast.   

Celebrating Double Marathon Weekend...running all done.

Downtown Portland, ME

Old Port ~ Downtown Portland, ME
Last stop before heading back to the hotel was another watering hold called the Liquid-Riot Bottling Company which was a hip microbrew right near the waterfront.    We each tried one of our favorites from their long list of homemade beers and made a note to come back again next time in Portland.   The only thing to top the day off would be a hot tub but unfortunately our hotel didn’t have one so it was back to get a good night’s sleep. 
East Coast Sunset
No need to rush out of bed Monday morning and we decided logistically it would be best to just extend our hotel one extra night.   We were conveniently located so we could stay close to the city and go up the coast north on Monday, then pack up things and head down the coast south on Tuesday as we make our way back to the airport in Boston.    

First stop was a lighthouse close to downtown and only a hop skip and a jump from our hotel called Portland Head Light.   Situated in a nice park with lots of hiking trails, but for this boy simple a short walk and a few pictures for the scrap book.   Again, another bus was dropping off all the old folk tourists.

Portland Head Light - View 1

Portland Head Light - View 2
Next was to head north of town to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse.   Interesting how Maine has all these fingers into the Atlantic ocean, so driving up and down the coast is not easy, it’s more like driving in an out of the coast.   Our afternoon was planned around getting to hit a hot spot recommended for lunch called Red’s Eats.   We actually passed right by the roadside stand on the main route #1 heading north.  Was actually expecting something bigger, but for sure hard to miss on the corner and a for sure stop for my first ever lobster roll.

Stairs to Top of Pemaquid Point LIghthouse

Pemaquid Point

Pemaquid Point

Pemaquid Point Lighhouse

On to Pemaquid Point was a lovely drive, ironically located in a town of Bristol, ME, the exact same name of the town of our Saturday marathon in NH.     Arriving on property there was a small fee of $2 per person but full access to museum and light house.   It was terrific to be able to climb the stairs to the top and see the light, but before climbing a guide gave us a run down on the whole lighthouse history.   There are 61 lighthouses down the coast, each one had a different light pattern, so ships could refer to their nautical maps and know where they were along the coast.     The lighthouses are very scientific in that their height and light design works in conjunction with the circumference of the earth and the distance they want the light to be able to shine.    Also on at this spot were many artist painting pictures of the coast and the light house plus some great rocks to hike on out near where the waves were breaking.   A short stop at an art shop and a gift shop next door and we were heading back towards Red’s Eats.

Red's Eats...always a hour line for lobster rolls
When we returned to Red’s Eats, located in a town called Wiscasset, now lunch time and there was easily an hour line along the sidewalk.   I jumped out of the car to get a spot while George looked for parking.    By the time he joined me in line there were already 20 more people behind us in line.   The couple next to us came all the way from Georgia just to have lunch here.   Now I’m starting to feel the excitement of my first lobster roll.   It wasn’t long an one of the workers had samples of some fried shrimp, which I may add was pretty tasty, and of course would need to be added to the lobster roll order!   

Lagoon next to Red's Eats, fantastic color love this shot!

Another great shot!
We were getting closer and was excited to see a couple in front of us actually bought lunch for perfect strangers in front of them because he was a veteran.   How thoughtful.    We placed our order and a few minutes later heading to find an empty seat, yeah good luck with that!   We noticed some more tables down by the waterfront so marched on down and sat next to the water.   What was real interesting is there were two more lobster stands across the street and hardy a person in line.   Whatever we were recommended seemed like the place to be.   I was surprised to find that a lobster roll was cold, and just a bunch of meat on a hot dog bun.   Still, none-the-less, very tasty!

From lunch we carried on to our last stop of our afternoon tour, a place called, Ocean Point near Boothbay Harbor.    It was another lovely drive out one of the fingers into the Atlantic Ocean and a nice perimeter drive around the coastline.   I think a lot of the great coastline views are nicer at high tide and I think we hit this stretch of our tour at low tide, so it was a little less spectacular than our last two stops.   On the way back to Hwy 1 our last stop recommended was a town called Booth Bay Harbor.   We were hoping for another lighthouse, but just found a little village filled with stores geared towards all the coastal tourist.   We walked around  town and checkout out a few stores, but after two days of hard running we were soon ready to call it a day and head back to Portland and relax a bit at the hotel. 

Interesting...every family has a different design for Buoys so they can identify their lobster traps
Our last night in town we decided to stay close to the hotel and found a little place called the Bugaboo Creek Steak House.   Our last night in town and low on energy made for an early dinner and off to rest.   Our last day in Maine we had the privilege of driving down not only the coastline of Maine, but also the 16 mile coastline of New Hampshire, and even some of the northern coastline of Massachusetts.     After packing up our bags and heading out the door our first stop and last recommended stop was another lighthouse, this one named Nubble Lighthouse.    Again, another tour bus was pulling in as we were departing.  

Keeping with my theme for travel of “gulping”, instead of hitting I-95 and heading back to Boston which I had just seen a little bit of a year ago, we decided to hake a more scenic route of following Hwy 1 and Hwy 1A all the way down the coast back to Massachusetts.    We got to take in some more of Maine’s coastline and much of the 13 miles of New Hampshire’s Coastline including Hampton Beach.   A quick lunch at a roadside diner and then a drive around the scenic peninsula that lead out and around an area of Rockport, MA.    From there it was time to try to beat Boston’s rush hour and head back to the airport to return the car and head for home.

Nubble Lighthouse ~ Island Lighthouse

Northern Massachusetts Coastline

There was a lot to take in on this area I’ve never visited before.   I guess one of the benefits of running a marathon in every state is to actually spend a little time in each state and explore what it has to offer.   I was blessed to afford the luxury of a couple extra days on this trip and thankful for what I was able to experience along the way.   This trip completes my 46th & 47th state marathons, only Alaska, Wisconsin and Vermont to go!   Until next time…happy trails!

Splits Time Cumulative Time Moving Time Distance Elev Gain Elev Loss Avg Pace Avg Moving Pace Best Pace Avg HR Max HR
1 8:55.3 8:55.3 8:55 1.00 0 3 8:55 8:55 8:36 138 144
2 11:20 20:15 9:43 1.00 10 3 11:20 9:43 8:11 133 148
3 9:05.9 29:21 9:06 1.00 49 30 9:06 9:06 8:23 145 151
4 9:05.1 38:26 9:05 1.00 16 23 9:05 9:05 8:49 146 152
5 9:40.2 48:06 9:41 1.00 20 13 9:40 9:41 7:32 144 149
6 10:38 58:44 10:35 1.00 59 30 10:38 10:35 8:47 139 153
7 9:35.4 1:08:20 9:35 1.00 59 46 9:35 9:35 8:57 143 153
8 10:12 1:18:31 10:10 1.00 43 0 10:12 10:10 7:35 140 147
9 9:58.4 1:28:30 9:58 1.00 7 23 9:58 9:58 7:13 141 146
10 10:14 1:38:44 10:15 1.00 66 10 10:14 10:15 7:05 140 150
11 9:35.9 1:48:20 9:35 1.00 16 118 9:36 9:35 7:26 134 144
12 10:29 1:58:49 10:29 1.00 62 23 10:29 10:29 7:50 137 145
13 9:58.2 2:08:47 10:00 1.00 23 82 9:58 10:00 8:33 137 148
14 10:59 2:19:46 10:32 1.00 49 16 10:59 10:32 7:02 139 148
15 11:17 2:31:03 10:59 1.00 46 23 11:17 10:59 8:14 137 148
16 10:02 2:41:05 10:03 1.00 39 62 10:02 10:03 8:16 144 153
17 11:33 2:52:38 11:29 1.00 118 7 11:32 11:29 8:33 141 154
18 10:27 3:03:05 10:28 1.00 0 66 10:27 10:28 8:14 141 147
19 10:29 3:13:34 10:28 1.00 30 3 10:29 10:28 8:26 145 149
20 10:26 3:23:59 10:25 1.00 0 43 10:25 10:25 8:52 142 148
21 11:03 3:35:02 10:55 1.00 49 62 11:03 10:55 9:27 139 149
22 10:57 3:45:59 10:57 1.00 26 56 10:57 10:57 8:57 140 150
23 10:41 3:56:40 10:26 1.00 10 16 10:41 10:26 9:25 145 153
24 10:48 4:07:28 10:48 1.00 46 36 10:48 10:48 7:30 146 155
25 10:23 4:17:51 10:22 1.00 26 33 10:23 10:22 8:41 148 155
26 10:06 4:27:57 10:06 1.00 3 7 10:06 10:06 8:49 150 156
27 5:51.3 4:33:48 5:51 0.60 0 0 9:46 9:46 8:33 151 159
Summary4:33:484:33:48 4:30:56

26.60873833 10:1810:11:02141159