Name That Tune: A Gansett Marathon Recap (and contest!)

It was mile 18, and I could have sworn I saw buzzards circling.

Uh…do they have buzzards in Rhode Island? Maybe they were seagulls. In my mind, though, they were prescient scavenger-birds, just waiting for my poor body to collapse on the shoulder of the barren road so they could start picking me apart.

But that was mile 18.

This is a race recap, so let’s start form the beginning, because it wasn’t always so gruesome. [And to make this a little more fun, I’m going to throw in some fitting lyrics from songs that were on my iPod. Guess them correctly and you could win an OMG Prize*!]

Gathered around the whitewashed sandwich board with a big “S” painted on it, everyone was chatting. The starting line of yesterday’s Gansett Marathon felt like a bunch of runner-friends getting ready for a relaxed long run on a beautiful summer morning. Then suddenly someone shouted “GO” and we were off.

Name That Tune #1: I can go forever like an old-fashioned country mouse.

Miles 1-6: 7:47, 7:40, 7:39, 7:29, 7:44, 7:50

The first few miles of a marathon always feel easy, but damn…this felt EASY. Yes, I knew I was going out too fast. I kept telling myself to slow down, but I was tucked in to a nice little pack of women (which, incidentally, included at least three other bloggers – Karen, Celia, and Sarah). Behind the pack was…well, it looked like nothing. Pace be damned. I wasn’t quite ready to be running all alone, and hey – maybe I did have a 3:25 in me? You never know unless you try.

Name That Tune #2: Got a whole six pack on ice but I’m ridin’ on the hottest wheels.

Miles 7-12: 7:48, 7:40, 7:52, 7:59, 7:56, 7:57

I was running on borrowed time…both figuratively and literally.

The pack began to thin and eventually spread into a loose string of runners. Gansett is a two-loop course: the first 16-mile loop cuts wide around the far end with a couple of little lollipop turns, while the second 10-mile loop cuts across those, but otherwise follows the first loop step for step. This is relevant because when you’re at mile 9, you’re also seeing the mile marker for, say, mile 21.

And let me tell you: when you’re going up a long, gradual, exposed incline at mile 10-12 and you’re constantly being reminded that this is also going to be miles 22-24, well…that kind of sucks.

Anyway. I was still feeling good, but starting to wonder if the wheels were going to come off at some point. I hadn’t trained hard enough to be running this well. It seemed too good to be true.

Name That Tune #3: He summoned all of his strength in the climb. It suffered all of his strength in the fall.

Miles 13-18: 7:49, 7:58, 8:10, 8:15, 8:45, 8:56

I came through the half around 1:42. That’s a full six minutes faster than I ran the Tobacco Road Half a couple of weeks ago – and two minutes faster than I came through the half mark at CIM last December. On pace for a 3:24. I still sort of believed I might be able to make that happen.

And then I hit THE WALL. I know, it’s cliche. But I did. At mile 16. Which is way too early to find yourself slamming into an invisible net of pain and suffering. Hello, lack of mileage. I quickly went from feeling strong and upbeat to being totally pissed off.

Name That Tune #4: Your misery and hate will kill us all. So paint it black and take it back…

Miles 18-26: Pace unknown

I was running along the water, starting the second loop. Well…running, and some walking. My legs were toast; I’d burned them out on the first half, having taken a gamble on being in better shape than I thought I was. It was a bet that I’d lost. It was over.

So I decided to shut down my Garmin and just enjoy running along this picturesque  New England beach. I tried to bring it full circle. That calm feeling I’d had at the start, of just being out for a nice long run on a beautiful day…couldn’t I recapture that now?

I won’t pretend I didn’t spend much of the hour that followed wishing the whole thing were over, but at least I wasn’t berating myself with every step. I don’t know what kind of pace I was running (and, ahem, walking through the water stations) but it was definitely slow. I was just going for the finish at that point.

Official finish time: 3:42:47

Which isn’t so bad in the grand scheme of things, but is certainly slow enough to make me think twice about my training this spring (and plans for the rest of the summer/fall…)

I’ll reflect more on that in a few days. Right now, I’m focused on cheering for Megan and AR and Pat and Lisa and John and Sarah and Tim and everyone else who has decided to brave tomorrow’s heat….

GOOD LUCK, Boston runners!

*OMG CONTEST: One entry per current answer, don’t google it unless you’re a cheater but the OMG PRIZE is awesome, trust me. You can even make up answers and I’ll accept them as long as they’re entertaining.

35 responses to “Name That Tune: A Gansett Marathon Recap (and contest!)

  1. I’ve been waiting for your recap! Congrats on your 2nd fastest 26.2; sorry the wheels fell off. :-(

    I knew a few of these lyrics and I had a little help… (Ah thanks google!) I think they’re right though!

    1) Armada Latina, Cypress Hill
    2) Dirt Road Anthem, Jason Aldean
    3) Requiem, M. Ward
    4) Welcome to the Black Parade, My Chemical Romance

    Enjoy Boston!!

    • Checking back in to see if the “OMG prize” :) is revealed yet. Nope.. But I did re-read the post, & now I feel bad about my partial cheating. :>( In my defense, when I first read this post in the wee hours of the morning I could swear there was no note saying not to google. Maybe you re-thought & edited?? Or maybe I’m nuts…

      Hope the post marathon soreness wasn’t too bad. And hope you stayed cool in Boston!

      • Haha, I edited it…I may or may not have been guzzling beer all day before writing this post…and one of my friends pointed out “why can’t they just google it?” and I was like “OMG I BETTER GO CHANGE IT.” Sorry! I’m not holding the partial cheating against you. :)

  2. I suppose I should add “& Ludacris” for #2. It’s probably called the Rap Remix or something. :-)

  3. I had almost an identical experience the first time I ran CIM. I think I went out a little faster and crashed a little harder 😛

    Good on you for shutting down the Garmin and going for enjoyment…no matter how elusive.

  4. Sorry that gamble didn’t pay out. Damn house and its odds.

    As for the songs:
    Cypress Hill – Armada Latina
    Jason Aldean – Dirt Road Anthem
    M. Ward – Requiem
    My Chemical Romance – Welcome to the Black Parade

    I had help from Google . None were familiar, not even Cypress Hill. I feel like a bad Latina.

  5. I guess I am old because the only lyrics I knew were #4: My Chemical Romance, Black Parade.
    I always enjoy your race reports, and even though you hit the wall, that is still a very respectable marathon time.
    Have fun cheering in Boston!

  6. Dude! I could have written so much of this recap. Went out too fast, started hitting the wall (or had some weird GI issues that thankfully went away quickly) around mile 15-16, and started losing it at mile 18. I actually dropped one of my water bottles at the mile 18 sign and decided that was time to take my first walk break. Those long gentle inclines were rough, plus I KNEW where they were. The second loop was hard because everyone was so spread out. I was getting dehydrated and kept running out of water in those last 8 miles. No fun. But hey, we did it.

    It was great to meet you and I’ll send along the pic from the end whenever I get it. Have fun in Beantown!!

    • You did awesome! The second loop was so, so tough. Congrats on two great races this spring, and I hope you’re taking a well-earned break!

  7. I only knew the last one- My Chemical Romance “Welcome to the Black Parade”. :( I suspect one or two country songs are in there….

    Anyway, sorry about that wall. It’s still a great time, though!

  8. This girl loves her Cypress Hill. #1 FTW. Congrats on finishing the marathon and have fun in Boston!

  9. Gotta love Cypress Hill 😉
    1-Armada Latina, Cypress Hill
    2-Dirt Road Anthem, Jason Aldean (and Ludacris, who I love)
    3-Requiem, M. Ward
    4-Welcome to the Black Parade, My Chemical Romance

    Congrats on finishing the marathon, even if it didn’t go the way you wanted it to 😀 Have fun in Beantown!

  10. Congrats, Shelby! It may not have been your race, but it sounds like you learned a lot about this one and made the most of it. 3:42 is pretty quick though! Especially after hitting the wall so early. Hope you’re recovering and hydrating with some delicious beer.

    I’m terrible at lyrics so I won’t even try…

  11. First, I think it is awesome that you shut down the Garmin and just ran. That doesn’t sound easy but it sounds like a good way to get your mind off the numbers…I’m remembering this for my full in May! Chances are I’ll need to detach toward the end!

    Second, great job on the race, can’t blame ya for sticking with the group in the beginning and having a great first half!

    Third, apparently I listen to far too much country and not nearly enough everything else…#2 is the only one I kind of recognized and I am still singing the wrong song to myself – “and I iced down a 6 pack” from Pickin Wild Flowers…

  12. Jason Aldean’s Dirt Road Anthem is the only one I know. …King on and the can and the Marlboro Man… Jack and Jim were a few good friends…

  13. Congrats on finishing and finishing well! You had a great attitude and didn’t seem to beat yourself up to much. We can all learn from that.

  14. Is it sad that the only one I knew was the Aldean? Damn, I guess that officially makes me a country fan. Never thought I’d see the day. I think turning off the Garmin was an awesome plan. Might as well enjoy the ride when you can!

  15. Love Jason Aldean. He’s dreamy.

    Congrats on the 3:42, and enjoy the rest of your trip! What will you put the Gansett patch on? Ideas: Tea cozy, cat blanket

  16. I was going to go ahead and google all of these, but instead I’ll just fess up and admit I didn’t know any of them. And here I always thought I’d be so good at name that tune… womp womp.

  17. You hit the wall at 16 and powered through — I’d still say it was a successful race then! That’s a pretty kickass finish time, even if it wasn’t your A goal, and hopefully you celebrated the heck out of it immediately afterward and in Boston. Be proud! You had some tough training weeks (stomach flu, be damned!) but still finished a really strong 26.2. I’m impressed. Congratulations!

    • Thanks! “Celebrating” = two days of day drinking in Boston. I would say I’m all celebrated out. :)

  18. It’s a really scary and sad feeling when you don’t feel good at mile 16….that has happened to me during at least 2 marathons, and it’s rough. So so rough. 10 miles of “the wall” or other discomfort is an eternity. Were there any little pockets of “2nd wind” during those miles?

    Pretty awesome that blogger women dominated this race. I hope you and Sarah hugged, because the visual is entertaining me. Blog worlds collide!

    • Any brief whispers of a second wind were quickly drowned out by the misery and suffering. Haha.

      Yeah, it was kind of cool to “know” so many people at such a tiny race! Lots of sweaty blogger hugs all around.

  19. My _second_ shout-out on your blog. Wooohooo! Exciting : )
    I am sorry you hit the wall, Shelby. But sounds like you have great perspective.
    And: my wheels came off, too! Boston freaking sucked. Everything
    hurts. Even my sunburned face. All things considered, I am happy to have finished in one piece, but feeling no need to repeat that experience.
    Hope you enjoy(ed) the city!


    • We were watching Boston at the finish line and I have never seen a group of 20,000 people look so collectively miserable. What a tough day. Congrats on finishing!

  20. Congrats on finishing. It might not have been your best, but I still think your time is pretty badass!

  21. I didn’t know any of them, either, although I’m tempted to cut and paste them from previous comments for the OMGPrize.

    Loved the recap.

  22. I won’t cheat… saving that for a time when I’m competing for the last drop of water in the desert or something. But I did recogize the first as Marc Anthony/Cypress Hill “Armanda Latina” (it’s in my CD player right now!) and the last is My Chemical Romance “Welcome to the Black Parade,” which is also on my running playlist. I don’t know any other My Chemical Romance songs, by the way.

  23. Wish I could play but I am not cool enough to know lyrics (but I could cheat by looking at people’s answers before me? ).

    Great to meet you! Not the perfect race but it was fun. With a little higher mileage I am sure you will have another great marathon soon!

  24. I have no idea on the songs without cheating, but wanted to say congrats on a great race! I’m curious to hear about your upcoming race and training plans.

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  26. Just found this – I ran Gansett, too, and although I wasn’t as speedy as you were on the first loop, I also started fading fast at mile 18. Most painful 8 miles of my life. Shutting the Garmin off was probably a smart move. I kept mine on, but barely looked at it – I knew I was running painfully slow, and I didn’t care – just wanted to finish and get it over with. Congrats on pushing through and finishing with what I think is still a really great time!