My First Marathon: The Wine Glass

by Joanne on October 3, 2010

It only happens once, that first marathon.  Now, I call myself a runner.


The Wine Glass Marathon, October 3, 2010. 

The course: The Marathon starts at Philips Lighting in Bath, NY and finishes at Centerway Square in historic Corning, New York.

The weather:  It was 40 degrees when the gun went off and expected to approach 59 degrees as the day’s high.  The sun smiled on us a few times during the course of the run.

First, The day before, Saturday Events

We left for Corning at 9:20 am, leaving with family (Sue and Sam) and friends (Nancy and Bob).


It was a 3 hour drive to the Expo held at the finish line in Corning.  After a quick package pickup


(very organized and efficient), we browsed the apparel tent.  I picked up a long sleeve shirt with a zip pocket at the neck line since it was going to be a cool start.

1PM and we were ready for lunch.  Cafe London served us well with 2 mini pizza’s for starters.   I had a veggie salad with chick peas, corn, peas, assorted greens, candied walnuts and raisins in a simple oil and vinegar dressing. Lots of water to wash it down.


We meandered about the Corning Glass Museum for  a short time, ogling over the gorgeous glass sculptures.  Lots of glass pumpkins for Fall.


My left foot was hinting at a little pain now and then.  I wondered if it was simply “ghost pain” and ignored it.  Walking back to the Expo, I snacked on half a baked sweet potato. REALLY! who carries a sweet potato in their purse other than a paranoid runner?!!

Pre Race Dinner: 

Tony R’s Steak and Seafood was located in a beautiful old building which used to be a bank.  This was the scene of a very delicious and fun dinner.  I missed my glass of wine but sneaked a small sip of Ted’s Louis Martini Cab.  Mmmmm!

Sam began the festive meal with a dirty martini which looked good but just couldn’t be justified as inclusion in my list of allowable pre race liquids.


We all went wild over our dinners.  Everything was delicious.  I had to request a very bland pasta dish for my meal due to running the following day.  It was simply seared scallops and shrimp over angel hair pasta with a light marinara on the side.  I drizzled just a tad over my fish and pasta.  Ted and I shared a huge plate of broccoli.  Although it was good, I ate it regretting the other delicacies I was missing.



We were back at the hotel and in bed by 10 pm for a restless nights sleep on my part, as you might imagine.


I woke up several times during the night.  My phone alarm went off at 4:30 am and as a back up, the room alarm clock buzzed at 4:40 am.  First running fuel:  banana and peanut butter.   Very difficult to choke down upon wakening at 4:40 am.

I read my motivational blurt to get my mind away from the anxiety: Your legs and lungs will burn. Have a “bring it on” attitude and remind yourself you wanted this:  The challenge of pushing yourself to achieve something new.

I put my number on my shirt then removed it and put back on 4 times until finally settling on pinning it to my skort.  Number 292.   Number pinning, reading motivational quotes, then Ted and I were on our way to the buses at 6 am.


I ate three quarters of a Marathon Energy bar and then we reached the drop off.


It was cold, 39 degrees when the bus arrived at the starting point.  We were not allowed inside the Philips Lighting building so runners were huddled by the tree lights for warmth. There was an hour of trying to keep warm before the start.  I paced back an forth among the crowd and got in porta pottie lines 4 times.  Of course I chose a different line each time so no one would suspect my frequent visits.  With my nervous stomach and the cold, it was time well spent.

At 7:55, I found my place at the start right in between the 3:40 pacer and the 3:50 pacer.   I really didn’t want to be so focused on pacers but it couldn’t be helped.  In fact, at the end of the race, it actually helped me meet my middle goal time.

We took off at 8:01 according to Garmin.  I wasn’t feeling much like running AT ALL.  My feet were so frozen, I couldn’t feel them.  By mile 2, shirts, gloves and hats were tossed from all directions by the mass of runners as we all warmed up on our run. 

Fueling miles: Mile 4.5 I had a Gu.  Mile 6 –7 I ate 4 Sports Beans.  Mile 11.8 Gu with caffeine.  Mile 13 and 15 more beans and at mile 19, my final AccelGel with Caffeine.   I had a mix of Gatorade and Water at almost all of the 14 water stations.

At about mile 8, we approached the first relay point.  There were a lot of people and tons of support.   That really helps motivate a run when the legs start to tire.  The worst part of the race was between mile 11 and 13.2.  I wondered how I was going to run the rest of the way at that pace.  Then I thought “Quitting is NOT an option”. Once we past the half way point, my focus was on the “turn for home”.  Running became easier. 

At 16 miles, I saw my family and friends.  There was renewed energy like I was as fresh as the beginning of the day.  My pace turned to almost a sprint as I past them.  Words can’t describe the feeling of seeing my sister, Sam, Ted, Nancy,  Bob, Gene, and Mary Ellen.  They were all cheering with all they had, yelling “Go Joanne!”  I felt like such a star. It was AWESOME!


I handed off my red and white shirt to Ted and ran on with renewed leg power.  Sam said my top-of-the-head pony tail makes me that much easier to spot at it bobs up and down upon approach. 

I saw everyone again at mile 19


Just past the 2nd relay point and between 18 and 20 miles, I couldn’t help but think about the virtual “wall”. It never  happened.  If you train well, pace yourself well and pay attention to your nutrition, there is no wall to hit.  I felt great except for the pain in my foot which was more pronounced and my hamstrings were beginning to get tight.  Still, those pains weren’t enough to make me stop.

The best part of the race was from mile 22 to finish.  At 22, we turned into a tunnel then into Craig Park.  At this point, I was behind the 3:50 pacer. I DID NOT WANT TO BE THERE and knew I had to get past that group.  It was tough because we were on a narrow bike path so there were few opportunities to pass. I found my break free point and ran on, once again with renewed energy.   As we went down a steep but short hill, there were moans all around me as people felt the pain in their legs due to the run down hill.

Mile 24 “I’ve only got a little more to go. I can do this easily then I never have to run again in my entire life”.   At mile 25, a woman was encouraging her partner to push for that last mile and “some change”.  The crowd was screaming  “You’re there! Give it your best! You got it!”.  It was the most rewarding 1.2 miles I’ve ever run in my life. I FLEW the final few hundred feet over the pedestrian bridge to finish in 3:46:51 chip time and  3:47:43 gun time.  I placed 17th in my age group out of 115.   520th out of over 1450 runners.  My splits were:  1:16:36, 1:18:05, and 1:12:10.  I’m a Boston Qualifier!  Wahoo!


Getting my medal and “aluminum robe”.



I showered at the Y and then it was lunch with my Peeps.


This was how hungry we were… no time for pics.


I had a wonderful veggie wrap until the onions got too me


Nancy gave me a little mascot that cheered me on as I got ready in the morning and met me with a smiling face in the afternoon.  I know I heard him say “Good job, Jo”.


My running partner was happy to see me when we got home


What a trip! What an accomplishment.  The question asked as soon as the race is over:  Would you run another?  At that point, NO!  Today, as I hobble around with sore legs and feet:  YES!

After race tips

1.  You might feel a bit sick.  Soda and ice helps.  I didn’t know what I wanted after the race.  The water was not ice cold from the finish line.  It wasn’t doing anything for me and my stomach was crying for something. Ted brought some ice and a diet coke.  Even though I don’t drink soda, that really helped settle my stomach.

 2.  You WILL tighten up quickly so keep walking if you can and sit down later.  I stood around with friends for a short time then sat on the ground.  Sitting isn’t good unless you have people who will help you get back up. 

3.  Eat as soon as you can after finishing and keep drinking water and electrolytes.  You probably won’t feel like eating but remember, refueling is just as important in recovery as pre-race fuel. 

4.  It’s going to hurt getting out of the car when you get home.  OUCH!!!!

If you have a marathon coming up, pace yourself. Run your own race.  Eat WISELY.  Have several thoughts that get you through those rough patches. You won’t know when those tough points in the race will hit but they will.  Fuel before you need to and enjoy the experience.  You trained hard and long for the moment. Quitting is NOT an option.  It’s only a few hours of the rest of you life and you can do it.


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  • At 2010.10.04 07:24, Bonnie said:

    SO proud, amazed and in awe of your completion of marathon #1. Your training and dedication sure paid off.

    • At 2010.10.05 15:23, Joanne said:

      Thanks Bonnie!

      • At 2010.10.04 07:31, Heather said:

        Yayayay!!!! Congratulations!! This is fantastic – so proud of you!

        Today you should rest and wear your medal all day…… 🙂

        • At 2010.10.05 15:24, Joanne said:

          Well, I did wear my shirt.

          • At 2010.10.04 10:35, Katie said:

            AWESOME JOB!!! You did incredible! Also, you now have some great pictures that I enjoyed (the scarecrow was my fav!). My bf’s 2nd love is dirty martinis and my 2nd miiiggghht be your pasta without trying it! That looks so good I can’t even tell you. Plus I didn’t eat breakfast so I am starving right now! lol Glad to hear you had a wonderful weekend!!! xoxo

            • At 2010.10.05 15:24, Joanne said:


              • At 2010.10.04 11:17, kilax said:

                Congrats on your first marathon and BQing! Great time! 🙂

                I cannot wait to see my husband on the course. I know that will give me a surge of energy like it did to you. And I hope I can speed up at the end like you did. Wow!

                Great tips at the end. Ha. I have learned many of those from my training runs, especially the eating thing! I sometimes get hungry while running but never really want to eat after I run long… I always force myself to.

                Congrats again! You’re amazing! 🙂 🙂 🙂

                • At 2010.10.04 11:20, Amanda @ bakingwithoutabox said:

                  Oh my gosh! Congratulations! I started yelling in the car when I read your amazing time on Twitter. Hot hubs thought I’d finally cracked.
                  Love that cute mascot! And you know I love that skirt!
                  Thx for all that great advice as someone who’s been-there-done-that. I’m totally saving these tips for that day … you know it’s coming… when I lose my mind and decide to go for the full marathon. Until then, I’ll stick to training for the Princess Half with your tips in mind.
                  You rock! Hard!

                  • At 2010.10.04 11:42, Monet said:

                    What a journey! What an accomplishment! It has been so much fun to watch you work towards this goal…and then to see you achieve it! I can’t imagine running a marathon. It requires so much work and dedication. You should be very proud, I know that I’m certainly proud of you!

                    • At 2010.10.04 13:21, Jackie said:

                      Amazing job Joanne!!! You did wonderful!!! Congratulations! I was sure that you are going to m ake it. Sorry we missed that. I wish we were with you but … really we couldn’t. Hope we can make it to your 2nd win. Keep it up my friend. Hope you are feeling good today. XXXOOO

                      • At 2010.10.04 14:38, Jean@RoastedRootsandPumpkinSpice said:

                        Congratulations! Such an awesome time. That martini is making me think of happy hour after work right now. 😀

                        • At 2010.10.04 15:33, Karen said:

                          Congratulations! You are amazing!

                          • At 2010.10.04 15:52, Lori (Finding Radiance) said:

                            Wow – congratulations and bravo on qualifying for Boston! That is absolutely amazing!

                            • At 2010.10.04 16:07, Amy Wendt said:

                              Hi, Joanne – It’s Bonnie Fenner’s sister. She sent me a link to your blog. Very interesting. I love that a marathon has “wine” in it’s name! I hope you eventually celebrated with a whole bottle. I do not have a desire to run a marathon but certainly can appreciate all of the hard work you put into it. Our parents were marathon runners so we have had a glimpse into the “obsession!” Congrats on your great time for the race!

                              • At 2010.10.04 17:27, Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog said:

                                Bigggg Congrats this is a milestone!! And excellent time – really enjoy it and now you can eat what you want 🙂



                                • At 2010.10.05 02:23, Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear said:

                                  Congrats on the race!!!! 🙂 and how funny that you carry a sweet potato in your purse!

                                  • […] gave me a gift for achieving my goal.  It’s […]

                                    • At 2010.10.05 10:23, Katie H. said:

                                      Wow Joanne, amazing! Congratulations! What a great first time marathon experience- it is obvious you trained smart and hard! 😀

                                      • At 2010.10.05 12:25, aron said:

                                        AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! WOW – a marathoner AND a boston qualifier all in one day 🙂 you are AMAZING! Huge congrats to you! Hope you are still riding that high 🙂 recover well and soak it all up!

                                        • At 2010.10.05 13:14, Shutupandrun said:

                                          Seriously???? You ran a 3:46 for your first marathon and BQ’d???? You are amazing. See you in Boston next year!!

                                          Thank you for your comment on my blog today. It really meant so much to me to know I inspired you. You are so strong and capable. Maybe all you needed was that little “push.”

                                          So…what’s next??

                                          • At 2010.10.05 20:24, Pam (Certified Holistic Health Coach) said:

                                            Congratulations on your first marathon!!! I am so proud of you and I knew you could do it 🙂
                                            I am inspired by you every time I read your blog.

                                            • At 2010.10.07 06:11, CEimB: Tomato Clam Soup | Apple Crumbles said:

                                              […] didn’t have the tortillas since shopping was put on the back burner due to a late return from our marathon […]

                                              • At 2010.10.29 21:57, Angela said:

                                                So you BQ’d on your first marathon? That is so wonderful!!!

                                                • At 2011.01.25 12:17, Nelly said:

                                                  Wow, a Boston qualifier marathon on your first try!?! That is insane. I haven’t ran into any runner on any blog who did what you did. You must have always had the gift of running but didn’t know it for a long time =) That’s also amazing that you didn’t hit the wall at all, sounds like you even sped up near the end, that is phenomenal. Enjoy the Boston Marathon!!

                                                  • At 2012.04.02 17:47, I’m not so stealth and Breakfast Bars said:

                                                    […] pretty darned friendly.  In fact, it was one such RR that directed me to my first marathon, Wine Glass in 2010.  Thanks […]

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