Monday, May 28, 2012
This weekend marked my third marathon (4th if you count Vineman). Burlington, VT was a close to perfect place to race. The people were amazing, the scenery picture perfect, and the day as close to perfect as you can get at the end of May. Friday night after an insane day at work Lydia and I drove up to Colchester, VT. Becky, Lydia, Sinead and I rented this super cute cottage right on Lake Champlain. I nestled into bed and was lulled to sleep to the sound of waves crashing on the beach. I was so excited for the weekends events that I did not sleep well. Saturday involved a lot of relaxing, eating, and expo shopping! After an amazing family dinner and socializing we all went our separate ways to bed to rest up for the race. I managed to get a fairly decent nights sleep. My day started at 6 am with my normal coffee and half a bagel c PB n J, this time with lots of laughs! Craig drove us to the start and we meandered up to Battery Park to find a mass of runners and spectators and only a few port-a-potties! After standing in line, getting ready to race, we dropped my bag (turns out that was not the bag drop and my bag is currently MIA along with my TE jacket) and pushed our way to the start. Some how we managed to get into the 4:45 pace group area. After the crowd finally got moving we crossed the finish line. I did a lot of dodging and eventually at mile 3 or 4 found some space to run. Two miles into the run I decided that I would give it my all and really race this marathon. I would test my body and see what these little legs were made of. I knew I could run under 4 hours, but I really wanted to finish around 3:45. So why not try!?!? This is what I've been training for and its race day! So pushed I did. I ran those hills and flats and pushed the downhills. I saw my family around mile 10 which energized me! There was a huge downhill ~mile 11 or 12 which I really pushed. Mistake. The crowd was huge there as it was in the middle of town. When I took my first few steps on the flats my hamstrings started talking. At this point I was averaging 8:37 pace. I ran through the halfway point feeling pretty good! Chatted with a man who is running his 46 out of 50 marathons in so many states, next week he is doing one in Wyoming. SO cool. Miles 14 and 15 brought us back into town and up a HUGE hill. I was feeling pretty good and saw my family and Becky's so was able to push up the hill. But when I took a right hand turn into the neighborhoods my hamstrings announced that they'd had it for the day. I managed to maintain a sub 8:40 pace until 16 or 17 miles at which point I continued to slow. I had moments that I surged between my will and the crowds, but I had lost my momentum. I wanted to run faster but my legs would not allow it. The last part of the race was through little neighborhoods that were lined with block parties, hoses, and kids giving out water, oranges, Clif shots, and Popsicles. Everyone was absolutely amazing! The last 5 miles were on the bike path, largely void of spectators. That's when I needed a push. My pace really slowed and I relied on my mental ummph to push me towards "home". I continued to have some little surges, but my average pace kept dropping. Finally, the finish shoot came into view. I gave it my all in that last mile and down the shoot. I managed to finish in 3:55 n' change, keeping my goal of under 4 hours, but far from my 3:40 goal. Initially I was totally disappointed in myself. Did I push too hard in that first half, had I not could I have pushed hard second half and came closer to 3:40? Then I remembered that I did my last marathon in 4:42, and the 26.2 of my IM in 4:30. Both a HUGE PR. This was also the first marathon that I did not walk at all, also an improvement. And I tried, I gave it my all on Sunday and I have no regrets. a 3:55 marathon is something to be proud of. Baby steps. The remainder of the weekend was spent celebrating with awesome friends in a fantastic location. The VT City Marathon was an amazing course and very well run. I absolutely recommend it to anyone!