I can’t believe race weekend is over! It went by way too fast.
Race day started Sunday morning, with my alarm set up for 5:30AM, which isn’t too early considering I usually get up around 6AM. 😉
Loretta, my roomie for the weekend, (she was running the marathon relay!) and I got ready, ate breakfast (I brought cereal and soy milk to eat before the race) and got a bus from the hotel down to the starting line (about a 15 minute ride), so we got down to the start area 1 hour before the race started. I was getting bummed because it was already pouring and my shoes got wet even before the race started. All weekend I had been doubting whether or not I was ready for this marathon and wondering if I could even finish it. For the first time ever I was not excited to run a race.
We waited an hour in the rain with no cover, but we were with the people from Albany Running Exchange so they were in good spirits and were making us laugh, so that was awesome.
We walked to the start and I parted ways with Loretta and with about 5 minutes to spare I found the 4:45 marathon pace group and decided to try to stick with them for the beginning of the race. At 8:05 AM the gun went off and it was time to run my second marathon!
Puddles were unavoidable, but my feet managed to stay somewhat warm! It only took about a mile for me to warm up, and then the rain didn’t matter anymore. I was SMILING so wide–so happy to be running this marathon! The crowds were GREAT despite the weather too!
I managed to stay with the group for the first 10 miles or so. The first out and back was along the highway and was probably the most boring part of the race. I actually passed the group for a little bit, but they caught up and then I lost them.
I was determined not to let the 5 hour pace group catch up to me!
After we hit the half mark, Loretta had exchanged with her teammate and found me and asked if I needed to get rid of anything, it was still kind of chilly so I kept my jacket. Good decision! I was on the fence on what to wear for this race. I ended up just wearing running crops, a tank top and on top of that a rain and wind resistant jacket I got at the expo. Getting that jacket was the best decision, ever. It kept me dry on the outside, was somewhat ventilated so I never got too hot. I have no idea what brand it is, but its a nice jacket. It got pretty windy and cold by the lake.
The second half of the marathon was mostly on the bike paths of Burlington, which was a nice change of scenery. It also went through some residential areas. At mile 15 came the dreaded Battery Park hill! I was expecting way worse than what I saw! A woman next to me told me not to look up…there was the hill. Fortunately I had enough energy and powered up it. I was determined! I didn’t have to walk it at all. All the hill training paid off. 😀
The parts of the race on the bike path were pretty, and there were even great aid stations all throughout. At the end I think they were every half mile or so, which was nice!
I was really surprised by myself..I didn’t stop to walk during the marathon at all except during the water stops. I thought about changing my wet socks but didn’t want to lose any time, and I didn’t seem to be getting any blisters, so I kept going.
I fueled at around miles 10, 13, 16 and 20, and that was enough to keep me from hitting the wall! I actually got a burst of energy for the last few miles (crazy, right?) and was passing people on the bike path. I was still hoping to come in under 5:00. I saw the mile 26 marker and rejoiced. The marathon was almost over!! I sprinted to the finish, which was on the grass and so muddy that I almost lost a shoe. But I kept going.
My official time was 4:54:01. A PR by seven minutes!
I was SO happy! So happy that the race went fantastic and despite the rain, I felt great. I only had some minor foot pain during the middle of the race, and today it feels great. (my legs are another story!)
We were DONE with the Vermont City Marathon!
I made my way to the ARE tent (the longest walk EVER) for a change of dry clothes and some much needed food. The post-race party had pizza and ben and jerry’s greek frozen yogurt, which was so tasty. We hung around for a while until we caught the next shuttle back to hotel. The hot shower never felt so good! I want to thank the ARE for putting organizing the post-race tent party. They even had personal massage therapists for us to take advantage of. I definitely did!
The Vermont City Marathon was such an awesome race. It was well-organized, had great aid stations, a huge expo (complete with a pre-race yoga session!), and an awesome race shirt. Anyone looking for a medium-sized spring marathon, definitely consider VCM!
I still can’t believe I finished another marathon. I have no idea when my next one will be, but it won’t be any time soon. But I will run another some day. 😀