Thursday, October 13, 2016

Race Review: Green Mountain Marathon

Over the weekend Brett and I road tripped north for the Green Mountain Marathon in South Hero, Vermont! This was marathon #4 for me and US state 4 out of 50 (which I realize I've never talked about in a blog post before... details on that to come)! One of my former-student-turned-friends, Carly, is taking graduate classes at UVM in Burlington, so she graciously let us stay with her the night before the race. It was so great to see her and we even got to grab some dinner with her, her partner, and one of her friends!

We woke up bright and early Sunday to head to South Hero (which is about 25 minutes from Burlington) so I could pick up my bib and race t-shirt. South Hero is an extremely tiny town on one of the Lake Champlain islands and the start and finish were both at this very small elementary school, which was very fitting for the field of a mere 152 marathoners and 368 half-marathoners (that's 520 total runners for those of you keeping score at home - TINY)! There were plenty of facilities, parking, and places to stretch and warm up for this race which is always helpful in making race day a bit less stressful.

Mile 1

At 8:30am Brett and Carly wished me luck and sent me on my way and I was off on yet another marathon journey. The course itself was an out-and-back along the edge of the island, Lake Champlain never that far out of sight. The route was flat with a water stop every two miles, and the weather was cool and cloudy with some windiness coming off the lake - perfect marathon conditions! I was around many runners until the half-marathon turn around at mile 6.5. After that point the field dropped off significantly and I started to find myself more alone on the course than not for the rest of the race.

Bird house forest at mile 2 + 24

Unfortunately, right around mile 13, my legs started cramping. It was... not fun. And it continued to be not fun for ten. freaking. miles. I spent a lot of time alternating between walking and running and stopped many times to stretch. I fell waaaaay behind the pace I could have run and with each runner that passed me I felt more and more discouraged. There were multiple occasions where I questioned whether or not I would make it across the finish, but I knew that I'm not a quitter and I had already come so far that I was going to finish the race, even if it meant my legs fell off in the process.

Eventually around mile 23 my legs stopped cramping and while they were sore, it was no longer excruciatingly painful to run. I continued on my way through each remaining mile, and with the encouragement of everyone I passed and the cheers from Brett and Carly via text message I stayed motivated to reach the finish line. Brett met me at mile 26 and ran in the last .2 miles with me and Carly and Kirby were waiting and cheering for me at the finish! And finally, after getting a medal from the lovely volunteers still waiting at the finish and grabbing a water and some hugs from my awesome support crew, we hopped in the car and headed back to Carly's.

While this marathon did not go to plan, I still managed to finish the race. At 5:36:42 I was the last female marathoner to cross the finish like (54 out of 54... yikes) and third to last overall (150 out of 152), but I FINISHED and this still wasn't my slowest marathon (that still goes to the NH Marathon at 5:40:19), so WIN! I feel like I learned a lot in what I could do better to prepare for my next 26.2 and I'm hoping to have a much better race when that rolls around. But, for now, I'm going to bask in the glory of finishing another marathon and allow myself to be a little bit lazy. :P

I vlogged over the weekend, so click play to see more road trip and marathon fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment