Friday, June 1, 2012

Vermont City Marathon Relay

I recovered pretty quickly from the Diva's Half, which was great considering it was a fairly hard effort (sub-1:37).  My neck was (and still is) bothering me a bit, but at this point I guess I'll just have to live with it.   That being said, Monday through Thursday was back to the usual routine.

Monday: AM - Circuit Training; PM - Sync Cycling
Tuesday: AM - Swimming with Jeannelle (drills and intervals); 4.5 miles with Sara
Wednesday: AM - Sync Cycling; Speedwork with Ellen (5M w/400s and 800s)
Thursday: TRX

On Thursday night I left for the airport, only to return home and go back Friday morning.  After several delays and cancellations, I finally made it to Vermont!  My dad picked me up and we were able to swing by the Sheraton for packet pickup.  By the time I got in it was 3:00, and the expo didn't open until 4, but fortunately one of the organizers was very understanding when I told him I'd been traveling since 5:00 am and didn't want to wait around for yet another hour, so he made an exception for me.  I love Vermonters :)

Erika and Rich picked me up at 6 on race morning and we headed to Burlington.  We parked and walked over to the start, and even ran into Bart!  My mom and Alan met us near the start and as Erika went off to the corral we walked down to Church Street for the beginning of the race.  We were able to see runners go by shortly after the start and again around mile 3, and then I walked the half mile to the relay bus.  It took longer than I expected but I made it to the exchange stop in plenty of time, and Dad and Mary were there to keep my company and cheer me on as I started my leg.  Erika came in near the 4:15 pace group (she started pretty far back and actually ran just a hair over 2 hours!) and off I went.  I high fived my dad and started working on making my way through and around hundreds of marathoners (looking at the results, I estimate it ended up being 700-800). I felt a little back zooming past people who had already been running for 2 hours, and it definitely added a degree of difficulty to be surrounded by people running a much different pace.  I hit Battery hill, which is a pretty decent climb, and saw Mom and Alan among the crowd.  It is always such a boost to see my family and friends out there cheering for me!  Somewhere around mile 4 or 5 it got pretty hot, and as the course went through a few different neighborhoods I was impressed my how many people were out in their yards with hoses, sprinklers, and unofficial water/aid stations.  Once we got through the neighborhoods we ran onto a bike path that runs along Lake Champlain.  I had heard a lot of good things about this part of the course, but it was pretty narrow, which made it difficult to get around people (especially those running 2-4 wide) and that was a bit frustrating at times.  I chatted with a guy who was doing the 50 states, and Vermont was #45.  Before I knew it I'd passed mile 12 and tried to pick it up a little through the finish.  Somehow I didn't see my family as I came down the final stretch to the finish, though apparently I ran right by them!  I am guessing it was because I was in a footrace to the finish with a girl in a bright shirt who I could see in my peripheral (she beat me by a hair, but I checked the results and she was also on a 2-person team and had a 7 minute lead on me at the exchange so I don't feel as bad!).  

All in all, it was great spending the weekend with my family, and having a race to run before coming back was just icing on the cake :)

Run summary: 3:41:12 (1:39:24)
18th 2-person female team out of 224
Consistent splits right around 7:30
Slowest: Mile 3 (Battery Hill, 7:47)
Fastest: Mile 13 (7:22)
Last 200m: 38 seconds (that is fast for me!)

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