I have officially returned from my 5 year hiatus of road marathons after running Sunday at the Vermont City Marathon, in Burlington Vermont! Re-entry to the distance was very kind to me and I am very happy with how I did and the race experience was awesome! Since being a teacher is a very busy profession I would have to say my training leading up to the race was very low key and not at the level where it should of or could of been so I really had to guess what kind of time I thought I was capable of running. Not to mention that my training and racing mindset has shifted greatly since because of doing so much trail running and racing, for me now it is not about each mile split and time but how I feel effort wise. On race day I decided to shoot to run a 3:15 time which is about 9 minutes slower then my PR so I figured it would be a fairly conservative pace run at. I was fortunate enough to have qualified for the preferred corral start so I didn't have the issue of being stampeded at the beginning with stir crazy runners although I do believe it made me start out a little too fast. Overall the whole race went fantastically! I was running closer to a 3:10 pace till about mile 19 until then rolling hills and neighborhoods caught up to me. I was sooo thankful for the abundance of aid stations throughout the course and for the aid stations people had set up in between in their driveways! I believe it made all the difference in how I did since it was so warm, staying hydrated was crucial and I feel like I was able to do so. The crowd support was incredible. My favorite stretches of the race are when we got to run up and down Church street in Burlington. It reminded me of running past Wesley College at Boston. So many people cheering! It really energized me! The sound tunnel affect brought goose bumps!
The last 4 miles or so were the toughest just because we were out of range of spectators and we were running on a long stretch of bike path. The last couple miles in a long distance race always seem to be the hardest just because you know you are so close to the finish yet you just want to be done then! I was fortunate enough that I was able to run with a several different runners throughout the race to help pace myself, even if few words were spoken it helped to now that there was someone else right there. After eyeballing the finish line and the ginormous sea of spectators in the distance was the last little push I needed to have a strong run to the finish in a time of 3 hours and 14 minutes! Not a PR but it was faster then I was going for today! All in all it was a great race. The volunteers were amazing as was the crowd support! Can't wait for my next 26.2! Running a sub 3 hour time is next on my list of goals.
The Ballad of a Vine
4 days ago