On May 26th, I ran the Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, VT. The marathon was by far my favorite of the twelve marathons I have done. The race had excellent organization, nice course variety (terrain/landscape), great crowds/cheering, easy transportation/parking, an early start time (7:00 AM), and many other perks. I will definitely run it again!
On a perfect day, my “A” goal was sub-3:10. For the Loco Marathon last fall, my goal pace was 7:10-7:20 and I ran 3:11. This time I was shooting for a pace of 7:05-7:15, which is what I had trained for and knew I was capable of. My mantra going into the race was, “Your only limit is your mind.” Race morning appeared to calm and beautiful, but a quick thunderstorm rolled through right before the race was supposed to begin and the start time was delayed for 45 minutes. Due to the delay, the temperature ended up rising to the mid-70’s with sun by the end of the race, so it was much warmer than I am used to coming from a long/cold winter. I had three gels with extra water, but I definitely needed more electrolytes for the hot weather. I held my pace for the first 13 miles, but I had some cramping and fatigue in the second half most likely due to mild hyponatremia. I took in some salt and gatorade from mile 16 to 20, and I was able to power through with a strong finish. I ended up running 3:15:36, which I am very proud of. At the finish, my body seized up and I was so thankful to have my family there. I got some chicken broth and pizza, and I felt much better. It was a beautiful day to celebrate. There were a lot of DNF’s, but I never once considered dropping out. My new mantra is “Find your tough” from the Darn Tough signs at mile 26 - they were awesome!
The build up to the race went well, with only one hiccup where I got some nerve pain radiating from my low back into my right leg. The pain came on after a double run (two runs in one day) on a Tuesday towards the end of April, and I believe it was most likely caused by three events - a hard long run on Sunday, a long car ride on Monday, and the fact that I have a sensitive spine after many years of competitive gymnastics. The pain subsided quickly and I was able to bounce back with no problems, but I avoided double runs for the rest of the training cycle. My mileage was not as high as what I did for the Loco Marathon, but I still got in all my quality runs.
I took 10 days completely off after the marathon, and then I did one week of easy running. This week I am easing back into training, and I am really excited to continue my running journey. I switched from using a coach to developing my own training plan, and I am loving it so far. I am incredibly grateful for my support team and the ability to do something I love. Hope you have a great week!