Saturday, May 30, 2015

Why Am I Not Upset at My PW at Vermont City Marathon?

Last weekend I ran the VCM 2 person relay. I have run this race many times, both the full marathon and the 2 person relay.  I believe this was my 33rd half.  And this time my time was the slowest it has ever been for a half.  But I wasn't particularly upset or really upset at all.

Coming into the finish.

1.  It is an outstanding race and I just plain had fun.  Yes, for me it's a local race but I think it can be fun no matter what. The crowd support is unreal throughout most of the race. The city comes out to support you.  People in the neighborhoods you run through provide water, food, watermelon, FREEZER POPS and more.  They have bands, signs and just plain hoot and holler to cheer you on.  The crowds line the start and Church Street. The finish area is packed. I can't say enough about the feeling in the city when this race is going on.
Darlene and I meeting Deena Kastor at the Expo!

2.  I had done a half the week before and felt quite good about my time. It was unrealistic to expect to do it again. I didn't run at all (or bike or swim) at all during the week.  My knee is not all recovered and I wanted it to be an easier week.  It is hard to run and not race but I did my best.
The morning of the race...... at Battery Park.

3. I am slow these days. Truthfully slow.  Perhaps when I am all recovered I will put in some harder training but for now it's how it is.
Darlene did the first half and is on her way.

4. As mentioned my knee isn't what it could be.
I waited at Oakledge Park for the Darlene.

5. Any day you race (pretty much) is a good day.  I try really hard to be happy about each race I do. I love racing and I try to find the good parts of the races I do. I think I do a fairly good job at this.
Yep, it's a pretty one.

6. There were so many people running this race to be celebrated.  I saw a woman with a prosthetic. I saw mentally challenged racers.  I saw an older woman being wildly cheered by her daughters.  There are people who do the 5 person relay with shorter legs who ordinarily wouldn't be involved in a marathon.  The cyclists/wheelchair athletes are highly celebrated on a hard course.  Quite simply so many people are so happy.
Coming into the finish at the Waterfront.

7. The course is beautiful. The bike path is one of my happy places and here I was racing on it.

8. Maybe I'll see one of you here next year.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wallis Sands Half Marathon

I better do this post before my next race. Did I really use to post a few times a week?

I have another half this weekend through poor and ignorant planning. My knee is kind of sore so I am doing nothing and will take it really slow this weekend with no expectations this weekend. None!

But last weekend I was hoping to do better than my half in March. I did by almost a minute faster per mile.
Inside the lighthouse.

Portsmouth Headlight

This half was in Rye Beach and I did it last year.  I stayed in Hampton Beach which is not where I usually stay.  It was nice to be on the beach but I do like York, Maine better.  When my friend and I got there it was raining. We did some shopping in Kittery which was a huge score. I have a worn a new skirt every day this week. I wish I had gotten more as they are comfortable, cute and cheap.  Then we went to see Portsmouth Headlight and I went to the top.  I love lighthouses so this was a big score.  Then it was to the hotel to check in.  
Biking on Hampton Beach

Next I rode up the coast!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  I rode to the race site.  Then it was out for my first lobster roll of the weekend.  
A small part of the bike path

Coming into the finish

At the finish

Then it was time to race on Sunday.  It was very foggy when we started out.  But within an hour it was sunny and warm. I was a little overdressed but not too bad.  I stayed around some people but passed others.  I was feeling good, not as fast as I used to be but way faster than my training runs were. I kept a reasonably steady pace. I walked a minute every mile which worked great.  I missed the mile marker for mile 9 so all of a sudden I was at 10 with only 3 left to go.  

The first few miles were along the ocean and then it veered inland past the marshes and into the village. The last few were back through the marshes, then along a bike path and finally along the ocean again.  I loved the bike path. Everything was in bloom and so pretty.  I tried to appreciate the scenery and not think about being tired. Truthfully, I was feeling great and not that tired so it wasn't hard.  
Approaching the finish

My stats weren't great  but okay.  I did not win an age group award. I was 5/8.  My other stats were so so but like I said, I was thrilled with my time and running.  I felt good and had a great time. What more could I ask for? 

Now this weekend I get to do it again but at a much slower pace.