Sunday, May 1, 2011

Middlebury Maple - The Sweetest Half Race Report

Before the race CQL and Myself - Raring to go

Today was a great day for a race.  The weather couldn't have been better. It was sunny and pleasant at the start and although it warmed up it was never too hot.  It is an extremely well organized race which is tops in my book.  Although it is hilly - not a course for a personal best - it is a beautiful course and the miles fly by.  You go north through Middlebury to begin with.  You go through downtown, through a covered bridge and out by the Morgan Horse Farm.
Going through downtown

Approaching the covered bridge

 This is the same route I was biking and loving last fall when I couldn't run.  The race went in the opposite direction that I biked it in but there are hills whatever direction you go in. The first 7+ miles are a  loop which I love.  After you go past the MHF you head down Sheep Farm Road which has excellent views.  When you get back to Midd. you head through Midd. College before you go back toward the start.  The relay exchange is at the college.
Still seeing ice!

The Morgan Horse Farm

Sheep Farm Road (last fall)

 As you get past the exchange it is a little strange because people start shooting past you.  Before that most people are settled into their paces to an extent but the relay changes all of that. Whenever anyone passed me for the remainder of the race I could say, "Must be from the relay!"  I don't like the last part of the course as well probably because it is even hillier and an out and back so anything you go down you know you will go back up once you turn around.
Middlebury College above and below

South of the race beginning - the out and back

You can see where you are going for a long ways

Including the hills you need to go UP

 I did like meeting people and seeing the other racers.  The last mile seemed to be forever but you are finally back at the hospital where it begins for that final push.

My mile splits were all over the place and I could tell early on I would not be getting a best time for this race. I was surprised - and yes disappointed - to be slower than last year's time by about 3 minutes.  It wasn't even windy this year.  I hate to be disappointed in a race result as I feel we should applaud ourselves for getting out there and racing.  Doing a half marathon is no small thing in my book and it is a distance I really like.  I could see as the finish approached that it was not a given that I would be under 10 minutes a mile.  I did pull this off but not by much. Still I had a lot of fun running this and enjoyed the day particularly the weather, the scenery, the organization and seeing some runners I know including cql. There was some cheering for me by some spectators I didn't even know were going to be there - the beauty of a local race. Even though it is a harder half I definitely plan to do it again next year.  If you are looking for a good half I would highly recommend it.

I broke every rule with my outfit. I wore brand new running shoes, a new shirt, a new skirt and even a new hat! But I loved my outfit. It was comfortable and perfect for the weather. There was a skirt pocket I put my camera in so it all worked out.
When I was done my stomach definitely bothered me some the same as last year. The food at this race does not appeal to me.  I don't like hot anything when I am done.  I did have a couple of rolls, some undercooked chocolate chip cookies (not a complaint believe me) and chocolate milk from a local dairy which is quite near the Morgan Horse Farm.  I think many people love the food, just not me.

The same as last year my Garmin said I had run exactly 13.1!  I love it.
I ran it in 2:09:46 for a pace of 9:54.
My mile splits (I am putting these here as a reference for me for next year. I love seeing my old race reports with detailed info.)
Mile 1 8:50
Mile 2 9:28
Mile 3 9:57
Mile 4 10:00
Mile 5 9:59
Mile 6 9:04 (downhills)
Mile 7 9:52
Mile 8 10:00
Mile 9 9:52
Mile 10 10:25
Mile 11 10:22
Mile 12 10:34
Mile 13 10:14
.1 8:54

I was 13/25 in my age group.
I was 181/284 women.
I was 359/485 overall.

As I said this race began at the hospital. When it was done I walked over to the nursing home (which is in the opposite direction of my car - that took some self talk) to visit my friend's mother.  I enjoy writing letters so several years ago I started writing weekly to people I thought might enjoy hearing from me regardless of what I had to say which is never too terribly earth shattering.  (Read old ladies for the most part). I always have loved getting mail and assume others do too. One of my best presents as a kid was a key to the post office box we had. Seriously. My father showed that he really got me with that one.  I used to check the mail several times a day for awhile after that birthday.  Anyways I decided I could make the effort to visit this woman and she was very pleased to see me.  I stayed for about 30 minutes, long enough to consider it a visit. She really wanted to feed me and I really didn't want to eat although I took a few things as it was so important to her to be a hostess in the capacity she could.

Something that impressed me today was a man I saw running. I thought he was dragging his arm (not using it) and later when I met him I could quickly see that half his face was effected by a stroke. Wow!  This man had a stroke, is not fully recovered and is running a half marathon (much faster than I was). That is a hero!  It puts my complaining into perspective for sure.

The t shirt

Wouldn't you like to find woodchuch hard 
cider playing cards in your swag bag?

Cute way to do sponsors on the t shirt

Overall a wonderful race on a wonderful day in my wonderful state!  


Karen said...

Nice job (and cute outfit)! I think I always have the same comment but I truly do think you have some of the best pictures! Nice to see they are no longer all snow - you have to love that!

Pahla said...

My goodness, what a terrific race!! Love your outfit and the visit with a friend's mom. What a gem you are.

Jennifer said...

Nice job! And what a lovely location. I just recently saw a documentary about that exact Morgan horse farm; it's one of my favorite breeds. Cheers!

Char said...

Nice place to run. And a really cute outfit.

Lindsay said...

love the little stories about the woman you write to and the man you saw in the race! congrats on another half-mar, great training run! your new skirt is cute :)

Darlene said...

It looks like such a beautiful course. You are too critcal of your running (then again so am I). I thnk you did great! LOVE your outfit!! Any decisions on the Adirondack races???

Kandi said...

Sounds like a difficult course but wow, your state is gorgeous! I love all the pictures you post of the pretty races you run.
That's great that you went to visit your friend's mom and that you write to her. I'm sure she really appreciates it. I can imagine that being in a nursing home can get boring.

Suzy said...

Congrats on finishing another half marathon! The course looks beautiful. It has been a wonderful couple of days for being outdoors!

Suzy said...

I use excel to make my pie charts. I just love them. :)

Sarah K said...

Great job! Such a pretty run :-)

Christina said...

I am loving the pretty sights! :)
Thanks for taking the pictures and showing us. It is a pretty state.

A Prelude To... said...

What a great race!! What a cute skirt! ...and what a great idea to write letters to people. Who DOESN'T like getting hand written mail? What a great idea. I think I'll start close to home on this g'ma.

Pat said...

Congrats on another Half! The scenery is great, especially the steeple church at the college and the covered bridge. You are stylin' in that new outfit!

Richelle said...

Congrats! Your race outfit was super cute! I'm glad that breaking the "nothing new" rule worked in your favor.

A friend of mine got her masters in English at Middlebury College. From your pictures, I can see why she loved it so much. :)

Average Woman Runner said...

Love the new outfit and the pictures are beautiful. Like all that green.

Liz said...

Sound like a great race. Good running, well done!

Kate Geisen said...

Really beautiful pictures! Mine are sooo not scenic; yours could be postcards!

Great job on the race! I love the outfit. One of these days I'm getting a running skirt. They look so cute and comfortable. Great story about that man. In general, I think people are capable of SO much more than they give themselves credit for; kudos to him for continuing to push himself after recovery! I think it's wonderful, too, that you're writing to and visiting your friend's mom.

Fran said...

What a great race and it's really beautiful where you ran.

I love your writing to other people. I do love to receive mail too. In these times of social media I still sent a postcard for someones birthday instead of sending a mail or a text message.

Anne said...

That sounds like such a nice race...that's still a good pace, Congrats!! How sweet of you to visit your friend's mother. I also like that getting a key to the post office was a birthday great :)

Emily said...

i love your new header! and congrats on the race! im jealous you got to run it!

Marlene said...

Looks like some beautiful scenery on the route and I love a well-organized event too! Also not a fan of hot food after a run, but under-baked cookies are a nice treat. :)

Congratulations even if you hoped for a slightly stronger run - you still did great!

Steel Springs said...

Congratulations on the half marathon! Those pictures of the route are beautiful. The farms are especially breathtaking. It's too bad that the post-race food wasn't too appetizing. The locally produced dairy is a fun touch, though.

I love your mail story. That's so cute! I'm sure that your friend's mother really appreciated your visit.

Teamarcia said...

My BIL went to all sounds so charming. Glad you had a nice day. You forgot to take style points for your cute outift...shave off at least 30 seconds per mile!

Michael said...

Sounds like a wonderful race! It looks absoutley beautiful. I love the playing cards as racing swag...pretty awesome. BTW I totally love the new pic at the top of your blog. Very cool!

Anonymous said...

Love the outfit and it def sounds like you had a great race, even if your time wasn't what you wanted.

So nice you visited your friends mom, I'm sure that made her day. Who were you writing letters to? That seems so nice!

Johann said...

Don't know how I missed your report but I did. Well done, that is a great time! The photos are really beautiful. This is definitely a great race to do.

Alisa said...

Beautiful photos! Definitely pretty country up there.

Great race too! My goal this year for the half is to sub-2:20.