Thursday, November 10, 2011

Race Vermont Fall Half Marathon

Going into this race, which was scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m. on November 6th, one thing working in our favor was that daylight savings time was set to begin at midnight the same day. Nonetheless, I woke up on Sunday morning at 5:45 a.m. feeling like it was... 5:45 a.m. I got up to eat some toast and drink a cup of coffee, then began to tackle the difficult question of what to wear. It was cold - about 35 degrees, but we knew the sun was going to come out and it was going to warm up as the morning progressed. I decided on my light mid-calf length tights and a short-sleeved shirt with a long-sleeve shirt over it, thinking I would take the long sleeve off  before the race began. I was so cold during my warm-up run, however, that I kept the long sleeve on. My mom, dad, and boyfriend were all doing the race as well, and I was planning to run with my boyfriend, Alex, despite his objections. He thinks I'm faster than he is, but I think he's faster than he thinks he is. We started together at the back of the pack (after waiting in line for the porta-potties for half an hour and then using the indoor restrooms that were supposed to be off limits. Race Vermont really needs to get its act together when it comes to certain aspects of race organization) and went out fast. At the 4 mile mark I looked at my watch and decided we needed to slow down a bit. I was also starting to get a side stitch. The course was beautiful. It wound through Shelburne Farms on dirt trails and took us down to the boat launch. There were views of the lake and the day was bright and clear. My right knee started to hurt about halfway through, but with Alex going strong beside me I wasn't about to slow down. He really pulled me along for the second half of the race and, although the final miles were difficult, I was able to pick up my pace for the final mile. It never ceases to amaze me what a difference it makes to be able to feed off of someone else's energy. I don't think I could have done nearly as well without Alex. We finished in 1:34:11, which surprised me. I hadn't realized we were going quite that fast. I'm super proud of Alex for finishing his first half marathon in such a great time. We celebrated with beer and great food at the Farmhouse after the race. You can't ask for much more than that.

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