Friday, June 3, 2011

My Vermont Marathon

     I ran the Burlington Vermont Marathon a few days ago, I had an incredible time both in the race and while on vacation exploring Vermont and Northern New York.



I did get a little short hiking in the day before the race, actually because they were having record breaking rain I was able to see some incredible waterfalls.
I took the Ferry over lake Champlain to New York and drove over to the Ausable Falls area.  Completely beautiful!



I also went over to Lake Placid New York that same day and found this beautiful water fall.

High Falls, Lake Placid NY

Race day, I woke up to a little rain in the morning.  Luckily not a heavy down pour like had been the past few days.  Actually ran the first few miles of the race in a light rain.
When the rain came to a stop, the humidity was probably the highest I've ever run in, and the temperature climbed through the morning, I believe it was mid-80's.
I felt pretty good, but a funny thing that happened.  It was around mile 5 or 6.  I looked down the tree and pond lined road, and I saw what looked like some steady downhill.  So I figured, hey I'll try and pick up the pace a little.

However, I couldn't figure out why at times I was feeling much more tired than I should have for down hill, it was actually even worrying me.  I thought, Oh Great, I have only begun the race I hope I am not going to have one of those days where my legs feel heavy and tired the entire way...  I was only imagining what it was going to feel like when running back on the other side of the road on the up hill.

Well, when I got to around mile 8, which was near the out and back turn around.  As I was running back on the other side of the road it was much easier.  I realize then, I was having one of those "I'm an idiot" moments, as I had been running up hill on the other side, it was just the treeline and how it looked that made it appear that I should be going down hill, when it was really up...
Thank goodness though!!
Lake Champlain
I've been battling a foot injury, and I was hoping it wouldn't bother me during the race, but of course things like that rarely work out like you'd like.
Between mile 11 and 12, my foot was in such extreme pain, I wasn't sure I was even going to be able to finish.  And that thought has NEVER crossed my mind in a race EVER.
My foot felt with each step that it was almost broken.

So I slowed down to a walk to figure out what I could do.  At first, I tried a run walk, but it wasn't working the pressure was causing the pain to get worse and worse.
After much thought, I started playing around with things, and I started by teaching my self to walk and only put pressure on the side of my foot that didn't hurt.  Then once I got the hang of that, I tired to do a little run/walk combo to try to teach myself to run on only the other side of my foot.
I remembered I had some Tylenol on me, so I took a couple just in case they might help.
It took about 5 to 6 miles of this run/walk combo to get the hang of only running and putting pressure on one side of my foot.  But it worked, THANKFULLY!

I had lost a bit of time during that process, but at least I had figured out a way to run through it.
The only problem was, any extreme up hill, or uneven surface I wasn't able to run with my foot trick, so I had to slow in those area's to be careful.

Lake Champlain
Luckily, there weren't too many places like that.  The lake had over flowed, and some of the trails they had us on, were a little muddy.  But truthfully, the race officials did a great job making them far more passable than they would have been.  They were probably just a little sloppier and muddier for me because of the many runners in front of me who had stomped through the area first.
But I will say, the area was absolutely beautiful, maybe more so because of the rain, but the area was just so green and lush, a very beautiful marathon.


When out in the city, I noticed the heat and humidity the most.  Lucky I guess for me, because of the foot problems, it really took my mind off the heat, to be honest it really didn't bother me.
When it did, there were plenty of houses and kids in the neighborhood portions of the course that were more than willing to give the runners who wanted a quick cool spray as they ran by.

The last 6 miles of the course were on bike paths and a trail along the lake.  Just beautiful, I absolutely LOVE the green hills and mountains of Vermont!
Also, by this point, I had really gotten the running on one side of the foot thing down, and I ran almost all of those last beautiful miles of the course.

One thing I'll say about this race for anyone looking to run one in Vermont.  I highly recommend this one.  It's a great course, a few hills along the way.  But then hills are what make a marathon even more fun, right!
There is A LOT of crowd support and cheers for the runners, both in and around Burlington and even in the surrounding neighborhoods.
The community seems to really support this race!

I had a little more time during this race vacation than others, so after the race I headed up to Palmyra New York, and visited the Sacred Grove and other surrounding areas.

Sacred Grove
Such a beautiful place, and pretty community.  I loved my drive through the Adirondack Mountains, I had never realized New York would be so green and lush too!
And of course, while in Vermont I hit up Ben & Jerry's.

I had done a wedding for a lady who lived in New Hampshire, and she told me to make sure and have a Maple Syrup Breakfast in Vermont when I visited, which I did!
I had a great time and lots of memories.  I really hope to be able to make it back to this area one day, I just LOVE all the trees and green lush mountains!



Ben & Jerry's



Now to the next phase, getting my foot healed.  Because of the new way I had ran on it for most of the race, it was a bit sorer than normal after.  But hopefully, I can get it healed quickly and ready for my next marathon state!

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