Monday, October 22, 2012

Green Mountain Marathon, Part 2

And now for Part 2 of 
The Really Long-Winded [pun intended] Race Report:
(probably of interest only to other runners, but too bad, Mom, you have to read it anyway)

First meet-up with our support crew, around mile 6: we're still together and surrounded by other runners (half marathoners are passing us in the other direction).

Miles 8-13
We didn't see our crew at the second meet-up (around mile 10) but I was so jazzed by the scenic course and the runners passing me on their way back and the awesome volunteers that I barely even noticed.  There was even a little band of 3 people by a B&B playing pots & pans and a gong.  It was fun and there were still people coming toward me and we were smiling and waving at each other and sharing words of encouragement.  It wasn't until we passed several other spots where the gang could have been but wasn't, and I started to catch up to Alan, that I got concerned because I suspected he was relying on them more for supplies than I was.  I realize now that this is also when the bulk of the other marathoners were done passing us on their return trip.  After a couple texts and a breathy phone call to Madeline, I determined that the gang had gotten confused: they thought they had missed us at 10 miles and therefore headed to the turn-around point.  I instructed them to STAY THERE and then caught up with Alan to assure him his supplies were less than a mile away.  I had passed mile 12 at 17 minutes ahead of pace and still felt pretty good.  We had another check-in from Al, the friendly "sweep" who had been following at a respectful distance so he and Alan got introduced.  We met up with Helen et al, grabbed what we needed, made a U-turn and crossed the mats at the halfway mark.   Helen would only confirm that I was 5 minutes ahead of pace, which momentarily confused me but I realized soon after leaving her that she was looking at Alan's pacing strategy, not mine.

Alan and Al on opposite sides of the U-turn (13.1 mark in the background)

Sam (how cute is she?!), Jeremy, Madeline, and Rich showing  their support
(Helen should be in this but she's the one who took the pictures)

 Miles 13-15
I confirmed my pace at the next mile marker and felt immediately better, but I was already starting to slow down and the necessary stop at a port-a-potty lopped a chunk off my lead.  It was right next to a water stop and the volunteers all cheered for me AND for Al before amiably packing things up.  Al rode next to me for a bit when I started running again.  I think this was the last time I started running after a stop without consciously telling myself to run, not walk.  I passed the B&B band again but it was sort of ethereal this time because it was just them and me and the wind and a nice downhill stretch that I was not able to fully take advantage of.  I knew I was slowing down, but I concentrated on keeping my walking to a minimum, and remembering to fuel on schedule.

Miles 15-19
With the rest of the runners out of the way, the gang had an easier time meeting up with us.  They would park somewhere, wait for us, scream, cheer, snap photos, and give us supplies, then pull ahead a couple miles to another convenient spot along the way.

How can you not be motivated by this?
The kids all had posters which got progressively more colorful every time we saw them.  My childhood nickname was NESsie (as in the famous Scottish monster, similar to "Champ" who is rumored to occupy Lake Champlain) so, naturally, there were sea monsters.  Alan, AKA"Big Red" was portrayed as a very cool cartoon character.  And Sam's sign read "GO ZIPPY BANANAFANNY!" referencing a certain Captain Underpants book in which Professor Poopypants plots to change everyone's name. According to the chart, we become the Bananafanny family and ironically, my name becomes "Zippy".  I can't remember what Alan's is supposed to be, but I've dubbed him "Squeaky" because for the first mile or so I thought some very enthusiastic squirrel was cheering for us but it turned out to be his knee sleeves rubbing together.