So much has happened in the past few days and so much will happen in the next few days. I feel like my head is spinning. And while it's not a bad thing it's also hard to keep everything organized. Friday morning Julie arrived in Burlington and she picked me up at work where I was reviewing with one of my mentors who is a dietitian there. I am so grateful for her help! Anyways, Julie picked me up and we drove back to my house since it was raining and I didn't want to walk. I made avocado toast with drippy eggs and grapes on the side and Julie ate peanut butter filled pretzels. I swear I offered to make her something.
After that we drove to SkiRack to pick up our numbers for the race the following day. We got our numbers and then shopped around a bit. On every run lately it seems my socks break. So I ended up buying a pair of socks (running socks are SO expensive). Julie also found a shirt that she had wanted for Christmas and it was half off. Of course I bought the same on in a size smaller (because I am 6 inches shorter than Julie) and a different color (#twins).
After that we were off to Cambridge, Vermont because I had been dying to show Julie the Boyden Valley Winery. The barn winery is gorgeous and the wine/cider/ice wines are out of this world. I went there the first time on my 25th birthday with Dan and it was such a great day. I have kept going back ever since. Julie and I did a tasting and we were the only ones there and were treated so well. I cannot rave about the service enough. It was so fantastic. We ended up buying a bottle of their Vermont Maple Reserve (hello maple wine, how is that not my favorite thing ever?!) and a block of cheese which they cut up for us and served with some delicious bread. Julie and I chatted for close to an hour before filling up half a case to take home. I got their blueberry wine and a bourbon barrel aged cider. Julie got both of their reds and the maple reserve.
We drove home and Christine came over to hang out. I cooked up some eggplant and mushrooms along with ground turkey and pesto which I added to white pasta (pre-race) with cheese (obviously). I also bought Shaws' garlic bread because that is the best for carb loading. We drank wine and ate and laughed so much. Then Christine whipped out the ice cream that she brought over. Truffle Kerfluffle is amazing, but Everything But The was more But The than Everything...not my favorite. But the company was my favorite.
Flash forward to the morning of the race. I woke up worried that I wouldn't be hungry to eat something before running because I ate so much the night before but surprise, the body is amazing and I was! I had two pieces of toast with peanut butter and jelly (my classic) with some coffee. Julie and I got dressed in matching outfits and heading out for our warm up mile on the way to the busses. I love local races.
I lucked out and sat in front of Rebecca on the bus. We chatted for a bit before the race and luckily got a pre-race picture. Don't let it fool you, it was freezing. I contemplated hunkering down in a port-o-potty...
The race started and Julie and I were together for maybe a few minutes but I looked at my watch and knew a 7:40 pace this early in was not the smartest idea. Julie and I had talked the night before and she suggested I do the first half of the race at 8:10-8:00 minutes and then progress to sub 8:00s. Well, let's just say the fluctuating wind and starting in a crowd with people really pushed me to start off faster than planned. The first four miles were out-and-backs in neighborhoods and I was not feeling it. But I saw Rebecca a few times and waving to her and just seeing her gave me a mood boost. I just wanted to hit the bike path. Once I hit the path the wind was still a bit to handle, but not too bad. I was trying to not let the pace get to my head too much and just focus on feel. But I won't like and seeing 8:20 paces occasionally made me fear that I would miss my PR.
I kept playing games with myself and would chase people down. I was like that person has a good pace, go get them. Then I would pass them and choose another person. A lot of the time I was running alone and that's what hurt me mentally. At mile 11 I remember thinking I wish Julie was here, but I asked myself what she would tell me if she was.
My playlist really helped (thank goodness the chainsmokers released a new album). I haven't ran a half with music before and actually really enjoyed it. I also am so glad I crossed paths with Julie as I was heading into mile 12. That gave me an extra energy boost that I needed. She knew how badly I wanted to PR and she's my twin and biggest cheerleader (and now my coach!). The last two miles were brutal. I was so tired. Hitting a definite wall. I had already eaten my fruit snacks from mile 7-9 (so hard to chew at a faster pace) and was just done. Also, the wind was worse and there were these gradual inclines that were so so so hard...but I had practice running the last neighborhood with Rebecca (thank you Rebecca) and knew how long it would be and what to expect. That helped a lot. I got so excited for the last kick at the end. I knew I didn't have much left so I left it for the last .25 miles and kicked it in. I actually passed a few people in the last .10 and have never felt so close to throwing up when crossing a finish line...but I saw 1:44 on the time clock and wanted to beat 1:45 so badly. Julie was there too and I just wanted it.
Julie came up to me at the end and we were both so happy because we both got PRs! She crushed it beyond anything I could imagine right now and finished 3rd in her age group with a time of 1:34:54. How cool would it be if she finished in 1:34:34 (since I finished in 1:44:34). I'm so glad she came to run this and I am so glad we had a few days together and I am so glad she is my coach. She is always answering my obnoxious questions and rearranging my schedule to handle my ever changing work life. She's amazing and totally knows her stuff. I have ran 3 half marathons and every single one of them were 1:48. At the very least I am consistent...
7:54 -> 7:55 -> 7:54 -> 8:01 -> 8:03 -> 8:02 -> 7:55 -> 7:47 -> 7:47 -> 7:49 -> 8:11 -> 8:23 -> 7:56...and then I forgot to stop my watch
Final time: 1:44:34 (7:59/mile)
Overall place: 122 of 633
Age group place: 18 of 93
Gender place: 51 of 399
Anyways, we finished the day with beer, Moe's (I think...) and a freezing 1.67 mile walk/jog back to my house. Showering has never felt so good. Or stretching. I proceeded to drink chocolate milk and eat a banana. Refueling my body with some antioxidants, carbohydrates, protein, and sodium. Yes, I had my post race beer and meal, but this was probably the most satisfying.
Julie and I went out later in the afternoon to Foam Brewery which was so packed and had a few double IPAs before getting take out BBQ bacon burgers and fries that we ate while watching Gilmore Girls. We are going to see Beauty and the Beast later and will definitely be buying a large popcorn...don't judge.