On Thursday we headed up to Waterbury for some breakfast at the Park Row cafe. After breakfast we headed across Park Row to hang out on the town green.
|The kids love to play on the slide in the Waterbury Green|
|First time ever, stopped at B&J, didn't do the tour or have any ice cream!|
|Three happy campers!|
|Relaxing along the lake, soaking up the sun and meals on the porch.|
|And there was some serious swimming going on....|
|And Joshua was practicing (and doing very well) in the kayak.|
|And Walker was wishing he could ride in the paddle boat too!|
So we stopped in at registration, grabbed my number and checked out the course map. While we were trying to figure out where Lauren and the kids could see me on the course, one of the volunteers helped us out. He then was nice enough to offer to pick me up in the morning since he lived close to our condo which would save us from getting the kids up at 6am. Typical Vermonter, so nice of him.
|The finish line was cool looking!|
We headed back to check out the condo which was perfect! The condo was slopeside and had a view of the swimming pool which was a huge hit for the kids.
|This is what we saw as we turned into our condo complex!|
So as I gathered my stuff it hit me that I was actually running a marathon the next day. This was one of those "sounded like a good idea at the time" races where I wasn't specifically training for a marathon, but since I was up in VT on race day, I was in decent shape, etc, etc. So my plan was to HAVE FUN and ENJOY the race. Every marathon I've ever run had some form of purpose...help Lauren BQ, go for a PR, pace a certain group, etc. Most of them involved training plans, workouts, tapers, etc. Well, this was refreshing...show up at the starting line, run, smile, run some more, see my family, smile, cross the finish line, smile, eat some food, smile, stop at the Sam Adams Beergarden, smile. Simple plan, right.
So race morning came and Steve picked me up and got me to the race site, he was volunteering the med tent so I had hoped I wouldn't see him until I had finished. It was a beautiful morning, temps in the low 50's and bright and sunny. On the car ride over I looked down to see that my Garmin 405 which was charged to 99% the night before was now dead as a doornail. Well, kinda reinforced the point of this race, but I had never run a marathon WITH NO WATCH AT ALL! The gun went off (half and full marathon started together) and we were off. Now I had looked at the elevation profile and I knew there were some hills, but I hadn't paid attention to the scale. By the time we hit mile 2 we were climbing.....and climbing. Up and over we went down onto some gravel roads and through a covered bridge. We were running through beautiful farmlands with views of the mountains all around.
|Through the first covered bridge.|
By the time we hit 5 miles or so the race had settled in, the half marathoners had turned around and I started to talk to some of the other runners, it's always cool to meet people from different parts of the country. My legs felt good and I focused on running by effort on the flats and the hills.
|Aaahhh, gravel roads and shade (oh and that smile I mentioned)!|
|This is the scenery from the spot that Lauren and the kids watched.|
|Waiting to cheer for daddy!|
The next time check that I got was when I was passing a guy with about 3 miles to go. I knew I was moving pretty good and I did the math, surprisingly a sub 3 hour marathon was not out of the question! Mile 24 and 25 were VERY downhill which allowed me to keep my momentum. I could see one guy in front of me (besides the guy I had been following) so I focused in on catching him. I also knew there was a decent incline in the last mile as we approached the finish line, which was also in the bright sun. I managed to catch and pass the guy I spotted in the last mile, then as I approached the finish area I could hear the announcer saying that third place had just crossed the line in 2:58:xx.
|The last mile, on the way home.....|
|Autumn's got some great form...and Joshua is heavy after running 26 miles!|
|One of my favorite all time shots, notice that Autumn beat me across the line!|
|Ahh, that sweet finish line.|
So what to do for recovery? Why not a 4 mile hike up Mount Tom in Woodstock with Joshua and Dad the next day.
|The hikers at the top of Mt. Tom|