Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Eminem's Take on KBVCM

Big congrats to Karyn once again for her gutsy performance at the Vermont City Marathon. After some much-needed rest, she's put together this great race report:

I arrived at the starting line well-hydrated, well-fed, proudly attired in my Hannah t-shirt... and terrified!. I was worried about a nagging hamstring that's been bothering me for the last month or so. But also afraid of embarrassing myself in front of the fleet-footed mini ponies who would be waiting at the finish line.

I took my place somewhere in the back of the very crowded starting line, and waited for the gun.

The first two miles were incredibly congested. But they did serve me well, by preventing me from making the same mistake I always make -- letting adrenaline get the better of me and starting out too quickly. By the end of the second mile I'd passed the 4:30 pace group, passed the 4:00 hour pace group and planted myself firmly about 5 or 6 minutes behind the 3:45 group. Exactly where I wanted to be.

And there I stayed, running happily (past the drag queens, past the drummers) for the first 9 miles. My hamstring wasn't bothering me, the weather was good, and I felt great. Mary gave me some company around mile 9.5 or so, which was fabulous. I cannot say thank you enough. She filled my water bottle, regaled me with her European tales, and even -- yes, it's all true -- put my candy wrappers in her pants (I swear I saw this happen!). When I cruised through the half, and back through the park around mile 15 Dave and Doris were there cheering enthusiastically.

Everything was going smoothly and I seemed to be on pace to run a 3:50 - 3:54.
By mile 18 it had gotten hot -- but we passed through a great little neighborhood where kids were handing out popsicles. I took one, and kept on going. Had a slight side stitch, which didn't develop into anything serious, and headed toward the 20.7 mile relay exchange where Daniel's head stuck out above the crowd. Daniel was waiting with a fresh bottle of gatorade, a banana and TONS of encouragement. About two minutes into our run I heard a little voice and noticed that Adrienne was right there as well. (She was previously blocked by Daniel). The company was welcome, since my hamstring -- the one that I had been worried about -- started tightening up. My stride was getting a little shorter and I could tell that I was losing time.

My incentive at this point was to get to mile 23, where I knew Noah was waiting (yes, parents even worry about their kids 23 miles into a marathon). I wasn't going to be really comfortable until we had picked him up too and I knew that everyone was safe and accounted for. With lots of encouraging words from Daniel and Adrienne we made it to 23 where Noah was ready and waiting.

FABULOUS. I dug deep for miles 23 and 26 but I could tell I was slowing, but the support I got kept my pace steady.

Just a hair before mile 26 Crazy Dave, Doris and Chris caught my attention to tell me how close I was, and I used every ounce of energy I had left to do my equivalent of a sprint to the finish line. I had my eyes glued to a woman about 20 feet in front of me and decided that I was going to pass her, and when I did, I glanced at my watch (which had ticked up to 3:58:30) and grinned. I knew I'd make it under 4 hours and that I'd done everything I could to achieve it.

Disappointed that I didn't qualify for Boston? Sure. But I would have been more disappointed if I didn't feel like I'd given it everything I had.

On that day, at that time, I gave it my all. And even though I was a little floppy at the end (last time I make fun of Dave for being a Needy-Little-Man), I was moved to have so many supportive friends around me. Thank you.


Mary said...

Let me make one thing perfectly was actually a GU packet, not a candy wrapper!! :) I just 'took care of it'. Great Run Karyn - remember this day, because you can actually say that you ran farther than Crazy Dave!!

Doris said...

Kudos Karyn.