Eleven seconds.

June 7, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Posted in races, weekend | 6 Comments

…is all that stands between me and glory! I finished the Covered Bridges Half Marathon in 2:00:10, just eleven seconds shy of the sub-2 hour time I dreamed of. But I came closer than ever before, shaving 8 minutes and 49 seconds off of my pervious half marathon best, and I’m surprised and happy with the results.

The weekend started with the long drive to Vermont. (We were travelling with our friends Sarah and Sam, who were actually the ones who discovered this race.) We got hungry for lunch half way through Massachusetts and checked Yelp to see where we could eat. We found the Siren Café and it was incredible! Lots of vegetarian sandwiches and fresh pressed juice and smoothies. I had portabella, avocado, and provolone on toasted wheat bread and it was delicious.

I also had a green juice – one of the best I’ve ever had – romaine, cucumber, apple, celery, and other green goodness.

We picked up our keys and settled into our rental condo, which was perfect for us:

And then headed out to carb up at Three Tomatoes (all the way over in New Hampshire!).

Our alarms were set for five, but I woke up at 4:40, pretty much ready to go. It helped a lot that the sun was already up! I made coffee and toast and ate a banana and we were on our way just after 6. We parked our car near the finish line, and boarded school buses to the start!

It wasn’t even 7 am yet when we arrived at the start village, which was around the Suicide Six ski area. There was water and food, but I didn’t partake. We just wandered around for a while.

A little after 8, we headed for the start.

And we were off!

The weather was completely perfect for running – totally dry and just a little bit on the cool side. The first mile was slow, but that worked out just fine because I wanted to be careful about starting too fast. Soon, though, I was in a groove. I felt fast, which made me a little nervous, because I wasn’t sure I could maintain. But I decided that I had to just go for it. My body was cooperating – no stitches, no bathroom issues, strong legs – so I felt that I had no excuse.

Sarah and I ran the first 5 miles together, but a point came when I was ready to surge ahead, and we had agreed to split up if necessary, so off I went. The next three miles were good – mostly flat, and on trails, which was a nice change of pace. I knew there was a big, steep (though short) hill at mile 8, and it worried me. I was thinking about just walking the whole thing so I didn’t exhaust myself, but I didn’t want to risk losing any time. (I knew that if I was going to do this in under two hours, it was definitely going to be by the skin of my teeth.) When I got there, I decided to try and run it, but half way up, I realized that I was going so slow anyway that I might as well just give myself a break and walk the rest, in hopes that I would recover faster on the other side.

After that hill, it took me a long time to get my breath back, and my legs never felt as good or as strong as they did for the first 8 miles. I thought it was time to let go of my time goal and just get myself to the finish. But then I crossed the marker for mile 9 and I realized that I had just run the last mile in 8:50, even though it didn’t feel that way. I had hope!

The last 4 miles were really hard, but I knew I had a chance, so I forced myself to go as hard as I could. I tried to imagine myself crossing the finish line and seeing the clock say 1:59:59. It helped! As I approached the final bend and the finish came into sight, I tried to focus on the clock.

When I was close enough I could see that it read 2:01:45. I knew that we were at least a minute behind the gun, but I didn’t think we were that far, and I figured the dream was lost. But I powered through anyway, just in case (and because I wanted it to be over!). Once I crossed, I felt really happy. I still didn’t know what my time was, but I knew that I had a HUGE PR and that was something to be really proud of.

I don’t really know how I did it. I am just grateful that the stars aligned and that I had the best conditions possible for this race. It was a really wonderful experience.

Afterwards, we were starving and we dug into lunch at the Farmer’s Diner. (It was only okay.)

Then we napped and lounged around before heading to a leisurely dinner.

The next morning we explored a bit more of Quechee before heading home.

It was such a wonderful weekend. Now I am officially obsessed with traveling for races and I can’t wait to do it again! Anyone have any good suggestions for fun races around the country? Maybe a 10K?



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  1. Great job Meghann!!

    • thank you! and thanks for a great race – we all really loved the course.

  2. Nice job! If you’re looking for a “big” race, the Monument Avenue 10k in Richmond in early April is a lot of fun — lots of history in and near Richmond and other parts of Virginia.

    • sounds like fun! I’ll check it out. thanks!

  3. If you’re interested in heading out west, there’s the Duke City Marathon (which now has a 10k) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I did the half last year & enjoyed it. The course for that race started & ended in downtown, but much of the race was on a pathway along the Rio Grande River…. definitely a different experience from most urban races I’ve done.


    • that sounds awesome! thanks!

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