Be Proud

Be Proud

I am proud of myself for all of my hard work and for not giving up at the Vermont City Marathon on Sunday. I know after running this race that I have extreme mental toughness and also the physical strength and aerobic capacity to run a marathon. My finish time at the marathon was 3:45.28. For me this was a 10 minute PR which is a tremendous accomplishment. I was 26th in my age group (35-39) out of 160 women, 153rd female out of 1,085, and 626th out of 2,418 runners.

Ready to Race (hanging out by Lake Champlain)
Most awesome training partner! Love ya Bridget!

I did not achieve my goal of qualifying for Boston (at least not yet that is).  For me it was not meant to be at this race. For me this race was a learning experience which we must all go through in order to achieve success. I am proud of myself because even though I did not reach my ultimate goal I know that I left everything out on the pavement on Sunday.

I made it! (3:45.28)

My training this fall, winter, and spring was incredible. I trained my a$$ off! I was focused, I was driven, I stayed positive and overall I learned a lot about myself.  Training for this race gave me confidence and inner-strength to be able to reach for my dreams. We all need goals and to reach for the stars.

On race day I wanted to go for it and did not feel stressed about the actual race but found myself lacking focus that morning and consumed by outside thoughts. I need to remember to run my own race

Fast chicks in skirts. Thanks @skirtsports

. Rather than sticking to a solid race plan of going out with a nice even pace of 8:10-8:20 and then working towards negative splits during the second half of the race I went out way too. I allowed the energy of the other runners, the crowds and the easy feeling of my gait to sweep me down the race course at a pace that would not be easy to maintain during the crucial last 6.2 miles. I made the rookie mistake of “fly and die.” I knew I went out too fast but for some reason could not slow myself down. I did not allow my friend Bridget who was pacing me to do her job of reminding me not to go too fast at the beginning.

My body was challenged on race day also due to nutrition and hydration issues.  I took in plenty of GU along the course, along with bananas, watermelon, oranges, and water ices however I did not eat the “real food” that I needed and I did not eat early enough. My metabolism races so fast that I could have used an entire peanut butter and jelly sandwich at around  mile 5 and then every 4 or 5 miles after that. Around mile 19-20 the race course weaves through neighborhoods that have excellent crowd support but also are in direct sunlight and by that time the temperatures had climbed somewhere into the 80’s with no breeze. I had been alternating between water and gatorade at each aid station however the loss of electrolytes was too great and by mile 21 I felt myself bonking. My legs were wobbly and I began to zig zag. Thankfully Bridget was by my side to keep me focused. At the next aid station I was made to drink about 6-7 cups of gatorade (next race I will drink gatorade/NUUN at each station). My legs were cramping and then we had to walk for a while. Seeing the pace group leaders come by I knew my goal was passing but I still wanted to finish. At this point I had to focus on the finish line and on Bridget. I needed to focus on her energy and the energy of the other runners on the course. I had to find my “om,” to keep my emotions calm and just listen. I listened. I listened to my breathing, to my foot strikes. I listened to Bridget’s voice. I listened and I believed what she was saying and somehow found the last ounces of strength in my muscles and made my legs go. Crossing the finish line was not pretty and the end of the race experience required an extended stay at the lovely Medical tent in order to get my fluids back in balance.

Listen (Photo credit @Oiselle)

Not the way I wanted to finish and not the final outcome that I had hoped for but I am PROUD. I have been able to stay positive and have done a lot of reflecting and revisiting the experience and know that in the end this race has made me a much stronger person and mentally tough runner. There will be other races and I am going to go after my dreams.

be Proud. (

What dreams are you chasing?

You’ve been chicked!

Next race on my schedule: “Sufferfest“run by The Littleton Bike Shop in Littleton NH and sponsored by Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs our family farm.  The race starts in Franconia,  NH and ends at the top of Cannon Mountain. The course is 6 miles with 3150 feet of climbing. Who wants to join in the fun????

Looks like fun, right? Are you up for the adventure?

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7 thoughts on “Be Proud

  1. Great job Sandra, and congrats on the PR! I raced Vermont last year and my story is similar, I had trained for and was gunning for a BQ. But heat and humidity had me suffering through mile 21-26. I was on pace for the BQ till 20 and then everything fell apart, I spent five minutes in a porto-potty at mile 24 and after I came out my legs wouldn’t move! I ended up with 4:11, and at first I was so disappointed with my time. But I finished on a day when a lot of people didn’t so I love that quote you have in the beginning! At first I said I didn’t like the VT marathon and I’d never run in again, but now I feel more strongly than ever that I want to go back and vindicate myself! Great job and great race recap!

    1. Thanks Sarah! The neighborhoods are what kills you at that race especially when it’s hot. It’s so hard to watch the time slipping away and to feel so crappy that all you want to do is to crawl to the finish line. The leg cramping that I had was unbelievable. I had to push hard to actually get my legs to move fast for the last 2 miles. We will get our BQ’s! It will happen!!! Definitely sign up for the rematch!

  2. Sandra, I am proud of you. You finished what you trained for and realized the mistakes that were made on race day and you can only move forward and get better from here. Keep you dreams fresh and you’ll reach your BQ time. Congrats on the marathon!

    1. Thank you so much! I feel good despite not getting the BQ. I have been working hard to be positive, to learn from my experiences and continue to challenge myself. Thank you for reading my blog and for encouraging me. We all need it! : )

  3. A 10 minute pr is awesome, congrats to you!! I’m hoping for a BQ in my next marathon too, but I’m not sure when that will be… hoping to add to our family first. 🙂 I did the same thing in my (only) marathon- got caught up in the excitement, and went out too fast and had very little left in those final 4-5 miles.. It makes for a tough race! But you definitely have that BQ in you. Love your take on this, be proud is right!

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment Laura! I am definitely psyched with my time. I am actually going to try another marathon soon with a better race plan-even splits first half and then work towards negative splits during the second half. It is hard not to get caught up in all of the excitement especially when you feel great! I had run 4 marathons pre-kids so this was my first marathon in about five years. I have to admit I do feel stronger for whatever reason post babies. Good luck with all of your dreams and please check often. I would love to hear how everything is going with family expansion and BQ training 🙂

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