To say the least, it went well. I am very happy with my results in the VCMarathon and higher hopes of what's down the road/trails/mountains.
Najem and my lovely made the trip up north with me to Burlington. I wasn't really nervous as much as I was knowledgable about the realities of a marathon where: I'm undertrained, over hyped, cussing awesome, and un-humbleable... And knew that a DNF wasn't in the cards but a death march easily could be is I didn't run smart.
The plan was set a long time ago: easy does it early on, then vision quest to bring it home. In order for me to do well place wise, things need to happen, and just to my fortunes it did; the weather was a cluster cuss of cuss.
Now, I don't believe in luck, so everything that happened did so by the Old Gods reflecting on their equal, the Last Hero and Only Hope, me. Now some people may think it a burden, but in true super hero fashion, I'm up for it.
The weather was a mix of snow, rain, cuss, sideways rain, wind, cussing cuss, and more cussing rain. Not to mention it stayed a solid forty-cussing-2 degrees. In the back of my head I was loving it, happy that it might be too cold an slow the race down and cold enough for people to save their training and call it quits (both scenarios would better my finishing place, as I would run the same time regardless).
Race morning: I woke up at 5:37 (hoping I could hit this split possibly) and hustled to Dunkin Donuts for an egg and cheese sandwich on a bagel to accompany my redbull. Najem joined me where we quickly discovered upon our return that we were cussing locked out! Cuss... I found this more entertaining than worrisome. The race director (Lyman Clark, who's the man!) also enjoyed it as he was my ride to the start. I let him know that I'll get there on my own. Haha.
Upon getting to the elite's building before the transport to the start I found a room that was very quiet but very filled with "elites." Matty P. immediately announced that the Last Hero and Only Hope was there (I was glad that I didn't have to introduce myself) and we started shooting the cuss. Matty P. is a lot like me in the fact that he is also unphaseable (so please don't try to phase this, and back to the lecture at hand...) and he enjoyed that fact that I'm a super hero and enjoyed my cult following.
When the time came we piled into the van and headed to the start. No warm up for me, as I wanted to save anything and everything I got for the race, which was a solid decision. The wether continued to cuss my cuss but I enjoyed hearing some of the elites talk how much they hate this type of weather. I was moving up the finishing order and the race hadn't even started yet! I do understand that you put the time in and I'm not going to call them cussies or anything else and understand that by them dropping out they were saving it for a better day. The more that drop out the better for my pockets and the more tags I'll be poppin'.
I did a couple slow strides before the gun, shed all my clothes at the last possible second and at the crack of the gun turned into RoboCop, totally focused on my task at hand: smart running.
I missed my mile split but I ran the same effort all the way to 23 miles. A dude immediately drafted right behind me and stayed there the first 5 miles before I started looking over my shoulder. He was cool and asked if I wanted him to share the work. I quickly told him cuss no! For this reason, I know what I want to run and what I'm going to run, I don't want anyone else to dictate my race. I want to be in total control. I did tell him he could draft as long as he wanted as I didn't care. We instantly became friends and discussed doing karate. This dude was from Nevada looking to run the same pace as me (5:45-5:50) and we shot the cuss a bit. He drafted as long as he could (11 miles) before I parted ways.
The first 10 miles were perfect as far as how I felt. I was comfortable and I was hitting my splits that I needed to. 57:32 at ten and noticing that I was going to catch a ton of dudes. I was 17th at 10 miles and by 15 miles I moved up into 8th. Everyone I caught looked frozen and lifeless and knew that there wasn't any coming back from the world they were now in.
From 10-15 you run sections along the pond they have in Burlington, and the cussin waves were crashing over onto the bike path, so I went from being mildly wet to soaked in a single splash. Cuss you Champy! As this happened I also caught 3 dudes and could tell their race and day was over. I then powered up the hill and felt like a boss of all bosses, as I mentally prepared for the neighborhood sections that seem like you are in the Twilight Zone.
Weaving through the neighborhoods I started to get glimpses of people ahead of me, it was 4th-7th place. I then looked behind and saw no one and knew I would only be hunting and not hunted and this was a great feeling.
The group ahead of me was minutes, but it was quickly becoming seconds. I put a little more into a few miles as it was Wardian, a Colombian and an African (whom both I beat last year) in the 4th-6th spots. The 6th place guy was on a different planet when I went by him (like he was standing still) and I was locked in on the guys ahead of me. At one point I closed the gap to under 20 seconds around 21 miles.
That's as close as I would get. On a very steep downhill section I get a twinge in my calf an a few moments later a sharp pain, cuss, almost made it the full distance without any issues. This wasn't detrimental at all, even put a smile on my face, knowing I was going to finish, finish well and complete the race against some odds.
The last 4 miles were the remains of what I had, calf made it so I couldn't go any faster. Had I kept rolling I may have caught them, but that's too easy to say, and I didn't. They finished well, as did I and it was a great feeling and I felt great doing it: 2:32:18. It was very enjoyable (that's what she said, every time too).
I am a charismatic megafauna, finished 6th overall and 1st VT!
VCM Splits: 2013
3-5: 17:12 (28:44)
9-10: 11:31 (57:32)
20 miles 5:44 (1:54:32