I hadn't been to Vermont in a very long time, since probably my youth. Back then I most likely didn't really care about seeing the sights of the countryside. Now, however, was a great opportunity to take my wife to part of the country that she has not visited very much and to see sites and most importantly relax a little bit.... And run another marathon!
Two weeks prior we had drove up to Rhode Island to complete that marathon. The long drive was terrible and tiring so on the road back we decided to see about flight arrangements. Initially looking at all the flights from Norfolk to Burlington Vermont they all were close to $650 each. However I thought about flying into Boston and with tickets only a little over $200 each we jumped at the opportunity to take a flight instead of doing a 9+ hour drive one way.
We figured it be kind of fun to flying to Boston spend the afternoon and evening seeing some the sites. It was an uneventful flight and we got in around 3:30 in the afternoon. We took the opportunity to check into our boutique hotel in the south end of Boston and then walk around the neighborhood to check it out and have dinner.
It was a great relaxing evening to begin our weekend, which was the Memorial Day weekend an extra day to enjoy.
We slept in just a little bit recovering from the flight and just general fatigue overall. It seems like both my wife and myself have been hustling ridiculously over the last several weeks, maybe even months. Recovery has seemed impossible.
A good night sleep was much deserved and needed.
Excitedly once we woke up we took off for a short run in Boston. We kind of pretended like we were running the Boston Marathon, kind of! Just a few blocks away was Boston Common's, a beautiful park that gave us an opportunity to leisurely cruise through all the beautiful landscape and statues throughout. My wife got frustrated with me because I decided that we were going to do a selfie in front of every statue in the park. Frustrated because I made her stop too many times. There must've been 40 or 50 statues!
However it was fun and fantastic! A short 3 mile run to keep warm for the following day's race.
As we edge the outside perimeter of the park I noticed across the street unfamiliar icon. It was the Cheers bar! Immediately I recognized that I made a huge mistake in having a fancy dinner last night, we should have visited this TV icon restaurant. Maybe when we return to Boston!
We packed up after our run and photographic journey and headed out to Vermont. It was going to be approximately 3 1/2 hours. I had several places to stop at that I wanted to see just for fun.
The first was East Corinth the small little village where Beetlejuice was found. Sadly the town was much less than the movie.A bust!
Second, we visited a place where one of the new Star Trek movies was filmed where Capt. Kirk as a young boy stole the classic car and drove it off a cliff. It was an area called Rock of Ages, a granite quarry. The quarry had been closed down and there was a museum to all of the work that was performed there. However it was gonna cost us six bucks each to climb up to the top of the hill and look down into a wet hole. I decided that wasn't worth it. Another bust!
Man I was striking out on this vacation!
Third was to visit a small town where the headquarters and factory for Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream! This was gonna be awesome! However when we got there there were probably 50 or 60 people in line to get ice cream. I really don't need ice cream as a diabetic! We walked around the store bought a pint of something sweet and gooey couple of knickknacks and then toured the ice cream graveyard. Not really a bus but not all that we expected.
Again I hate waiting in long lines!
We made it over to the city of Burlington finally and was able to pick up my race bib and all the information. The evening was a traditional pre-race event of carbing up, and yes I found someplace with delicious macaroni and cheese! I know, I know, not really a great idea. But one of my favorite cravings!
The next morning was the beginning of a beautiful day, or so I thought. Race time started at 7 o'clock and my wife dropped me off about an hour beforehand so she could go ahead and visit church in the community. Often times this is our agenda when she is not running.
The park that was the home of the starting line and finish line was nestled right along the water's edge. A beautiful sight. 10 minutes before start time a big dark luminous cloud begin to roll in over the water. First time ever for me anyway the race officials called out that everyone was to evacuate the park and take shelter in the nearby parking garages. I found shelter inside one of the local hotels, in their lobby space. We waited out the storm for about an hour.
Once the storm blew over the race officials called for the official start and guess what!? It was muggy!
I started off actually pretty strong. Everything felt good. My goal was really slow down my pace not push. That is always my goal! I never seem to follow my own game plan!
I ended up keeping pace first 10 miles with the five-hour group and again I felt really good. And then... My breathing became troubles. This is been happening to me more often. I'm not sure what it is, it concerns me that the peritonitis might've returned. But I am having no other symptoms. I'm also wondering if the insulin that they switched me to back in late 2017 has continued to have its effects on me. Or is it because the insulin is maybe gain weight and the weight has been causing me problems.
Whatever it is I don't appreciate it!
I knew I was gonna be struggling so therefore slow down my pace dramatically and did more the walk run scenario. Honestly was more walk than it was run. I knew I just needed to finish. And I didn't believe there was any kind of a harsh deadline.
It was about mile 20 I was walking along in a pretty brisk pace and saw a police officer behind me chatting with another runner that was also walking. I couldn't hear what you're talking about but I did hear the words "six hours".
What!? Six hours?! I thought the deadline was seven hours.
I was approximately an hour and a half away from that six hour mark with 6 miles to go.
Correction 6.2, freaking point 2!
I was really struggling and I felt like there was no hope. Here I was, traveled all the way to Vermont to run my 19th state and I wasn't going to be able to finish! Was I going to get a NF? I had no idea but I decided to pick up my pace much more briskly and a bit more of a shuffle run to see if I could push a little more. I began passing a lot of the walkers who were struggling with the heat and humidity. I just continued to chug along the best I could. Keeping an eye out on my watch and the timetable as best as possible. It was gonna be extremely close.
I think it was somewhere along mile 18 that the 5 1/2 hour pace group passed me. Now as I approached mile 25 I passed them. But they no longer carried their pace signs and they were walking as well. There was no way that they were gonna finish in 5 1/2 hours much less six!
Everybody was struggling more than they most likely imagined.
The six hour timeline came and went but I persevered further and finished in 06:08:44. I made it!
Not pretty, definitely struggled, but marathon number 43 is now completed.
With the Hatfield and McCoy Marathon at the Kentucky/West Virginia border just two weeks away I am not sure how well I will do their either. But I'm committed to trying.
Thanks for all your support and prayers.
Run Eugene Run