En route to Isle La Motte, Vermont
Today was an awesome day and I was looking forward to it for a while now! Three years ago about 6 weeks after my first marathon I ran the Clarence DeMar 5K race in South Hero, Vermont with Scott. We had the most amazing day! I had a great race and it has been my fastest 5K so far! We even got to ride our road bikes with my first running coach Jack after the race which meant a lot to me. I have missed running this race and then doing a bike ride the last two years due to my chronic shin issues. I could only focus on my half and full marathons in 2012 and 2013. But this year I have enjoyed SO MUCH being able to participate in some of the shorter distances put on by the local running clubs. I love these races so much! And this year’s Clarence DeMar 5K was another happy memory for both of us!
The Clarence DeMar 5K is put on by our local running club the Green Mountain Athletic Association (GMAA). I am so proud to be a member of this super group of athletes! And I was so happy to finally run one of their local races today. Jessica, Liz and Sarah P do a really great job with this race. Thank you ladies for everything you do! And for those of you who don’t know, Clarence DeMar is a famous seven time Boston Marathon Winner who once lived in South Hero! I highly recommend putting this race on your calendar for next year. It’s a friendly local race that is so professionally organized! Well done everyone! And many thanks to the volunteers! I must also say that the course is super fast!!! If you are looking for a personal best, this is a good one!
The weather was really fantastic today for a running race. It was a bit overcast and cool! Yes it was a bit windy and we had a good head wind on the way back. But it actually felt refreshing after running in some very hot and humid temps earlier in the week. I knew my running has improved after last weekend’s spring triathlon, but I didn’t feel I could beat my time at this course from 3 years ago where I ran a 19:42. But I was hoping to break 20 minutes today. It was close! My official time was 19:59.8! Well, that is my fastest 5K so far this year with the new triathlon training, so I am fine with my results. The positives are: I was the second woman overall and each mile got a little bit faster. It was a good effort today!
Mile one started off feeling sluggish and I almost felt right off it wasn’t going to be a good race even in the nice cool temperatures! My plan was to start conservatively at a 6:30 minute per mile pace since I ran too fast in the beginning of my first two 5Ks this year. That worked well and after about a half mile I started to feel better. Anne was someone I was hoping to stick with as she’s a fast runner. She went out a bit faster than myself but I was able to keep her in safe distance for the first mile. I wasn’t concerned about placing. My time was more important and not blowing up! But I figured I could try and keep her in sight to help me run fast enough. Right before the small incline and the turnaround I caught up to Anne and told her to stay with me. I honestly didn’t want to leave her behind as I would be out there alone without any other women to chase or pace! The overall female winner was a young woman of 17 years old who was ahead of me by 30 seconds and I didn’t even notice her on the turnaround. So on the way back I had to rely on myself to push hard!
Mile two was a bit faster which was good news at a 6:26 pace. I was working hard but the turnaround always slows me down some. Mile three was a bit fast at a 6:23 pace and this felt so hard for me. Three years ago I ran a 6:15 for this mile and it was hot! But I was still pleased that I didn’t fall apart on my last mile and kept it strong to the end. I was happy to finish as my heart rate was very high. While I was happy to be in the top three women, I would have preferred more competition to push me hard even if it meant not placing. I’m all about the time and breaking my own personal records. That didn’t happen today but it was still a good day out there!
Scott had a great race today and achieved a personal record in the 5K distance! Congrats to Scott! He ran a 20:51 today which is 2 minutes and ten seconds faster than his time back in 2011! At the turnaround I was actually surprised to see him so close. I was excited for him! And after I crossed the finish line, it seemed like he wasn’t far behind me at all. Wow, you are getting fast Scott!
The best part of the morning was winning a big watermelon! How awesome is that! I love local races! And I even have a silly “Joyce” story about my watermelon. Liz thought it would be funny if I held it over my head at the finish line while Scott took a photo. She was going to put that on the GMAA website. It was a great idea! But of course the watermelon slipped out my hands and dropped to the ground cracking it open a bit. How embarrassing is that! Luckily we were able to salvage it and I am now stuffed with watermelon tonight! This is the perfect example of why I do not play any sports that involve balls or large round objects!!
After the race and a bit of socializing with our running friends we got into our cycling clothes. We made our way up north on Rt 2 through the Lake Champlain Islands. It was a great bike ride today even with a lot of holiday traffic and crazy cross winds coming at us from the West. We ended up riding 55.7 miles. We have never been on the Isle La Motte, so after about 19 miles we headed west on Rt 129 towards Isle La Motte. It was so beautiful out there! The whole ride was gorgeous as we spent a lot of time riding along the water! There were many times I got out of my aero bars just so I could look around at the beautiful lake views. The islands are truly a unique place in Vermont!
Thanks again to the GMAA for another great race! Hope to see everyone soon!