Posted by: Rachael | September 30, 2010

19.3 by noon on Sunday!

Ok, I have seriously been working on this post for way too long! What can I say, sometimes life gets in the way! But, better late than never, right?

September 11-12th was a weekend of firsts for me! Not only did I run my first half-marathon [and in the time I wanted] but then I got up the next morning and ran another 10k! Yes, my legs felt like a couple of jello jigglers right after, but I was floating on cloud nine! It was definitely an exhausting weekend, but luckily I had some great friends to run with and we all helped each other through! Here’s how my weekend at the Maple Leaf Half Marathon and Dunkin’ Run 2010 went:

On Friday night, I headed out to Vermont (about an hour and a half drive) for the Manchester Maple Leaf Half Marathon with my running buddies and good friends Rach and Troy!

That’s them!! These two newlyweds convinced me to sign up for this half marathon because they’d both done it before and fell in love with charming Manchester and the course. I agreed to do it with them, but was worried because I’d already registered for the 10K the following day. Lucky for me, both Rach and Troy agreed to do the 10K with me! We knew it would be hard, but we were up for the challenge! After all, people run marathons all the time….and this would only be a total of 19.3 miles over 2 days…piece of cake, right?! Haha, I wish.

When we arrived in Manchester, we checked into our insanely cute bed and breakfast, The Carraige House Motel.

Such a cute little place….and Manchester is just full of hundreds of these little inns and B&Bs. That night, Troy’s mom and sister Lorien arrived. Lorien was also running the race with us, and the two of them came prepared with all sorts of delicious snacks for us to enjoy. I resisted breaking into the soft baked macadamia chunk cookies – I know carbo-loading the night before a race works for some people, but not me! I always feel like I’m running around with a dead weight in my stomach if I eat too many carbs the night before. I know, weird right?!

The next day when we woke up to get running, it was a very chilly 40 degrees. I was not prepared for the sudden drop in temp. What – where did summer go?! I decided it was time to break out the running capris and long sleeves, knowing full well it was going to warm up and be a gorgeous day later on. What can I say, I have a serious aversion to running in the cold (yes, 40 degrees is cold in my book!) so I’d rather be overheated than freezing anytime. Here’s our gang at the starting line before the race:

We all look so happy and ready to go!! Troy and Lorien are definitely faster than me and Rach, so we knew we’d all split up as we ran. Rach and I set a personal goal of 2:10 for the half. Since this was my first half – and I’d only hit 10 miles in my longest long run during training – I had no idea if I’d be able to run the whole time, let alone hit that time. It’s all about the power of positive thinking though, so I set off determined to meet my mark! Sure enough, it turned out to be a beautiful day!

The course took us all around Manchester – winding through the cute town streets, luscious green horse farms, and hilly green bluffs. The first 5-6 miles definitely had some pretty noticeable elevation changes, but it wasn’t until mile 7 that the real hills began. I was feeling really good until we had to climb straight up a huge dirt road that may or may not have been part of a ski resort. Rach and I got separated during the uphill climb – she’s more the type to slow down on hills where as I have to just put my head down and charge through to get it over with ASAP! The climb this time felt never-ending, and it wasn’t until mile 9 that I hit the peak and was assured by all the race volunteers that it was downhill from there. At the top, I guzzled down this Clif Shot I had been carrying with me to refuel!

I was actually suprised at how good this mocha flavor was! I’ve never eaten goos before during race training – I’ve never been one to need much nourishment while running – and Rach warned me that these can be quite hard to choke down. Still, I knew I should try to get some carbs in after the big climb. I ate this whole thing, followed by a big cup of water to help get it down. It definitely was thick, but I thought the flavor was delicious! I will definitely buy these again, especially for runs over 10 miles – so convenient and a great option for a quick burst of energy!

After that, it was smooth sailing! I actually picked up speed in the last 4 miles, with my last mile sub-8 minutes!! I think it must have been a combination of the chocolatey goo, the gorgeous weather, the butterflies I felt because it was my first race, and the fact that I always have to sprint to the finish! I managed to cross the line in 2:09, a full minute ahead of my goal! Yay!!! And ya know what, it wasn’t so bad! I see many more of these 13.1s in my future! Here we are after the big finish – slightly dirtier and smelly, but still happy! Maybe it was the fact that the Muscle Milk truck was there giving out full size samples to the finishers. Yeah, that might have been it =)

Also snacked on this baby to replenish some carbs – it was everything I dreamed it would be and more! I bought these a while ago at Whole Foods and finally cracked open the new carrot cake flavor. Yummy!!! I think it’s my new favorite!

After the race, we headed back towards Albany – but not before we made a pit stop for some beers and lunch in Bennington, VT! We stopped at Madison Brewery Company and all tried their honey wheat ale, which was phenomenal. I also had a delicious eggplant and brie salad – it was all piled up on top of a roasted red pepper dressing with plenty of greens – love, love love! So tasty and unique. Not gonna lie, the beer was probably the thing my body was craving the most

This cute little puppy watched us as we walked back to our car! Hi there!

Once we were home, I literally spent the rest of the day on my couch watching TV and being a huge bum. But it was totally justifiable. Why? Because I knew Rach and Troy were coming over bright and early on Sunday for the Dunkin Donuts 10K. Needless to say, I went to bed super early and was NOT happy when my alarm went off at 7am. Still, I forced myself to get up and run the race. We finished in just over an hour – not my best time by far – but we finished! There was no sprinting to the end this time. But there were plenty of Dunkin goodies like munchkins and bagels waiting for us at the finish. Plus, I got this great wicking shirt for free so I can sport my love of coffee all over town when I run!

Whew! Thank goodness that’s over. 19.3 miles down, and my legs were definitely not happy. But my heart was! It felt great to accomplish everything I set out to do that weekend! While I’m almost 100% positive I’ll NEVER sign up for 2 races in 2 days again – at least I know I can push myself to go the distance! We truly are capable of amazing things! Who knows, maybe by this time next year, I’ll be training for my first 26.2! Hey – it’s only 7 more miles, right?! 🙂


  1. Great job on the races!!

    • Thanks so much! =)

  2. Along with autumn leaves and in village greens and DunKin doughnuts is also part of Vermont. It looks as if you had a great time.

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