This is a recap of my personal experience. If you’re more interested in just the nitty gritty details of the race, check out my BibRave review here. Don’t forget to review all your races at BibRave.com!
What: Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge 5k
Where: Montpelier, Vermont
When: Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 6pm
Conditions: Sunny, 61* F, light breezes
I received free registration for this race through work, and my office ended up having 10 participants. We left the office at 4:30 to allow for plenty of time to get to Montpelier (a 30-40 minute drive), park, and pick up bibs before the 6 pm start. On the way down I scarfed a Clif bar, because I ate lunch at noon and knew I’d need a little boost. I tried to stay really hydrated all day, and I think I succeeded.
Like last year, traffic, parking, and porta-potties were a cluster. It took 20 minutes to get off the highway and into Montpelier, and parking was scarce. Thankfully, the guy I was carpooling with had a friend who lived in Montpelier about 1/4 mile from the start line, so we parked there and walked to the registration area. Bib pickup was super easy and well-organized, but there simply were not enough potties again this year. I waited in line for 15 minutes and had to exit the potty and go straight to the starting line. I met some really nice ladies who were in line in front of me, and since they were walking and the walkers started after the runners, they let me cut in line. Thank you, ladies!
I had hoped to meet up with Kari from Green Mountain Life, but spent the entirety of my pre-race time in the potty line, so I just lined up with the runners. I went to take a selfie (like you do), and felt a tap on my shoulder–low and behold, Kari and her coworkers had lined up right behind me and my coworkers! She recognized my shirt and awesome new shoes 🙂 I gave her a big hug and we chatted for a few minutes. It was so cool to meet one of my blog friends In Real Life. I’m hoping we can hang out at the Craft Brew Race on May 30th too 🙂
Like last year, crowding was an issue. It took a solid minute to actually be able to start running, and then I spent most of the first mile darting and weaving around and through people. I wasn’t keeping a consistent speed at all–sometimes when I looked at my Garmin I was running in the 8’s, other times I looked and I was running in the 12’s. I think the speeding up and slowing down is what eventually contributed to the ABSOLUTE WORST AND MOST PAINFUL SIDE STITCH I’VE EVER EXPERIENCED IN MY WHOLE LIFE. I used to get them a lot when I was starting out as a runner, but they were never this bad. It felt like someone was stabbing me in the chest.
I tried to breathe through it and massage it out, but nothing worked. I stopped to walk for a while during mile two, breathing deeply and massaging my ribs and FUMING. Up to that point, I was running pretty well and was definitely on track for a sub-30 finish. The stitch hung around for a while, but eventually I just gritted my teeth and started running again, albeit at a much slower pace. I was determined to finish running.
I pretty much trudged the last mile or so, and right at the three mile mark, one of my coworkers came up from behind me and passed me, and I was like, “Uh-uh, no way, she is not beating me.” The finish line was down a small hill, then around a corner and down a flat to cross the mat, and for probably the first time ever, I sprinted to the finish, beating my coworker.
As soon as I stopped running, I felt the urge to throw up, but thankfully I didn’t. I just kept breathing and walking and grabbed a bottle of water. I wandered around for a while, losing my coworker and not really sure what to do. There were thousands of people milling around on the State House lawn. I got two bagel halves (one everything and one cheddar dill) and a cup of apple cider. I ran into my friend Lisa, who lives in Montpelier, and we chatted for a while, then I found my group of runners.
When we saw our walking team coming down the hill, we went over to the finish line and cheered them in. We had some trouble finding a place to eat because Montpelier was packed, so we decided to head to Waterbury. Apparently, everyone else did too, so Waterbury was packed. We ended up at a little out-of-the-way BBQ place called the Cider House (formerly the Road House, formerly-formerly The Cage strip club), and it was surprisingly awesome. An authentic southern menu and delicious local beers and ciders on tap. Fried pickles and mac and cheese never tasted so good.
According to my Garmin (which I started when I crossed the starting line), I ran 3.15 miles in 31:02. According to the official results, I ran 3.1 miles in 31:40. I’m not sure how that worked out, considering that we were chip timed, but either way, it’s fine.
My goals for this race were:
- A Goal: Under 30 minutes–nope
- B Goal: No walk breaks–nope
- C Goal: Course PR (Under 36:04)–check!
Unfortunately I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, but I’m not too mad about it. I think I got carried away trying to dodge people instead of just having fun, and that contributed to my side stitch and eventual breakdown. I should have just listened to my own advice about not trying to run a competitive race because of the crowds. Maybe if I’d started a little closer to the front it would have been better, but oh well. No use over-analyzing and being upset. It was a gorgeous evening for a run, I got to spend time with my awesome coworkers, and ate some delicious food.
What’s the best post-race treat/meal you’ve ever had?