A bad day running is still better than a good day working, so I guess I shouldn't complain about this race too much. I got to run for a few hours... or more :)... and see the great city I've lived by for the past three years. The Hartford Marathon has been on my Connecticut bucket list for a few years and I needed to cross it off my list before I leave. After VT100, I didn't do much... I ate a lot, I slept in, I went to crossfit occasionally, and I sometimes went for 15 mile runs on the weekends. I wasn't training, I was recovering. A few weeks before the marathon I decided I should probably run a long run on the roads to get ready. I ran 17 miles and felt good- hopefully that would get me through the marathon, I mean I just ran a 100 miles a few months ago.. I can do a silly road marathon, RIGHT?? HA! Boy was I wrong!!! The day of the race I felt okay, not confident, but okay. Thomas dropped me off and I slowly made my way to the starting line. I had my showtunes music ready on my ipod, waterbottle full, gu's ready. The starting line vibe was great- tens of thousands of runners all there for the same goal- to push themselves all the way to the finish line. I wasn't so much nervous as I was anxious. I wasn't sure how I would feel since I hadn't run a ton in the past couple months. We started and after a couple miles I ran into one of the Bimblers- Jay, aka Forest. Crazy running next to him out of thousands of runners! Then we realized he had the same flight to New Mexico as Thomas that afternoon- small world!!! We ran together for a couple miles until he kept speeding up and I knew I needed to slow down. (He ended up with a great time!) I felt pretty good up to mile 10- always looking at my watch to make sure I was going slow enough that I would be able to keep the pace for 26 miles. Then I hit mile 10 and it all went downhill (not the roads, just me). I felt tired. Heavy. Exhausted. Bored. Drained. Sad. Disappointed. Angry. I knew it was going to be a long day at that point. I realized I wasn't properly trained, and just because I had run 100 miles that summer, did NOT mean I could do a road marathon without proper training. After VT100 I felt invincible. I had accomplished this amazing goal that I never thought I could achieve. I felt like I could do anything. So I thought I could do very little and still be at the same level I was when training. And I was wrong. This was a huge lesson for me to learn. I realized that I worked my ass off in the spring and it paid off at VT100... then when I got lazy after the race, I couldn't do the same things I could before. Hard work does pay off... and laziness does not! So I kept running... I watched my pace get slower, and slower, and slower. BUT I kept moving forward. Eventually I had to walk. But kept moving forward. Once I accepted my off and on walking and not being able to break 4 hours I knew I just had to keep moving and I would eventually reach the finish line. A slow finish is still better than a DNF in my book. So now I know what I need to do... I need to get out and train. I need to sign up for some new races and get back in the gym and on the trail. I love the trails, they are my peaceful place and I love having a goal to keep striving for. So now the question is... what will the next race be????