Leslie Brace Witham from North Waterboro, Maine (Female)
Occupation: Systems Engineer
Age on race day: 33 2012 KeyBank Vermont City Marathon - Burlington, Vermont
This was my 2nd marathon and I finished in 3:50:39.
I decided to run a marathon because I absolutely love to run, especially long distance and hills. I had heard excellent things about this marathon and love New England as well, being from Maine. My first was Manchester, NH, so I figured it would be a great change to do Vermont. I wanted to also run solo, as I had trained and ran my first marathon with a running buddy. I wanted to mentally know I was capable.
I used Hal Hidgon's Intermediate Marathon training as a guide for weekly mileage, but I did personally modify it to meet that of my schedule. I followed through and trained in sleet/snow/wind/rain... regardless I got out!. During my training I averaged 40 miles per week. For people thinking about running a marathon I would tell them to listen to your body; know that most of distance running is all mental. Hydrate, replace running shoes every 250-300 miles, and if you find yourself making excuses to not run, then your heart isn't really in it. Make it work.
Crowd support is AMAZING! You cross the start area three times so the crowd is always there cheering you on. Great organizers, great event... wonderfully planned and executed. Loved the course (a couple "boring" areas, but when you're surrounded by tons of other runners, it goes by quickly). Wish I had paced myself better; they had pacers and I should have stuck with training program to just run.... but other than that, I wanted a sub 4 hour and surpassed my goal!
I had trained well for this and muscle wise I was fantastic post race. Only issue I encountered was a little heat exhaustion... I pushed myself harder at the end than normal... last 4 miles were tough. Needed medical tent briefly, but once I rehydrated, I was excellent.
Running Gear Recommendations:
RunKeeper App for the iPhone RunKeeper APP for my iPhone - allows me to track all my runs (I do not run without my iPhone in hand!), train, listen to music, trackable via GPS in event of emergency, etc). Beats all other Running Apps. This is the best product around! Search »
Saucony Pro-Grid Hurricane Great shoes for for stability (pronation). Search »
Tips/Words of Encouragement:
To someone thinking about running a marathon I would say create a plan and stick to it. Otherwise, you only let yourself down. Just Run. Mentally, running long distance can be tough, psych yourself out. IF you train, you will be ready.
Plans to Run Another:
I have completed 3 half marathons since this full and plan to primarily stick with halfs and 10ks... but am anxious to do Mount Desert Island Marathon in Bar Harbor Maine in 2013 or 2014. I love to run. Whether registered for a road race or not, I am out there running, averaging 20-50 miles a week, depending. I am grateful I can. For my next marathon, I'll start off slower, as I did with my training runs. In my mind, I felt I could Boston Qualify. Started out around a 7:30 pace and by the end, I was in the 9's... when training, each 20 miler I finished strong and under 3 hours. Where I am happy with 3:50, if I could have paced myself better at the beginning, I think I could have BQ'ed at 3:30.