Eight things to know ahead of my eighth marathon: The Vermont City Marathon

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I plan to represent both BibRave and Maryland at the Vermont City Marathon! I haven’t decided whether I’m going to wear a tank or tee yet, but this is a general idea of the outfit I’m planning. I received the shorts in the mail today. Foxy (the cat) will not be running the race with me. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Vermont City Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

After many weeks of prep, I’m down to a single-digit countdown until I take on the People’s United Bank Vermont City Marathon on May 27.

The 30th annual event will be my eighth marathon — in my sixth marathon state. I cannot wait!

Here are eight things to know about my training and the race:

  1. Here’s my plan. Based on where I think my training is, I am going to go out with a reasonable goal this time, rather than put myself by a pacer that is a little bit of a stretch like I did at the Richmond Marathon in November and the Louisiana Marathon in January 2017. 
    My plan is to run with the 4:45 pace group until we get up the hill around Mile 16, as long as I can keep up the pace. Then, depending on how I feel — as long as I’m still with the group — I’ll decide whether to stick with them or try to speed up.

    My time at Richmond was 4:47:52, so I think 4:45 or a little faster is a reasonable goal to shoot for at this race. My PR of 4:17:45 remains from my first marathon in 2013, but I’m trying to gradually decrease my speed to get back to that point. If I beat my Richmond time, it would be my third-fastest marathon.

  2. My Yasso 800s predicted time is 4:33. I worked my way up to 10 Yasso 800s during this training cycle, and I am excited to see how close I end up to the prediction. With this workout, running 10 Yasso 800s in an average of four minutes and 33 seconds should equate to approximately a 4 hour and 33 minute marathon time. I will, of course, report back!

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    These were my times for 10 Yasso 800s, run on May 7. (Vanessa Junkin photo)
  3. Meb Keflezighi and Bart Yasso will be in Burlington for race weekend. Meb Keflezighi, an Olympic medalist and the 2014 Boston Marathon winner, among other accolades, will be at the race — and running on one of the relay teams. Jess Cover of RunVermont said in the race’s latest Facebook Live that his schedule will be released Sunday morning. I have a long drive up to the race, and plan to listen to one of Keflezighi’s books, “Run to Overcome: The Inspiring Story of an American Champion’s Long-Distance Quest to Achieve a Big Dream,” on the way. I have met Bart Yasso, who recently retired from his job as Runner’s World’s Chief Running Officer, before, and he is awesome! (If you want to read my blog post that discusses meeting him at the Shamrock Marathon, go here.) 
  4. I’ll be joining the pacers and Bart Yasso for a shakeout run. I don’t usually do a shakeout run, but this sounded like a fun opportunity, so I’ll just plan to go slow and not push it. There have been a couple other group runs with the pacers, but living in Maryland, I couldn’t attend. This one is the day before the race, so I will be in town. The 3.4-mile run starts from Battery Park at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 26, and I saw that Yasso will be there as well.
  5. The race’s Charity of Choice is Never Give Up Ever. Race proceeds benefit RunVermont’s youth running programs, according to the website, (which I think is awesome — I love when kids are introduced to running!), but the event also selects a Charity of Choice. Here’s what a RunVermont news release says about this nonprofit: “Team Never Give Up Ever is a group of runners who share a common goal: to help families with children suffering from chronic and life threatening illnesses.” Learn more about the Charity of Choice program here.
  6. There will be UnTapped, candy and ice pops on course. Did you know that I love food? If you’re a longtime (or maybe even a short-time) reader of this blog, you know. I’ve been training with UnTapped — I ordered some once I found out it would be on course, because it sounded interesting, and I really like it. Usually, I bring my own fuel, so it will be different to use what’s on course. This Runner Essentials link has a bunch of important information, including the fact that there will be candy and ice pops on the course. Awesome!
  7. After the race, there will be Ben & Jerry’s and local beer. In my opinion, ice cream and beer are two of the best things you can have after a run — and I’m pumped that these are local to Vermont, as well! A poll was sent out to vote for the Ben & Jerry’s flavor you’d like to see at the finish line, and these were the winners: Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz, Berry Berry Extraordinary Sorbet, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Chocolate Fudge Brownie (this was announced in a previous Facebook Live). I’m sure they are all awesome and I’ve had multiple, but I voted for the Chocolate Fudge Brownie. The Vermont breweries, according to a prior Facebook post, are Zero Gravity Craft Brewery, Queen City Brewery and 14th Star Brewing Company.
  8. I’ve enjoyed being part of the New2-26.2 Group. With my entry through BibRave, I was added to the New2-26.2 group on Facebook and have also been receiving training plan information, which I think is really cool, even though I’ve been doing my own thing. And advice is always helpful! Here’s a link to the New2-26.2 page on the race website.

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Here’s the above outfit — minus the cat. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

There’s plenty more I could talk about, and I’m sure I will have a lot to say after the race. There are free race photos, so I should have some nice photos as well. Well, at least the quality of the photos should be good — I can’t confirm how I will look in them.

Here’s the basic race and expo information:

Race: Sunday, May 27, at 7 a.m., at Battery Park.  There are a marathon and relay — the relay is sold out. Online registration for the marathon is open through Monday, May 21, at 8 a.m. — use code “BibRave10” to save $10. There’s also a Mini Marathon for kids on Saturday, May 26.

Expo: Friday-Saturday, May 25-26, at The DoubleTree Hotel Burlington & Conference Center. Hours are 1-8 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday. Learn more about the expo here.

I am looking forward to this experience! Stay tuned to my social media and check back here after the race for my recap (it may be a few days). I am also looking forward to getting dinner with fellow BibRave Pro Jessica and hopefully meeting any other BibRave Pros there as well.

Check out the BibRave reviews for this race here

Follow the Vermont City Marathon on Facebook and RunVermont on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Like She Runs by the Seashore on Facebook here

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