Thursday, January 28, 2016

Race Recap: Richmond Marathon Nov. 2015

After not having the race I wanted at the Marine Corps Marathon (you can read that recap here), I decided at the last minute to register for the Richmond Marathon with my run bud Abbie.  She didn't have the race she wanted at New York either, so we were out for redemption.  I was nervous about two marathons back to back (3 week apart with basically just taper in between) and another runner friend of mine told me that she didn't think it was a good idea, but I KNEW I could do better than what the time clock read at MCM.  I was determined. 
Friday was a school field trip for me and I went the entire day without water.  I forgot my water bottle....I couldn't believe it!  I finished out the school day and we hopped in the car southbound for Richmond.  We spent a lot of time in the car as we sat through all the Friday evening DC rush hour traffic.  Ugh. 
Richmond Bound!
We finally arrived around 7pm and were starving!  We made a quick stop at the expo to get my packet and Abbie's.  I had yelped restaurants in the area and we found Sticky Rice.  It had lots of sushi options, tater tots and PBR on special.  What a way to fuel the night before a marathon, right?  As we sat at dinner, my muscle everywhere just seemed to ache.  I got really nervous because that is how my body felt when I had gotten the flu last winter.  On the way to the hotel we stopped at Target to buy a thermometer just to make sure.  No fever.  I decided to sleep it off and see how I felt in the morning. 

Morning came and I felt okay, but still incredibly nervous about how this was going to play out.  I just kept thinking- this is such a bad idea!  The muscle aches were gone and I think they were a result of dehydration from not drinking much water all day Friday.  I got ready in the hotel room and had some instant apple and cinnamon oatmeal and kona cola nuun.  

Ready to go.  Huma Gels, Garmin, Nuun Tat, Gloves, Toss Away Layer
We drove to the start area and parked in a parking garage.  We walked the half mile to the start.  Right as we were arriving we could see the half marathon getting ready to start.  We found our way over to the marathon start which was a different location.  We waited in the porta potty line and when we were finished, the 4:00 pace group was just crossing the start line so we hopped right in.  Perfect timing! 
We started very conservatively.  Going slow, chatting, looking at the historic houses and having fun.   We started to warm up and I tossed my gloves and long sleeve.  This race I brought along salt stick tablets and I really think that they helped.   
Around mile 18, Abbie started to fade.  I was still feeling good and encouraged her to just stay with me.  She eventually told me to just go.  I felt awful leaving her but she wanted me to have a good race.  I continued to feel strong all the way to the finish.  One neat thing about this race was all the spectators that handed out water, drinks and fuel.  I didn't take any of the food and candy because I didn't want it to mess with my stomach, but I did stop at a make shift water stop and downed two cups of their water! 
Some of the final miles I experienced a little bit of mental boredom but my body felt pretty good.  The long slow gradual uphill returning to downtown was beating me up a little.  Once we got closer to downtown again, my spirits picked up.  About mile 25 the lululemon cheer squad was out in full force right at a corner and as I rounded it, I gave them "raise the roof" arms in appreciation!  I kept looking at my watch thinking how proud I was of myself and how proud my husband was going to be too!   I was just looking forward to the final stretch downhill that I had heard so much about.  I saw Courtney in one of the parking lots along the way and she gave me a nice cheer and yelled, "You look strong!".  Once I got to the top, I took off downill at a 7:18 pace for the final third of a mile!  On the fast downhill I was looking on both sides at the wall of spectators hoping to catch my husband and daughter.  I saw them!  I was so excited!  I crossed the finish line with a HUGE smile on my face.  I did it!  When looking at my splits, I stayed consistent the entire race!  I finished in 3:51 with a 8:48 overall pace.  I had just cut 19 minutes off MCM! 
I met up with my husband and daughter at the finish line area.  There was lots of food to choose from candy, pizza, bagels, etc.  The pizza was a bit cold and not that appetizing to me, but I made sure to use my beer ticket of course!  I ate some of the food I had stored with my husband and we waited for Abbie. 
Feeling pretty ecstatic! 

I was so happy and so proud of Abbie when I saw her.  Two marathons in two weeks.  Hardcore. 

finish festival
After spending some time in the sun at the finish festival, we headed out to go get some real food.  I was able to enjoy another beer and really take a good look at the medal.  It is beautiful and made with stained glass.  This one will always be one of my favorites. 

Gorgeous medal! 

I couldn't leave Richmond without a jumpshot of course! 
And the little wanted in on the jumpshot action! 


I went on to instagram to check out the #RunRichmond hashtag to see other pictures and stories from the race during the car ride home.  I was so happy to see I had made top post status!  I enjoyed looking at other's photos and offering them words of congrats. 

#RunRichmond Instagram Feed

A few days later, I got the email with my photos from the race.  This was the first race where I liked every single photo!  I am tempted to buy them all! 

Race Photos I Actually Like! 

Grade: A.  I would definitely Run Richmond again.  The weather was great, the people were great, the course was great.  Seriously, I have nothing but love for this race.  I am sure that hitting a PR is part of those feelings, but that is okay with me!  I also really enjoyed exploring Richmond.  What a neat city! 

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