But there is only one pic of me.
Why you ask is there only one pic of me? Well all week long I highly underestimated myself for this half. Coming off of MCM just 13 days prior, I had no high expectations of finishing well. Every run I had after MCM I felt sluggish and awkward. Ask the besty and hubby, I had told them both for days I was going to do horrible. Before my corral took off the hubby asked what time he should start looking for me. I said anywhere between 2:00-2:15. I highly doubted that I would be later than 2:15. I knew I could run at least that fast. The pic is taken before that time frame, about 1:58 or so...that's why he missed me...
So lets start from the beginning, shall we?
We left our house around noon on Friday. Having a Saturday race can be a little tricky since you have to pick up your packet on Friday, so if you work or go to school, or if you have school age children, it can be difficult. Well I got out of class at 11am, I picked up the kid, and met the hubby at home around noon. We left soon after, stopped at Chick-Fil-A before the headed out and arrived in Richmond about an hour later. First stop was the Expo. Packet pick up was super easy, I walked right up and got my number. Easy Peasy. The expo was small, and not as crowded as MCM was. We didn't stay long, just long enough really to take a quick look around and pick up my shirt. Then we headed to the hotel.
At the hotel there was a long line to check in. I didn't get to stay in the same hotel I stayed in last time. The Marriot (where I stayed last time) wanted you to stay two nights, and with it only being an hour away, I thought that was a waste. I ended up choosing a Holiday Inn off I-64. It was horrible. The room was okay, but the service sucked balls. I checked in and the guy asked me if I bought the runners package, it included the room rate plus a shuttle to the start line. I told him no, that although I was there for the race, we were driving to the start line since we had to leaving right after (we had to pick our doggies up by 12:30). On the Richmond Marathon Facebook page they had the door hangers that were super cute (they had them last year). They said, eat, sleep, run, I'm running Richmond tomorrow. I asked if I could have one, they guy told me no. Why? Because I didn't want to pay and extra $20 for their shuttle. I said, "Are you kidding me? I'm running just like everyone else in line, and because I didn't get the shuttle you're not gonna give me one?" The guys reply was, "Ma'am these are strict orders." I threw my hands up and said, "Yeah, whatever, that's bullshit." I got on the facebook page and told them, and can you believe they actually called and told them to hand them out to EVERYBODY!!!!!!! So HA man at the desk!! HAHAHAHA!! I'll show you!!!
So after that we went to a local Italian place and I had spaghetti with mushrooms. It was okay. The best part about the meal? They had tv's at every table, and you can watch whatever you want. We were watching Dr. Oz. He was talking about poop and pee and what it should look like and what it means. Well as a nurse that didn't bother me in the slightest. I mean I deal with poop and pee all the time, hell I've been peed on by babies, no biggie. Well the hubby had to ask the waitress if we could change it before we got our food. I think he thought it was a bit disgusting. Oh well. He's not in the poop business, he's in the waste disposal business, but that's a whole other story.... :)
The boys went to a concert that night at The National downtown. It was my son's first one. He met the band, got a pic with one of the lead singers, an autographed poster, and guitar pics. Needless to say he wants to be a rockstar now when he grows up. I went to bed at 8pm, and barely woke up when they rolled in around midnight. I'm so boring.
I got up at around 5:45am, showered and we were out the door. We found a parking lot pretty easily, the road closures did make it a bit of a challenge, but it wasn't too bad. A little more than half way to the start line, I realized I didn't have my iPod. I thought about going back to get it, but we were close to the start time, and I knew I didn't have much time. I'm okay with running without music, it doesn't bother me much. I prefer music for long runs, but I knew I'd be okay. At the start of the run it was a cool 37 degrees...Brrrr!!!!! I knew the temp was going to rise quite a bit between my start time and finish time. (I'm some what of a weather stalker). I decided to wear my race outfit from MCM since it brought me good luck that time, but I got some new shoes, I needed them desperately, and ended up picking them up Thursday night at UPS. Therefore I did not get the chance to run in them. I know I've read it a million times NOT to wear new shoes on race day. Yes, they were new, but not a new style for me. I've worn them before, so I knew they'd be fine. I did wear them to the Expo and stuff, so I could at least walk around in them and I brought the old ones just in case.
I took off shortly after 7:30, I was the third corral to be let loose. I think we started at about 7:35 or so. I like the way they do the corrals there. They let you go every minute or so, that way it's not too crazy the first several miles until people figure out they were a bit too optimistic about their time. I've been there, done that and I'm much more of a realist now.
Running a half marathon without music wasn't so bad. I listened to people beside me. Let me tell you, you can hear some interesting conversations when you're running without music. Early on I saw two women running. Not to sound rude, but I think they were a bit optimistic in their times. Although I've learned on countless occasions NOT to judge a book by it's cover...
Anyway, their conversation went something like this:
I...don't...think...I...can...go...this...fast...for...long (we were at mile two)
Do we need to slow down?
Yes, unless you want me to die.
I laughed. I thought it was funny, sorry if that offends anyone. I remember a three mile run back in '09 I had with my hubby shortly after I started running. It kinda went like that conversation, just with more cuss words. (He reminds me of this run when I've had a crappy one, or when he just wants to laugh at me)
I ended up running as fast as I could in the beginning. (I know, another no no) I wanted to run well, and I knew the temp was going to rise quickly so I took advantage. I thought to myself that if I have to slow down, then that's okay, I'll just go as hard as I can and see how I feel, I tried to keep it around a 9:00 pace. At my 10K split I was at 57:06, I knew that was a new PR for the distance. I didn't know how much I had left, so I kept pushing, but honestly I felt fine. At about mile 10 or so I caught up to the 2:00 pacers. I've never ran with a pacer, but let me tell you, this lady was amazing!!! I ran with her the rest of the way. She was so motivational, kept telling us how awesome we were, how to listen to the crowd, let them bring you in, feed off of their energy. She was my little running angel. After we turned the corner on the last .1, I left her, but before I did, I told her that she did an amazing job. She said thanks, then told me to go on, and finish strong! So I did. The only way I can come up with a way to explain the downhill is it's like a "hang on to your ass" type hill, like if you aren't careful, you will literally roll down the hill.
After I made the turn, I had no idea but the hubby and kiddo were at that corner. Later I found out that the hubby was standing there and had just told our son to watch out for me, that I'd be coming soon. As soon as those words left his mouth, there I was, he had the camera in his hand, but it wasn't on (it takes like 2 seconds). He missed getting a front pic of me, but I think the one he got was perfect. It's probably one of the best pics of me. I LOOK like I'm running!!! Usually my race pics look like I'm just shuffling along, or speed walking. And if I look closely I see my legs, they are actually muscular, and toned. I had no idea!!! I think he did a fine job! I ran down the hill to finish in 2:00:54, a new PR!! As much as I wanted a sub 2, I cannot complain about my time. Maybe next year Richmond.
|That's me in the pinkish/orangish shorts|
Richmond is a great run. The crowds are great, the water stops are efficient, and the people really are friendly, and really, isn't that all a runner wants? Richmond is called "Americas Friendliest Marathon", for a reason, and they really do live up to their nickname.