As I’m sure you already saw on Instagram or Facebook, I hit my goal to break 3:20!!
Richmond is a great course!
Let’s back up… we got to my sister’s house Friday morning and the cousins played for the afternoon. My sister made an awesome lasagna for dinner + bread and I added half a pumpkin muffin. Afterwards, I went to the expo and got to meet an Instagram friend, Becca (who, spoiler alert, also nailed her pr!)
I was asleep early and actually slept okay. By 5:15am, I was up eating my bagel with pb and banana. I wasn’t all that hungry but ate the whole thing, as that is the breakfast that has never failed me!
I had all.the.layers. The forecast said mid- 20s at the start, warming up into the 30s about an hour into our run. I wore capris and a tank with a thin long sleeved top, and then added a throwaway vest for the first few miles, plus throwaway pants and a sweatshirt for the start. And a hat and gloves. I actually felt pretty warm at the start!
I got dropped off right downtown and appreciate that the logistics of this course are so much easier than huge races. You just show up! I waited in a long bathroom line which meant I had a rushed start. I jumped into the race at the front with just enough time to peel off the outer layers, and we were off!
I was up with the 3:05 and 3:15 pace groups because of my last minute jump into the course so I tried to hold back and run my own pace. The 3:15 group was right in front of me for the first 4 miles or so and I felt better when they moved on and I could run my own race, instead of worrying that I was going out too fast. The pace did not feel as easy as I wanted it to.
This was a pretty section through downtown Richmond and pretty flat.
Miles 1-5: 7:24, 7:29, 7:23, 7:31, 7:24
There was a bit of an uphill at mile 6 and downhill in mile 7, both reflected in my splits: 7:37, 7:05.
We had a few more flat miles (7:36, 7:29, 7:35) and then headed across a flat bridge to a really pretty stretch along the water. I knew miles 11-15 had some rolling hills and that the biggest hills were coming up in mile 16 so I was focused on a steady effort through the hills, knowing my pace might drop a bit.
I was working harder but the effort felt easier than the first 5 as I was in a good groove. Somewhere in here I heard, “Go Mommy run fast!” which made me smile! (Thanks, Sara!)
Miles 11-15: 7:31, 7:36, 7:28, 7:26, 7:27
The bridge at mile 15 really wasn’t bad- the wind was calmer than previous years. But after the bridge, mile 16 had a good amount of climbing. 7:40
Mentally I was trying to get to mile 18 and thought I would be able to pick up the pace then. I knew from the map that 17 was a slow, very gradual incline. Those are tricky because it looks flat as you are running but isn’t. I held onto pace but was getting tired. 7:36
At 18 I saw my family and husband’s cousin and kids who also live in Richmond! That gave me a nice boost for a mile or two: 7:34, 7:25
At 20, I was starting to fall apart. My legs felt beat up from the climbing, and even though this part of the course was mostly flat with just a few rolling hills, I couldn’t get back into a good groove. I really thought my goal was going out the window for a few miles: 7:50, 7:41, 7:42, 7:48
Thanks to my long time blogging friend Amanda for the awesome cheering squad at mile 22!!
In mile 23, I was giving myself a talk about how much discomfort is mental- our mind wants our bodies to stop long before our bodies need to. I was determined to find a final push!
Mile 24-26: 7:31, 7:34, 7:12 ! and the final .3 downhill sprint at 6:25 pace!
I still need to work on that mental game but I’m proud that I was able to turn the race back around.
Final chip: 3:17:59 !! (This dropped a second from the time I saw initially on the tracking app… and I was working hard to break the 3:18 that I saw coming on the clock, so yay!!) A five minute pr and I felt so much stronger than my pr marathon last fall.
Thanks to my husband and his cousin Jill for cheering me in at the finish!
The Richmond marathon is really scenic the whole way- I tried to soak up the views and remind myself to be in the moment! The crowd support is awesome too, with several “party zones” with music and larger crowds. This was one of my favorite races so far!
Thank you so much for the encouragement and support through training! Now to enjoy a week of sleeping in, eating and resting. 🙂
Do you have a favorite race you’ve run?
How to you handle the mental piece at the end of a race?