Location: Richmond, VA
Temperature: upper 30's @ start, sunny
Official Time: 4:12:52 (9:39 pace)
Garmin Time: 4:12:55 for 26.42 miles (9:34 pace), 2:56 PR
Place in Age Group (25-29): 98/281
Place in Gender: 562/1647
Overall Place: 1716/3787
Pre-race Fun - From bagels on Friday morning ...
to the expo on Friday afternoon ...
to carb-loading on Friday night ...
marathon excitement was EVERYWHERE.
The Outfits - G, Pixie Green and I looked epic. As always.
No Pressure - There is something about running two marathons in six days that kind of takes away all the pressure from the second race. I knew that regardless of how fast (or slow) I ran, I could boast about the quick turnaround. And knowing that, somehow made it easier to run a consistent race.
The Course - I love this course. It's scenic and beautiful and the downhill finish is enough of a reason to run it over and over. But as a member of the Marathon Training Team (MTT), I ran the course so often that I knew it like the back of my hand. Talk about an advantage on race day. No surprises. No mental games. Just 26.2 miles and me.
Sub-2 Half - From the start, my goal for this race was to run with whoever I started with for as long as possible and then just finish, even if I walked the rest. I lost G pretty much in the first 10 feet of the race, but I was running with Jess and her sister Jodi (they both ran MCM two weeks prior).
We just decided to run whatever felt good. And somehow, as we approached the half marathon mark, we noticed that we were just going to break two hours (we crossed in 1:59:20) and that alone made the race a success for me.
PR Baby - Not exactly sure how it happened, but 6 days after running the NYC Marathon and missing a PR by 8 seconds, I finished this race with a 2:56 PR. It was awesome. However, I kind of wish my plan of "run a strong first half and then have fun with the second half", wasn't the plan I executed. When I caught G at mile 15.5, I decided I was just going to stick with her. Then she left me. And then I caught her again. It wasn't until mile 23 or so, that I realized that even with my eased pace in the second half, that a PR was going to happen for sure. Maybe I should have picked it up sooner.
The Last 2 Miles - Once I realized a PR was in the bag, I was re-energized. Add that to the fact that most of the last two miles are downhill and I was feeling unstoppable. Seriously. This is me at mile 25.5, looks like it could have been mile 1.5.
GBA - Like usual, our run group rocked it on Saturday. I'm proud of each and everyone of them. But, I am especially proud to be associated with G (who ran through illness), KC (who PR'd with a sub-4) and 3L (who BQ'd in her marathon debut). I love these ladies and am honored to have them in my life.
Un-GU'd - Although I started the race with four GUs attached to my race belt, all but one of them fell off while I was shedding layers in the early miles. Total Spi-Belt fail.
Photo-Op - As a member of MTT, we were scheduled to take a team picture at 7 a.m., one hour prior to the race start. Most days, that would be no big deal, but it was cold on Saturday. I arrived at 6:30 a.m. and by the time the race started, I couldn't feel any of my toes. And the worst part, you can't see me (or anyone I know) in the picture anyway.
Wind - As you approached mile 24, a place I like to refer to as the "Lombardy Suckfest", runners were greeted with headwinds so strong that they threw you back a little. Not the time in the race to have a physical barrier like that.