Saturday, November 12, 2011

Race Report: Richmond Marathon

I"m pretty happy to be reporting from the OTHER side of the finish line! I've had a big lunch (with two beers...whoa), iced the legs, and am laying around while the boys and my husband are at the Science Center of Virginia.

I love this race, it really feels like the hometown crowd even being 200 miles away from home. There were a reported 28 members of the Virginia Tech Triathlon club here, my neighbor Joe and his daughter, my friend Michaela (thanks to her husband Frank for cheering me on!), and lots of other friends running the full (Ian, Jordan, Andy, Laura), half (Edie, Martha, Ennis...) and 8k. I ran into One-on-One athlete Crystal in my hotel and saw (heard?) Edie cheering for me at the start of the race! My teammate on the Endurance Films Racing Team, Laura Bergmann, was here too and though we texted like crazy we never did meet up (she was way too fast for me finishing in 3:33!!)

It was a 3:38:54 effort today (14th / 268 in Age Group) with nearly even splits (4 seconds off) for first vs second half so that is progress. The funny thing is my other marathons were 3:38:39 and 3:38:01. I'm consistent, if nothing else!

Considering my longest run this fall was 18 miles and I didn't really hit a "wall" till about mile 23 today, I am very very pleased. I asked Coach Jim to help me nail down a race strategy and we defined paces for the first three miles, set a governor or "speed limit" through mile 18 and had a range of paces to aim for. I like having specific goals for each mile, it keeps my brain occupied and happy. After mile 18 it was a little more open-ended.

I nailed it through 18, then dipped from my 8:18ish pace to sub 8 at mile 19, then I think paid for that over-exuberance. Here are the details from Training Peaks if they are of interest.

My nutrition seemed right-on and was as follows:
  • 6 am: breakfast -1/3 c. steel cut oats, almond butter, banana, coffee, water with Scivation Xtend
  • 6:15 am:  2 Saltstick electrolyte capsules, 1 immodium (critical on race days!)
  • Pre-race: Water with 1 scoop Perpetuem waiting for race to start
  • Race: carried 2nd Surge Accel Gels and a Cliff Bar cut into sixths and rolled into balls. Every 2.5 miles took bar, bar, gel. repeat!  Took on water every 4 miles and one random coke. Walked briefly thru aid stations where I took water.
What amazed me was how some people dressed for this race. It was around 30 degrees when we walked downtown and I had four layers on top, a hood, gloves, and pants. I saw people waiting around shivering in shorts and tank tops! Such a waste of energy and not smart! I shed one shirt and pants (yes I had shorts on) and checked them in a bag at the start. I shed the $2 Goodwill sweatshirt right before the start, and the long sleeve shirt, arm sleeves, and gloves along the first 8 miles. I was VERY comfortable running in a tank and shorts. I saw people all bundled up in tights, long sleeves, and winter hats and could not imagine how burning up they were!

I saw my family toward the start...then that was it till after the finish. I told them to have fun this morning and gave them a fully researched list of things to see and do (told you I'm a planner).  This weekend is for all of us, not just me. When I family! I got my bag, called them up, and my husband whispered quietly that they were in the midst of a tour of the Capitol. Apparently it was an awesome tour and the kids said it was amazing. Who knew? It was just as well. I was miserable for about 30 minutes and my friend/running phenom Jordan helped get me situated till things settled down. I was fairly back to normal when they saw me. I'll tell you what, even at my worst today it never came close to the crampy horrible run at the Patriot's Half IM!

I'm happy about the race plan, nutrition, and general mental approach to this race. In one of the last emails to Coach Jim I said something about "Discipline. Patience. Faith." He said that sounded like a good mantra. Indeed. I thought about that often today and I will carry that into the spring.

Next stop on the marathon circuit: Boston Marathon, April 16, 2012!!

Thanks to Coach Jim, Kurt Weidner, my family, and the great community of triathletes and runners who make these sports so special!! I'm also grateful to Dr. Tilley, John Thacker, and Mario Travis for keeping me as healthy as I can be.

At the expo!

Showing dad "one minute physics" on the iPad...we can't get away from technology

Marathons are celebrated with a new running this one!

The OCD approach to getting ready for a race!

My neighbor Joe and his daughter Blakely...and me looking so glamorous!

Michaela and I!

Post-race, happy to sit!

My chief supporter, Robert!