Sunday, November 27, 2016

Richmond Marathon Recap - Finally! (Weekly Wrap-up Edition)

I had another week of very little work outs.  I ran a couple of times, including a Turkey Trot, and went to the gym once.  I really need to get back on a good schedule.  Not a very exciting week, so I'll give you a more exciting (and a little long) recap. :)

So two weeks after I ran the MCM, I had decided to run Richmond.  Because I was signed up for the Marathon Training Team, I have entry to the marathon.  I wasn't sure if I would drop down to the half, or run my second marathon in two weeks.  I had gone back and forth on what I would do for the two weeks.  Come the week of the expo, I was leaning more towards the marathon and when I went to the expo, my decision was made to run the marathon.

So let's start off with the expo.  This race hosts the marathon, half marathon and an 8k.  I've done the half and 8k but this was the first time I would run this marathon.  The expo was the same as always.  We usually go to the expo on Thursday night and then go out to dinner.  This year was the same.  We went to the expo after work on Thursday and bib pickup was easy as usual.  The expo seems crowded and hot, but really there are no lines for anything.

I picked up my bib with no wait.  Went to the official merchandise area and decided that I wanted to get a marathon shirt since this probably is the only time I do that distance.

I walked through part of the expo to pick up my race shirt.  I do hate how the official shirts are so far away from bib pick up as I'm always afraid to put down my bib and lose it.  We get a bag with the shirt, but till then we just carry around the bib on its own.

I walked around a little waiting for my friends.  While I waited they had beer samples.  I don't mind if I do.  A couple of my friends showed up and we went on a lookout for cheap gloves that we could throw out.  We headed out and went for a very fun pasta dinner.

On Friday I decided to go check out the talk by Bart Yasso.  Both Bart and Don Garber were there to talk logistics of the race.  While I knew most of it, it was nice to hear it all again.  Both are fun speakers and people asked Bart a bunch of questions and I heard some of the same stories he shared at MCM.

I even got a picture with Bart Yasso.

Race day...

I met up with my running friends at one of the hotels.  The Richmond Marathon has been known as "American's Friendliest Marathon".  I didn't know this, but Bart Yasso said this of the Richmond Marathon because of the nice hotel and businesses that open up their doors before the marathon to keep us warm and let us use their bathrooms.  I did see Bart Yasso as I walked to the hotel and said hello again.  My friends and I hung out in the hotel and used the bathroom a couple of times and I ate my Honey Stinger Waffle.  Then we headed out.  They all were doing the half and I was the only one to do the full so we parted ways as each race has it's own start line.

I dropped off my bag at the UPS trucks.  I have to say that this is the only race that doesn't make you use a clear plastic bag.  I was able to check my backpack.  Then I headed towards the start line.  There also wasn't any security to get to the start line.  There were only 6 corals and of course I was in the last.  There really didn't seem like any structure to the corals so I stood on one of the corners and finished up my water and took a 5 Hour Energy.  I turned everything on and realized that my HR monitor would not stay on.  I know I charged it but it kept going off.  So I would have to run this without my HR monitor.  I wasn't going to run by my HR, but it would have been nice to have it to look back on.  I did run 30 second walk/1 minute run.  And before I knew it, we were off.

I had a throw away sweatshirt on as it was about 38 degrees as we started.  I also had my throw away gloves and a headband ear warmer.  We did a couple of turns and ended up on Broad Street where we could see the half marathoners on the other side of the street.  I kept looking over and I did eventually see my friends.  They didn't see me and they were too far away to yell at.  I wished them a good race to myself.

I was debating on when I should take off my sweatshirt.  It was still a little chilly but I was warming up.  We were in the shade of the buildings and I decided once we moved out of the shade, I'd take it off.  I did finally ditch it and decided that the first bank of port-a-potties I'd have to go.  What I loved about this race is that the first set were 10 long on both sides of the street.  No lines as this is where everyone decides to take a potty break.

The crowds were good.  Our bibs had our names on them and everyone was calling out by name.  I loved that.  Felt like they were all out there for me.  The first few miles went by quickly.  Everything was feeling good.  We made our way onto Grove Street and saw this wreath that was still up from Halloween.

I felt like I had to use the bathroom again.  I have never used the bathroom more then once during a race.  What was going on?  I saw another batch of port-a-potties and stopped.  We headed down to cross the river.  I ran into someone from the training team who is just a tad faster then me.  He was running with a bunch of people from out of town and they sounded like they were having fun.  I also ran into a lady that said that this was her 149th marathon.  I can't even imagine that.  How great.

As we were crossing the bridge about mile 7 I felt like the race was really thinning out.  Like a lot.  There were times that I felt like no one was around me.  I kept looking behind me to see if I was the last one, but there was a handful of people behind me still.  It was like this the rest of the race.  No wonder everyone on the training team was always ahead of me, this race has mostly fast runners.

We crossed the river and ran beside it for awhile.  We have run this road a couple times and I find it so pleasant to have such nice scenery right next to the road.  I felt like I had to go to the bathroom again.  What the heck?  I decided to ignore it to see if it would go away.  Eventually it did.

There was an older gentleman that ran past me and the back of his shirt said that his name was Woody and he was 86 years old.  We will see each other several times throughout the rest of the race.

We made our way away from the river and it seemed like every road was up hill.  Looking at the elevation chart, I was heading into 3 miles of rolling hills where most of them is up.

During the race, the coaches from the training team were all over the course.  They were there to cheer us on and run with us every so often.  At this time, one of the coaches from my team saw me and ran with me a little.  It was nice to chit chat with someone even if it was only for a few hundred feet.  He had said that he had already run about 11 miles back and forth at different spots.  So he was right about at the same mileage as I was without running the course.  I did notice about this time that every so often, even on my walk breaks, I was having a hard time catching my breath.  It wasn't bothersome, it was just weird as this has never happened before.

There were a few more miles till we reached the bridge to cross back over the river.  I heard stories of the wind on this bridge.  Everyone says to keep your gloves cause it will get breezy and cold while crossing the bridge.  I never took my gloves off, so that was no problem.  By this time it probably was in the mid 40's.  Before we turned onto the bridge, I could feel the wind.  I was a little anxious about what it would be like when I finally was on the bridge.

Once I hit the bridge, there really wasn't any breeze.  It was kinda nice out there.  At the end of the bridge, you could hear the after party.  Seriously, I had 10 more miles to go and the after party was so close, right under the bridge.

We headed up one of the biggest hills of the course.  I've run this a few times and hate it every time.  About this point, I started to feel nauseous.  It wasn't much, but it reminded me of the first 10 miles of MCM.  I hoped that it would go away quickly.

We made our way out onto Main Street and there seemed to be a bit more people out cheering.  It probably was cause they were hanging out at a bar and they were drinking.  That's OK, I was glad for any and all of the people out there cheering for the back of the pack.  They even had this cool drumming group from VCU.

Once we turned onto Boulevard we were on the half marathon course.  I was also so very nauseous.  I kept taking my Gu cause I didn't want to hit the wall hard cause I didn't fuel.  But the Gu made me more sick to my stomach.  Once I started to feel a little better it was time to take another Gu.  I was so excited for the last Gu I had to take.  We would pass a pizza joint and it made me want to puke.  We passed a BBQ place and it made me want to puke.

We made our way through some really nice neighborhoods.  I was so glad there were no more restaurants around to have to smell.  We have run this a lot, not only in marathon training, but for long runs throughout the year.  It was finally getting close to 50 degrees and I started to peal off my gloves and ear warmers.  Every mile during the last 10 miles I would skip one of my running segments every mile to take a break.  I knew if I kept up my pace, I would get a second PR in two weeks.

The course was so space at this time.  We got to one turn and the other two people that were around were not sure if we were supposed to go strait or turn.  We stopped and had to ask a volunteer that really wasn't paying attention to the runners.  That's how few people were still on the course.

I got to the last few turns and knew I was almost there.  The coaches were there and so encouraging as we made it to the hill.  If you haven't seen the end of the Richmond course, the last .2 miles goes strait down hill.

I was so happy to be done.  My legs held up and really didn't have much pain with them.  Crossing the finish line was very emotional for me.  I knew that my stomach would feel better once I stopped and I couldn't believe that I just finished a second marathon in two weeks.  Not only that, I couldn't believe that I made it under 6:30, which was my MCM A goal.  My official time was 6:26:45.

After I crossed the finish line I saw Don Garber, the MTT head coach, and I asked him for a hug.  I needed a hug so bad.  And then I heard that Woody (the 86 year old man that I saw many times on the course) finished right behind me.  I turned around cause I wanted to congratulate him, but he had stopped to talk to a couple people and I was just so tired that I needed to keep moving.

I got my finisher medal, blanket, and hat.  Along with water and snacks.  I couldn't even think about eating, but I did grab a bagel and was able to eventually eat about half of it.

I ended up buying the finisher jacket.  I have the finisher jacket from my first Richmond Half (which was my first half ever), and wanted one of my first (and probably only) Richmond Marathon.   They didn't have my size so they are shipping it to me for free, which was nice.  I just wish it was a full zip, but I love the color.

I started walking up the big hill towards where I remember the bag pickup was and my car.  I was just tired and just wanted to be home.  I was wrong about the bag pick up and ended up having to walk all the way back to the finish line to get my sandals and jacket.  It was probably good that I went back as I saw the PR bell on my way back up the hill to my car.

My breathing at this point had not gotten any better.  It was just like I had walked up 5 flights of stairs. Everything turned out OK, but it was really scary for a while that night.

Overall I was really glad that I had done it.  Except for the nausea (that stopped soon after the race) and the breathing problems after the fact, it was a great race.  The weather was great, the few crowds that stayed out for the back of the pack were wonderful, and the course was not too bad.  I know I felt like I was going up hill the whole time, but there were a few good down hills.  I probably won't do this race again, as I don't see me doing many more marathons.  I'd rather do a new marathon then this again.  I actually would like to do the half again.  Out of the many halves I have done, I've only done this one once.  Also, I'm officially a Marathon Maniac!

Have you done the Richmond Marathon before?  Are you a Marathon Maniac?  Have you ever felt really sick during a race?

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.


  1. Congratulations Marathon Maniac! (I'm just a Half Fanatic.) I can't imagine doing 2 marathons that close together. Never say never though. It's awesome you met your MCM A Goal at the second race and ran a PR. Woody is very inspiring to be running marathons at 86! I hope I can do that too. Thanks for linking, Heather!

    1. I hope to be going strong like Woody too. I kept saying that each time I saw him.

  2. Great recap! I'm actually contemplating Richmond as my first (only?) marathon. Nice to hear your experience.

    1. I really did like the Richmond marathon. I might have complained about the hills the whole time, but it was so beautiful and the people out there were so nice.

  3. Congrats again on the PR! I've never felt sick during a race but I was SO sick after wine n dine this year!

    So, how old was the lady that ran 149 marathons?

    Smelling food when I'm running often turns my stomach too! -M

    1. I don't know how old the lady was, but she was older. At least 60-70.

  4. I loved your recap because it reminded me of running the race! I was out there with you :)
    Congrats on two in two weeks!! Amazing :) and a PR :) even better.
    I have felt that very nauseas feeling quite often during a race. I am so sensitive to temperature (heat) and sometimes my GI system just protests when i run.
    I am glad you got to ring the PR bell. You got some good pics on the course. I really enjoyed running by the river and the Lee bridge. It was hilly at times!!

    1. Despite the nausea, I really did enjoy this race. It was nice to run on familiar roads and sleep in my own bed. I actually can't wait to run the half again next year.

  5. Wow! Running two marathons two weeks apart is such an accomplishment! Congratulations! I had toyed with the idea of running a second three weeks after my first marathon at the beginning of this month. I was very disappointed. But I knew if something went wrong for a second time, the mental anguish would be too much for me. So I will wait for next year! A number of people recommended Richmond to me. Sounds like you had great weather! But I don't think I'd like all the hill.

    1. I'm actually glad I did. I was disappointed by how hot MCM was so this was kinda a do over for me. But I agree, if it went bad I think I would have been crushed. Richmond is a beautiful course and despite the hills it was a lot of fun. Just need to train on hills. :)

  6. Congratulations on your great accomplishment!! That is amazing! Congratulations on your PR too!