Monday, November 18, 2013

Richmond Half Marathon Race Recap

This past weekend I ran the Richmond Half Marathon, and it was simply amazing. It was just one of those days when you remember why you love running, why you started in the first place and why you keep going. Days like last Saturday when all your hard work of training pays off and you just enjoy the race so much. Not to mention a 15 minute personal record. So I thought I would recap my race while it's still fresh in my mind.

The morning started out raining, like downpour. I couldn't believe it and I kinda laughed because the only other time I've run a half it rained for that one too. But it was great having teammates to text and encourage one another that although we can't control the weather we could still have a great race. I headed downtown only to be caught in traffic. I will admit I kinda started to panic because I kept watching the clock tick by and I wasn't moving. I finally made it downtown and couldn't find a parking space. I had 15 minutes till my start time and I was kinda freaking out. I was super lucky (well God was good) and I found a spot. I wasn't sure if I could park on the side of that street or not but I didn't have a choice. Luckily after the race my car hadn't been towed and no ticket! I made it to the start about 10 minutes before my start time, found my teammates and I was feeling so lucky!!
By this time it was just a light drizzle. And throughout the race it drizzled on and off, it wasn't that bad because it wasn't too cold. I started out running pretty conservative because I didn't want to start out too fast with all the excitement. I loved running back in my hometown again. The course was where I trained for my full back in 2011 and where I really learned how to run. It brought back so many memories and I felt so happy to be running in Richmond. 
Here I am around the half way point in Bryan Park. I was feeling good, and I loved all the hills. Ha, but really it felt so great to be able to run up all the hills and not have to walk afterwards to recover. Me and my teammate Laura were just passing people left and right. I heard someone say "these hills are hard" and we laughed. This was where I knew my training had really worked and I felt so strong and proud. When I started my training program I was so nervous because it was much more intense than previous training I had done. Plus with the big hills I wasn't use to I was definitely intimidated. It felt so great to know I had made it and all my hard work had paid off.

I ran through the pope arch, and it felt like 2 years ago when I ran the full. The last part of the half course is the same as the last part of the full course. I remembered how a year ago I set this goal for myself. I knew the full would be way too much with having a baby and a life outside running, but I knew the half would still be a challenge. I remembered how a year ago it hurt to walk (I had just had a baby a week ago with a rough delivery). I'll admit I got kinda choked up and teary eyed. It was so emotional running that course again and just thinking how far I have come. I knew I would complete my goal and at that point I didn't care about my time anymore. I felt strong so I picked up my pace. 

I found some other teammates who were in the pace group above mine. I ran with them for about 2 miles, and at that point our pace was 9:30/mile. I couldn't believe it. I ran into my old running partner Susan, who I ran most of the full with. She was doing the half as well and it was so much fun to see her, such a coincidence. Saw Emily and Emily who were there cheering me on, and got that extra pick me up I needed. Around mile 12 I was feeling it and I was ready to be done. I knew from my pace I should PR, wasn't sure about reaching my goal time but I reminded myself how far I had come and that the time didn't matter. I ran down the hill towards the finish line and I'll admit I got kinda teary eyed again. Since I didn't run with anyone else consistently I wasn't sure what my time was. I signed Clarke up for text messages of my times so I had to wait till he got the final one. I waited for the rest of my teammates to finish, I love celebrating other people's victories too. These people have definitely helped Winston-Salem feel more like home, and I'm so thankful for them. 
My time ended up being 2:27:05, which meant I had PRed by 15 minutes and came 3 minutes under my goal time. I was thrilled. My family was waiting for me at the finish line and it meant so much that they came out to support me. I will also add Clarke was such a supportive husband during my training, watching Chloe Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings so I could go train with my team. I couldn't have done it without him!

It was such a great race. I will always love this one in Richmond, holds a special place in my heart. :)

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