Richmond Half Marathon 2014 Race Recap
Overall, I am satisfied with how the half went. I am not ecstatic and I am not disappointed. I am content with my results given my training and the weather conditions.
All week long the weather forecast become increasing colder until I woke up race morning to a balmy 25 degrees. This was not comforting since the coldest weather I had trained in was probably in the 40s. Probably even the high 40s. I had at most worn capris and a very light jacket. Race morning I wore my long tights, a long sleeved shirt (with my SOAS tank over top to represent), and my winter running jacket. I also had a warm headband on and gloves. It was freezing.
I started the morning out with my favorite race breakfast of a piece of bread (I prefer untoasted), peanut butter, and half a banana. The puppy was very sad I didn’t share any with her.
Mom and I hopped in the car with no traffic until about a mile and a half from where parking was. We had left the house at 6:30 to arrive in Richmond at 7 with a start of 7:44. We cut it pretty close with traffic but since we took her Mini we were able to squeeze in a compact car space and the street we parked on was the same as the start.
We headed for the porter potties for once last stop. At this point I was freaking out a bit. I hadn’t had any bowel movements since the night before and wanted to empty my system before starting. But nothing happened. I just peed and decided that was that and hopefully it wouldn’t catch me later (luckily it didn’t until well after the race).
We were out of the johns and immediately into our corral with 2 minutes to start. Perfect timing. My mom had decided to run with me during the race since she hadn’t been training that much and didn’t care about time for this one.
Despite my mom wanting to push it almost right away I told her that I was keeping it easy for the first 8 miles. The first mile ticked 15 seconds under my 12 minute pace and the second 8 seconds over. I was happy with both of these and wanted to keep my range between 11:45 and 12:05.
Miles 3-7 went about the same with mile 7 being my second fastest mile. I was getting ready to kick it. But then my plans began to get derailed.
The cold weather began to get to me yesterday. Not having trained in it I could feel my lungs retaliating. By mile 8 I couldn’t take a deep breath and my pace began to reflect it. My pace began to drop from mile 8 to 12 and I tried to push but my lungs wouldn’t cooperate and then my right hip began to flare.
I pushed and tried and didn’t want to give myself another excuse to not PR. But the pace was slipping too much and my mile paces were in the high 11s. With one more mile left and the marathon male winners beginning to come up beside us I tried to push harder. I couldn’t. Until the final turn and the big downhill. I looked to my mom and we kicked it into gear.
This is my favorite part of the race. There is a little over a quarter of a mile left but the downhill is so steep you just have to let it take you. So I lengthened my stride and pushed with my last little bit. Mile 13 was my fastest at 10:38 and I gave one last push to make it 13.1 miles.
I crossed in 2:31:29, about 30 seconds slower than the previous year. But I raced smarter. I had a negative split by 7 seconds unlike my very positive split of last year. Though my legs were jello I know I had given it my all. I tried and next time my training will be better but for this cycle, I am happy. And I am happy to have the opportunity to run a half marathon with my 50 year old mom.