Richmond Marathon 2019

Way overdue with this post…imagine that. Lots going on in my life right now, but that’s a post for another day (coming soon, I promise.) For now, we’ll start with a race recap…

I ran my first race in June of 2009, and since I don’t actually remember the date I started training for it I consider the date of my first race to be my “runner-versary”. June 2019 marked 10 years of running for me, and I also realized that with the Two Rivers Marathon and the Pittsburgh Marathon this year, I would be sitting at 9 marathons–why not celebrate my 10th year of running with my 10th marathon? I’d heard amazing things about Richmond so when some friends decided they wanted to run it too, we all signed up and made a road trip out of it.

Knowing that this race has a fantastic downhill finish–and that I’m stronger on downhills than your average bear–I was excited to train for another PR. At first, things were great, but as the training cycle wore on the grind of back-to-back-to-back training cycles wore on me. Physically I was okay, but mentally I was just done. This happened last year too and I thought it was just from chasing speed and doing something that I don’t love. Turns out my brain can only take so much, regardless how well I am holding up physically, or how much I enjoy what I’m doing. Lesson learned.

I was still on track to PR, though. Until the weekend before the race…when I contracted a 24-hour stomach bug. I was ravaged. I knew then my goal would simply be to finish the race, however I could. I was sick all of Sunday, and though I was on the mend, I couldn’t eat “normally” until Thursday…so I was definitely not going into this race at my peak. Oh well, such is life. I was just glad I was well enough to go with my friends and run the race.

We drove down on Friday and made a very quick trip to the expo. At a certain point, expos just aren’t that exciting…and we had dinner reservations with friends that we needed to get to. So we made a quick loop, got what we needed, and headed for the hotel to check-in and unload. Went to dinner at a true speakeasy (the password changes weekly). Such a cool experience. I rode in an Uber for the first time (sad but true, haha). Then went back to the hotel and prepared for race day.

Race day was a little windier than I would have liked–temperature was fine aside from the wind, which was wicked at times, especially when I had to walk (which was more than I wanted *sigh*). Overall though…I LOVED this race. I literally have no complaints about the race itself. The course is great–really pretty, there’s great crowd support throughout, aid stations were on point, even for those of us at the back of the pack, finish line festival was great, and the swag is awesome (shirts and medals, of course, but also hats and fleece blankets). Just being frank–we all know that if there is something to complain about with race execution, I will. I literally have NO Complaints about this race. None. I would go back in a heartbeat…just not next year–I have big things on the horizon and have learned a valuable lesson about back-to-back-to-back training cycles.

So I finished my 10th marathon. The downhill finish was GLORIOUS, I just wish that I personally felt better during the race. Had dinner that night with friends again at a taproom, and had a delicious gingerbread beer. It’s been a really amazing year in so many ways…I’m so thankful I got to share this celebratory moment with my friends.

I promise another post is coming soon with some details about where this is headed and what I’m going to do in the coming year. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.