Wednesday, November 14, 2012

richmond 2012 - part one

whoa! did you see that dust cloud when i opened up blogger this morning? my apologies!! i know it's been a while since i visited, but i've got stories to tell that won't be told in 140 characters (ahem, twitter).  why don't you just grab a cup of coffee (or tea, or chai, or water) and i'll tell you one of them...

last weekend, i went to richmond, va to run my very first half marathon!!  what what?? that's right! aw c'mon, you guys...  you've known about my running for a few years now.  you remember when i came in DEAD LAST in the 10K trail run just a year ago.  (no, really.  dead. last.  you should go read that post.)

well, i'm still running, despite the threat of the blair witch (i TOLD you to go read that post!) and, in fact, i've run 7 races this year already, with at least 2 more to go. but this one? this was a and it all started this summer with a (not so) innocent text from my cousin:
 now, liz ran the richmond half last year for the first time.  i remember her telling me about it as we waited at the start of a turkey trot shortly thereafter. you should be very, very careful at the beginning of a turkey trot when you are all feeling like a competent runner and your cousin says you should shoot for a half marathon. just sayin'.
 so, despite the fact that i don't live in richmond. and i hadn't run further than 10K at one time since february, (i even registered for a half down here in tiny town, but an injury prevented me from participating. that injury was more mental than physical, but more on that another time), i found myself coughing up the registration fee and searching frantically for a couch to half app.  (there are many stories to tell about the training, but i'll get to those in another post.  i certainly don't want you to miss out on my zombie runs. or the 15K race that changed everything about how i run. or how running saved my life.)

but, for now, fast forward to last weekend.  i arrived in richmond friday evening, checked into my hotel (i don't often get to take advantage of my hotel family travel perks, but finding a hotel two blocks from the start? SCORE!!) then i made my way over to the expo, which was an entirely overwhelming experience for me.  just walking in the door sent my emotions into overdrive. with bib in hand and shirt retrieved, i made approximately forty-seven laps around the expo floor.  since i had arrived in town with most everything a girl could need for her first half marathon - fuel belt? check. compression socks? check. The Stick (tm)? check.-  i wasn't really looking to buy anything. but i couldn't shake the feeling that i *needed* to get so much more: a sparkly headband! a wacky runner's humor tee shirt! throw away gloves! gu!  i picked up a pair of thermal sleeves from one more mile (functional! and witty!) and headed out to meet up with liz and her friends for dinner.

and then i was back in my hotel room, pacing and setting alarms and not hyperventilating.  i laid out my outfit, suffered through a twenty minute phone call with an overtired 11 year old who couldn't get skype to work, and settled in for the night.  i set my first alarm for 4 (the plan was to eat a bagel and go back to sleep for a few hours). i awoke as soon as it went off, and had the bagel in my hand, only to realize that i had only dreamed the alarm went off, and it was, in fact, only 2:38!  at "the real 4 a.m." i ate my bagel and fell back to sleep, thoroughly lost in that dream when you are approaching the starting line, but it keeps getting further and further away from you.  you know that dream? that dream SUCKS!!

at six, i was up for real, drinking a cup of coffee and a eating clif bar. i rolled out my calf muscles a little, did 100 ups, double checked the bag that i was going to check, and texted this quick snap shot to the family. (do i look nervous? i was going for "hey, i got this! it's gonna RAWK!" i don't think that's exactly what i got.) then, it was downstairs for the two block walk to the starting area.  i loved this commute!!

 the 8K race was just starting as i followed the crowds toward the corrals. to say the air was electric was an UNDERSTATEMENT!! with 8,000 runners registered for the half, plus another couple thousand each in the 8K and the marathon, it was a veritable sea of spandex and bathrobes and hats and trash bags (it was cold, and the wind whipping along the street where the porta-potties were line up was bone-chilling!) i ate a banana and some gatorade chews, stowed my long sleeve shirt and checked my bag, and caught up with liz. she took this photo to email to our moms so they would (hopefully) be able to pick us out of the crowds as we ran by them. this was also the last time i would see liz until beer.  i mean, the "finish area."

 i made my way back to the K wave.  the back of the pack. the "when i signed up for this race, i truly wondered if i would make the four hour cutoff" corral.  i planted myself somewhere right in the middle, and listened to the chatter around me. the half marathon began at 7:30.  and it would be 22 minutes before i crossed the start line...


David H. said...

First off, it was great to meet you this weekend. Now I'm on the edge of my seating waiting for the rest! :)

@GinnySkal said...

Can't wait to her how it ends!

@Ginnyskal said...


michelle said...

First off, you do totally rock. Not only do I want to hear how it ends, I also want to hear about the race that changed everything about the way you run and how running saved your life!

Crystal said...

I am SO so SO so SO excited to see a post from my Birthday Twin!!! I've really missed your blog.

You are amazing. I love everything about this post. I read it and feel the excitement and anticipation.

I cannot wait to read more.


Unknown said...