Thoughts on Richmond Marathon (before)

I would like to set my goals out, so I can look back and reflect. When I first signed up for Richmond, I put in my pace as 4:45. Honestly, I’d like to be below that. We finished our 22 miler in 3:50, meaning if we slowed our pace to a 12-minute pace (which is pretty slow for Allison and I), we’d still finish our marathon in 4:36. I know I am capable of a 4:30s finishing time, so that’s been my goal in recent months.

When I first signed up, I didn’t think my body would hold up. In 2011, I tried training for a marathon, not knowing everything that goes into it (no training program, no buddies, no schedule), and ran my hip out of line. As in, my left side of my pelvis was tilted forward. (See below. Thanks creepy girl who also posted these images while wearing a thong…. Or creepy doctor. Either way- from It was excruciating. I have scoliosis, so I guess that has something to do with this? My physical therapist told me to do keigels (no shitting!), which the guy I was dating at the time was like, uhhh yeah, good plan! Anyway! And took about 3-4 months before I was doing long runs again (though I could run on a treadmill for 30 minutes a few times per week).

Not me. But you can see the yellow line is straight, the red line is hip to hip, that’s how mine looked.

Then I trained for Nashville (spring 2012) without a hitch. I felt strong. Speedy. And Nashville- well the course was HARD. And I hurt my IT band. Like I was run/walking long runs for a few weeks. And went straight into training for the full. As I am tapering, I wonder how well I trained, and if I’ll be really ready for it. Will I be crying happy tears or painful tears during those last 4 miles. I’ve done 18 miles a few times, I’ve done 20 three times, and 22 once. So I’m worried about the last four.

Then, I remembered why I signed up for Richmond. Allison sent me a you tube video Tue night (Runner’s World Tour of Richmond Marathon, from 2009), and I got all teary eyed and emotional. It’s America’s Friendliest Marathon. I’m ready. I trained my butt off. And I’m not injured. And yes, I’m sick, but I’ll be better in a week. All the training, all the work I’ve put in since July; it’s all going to be put to the test soon. And really, it’s not even since July. Because before July, there was the ground work that got me ready for it all. I’m a bit of a sap. And I will probably cry after I finish. So, Sarah, Allison, if I disappear for 5 minutes, it might be because I found free beer… or it could be because I wanted to take it all in.

Confession- I cried after PR-ing in Nashville (I PR’ed by about 9-10 minutes). It wasn’t even the PR aspect. It was the whole training and feeling like I reached my goal, and ran the best race I could. I was on the verge of tears when I saw a friend of a friend. And then I just sat down, and it hit me. I did it! … I think it will be the same with Richmond. But, I might have to find Allison and cry with her. After all, I couldn’t have done it without her 🙂

There’s a quote I love, and I have it on my refrigerator:

Nothing teaches us to surpass our perceived limitations like running

And that’s the truth. After a great race, I just remember all that I am capable of, and feel it’s all out there- waiting for me to grab it. I never would have dreamed I’d be running a marathon. I’ve always been athletic, but running just isn’t my thing. I still say ‘I’m not a runner’ but I guess I am…

So- goals?

1. Enjoy it. I’m doing my first full marathon! (Who knows if I will ever do another one?) I want to just enjoy it. Not worry about the time or anything; just enjoy it.

2. On the other hand, mid-4:00 would be nice. Under 4:40? That’s my goal. Not my expectation, but my goal.

3. Be able to continue running afterward. Meaning, I don’t want to be one of those people who runs a marathon, and then can’t move for a week, and never runs again. Side note- I registered for our Turkey Trot 8K (12 days post-marathon… I didn’t do the math until after I registered…. It may not be a PR haha).

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