Friday, November 9 (the 2 hour trip that took 5 hours)James and I were wheels up in College Park, Maryland at 3:00 p.m. What should have been a two hour trip took five (yes, FIVE) hours. An overturned mobile home was cleared from 95 South a couple of hours before we even left, but the sheer volume of traffic kept us crawling at a 2-4 miles per hour. The expo closed at 8:00, and we missed it by about five minutes. When we were checking into the hotel, I heard someone say “Tricia?” and I turned around to see Alan! (a member of a running website where I log my runs and talk running with people who understand body glide, 20 milers on Sunday mornings, and carb loading) James and I dumped our stuff off in our room, and then went to get dinner. After waiting an insanely long time for our take out, we paid for our food and headed back to the hotel. We turned on the TV, plopped down on the bed, and started eating our dinner (at 9:30) … and then .. WAH! WAH! WAH! The fire alarm! Are you effing kidding me? Threw on socks and flip flops and a sweatshirt and headed downstairs. We were only outside for 10ish minutes, which wasn’t bad. Oh, and the reason for the fire alarm? Someone smoking in the elevator. Nice. Ate our lukewarm food and went to sleep.
Saturday, November 10 (race day!)
5:45 a.m. // Because we missed the expo, I had to go to packet pick up the morning of the race. I ate breakfast (brought my own oatmeal, honey, peanut butter, and almonds) and walked down the Omhi hotel. Got my tshirt, hat, poster (gotta love anniversary races!), and chip and number. Walked back to the hotel.
6:20 a.m. // Got dressed — first in shorts and a long sleeved tech shirt, then into a tshirt, and then back into the long sleeved … and then .. back into the tshirt. The weather was 45ish and overcast, and was supposed to be in the low 50s at the finish. I couldn’t decide what to wear, but finally just settled on the tshirt, shorts, and throw away gloves.
6:50 a.m. // James and I met Alan in the lobby, who, by the way, is the nicest guy ever. We all walked down to the start and met up with some of Alan’s friends at the Marriott. Used the bathrooms at the hotel (so much better than a por-a-potti!) and then headed to the start.
7:55 a.m. // Anxiously awaiting the start. The five folks who have run ALL THIRTY Richmond Marathons were honored, which was very cool. Alan offered to stay with me and help me keep my pace, which was very, very cool. And then … we’re off! My main concern was keeping a steady pace and not burning out around mile 20.
8:00 a.m. // Headed through downtown Richmond — a charming city. Alan and I ran together at around an 8:55 pace and talked about races, his adorable three year old son, Glen, where we live, etc. Running with a newly found friend was a great way to spend the race. We then headed toward the James River, which was beautiful. It was much more scenic than I imagined for a city marathon. The folks were very friendly — lots of signs, smiles, cheers, little kids’ hands to high five. Alan and I both wore our Garmins, and kept a close watch on our pace.
We ran on a bridge/ highway around mile 14, which really sucked. It was ugly, it was cold, and it was WINDY. I got a kiss from James at mile 15 . There were some hills — actually, more than the elevation chart would have you believe . One of my GUs fell off of my shorts, but I had one chocolate outrage GU, and one raspberry and one vanilla of whatever was on the course. Alan’s hamstring started acting up around mile 17, so he told me to go ahead. The pain really set in around then.
I was thrilled to hit mile 20 … after that, I kept talking myself through to the next mile. Whenever I started to think in terms of time – oh lordy, I have 45 more minutes of this pain — I stopped myself and thought, okay, focus on getting to mile 21. I looked forward to the water stops — not to hydrate, but to walk! Haha. I was warm for the first half the race, but was chilly for the second half. It was that type of weather — nothing would have been totally comfortable, temperature wise. Hitting mile 24 was great — I was thinking, okay, very, very close now. My pace slowed, but not by too much. I saw James around mile 25 1/2 and he was cheering. Once I passed our hotel (it was on the race route), I knew I was 1/2 mile away. I kicked it up and ran from mile 25-26 in 8:22. The crowd was going NUTS at the finish, and I gave it everything I had and kicked it to the finish!
12:00 p.m. // A woman at the end looked at me and said, are you okay? Lady, I just ran 26.2 miles … do ya think I’m okay? I got my medal (yay!) and solar blanket, and headed inside to the Omni to find James. I’m certain I left it all on the course, because I felt like absolute shit. I convinced a woman at the hotel to give me a banana for free (the food at the end was a block from the finish, and I was cold and could barely walk). James found me and we sat down. I was hurtin’! Alan found us and after warming up for a bit, we
2:00 p.m. // First: an ice bath. Brrrrr. Then, a hot shower. Ahhhhhh. I felt a lot better after that, and I ate an apple and string cheese while watching a Sex and the City re run. Excellent. James took a nap. C’mon, the boy watched a marathon that morning!
3:00 p.m. // James, Alan, and I walked to an Irish pub for lunch/ dinner. We ate, laughed, had a few beers, and massaged our sore legs. Alan showed us pictures of his adorable son on his cell phone. We walked back to the hotel, full and happy.
5:00 p.m. // Changed into comfy clothes and read and relaxed. Watched some football and fell asleep pretty early. Oh, and Maryland beat Boston! Go Terps!
Sunday, November 11 (back to Baltimore)
9:00 a.m. // Up to finish packing and check out. Said goodbye to Alan and drove back. We still hit some traffic (damn you, 95!) but made it home in about 2 1/2 hours. Cats are happy to see us (maybe ) and James is napping (like I said, it was an exhausting weekend for him ).
Finish Chip Time: 3:53:13
Overall Place: 1151 (out of 3,682)
Richmond Marathon 2007.