Sunday, November 13, 2011
The first thing I have to say is this is an OUTSTANDING race! The crowd support is absolutely superb! I would run this one again.
I traveled to Richmond with 2 of my running friends. We went straight to the EXPO which was the biggest one I had ever been to. Everything was super smooth although it was busy. I was already impressed. While at the EXPO I got to finally meet my Sparkbuddy GMWSR15110 and his lovely wife. After we got our bibs and looked around for a bit, we headed to our hotel. We were only a few blocks from race start so it was perfect. We had a wonderful dinner at an Irish Pub then went back to the hotel and called it an early night. I think we were all asleep by 9! This is the best I had ever slept prior to a HM. I was super worried about sleep, food, etc since it was my first race where I would have to spend the night somewhere. I had absolutely no issues with anything!
Woke up at 5:30 so I could eat my normal breakfast, drink and use the restroom. We left the hotel at 7 to walk over to race start which was done in waves and the first wave started at 7:30. I was scheduled to start at 7:42. The temperature at start was 35 but there was no wind. It was actually nice out. The only thing that was cold when we started was my nose.
It wasn't long and I was off.
The route was really nice. The crowd support was amazing. I laughed a few times while I was running at some of the signs that were out there. A relatively flat course - a few "hills" - nothing like I have run in the past 2 HM's though - and a nice downhill on the last half mile or so.
There were plenty of water/gatorade stations, gels and even a junk food station with coke and gummy bears. I never stop at the stations as I take my own but I thought it was well done and stocked!
Lots of food at the end!
I had set out with an ambitious goal of finishing in 2:15. I knew from my Garmin that I was well on my way to making that goal. This was the first time I had never hit an 11 minute pace. All of my miles were in the 10 minute and 9 minute range.
I wasn't sure of my official time when I crossed but I knew from my Garmin that I was really close to my goal. My hubby sent me a text and told me my official time - I had signed him up for the alerts since this was the first time he and the girls wouldn't be with me. I was ecstatic when I saw my official time of 2:13:54!
I had done it! I beat my goal and got a new PR!!
GMWSR15110 and his wife were at the same hotel so got to talk with them for a bit. Wish we would've had more time together but my group and I were leaving as soon as we showered and checked out.