The Richmond Re-cap!!!!!!!!!


What weekend!!!!! Spoiler alert…… I am pretty sure that it could not possibly have gone any better :)!

Even though our anniversary is in Sept, my husband and I got each other the Richmond Marathon as a present and decided to make this weekend our anniversary weekend :).

We got the kids packed up to stay at a friends house and headed out on Friday around 11.

Leading up to the race I was trying really hard to just stay calm about the whole thing. I didn’t want to go into this race all nervous and worried about my time (this is typically when I seem to have a bad race). I was really just wanting to enjoy the whole weekend spending time with my husband no matter what happened in the race.

As the race got closer it seemed like the the race day temperature kept dropping.This led to me packing several options for what to wear race day.We actually laughed when we were bringing our stuff to our room at the hotel because it looked like we had packed for the week!  I actually considered pants as an option in my it is so cold what am I going to do frenzy. I am SO glad I did not go with this option….I would have been way to warm!

So, after we dropped the kids off we headed right to the expo. We got our packets and had a lot of fun just spending too much time at the expo :). I left the expo with a new pair of headphones (the salesman won me over), and my husband left with a new pair of sunglasses. From there we went right to our hotel. Instead of going out to eat we got a hotel room that had a mini kitchen and it was perfect!!!

I never sleep well the night before a race…I just know it’s not going to happen.

Race morning!


A man at the expo told us to get to the race at 6 am…the race started at 7:50…this seemed insanely early to me. I decided to quickly ask a friend who has run this race before if it was really necessary to get there that early and she said no (thanks Emma).

Our plan was to leave the hotel by 6:45 to get there about 7, but we were running a tad bit late (probably in part because we…mostly me…couldn’t decide what to wear) and ended up leaving around 7. By the time we got parked and walked to the start area (about 6 blocks away), it was 7:30. I wasn’t too terribly worried…but I was slightly panicking because I wanted to find a porta-potty! It turned out that right near the start line was a hotel that was allowing runners to stay warm and use their restrooms…AWESOME!!!

We used the bathroom and got outside about 2 minutes before the start! This is WAY closer to the start than I am comfortable with…but it worked! Honestly, we probably didn’t even need the throw away clothes, but oh well.

Start temp was right about 30 degrees.

The race started and neither my husband or I were in our wave, but I just kept telling myself that it was no big deal…just run your race.

The night before we both worked on race plans. I had 2 plans. Plan 1. was actually different than I have ever done, and I have never actually heard of anyone doing this. I was thinking that because my last 22 mile training run had gone so well and in that run I ran 6 faster tempo paced miles that I might try to add tempo miles into my marathon. I was planning to do mile 6-9 and miles 12-15 at about a 7:30 pace and hope to keep all my other miles at a 7:48 pace. Plan number 2 was to run mile 2-20 at a 7:48 and hope to pick it up after that. I did neither of them.

My husband’s race plan was a little uncertain because his training was not what he wanted it to be. He of course wanted to PR 3:52, but if that was not possible than he wanted to break 4 hours. I should mention that he is Superman because he ran this marathon with his peak mileage being in the mid 20’s!!!!!!! He did have 1 week that was 31, but that was including a long hike that he did so I don’t actually count that as running. I do not know many people who can break a 4 hour marathon with so little training!!!

Here is how my race broke down mile by mile :)…and some thoughts as I remember them.

1. 7:55- I actually stopped to fix my shoe that was tied too tight in this mile…which is probably a good thing because it slowed me down

2. 7:37- a little fast, i just kept telling myself to relax

3. 7:39

4. 7:33

5. 7:27- Oh boy…I am not sticking to my plans!

6. 7:34

7. 7:05- AH! What have I done!!!! This mile was down hill, but I had a minor panic when I saw the time…too fast!

8. 7:26- Just decided to forget plan 1 and 2 and find a comfortable pace…it is what it is.

9.  7:18

10. 7:32- The gloves come off 🙂

11. 7:37- I took my only gel. I decided to try a new gel and LOVED it!!! I would never recommend trying something new on race day to anyone, but I did it. It was a Powergel Double Latte that I got at the expo. I got 2 and tried it to see if I liked the taste the night before. If I did I was going to replace my GU. I did and I actually wished I had one more to take around mile 18!

12. 7:31

13. 7:36

14. 7:27

15. 7:21

16. 7:33- Powerade

17. 7:35

18. 7:33

19. 7:27

20. 7:43- I LOVE that this race has water stops every mile from 20 to the finish! I just kept telling myslef to get to the next water stop.

21. 7:52- I stopped at this station and drank a Powerade and water.

22. 7:50

23. 7:42

24. 7:32- I was really struggling here and then a girl went running past me at a pace that I couldn’t hold, (probably a 7:20) but it motivated me and I just tried to hang with her for as long as I could. I have to also add       that as she was flying by me she was whipping off her nice gloves and arm sleeves. I couldn’t believe she throwing them off this late in the race! I was totally thinking “oh boy, the gloves are coming off”.

25. 7:52

26. 7:28

.2. my watch doesn’t say but I figured it out to be a 6:30 pace…..This .2 was also totally downhill which at the time was great, but I think that has contributed to some pretty sore legs!



An 11 minute PR and 32 minutes faster than my 1st marathon!

So, there it is! It may not have been perfect, but I am THRILLED with it! I went into this race knowing that a 3:20-3:25 was a very realistic goal if I got through the last 6 miles ok. I was really thinking it would probably be closer to 3:25 unless it was a great day…..but breaking 3:20 was not really on my radar! I didn’t negative split, but it was close enough for me. I also brought skittles to use as fuel because that worked for me on 2 of my long runs (one being my 22 miler), but they were nearly impossible to chew because they were so cold!

My husband also had a great race. Although he didn’t PR, he did break 4 hours!!! 3:58! AMAZING….3:58 on no more than 26 miles a week (and this was only a few of the weeks). His Garmin also didn’t find a signal until mile 16…I can’t believe it! That would have sent me into panic mode!


The fleece blankets that they passed out to finishers were the BEST idea ever!!!!!!! That is probably the coolest thing I can think of to do!….and there was no way I was taking it off  🙂

We both had such an amazing time and the course was beautiful…we already signed up for next year!!!!

Have you ever had a race go better than planned?

Anyone run races with their spouse? 🙂




  1. says

    WOOHOO Congrats on your fantastic race!! Great job to your hubby too, that is darn impressive with such little training 🙂
    Doesn’t it just feel fantastic when you can let go of race plans but you still manage to run an awesome race and PR? You trained hard for that sub-3:20 and definitely deserve it!!
    Also, fleece finishers blankets?! Can that please become the norm? 😉

    • Jen says

      Thanks Amber :)….your 1/2 PR was kinda the same way….AMAZING job by the way!!! I seem to do a lot better when I don’t worry as much and just stay in the mile and stay relaxed.
      The fleece blankets I believe are the greatest idea since sliced bread :)! That sealed the deal for me and I already signed up for next year!!!!

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