Weight I have lost

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Richmond Marathon 2014

So Saturday morning came.  I was nervous.  My leg hurt.  I woke up and immediately took some Advil.  It was early, like 5:30.  My nerves were just "ahh."  I slowly figured out that my compression pants and 1 shirt was going to be my outfit.  (The race started at 30 degrees and was going to end at 45).  I decided on a baseball cap.  And I had throwaway gloves.  I got down 3 bottles of water and 2 Clif Bars between 5:30 and 7:30 and used the bathroom plenty.  I had my 2 Gatorades in my Camelbak, some Margarita Shot Blocks, I thought Advil, and 5 Honey Stinger Waffles.  To be honest, D was doing his own thing, and I really wasn't paying attention. I took 11 Advil.

Selfie in the hotel room
At 7:30 we decided to go downstairs.  From everything I could've read, the race was basically open for 7hour and 10 minutes total.  So I wanted to start upfront.  So I started with D in the C corral.  I was supposed to be in G.  Had someone said something, I may have cried, but no one did.

Us in the hotel lobby right inside of the start line

So someone sang the National Anthem, we watched the Half Marathoners start (different course), and then the start of the marathon began.

I ran and my leg felt ok.  Sigh of relief.  I ran along Broad Street.  It was pretty crowded, but I seemed to be doing ok.  I got over to the side, so I could do my 9/1 run/1walk thing.  My music was going.  There were a ton of people out.  I guess it is the friendliest marathon.  I was really surprised considering it was 30 degrees out.  But maybe it was hotter. My hands were really hot.  I don't know. Miles 1 came and went.  Only 25 more to go.  "Al, if you think that way, this is going to be the longest race ever. God, my hands are hot."  At Mile 1.5, I got rid of my gloves.  Mile 2 was just running and moving out of town.  We turned somewhere and got on Monument.  There were a couple of monuments (duh), and a lot of row houses.  I miss that in Atlanta.  We don't have row houses.  At Mile 4 we turned.  There was a juggler.  He passed me.  I really hate running jugglers.  Yes, it does piss me off they run faster than me with those stupid balls, and yes, I really do hope they'll fall and trip.  This one dropped a ball and I did feel kind of a calm happiness (hey, I never claimed to be nice!).
Mile 1: 13:27
Mile 2: 13:49
Mile 3: 13:38
Mile 4: 14:10

I turned again, down another street.  There were a few hills.  Having looked at the course online, I knew there was a nice downhill at 7, so that's all I focused on getting too. Again a lot of housing (not row anymore) and it was kind of mundane, in terms of scenery.  However, there was a band, and lots of people out.  Still trying to get to Mile 7... Turned on this little road, and it was down hill.  I could see the 10K line.  I only had to do 4 of those.  Yay, 1/4 of the way there (yeah, I know my math was off).  Then there was a hill.  I walked up it, which was fine, and then resumed running.  It was really shady through mile 6 and downhill.  It was cold. I wished I still had my gloves.  Overall I felt good though.  I was keeping my eating to every 2 miles.  Drinking my Gatorade on my stops and water every 2 miles (at the provided stops).  We got to this little town (like a shopping center) with a "festival" for the runners.  It was a little odd, but all the people there were having a good time and they cheered on all the runners.  So it was nice.  Then we started across this bridge.  I had a lot of energy.  This woman in a blue shirt had her shirt riding way up with her belt rubbing.  At my walk break I sprinted up to her and told her to pull it down not to get a blister.  I think at this point I was at my 4/1, but I don't remember.  Anyway she said thanks.  She seemed to be an interval runner as well, although I couldn't figure out her intervals.  On the bridge we crossed over the James River.  I tried to enjoy it.  There were a lot of leaves.  Once over the bridge, I ran down an "on ramp" and got to Mile 8.  I beat the Mile 7 Cutoff.

D between Mile 4 and 6
V between Mile 4 and 6

Mile 5 14:12
Mile 6: 14:08
10K Time: 1:27:19
Mile 7: 14:17
Mile 8: 14:13

Mile 8 and 9 were alongside the river. It was pretty flat but cold.  The houses were HUGE, and I was really surprised the number of people out, considering how cold it was.

Me between Mile 8 and 9
At Mile 9.9 (not really but you know), you passed a band who was singing to all the women (there were a lot out there).  I passed blue shirt lady again.  We had to run up this hill.  It was a pain, but I got up it. I was starting to get tired.  Shit.  I switched to the Shot Blocks because I was getting tired of the Honey Waffles.  Still a lot of people out.  I wove myself through this neighborhood, and finally was out on a main road.  A couple of times I did see some women (never men) get into cars.  I wondered if they were cheating.  I don't know.  I kept going.  Blue lady and I were shuffling past each other.  Mile 11-13 seemed to be a lot of up hill.  We seemed to be heading back into town. At this point I don't know if it was Richmond, but it is a town.  Finally up all these hills, and the 13.1 mile mark. Oh, why didn't I sign up for the half? But I had beat the 12 Mile Cutoff.

Mile 9: 14:51
Mile 10: 15:07
Mile 11: 15:39
Mile 12: 15:31
Mile 13: 15:56
13.1 Time: 3:11:12

Mile 14 and 15 were all about getting to the Key Bridge.  14 brought me to a more industrial section.  A turn to Mile 15 and I was on the bridge.  It was windy. You needed to look down.  It seemed to be a major trip hazard.  A lot of people were stopping.  At one of my walk breaks, I dug around for my Advil. There was none.  FUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKK! This was concerning to me, because 11 miles there was going to be a problem.  I got over the bridge, and some band dude asked me if I wanted a drink. I was at a party stop.  I was so confused.  No, I didn't want a drink.  Someone handed me some water.  I took a sip. It was Coke. I may have spit it across the road. I don't know why I didn't look at it before drinking but water and Coke are vastly different when you expect one and get the other.  I switched to 2/1 intervals.  These 2 women, Sisters with Sole (I think) came up.  They could do I was limping. I was trying not to cry.  I told them I lost my Advil.  One brought out a baggie and said, she had extra.  To those 2 women, THANK YOU!!!  They went on, I regrouped and restarted.  I turned and went down this winding road.  I hit Mile 17.  They were handing out towels, but I was so far back the kids had started playing swords with them so they didn't really look like something I wanted to put on my face.  I skipped over.  All the water stops were still full.  I just kept moving, but I really wanted to be done.  It was a struggle.  "Just keep moving, AL.  Si se puede."  I kept going.  Finally on BLVD.  I know the Arthur Ashe Center is on this road and it is the last hill.  I was now on 1/1.  My hamstring was killing me.  I wondered if I had over compensated.  I got to the hill and almost cried. In my head, it meant I was going to do it.  I still had to get to Mile 20 which was the last cutoff. I past the lady in the blue shirt.   I saw the Mile 20 sign, and was so deliriously happy.  Only 6 more miles.  Oh Fuck!  6 more miles.  I knew I had to turn into some little neighborhood, so I kept running.  I knew I had slowed down, but I could do it.  Just stay "Si se puede, AL."

Mile 14: 16:11
 Mile 15: 16:05
Mile 16: 17:09
Mile 17: 17:16
Mile 18: 17:08
Mile 19: 17:43
Mile 20: 17:34
20 Mile Time: 5:09:16

The blue lady pulled up beside me, right as I started walking.  She was walking full time. I looked over and told her we had beat the cutoff. She started to cry.  I told her to stop.  We walked a little. She said this wasn't the race she wanted. There was no one out and she was injured. I asked if she wanted me to get a medic. She said no.  She stopped to stretch and take some aspirin.  Then she caught up (it wasn't hard).  At this point I realized I could walk to her pace or run to her pace.  So I walked.  She said she was sure the weather had kept the people out.  I told her I was shocked how many people were still cheering us.  I told her to keep walking and I would make sure we didn't slow that much down.  We walked in silence. I periodically told her how many "laps around the track we had."  When we got to 16 laps, I took a picture.

16 more "laps"
She liked the lap idea.   We walked down Brook Road.  Mile 23 passed us.  Some people offered us their last 2 Saltine Crackers. We took them.  Blue Lady was named Kathy and she was from Charlotte.  She had been running with her coach, but told her to go on and get a good time.  She would just go as far as she could.  We turned.  I looked behind us.  There weren't that many left.  I told her we had 9 laps.  Again more quietness.  We got to Mile 24 and I decided I wanted to be done, so I told her I was going to run.  I got to Mile 25 on my own.  I remembered my calf. I remembered my girl who I once said would cross every finish line with me.  Like hell she wasn't crossing today.

Guinness was getting that medal!
She pulled up beside me with another woman, who was also hurt.  They were both pissed. I was too.  Kathy wanted to cry again. I told her she wasn't allowed to. Because at this point we were so tired, there was comraderie, but man if I'm not eloquent.  I told them "This is character building.  This is when a recruiter asks you what your best accomplishment was, it was this, because there was a mental toughness that overrode the physical.  Stupid or not, we would finish.  This is where we grew a set. This was where we became men."  Then we all laughed.

The entire race there were these flourescent green people.  I assume they were coaches for a local running group.  They were pretty awesome because they had been cheering us on for the last several miles.  One of them let us know we had 11 minutes to get to the finish line.  We had less than .5 miles.  The other lady and I said good-bye to Kathy.  The last part of the race was downhill.  My legs hurt.  I wanted to be done.  I saw D among all the people and there were a lot.  I was going to finish.  I crossed.  It wasn't pretty but I did.  I just started to cry.  I got my medal and hugged the medal lady. I got my blanket and hat. I found D. I hugged him.

D finishing

V finishing.

D and V waiting for me
Me finishing

Mile 21: 17:52
Mile 22: 19:20
Mile 23: 18:54
Mile 24: 18:06
Mile 25: 17:23
Mile 26: 17:31
Mile .27: 4:03.7
Marathon (26.27 according to Garmin): 7:01:11
D Marathon (PR): 4:43:15
V Marathon (PR): 4:45:16

 And then I told him I had to find Kathy. I know he was like, "Who is Kathy?"  She crossed (she actually had a better net time than me, but eh), and we hugged.  Then she saw her friends, so I left her.

V and her friend E found us and we all hugged.  While E took our pictures, Kathy's running team came over, and thanked me.  Really?  She helped me.  We cried and got a picture as well.

Me and D
D, me and V
Me and Kathy
Post Marathon Beer
Finisher's Hat, Shirt and Medal

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