My love for Richmond just grew tenfold this past weekend. I’ve talked quite a bit about Richmond and why I love the race. Well, I will now gladly add the half marathon to that list. I had a wonderful time in Richmond and an excited to share my Richmond Half Marathon Recap with y’all.
As you’ll recall, I set 3 goals for this race. My A goal (perfect day) was in the 2:10 range. That would not have been a PR, but I wasn’t searching for a PR, just a strong run. Since I wasn’t shooting for a tough goal time, I decided that I just wanted to run by feel. I covered my watch with my sleeve during the entire race and did not look at it until right before mile 12. But before we get to mile 12, let’s start from the beginning.
The race started at 7:30, so I met up with friends, training buddies and Oiselle teammates for pics at 7am. After pictures and another final bathroom break, we headed out to the corrals. I dropped my bag at bag check and got in place to run. The weather was perfect for distance running. Cool, about 35 degrees at the start but sunny. Low humidity and a slight breeze. Chilly to start and I kept my throw away gloves on until about mile 8, but really solid weather overall.
The half marathon course covers the same ground the full marathon course does, but they divert the courses away from each other so the marathoners and the half marathoners are never really on the same part of the course at the same time except at the finish. It works out really well and the course is never super crowded but you’re never all alone. All this to say that I’d already ran most of the half marathon course during the full – except for two sections – an out and back around mile four and a loop in a park around mile six. So I knew what to expect for the most part.
I ran most of the race with my friend Deb from my training group. We had lots of fun and spotted other friends while running. The loop in the park was the hilliest portion of the course and I was not thrilled with the unexpected hills. It really was not awful, but I just wasn’t expecting it, so kept being like “ugh. another hill?” In reality, those hillier miles didn’t affect my pace really at all. I loved running the parts of the course I remembered and except for those middle miles, the race went by quickly. As we passed the marathon signs in the later miles, I was reminded of how I’d felt the past two years running the full. I have to say, I was also really glad I was running the half. 🙂
Here are my splits:
- last little .1 at the finish: 7:34
Let’s talk about that last mile. So about a quarter of the way into the last mile, I spotted Coach T. Coach T coaches for the Potomac River Running Company’s training programs here in DC. She was my coach two winters ago and I regularly saw her at the track this summer. She’s amazing and I love seeing her at races. Well, she was at about mile 12.25 and when I spotted her and shouted “Coach T!” she decided to give me a bit of a push. She ran just ahead of me saying “come on! Push it! Pick it up!” Meanwhile, I regretted saying hi 🙂 Just joking – the push was awesome and probably was the thing that gave me that PR. I felt like I was dying but it was incredible. Thanks, Coach! And then of course, the final bit of the course is a steep downhill in which your legs just fly. It was awesome.
Final time: 2:04:52 – a new PR by just under a minute (my previous PR ws 2:05:49). I negative split the race, which was a great feeling. I’m ready to go for sub 2 next spring. I really liked not looking at my watch and may try to do some more races and runs that way. It was super refreshing and made the race very low stress.
What I wore: Oiselle Distance shorts, Oiselle lux long sleeve shirt, Oiselle singlet, Injinji socks, Zensah calf sleeves (affiliate links) and Adidas Boost Glide sneakers. I carried my Nathan handheld and had my phone in my back pocket of my shorts.
Fueling: I drank water with Nuun in it for the first couple hours. I had some Honey Stinger chews in my handheld pocket but never ate them. I do think I should’ve fueled at some point during the race, but I wasn’t hungry. I ate my breakfast (pb&j sammie) a bit later and so food wasn’t appealing. I think a gel would’ve been great, but I can’t tolerate gu and was nervous to try the gel they offered on the course because I had never tried it. Once I crossed the finish line, I felt kind of woozy – probably due to the lack of calories. However, a bottle of Powerade and a slice of pizza (because Richmond is amazing) later, I felt brand new!
I can’t say enough good things about this race. I’ve always loved the full and I enjoyed the half just as much. Oh, I have to add – after I finished the half, I walked over to mile 25 on the course and cheered in some of the full marathoners. It was amazing. I love spectating almost as much as I love racing – and that’s a lot. A great day of racing and cheering – I can’t think of anything better!
If you ran please link up your Richmond race recap below – I’d love to hear about your race.
Have you ever run Richmond? If you are thinking you might want to, go sign up! It’s 70$ for the full and 60$ for the half until Thursday night!