We are marathoners! It takes a few days to digest everything that has happened. There was so much build-up, so much training for just one day. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions before the race, during the race and after the race.
Expo. On Friday, Mike and I drove to Richmond (only 90 minutes from DC) where we met up with my parents who arrived on Thursday. We went to the expo as soon as we arrived in order to beat the probable Friday evening crowds. The volunteers were extremely friendly from the minute we walked in the door! I could see already why the Richmond Marathon is considered America’s Friendliest Marathon. I was disappointed that the I Run Richmond booth was fairly picked over. I really wanted one of the I Run Richmond shirts but they didn’t have any of my size left in any color. They did say they’ll get more in over the next few weeks so I can order online. I got a cute pair of socks though!
We picked up our packets and long-sleeve tech tees. 8K’ers had gray, Half Marathoners had teal and we had orange. The women’s has a deep v-neck – not a recognizable brand but nice style, different.
Evening. Back at the hotel, Mike and I rested our legs and watched Parenthood on NBC.com. The Marriott in downtown Richmond waived the wifi fee for all runners. They also set up a table, staffed by a Marriott employee, in the lobby with free snacks (nuts, trail mix, Hershey bars, bananas, waters), maps and door hangers.
We heated up chicken and pasta leftovers in the microwave in the Marriott gift shop. We ate around 6 pm so we’d have plenty of time to digest before bed! It was kind of hard to wrap my mind around the fact that we were going to run 26.2 miles in the morning.
My shin was feeling strange all day and the muscle on the outside of my shin felt sore, kind of throbbing with a sharp pain if I pressed on certain areas. I was really nervous how the run would go. This was a feeling I hadn’t experienced before and thought it was probably related to the extensor tendonitis. Let’s just say I could have been much more confident going into this race. I had only run 1 mile in 3 weeks (the 20 miler was my last real run) because I was trying to let my tendonitis get better.
Race Morning. 4 am = time for sweet potato baby food with lots of brown sugar. Then back to bed (although I wasn’t really able to fall back to sleep). I do think that baby food helps you to go to the bathroom (often a stressful thing for runners before races). Starbucks in the Marriott opened early for runners so I went down around 5:30 am for a small coffee. The lobby was packed with runners! Around 6 am I had a Larabar and 2 Ibuprofen. The time FLEW from 6 am until race time at 8 am.
Our room overlooked the starting line so we saw the 8K’ers and Half Marathoners head out at 7 am and 7:30 am. The anticipation was building! But it was POURING out. The forecast said that light showers should stop between 8 am and 9 am, so we hoped that we wouldn’t have a rainy run.
I braided my hair, safety-pinned my bib on and got dressed. I love my Nike tank top because there are two pockets in the back where I put a honey stinger waffle (broken in half and put in Ziploc) and the honey stinger chews in a Ziploc. I put nuun water in my water bottle and in the pouch on the bottle I put an Accel gel for mile 7, 4 pieces of gum, 2 ibuprofens and 2 more nuun tablets in a Ziploc.
Our hotel was literally right at the start line so we went down to the lobby at 7:50 am, 10 minutes before the race time! It was great not having to stand out in the cold rain and worry about using a portapotty before the race.