living in the now

Still rambling about running. Sometimes other things.

Filtering by Tag: Richmond Half Marathon

Thankful, grateful and a PR

2013 Richmond Half Marathon medal

I'm interrupting this month's "Thankful for" posts this weekend to focus on one of the most amazing things that's happened in my nearly 10 years of running -- pacing my sister to a half marathon PR.

2013 Richmond Half MarathonAnd not just any PR. Destroying a PR by knocking nearly 12 minutes off her PR and going under 2 hours by 56 seconds.

This is the second time this year I've run with my sister Heather and helping her notch a personal best -- more than 6 months ago I paced her to a PR at the Monument Avenue 10K.

Saturday's race was about the most well executed 13.1 miles I've ever run -- all this coming after I overslept for an hour, forgot my Garmin, and stood in a downpour for nearly 30 minutes.

My friend Josh came to the rescue by letting me wear his watch, and we kept right on pace nearly the entire race. Josh, who was running his first half, ran the first 6 miles with us and cruised to a 1:52 finish. His race is deserving of a separate blog post.

There were a couple of moments just before 10 miles that I didn't know if the sub 2-hour half would happen, but when we hit the 5K-to-go mark, the goal became simple: have my sister run a 29:30 or better 5K, something she's done many times.

When he hit what I think is the most dreadful finish in all of racing -- a sharp downhill for nearly a half mile -- I knew she had this sub 2-hour half under her belt. It was all about not stopping or tripping on the wet pavement at that point.

I had so many emotions about crossing that finish line. Knowing she beat her goal and destroyed a PR felt as rewarding as any PR I've ever set. I also thought about last year when I crossed that same finish line in the marathon how much I had fallen out of love with running.

The last 5 miles of the half follow the same course as the full -- running along those roads where I felt so bad last year gave me a sense of closure. Time to really move on.

And what better way to move on than celebrating a PR.

Thankful for race weeks

Richmond Marathon, Half MarathonOn this day 11 of my "thankful for" posts, I've been thinking a lot about race weeks. The nerves, the joys, the what ifs, the extra plate of spaghetti. I've always loved the few days before a race. They're opportunities to reflect while also anticipating what could happen.

Today I've thought a lot about how race week has lost some of its appeal with me in the past year. It was a year ago yesterday that I ran the Richmond Marathon and decided I needed a break. I've enjoyed the break of lower mileage and fewer races, but also getting in some great events along the way.

In this month of expressing my thanks, I'm realizing how much I miss racing and big goals. I miss those early week race nerves. I know that a year ago I put too much pressure on myself at the Richmond Marathon. I had to escape the big goals for a while. I think every runner should.

So on day 11, I'm thankful for race weeks and the feelings and emotions they bring on that I never thought were possible. And I hope I get those feelings back really soon.

No. 1039

After so little blogging in the past few months, I feel this sudden urge to write about a lot of things. Only problem is having the time to do that. Like everything else outside of work and family, I have to devote 30 minutes a few times a week to sit and write. That'll happen eventually. For now, I just need a mind-clearing post and turn some of these into actual posts later on:

* This weekend I'm running the Five and Dime at the Runner's World Festival. That's a 5K followed by a 10K. My plan remains like it was when I first mentioned this ... which is I don't know. I certainly won't "race" these two events. I'm just running them a little faster and with more effort than other runs I've had lately. And that, to me, is all I need headed into the rest of fall.

* By "rest of fall," I mean also taking part in an event that I know I won't fully "race" -- the Richmond Half Marathon. This event to me is all about seeing where I am. Will going for a PR 5 months later at Shamrock be realistic? Will I not go too crazy doing another race and not setting a goal in stone? It's kind of a race that'll fit what's become the theme of my year -- a test.

* I'm also raising money for Comfort Zone Camp at the Richmond Half. Help me out and win cool stuff in the process.

* I realized recently that every year I've been running I've set at least one PR. Some PRs are bigger and more important than others, but it's a streak that I can't let end this year. I decided that in December to go for a PR in the 10-miler at the Surf 'n' Santa race in Virginia Beach. It's flat and at sea level. Certainly I can beat last year's mark at the Virginia Ten Miler. I'll explain more in a later post ... about everything.

No plan is the working plan, for now

running road arrowAs I look ahead to running the Blue Ridge Marathon next year, I'm already thinking about what I want to do for training. Plan or no plan or the in between. Generally speaking, I do best when my exact mileage isn't on paper or an Excel file. When I have a mileage range for each run or week, I don't have any major problems. When I do have exact plans, I do OK for 2 weeks, then I get overwhelmed when I look at it and then change all my plans.

That, however, doesn't mean I'm not open-minded about trying it again.

That, then, leads me to what I want to do the rest of 2013. This week is a perfect example of how not planning things has worked out to my advantage. While each day I've been anticipating possibly being thrown off for a long time with my second son, I got in 4 good runs, 3 short bike rides, and a solid amount of push-ups and sit-ups for my monthly goal.

If I can do that in a week filled with a lot of life's stresses, then surely I can build a solid base through the rest of the year, run a decent Richmond Half Marathon and Surf 'n' Santa 10 Miler, and be ready for winter training for Blue Ridge.

Whether that's on paper or an app or my own file or nothing at all is something I'll do a lot of thinking about in the next few months. ...

No. 1,025

  • Writer's block has hit me hard-core, but only here. Funny, though, that I'm not struggling at work or when I start a post on the #RunChat site.
  • I am signed up for a spring marathon. Perhaps I should write about that one day. You can figure it out if you like blog tags.
  • I met Patton of Optimal Run this week. Great guy, great company. Can't wait to get to know him better and share more of our thoughts.
  • Instead of writing in my spare evening time, I'm thinking a lot about baby names. It's funny how one day something sounds just right, then the next it doesn't. The process of picking names and also keeping it secret is one of the greatest things in life I've experienced.
  • I have a fundraiser for my half marathon in November. I need to write about that, too, but in the meantime click here to go check it out.
  • Quick update on my August goals: 10 running miles so far, 6.5 biking; 145 total push-ups in 6 days; 6 miles was my long run on Friday. Everything is right where it needs to be, except I missed a ride this morning due to thunderstorms.