Tuesday, November 15, 2016


I got a little fatigued in that last blog post, wrapping up the Richmond Marathon. I'd written up to mile 21 in one day and the last 5 miles the next, so I apologize if there was a lack of continuity. I just wanted to get it done, honestly. The race and the write-up. So I'll wrap up some of the minutiae here: I finished in 19th place, 5th in my age group. I averaged 6:05 pace. I've run 9 marathons faster than I did on Saturday, and placed higher than 19th in 7 marathons. Richmond was the 15th marathon that I've run. It is the third marathon I've run since becoming a father, and the first one since becoming a father of two.


I said I had mixed feelings about the race, and maybe I didn't go into enough detail about that. I am generally happy with the way that I ran. I was patient during the first 17 miles, got after it during the last 10K to pass just about everyone, almost running with reckless abandon. It felt like racing, which is not a feeling I've had before at the end of a marathon... strength. I enjoyed it. I ran a decent negative split, which hopefully will net me a new pair of New Balance shoes courtesy of Strava. I was smart and was able to finish strong (ish) at the end because of it. I got under my time goal of 2:39:59 with several seconds to spare.

Additionally, Matt ran great. He was a little banged up coming into the race, skipping the Men's 4 Miler and a couple of other workouts around it. Alec and I were really worried that Matt killed his chances with our 12 mile tempo at Riverview, because things were looking really bad for him for a while after that. But he took care of himself, listened to his legs, and showed up on race day. Maybe he was a little over his time goal (I'm disappointed to say I'm not 100% on what it was), but he ran a massive PR. His wife said afterwards that it was a great success because they weren't going to the emergency room (which has happened in the past.) That's certainly one way of looking at it, but either way he did a good job and I'm proud of him.


But then there is Alec. All jokes about not finish the race aside, I'm just sad that my friend had a tough day and walked away disappointed. I've run marathons with guys who had a bad run before. Hell, I've been that guy a bunch of times (Chicago 2009, Outer Banks 2009, Twin Cities 2010, Boston 2015) and it sucks. But usually those guys finished the race and just ran slowly. It's another beast when you can't get to the finish line. And it's not like he ran like an idiot like some people I know who consistently drop out of marathons for going out too fast. We were doing what we were supposed to do-- running controlled and hitting the paces. It just wasn't in the cards that day for him.


Back on the positive side of things (wait for it, it's coming), I ran a few seconds slower than the Three Bridges Marathon. The point of that race was to run under 2:45 and I ended up going faster than necessary and running 2:39:44. When I realized that on Saturday or Sunday (re: looked it up), I was pissed. How did I not run faster this time? I only trained to run 2:45 then, and this time I was shooting for a faster time! Well today I realized a couple of those reasons but the number #1 difference to look at is this: During the 3BM, I broke my foot at mile 17. I FELT IT BREAK during the race! I couldn't walk for a week and was in a boot for months after that. It was awful. Thinking about Richmond, I walked away sore but pain free. I was ready to go running Sunday (didn't) and actually ran this morning. No boot. No break. Just tight and sore.  So who cares about 7 seconds? I can run tomorrow morning if I want to.

Left Right A B A B Start

So what is next? People always ask that after a big race. I wonder if the 5K Weekend Warriors get that a lot too. I'm not signing up for another marathon this week, if that's what people are wondering. I'm going to run the Kelly Watt Memorial 2 Mile on Saturday morning at Panorama. I love racing on the grass and definitely plan to spike up, regardless of how embarrassing it will be. I'll probably still beat Alec though. Although this is his chance at redemption-- I've got an extra 9 miles in my legs that he doesn't have. I'm going to run the Turkey Trot in FXBG with KC on Thanksgiving. Then I just want to stay in some semblance of shape through the winter and keep the injury bug away. The Charlottesville 10 Miler will be in March and I'd like to run that without worrying about Rachel catching me at the line. Then who knows? There's always the White Whale. Maybe I can train for that. I'll be 34 years old then, but that's still plenty young. I mean, geez, Matt Boyd is about to get second place overall in the FARC Grand Prix... anything is possible in this day and age. I'm definitely going back to Mekong to get some more crispy pork spring rolls.

For the first time in a while though, I definitely mean it when I say it: Onwards and upwards.

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Race Photos