February 12, 2013

VA is for Lovers 14k Recap

Like I mentioned previously, my registration into the Virginia is for Lovers 14k was a bit last minute.  Since we weren't able to get over to the expo on Friday before the race, we headed over to the race a bit early to get our bibs and swag.  The race took place at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex which includes a Fieldhouse, stadium and numerous fields and trails.  The packet pickup was set up inside which was great since it was VERY chilly and breezy.  The lines to get everything were nonexistent-another plus.  We hung out for a few minutes, trying to stay inside as long as possible, and then headed out to the starting line about 10 minutes before the race. 
You can tell it's cold by the crowd's cold-weather apparel!
I was in corral 2 while Krissy was in corral 1 and luckily they weren't really checking, so I was able to sneak into corral 1.  Note that all corrals for J&A races are based on self-reported estimated finish time, so I just need to learn to do some better estimating!  
Nice photo bomber, huh?!
A few minutes after getting to the starting line, we were off and running.  We settled into a good pace for the first few miles and enjoyed chatting.  Note that I sort of forgot about my 9:1 run:walk plan and realized a little after mile 1 that I'd missed my walk break.  In that moment, I threw caution to the wind and decided to see if I could run this beast.  There were some great outfits and signs with corny jokes along the course that were great entertainment. 
My Valentine "flair" - glittery heart foam stickers on my compression socks.
I liked that the course wasn't all on roads - we ran through some fields, trails, sidewalks and even through Virginia Beach Farm Bureau Live, which is the area's largest outdoor music venue.  Little did I know when we ran through the entry gates that we would actually run through the concert area.  In this section of the course, they had cheesy love songs on signs which was another great diversion.  
Running through Farm Bureau Live - Krissy is on the left in pink and you
can see some of the love song signs on the right
 At about mile 4, I was getting a little more tired and Krissy was pulling ahead a bit.  I was pretty comfortable with my pace and told her she could go ahead.  The next few miles were a little boring and I decided to turn on my music for a little boost.  Just after mile 6, I saw Krissy had slowed down a lot and was off to the side waiting for me to catch her.  She told me I just PR'ed my 10k and I had, by about 4 minutes!!  Wowzers, can't wait to see what I can do in an actual 10k race!

As we hit mile 7, we started winding through the Virginia Beach Sportsplex and I could feel that the finish line was closing in.  We passed a candy station where they handed out M&M's...they didn't taste very good to me so I tossed them quickly.  And it seemed like just a moment later we were rounding a corner toward the back of the Field House, where we would finish inside.  There were huge red and white banners and we even ran down a red carpet toward the finish line where there was an announcer calling all of our names and the build up for this indoor finish was really cool!  There is something so magical about hearing your name called at the finish.
We're going to send Krissy to remedial photography school...
but pretty cool action shot, eh?
I got my medal, a flower from a fireman (yum!) and heard Krissy calling my name (she finished about 3 minutes before me).  I looped around through the finisher's chute and found her quickly so we could enjoy the PARTAY!
Running friends decked out in our Valentine's finest and shiny new medals!
We got our bags and headed for our post-race snack - tomato and cheddar soup in a bread bowl from Baker's Crust, a local bakery cafe.  This soup is one of my favorites and it's totally delicious!  Unfortunately I had forgotten my ID in the car so a finish line beer wasn't in the cards.  No matter, we still had a fabulous time!
J&A sends out these nifty race summaries in a bib format
Final stats
Time: 1.21.09
Average Pace: 9.24
Splits: 9:17 / 9:33 / 9:21 / 9:27 / 9:15 / 9:22 / 9:23 / 9:39 / 5:53 (9:21 pace)...pretty consistent considering I had no idea if my body could handle straight running!
Cost of Race: $65 plus Active Fees
Overall Grade: A-

Did you do a Valentine-themed race?


  1. What a nice re-cap of your race~ Last minute things sometimes are the most fun! So great you were able to run with your friend Christine...and your Valentine outfit was adorable with the hearts on your socks....did they stay put? :c) You could of left a heart trail for all....lol I love that pink mini skirt...
    I had to laugh at your tossing M&Ms...
    Sounds like a neat race with lots of different areas to run...
    Congrats on a great race!

  2. Love your outfit!! It's so cute. :)

  3. Looks like you both had fun! Love the comment that you need to send Krissy to remedial photography school! LOL

  4. Yea! How cool you guys got to meet up and run together! I need to get over to VA for a race. I travel there for work quite a bit and love the beach area. Great job on the race too!