November 24, 2014

Richmond Marathon Thoughts

I've had ample time to process my race experience and as I promised, wanted to share some final thoughts and other logistical info about Richmond marathon. My recap captured my mile by mile experience and I wanted to provide some other input on the race itself, because it's a good one! I really enjoyed my friend Danielle's post on the NYC marathon and am going to copy her way of breaking down her race thoughts - personal lessons and race-specific thoughts.

Thoughts on the Richmond Marathon:
- Gorgeous course with incredible crowd support. The community really gets behind this race.

- Fantastic swag! The marathoners received a long-sleeved tech shirt in gender specific-sizing (yay!!), a finisher's hat, and finisher's blanket. The blankets are so perfect for cold races...I didn't use mine since I had the blanket from the medical tent but pretty much every runner had it wrapped around them. And while not all that exciting, I really loved the door hanger that was included with each race packet. A fun and unique addition!

- The absence of medical support on course cannot be overlooked. It's not only a massive lawsuit waiting to happen but it's irresponsible and simply unacceptable. In full disclosure, I never looked for medical before I needed it but there was no one to be found on the course from miles 18ish until the finish. The finish line medical support was incredible and I appreciated the amazing blankets they had. I felt like I was wrapped in a warm cocoon!
- The expo had some great gear but most of the marathon-specific gear was sold out Friday afternoon when we arrived (around 3:45 pm). Luckily Mom picked up the pint glass I wanted. We got some fun freebies and enjoyed a few photo ops.

Personal Lessons:
- I never got "up" for this race. I was excited. I was well-trained. But I never felt the hype that I often feel for big races. I'm not exactly sure what caused this or if I was simply more excited for the race to be over and behind me rather than actually running it, but I think deep down this was a challenge for me.
- I missed having a running buddy. I got in my own head a little bit early on in the race and struggled to recover. I also think having a buddy helps keep your mind off the suffering before it's too late.
- Don't write your mantra on your hand until the morning of...purple ink on my face. Whoops!

- Based on my race morning hunger and my feelings of needing fuel early and often during the race, I think I was under-fueled going into the race. I've never consciously thought about calorie loading going into a race and I don't think I was under eating but I think this might have contributed to my crash late in the race.
- I trained hard for the hills using the incline feature on the treadmill, but they're no match for the steep up and downs on this course. I'm not sure how I would change this...other than moving to a very hilly place!
- I am unbelievably grateful that Mom just kept running with me. Even though I know she was tired and completely unprepared (because it was completely unplanned, duh!) to run 10 miles after her 8k that morning, she rocked it with me and I am forever grateful that she helped keep me going.
- Even though I still feel some disappointment and letdown about this race, I keep reminding myself that I finished something that was unbelievably hard. It sucked and it hurt but I kept going. And I proved to myself that I can finish what I started, even if plans go awry.
Rocking the medal in my Irish fisherman sweater from
another very special family race trip!
All things considered, I would definitely run one of the Richmond races again!


  1. All that race swag sounds amazing! Love the idea of the door hanger too :) .

  2. Great post Christine and yay for pushing through it. I think fueling also impacted me race morning (I thought I consumed enough, but due to the wait I must have depleted most of it). Sorry to hear about the medical tents - I hope this is a change they institute in years to come (and those are the miles I imagine the medical tents to be high in demand). Nice pint glass and cute door hanger - wish NY had those.

  3. Love all the swag! And the door hanger is awesome! Great job for pushing through that race Christine!

  4. It's so interesting how similar our recent marathon experiences were...we both had trouble getting excited for there race we were running and then come race day we both ended up under fueled, freezing cold and not having the race we were hoping for.

    Your right, the medical tent thing is a major issue that really needs to be address. Hopefully they receive some feedback and make some changes before next year!

  5. Loved reading this being from Richmond and having run this race 2 years ago. PLEASE contact Sportsbackers and share your concerns about medical help being is SO important that they know how this impacted you- and future runners, too! THANK YOU!

  6. Yes, medical support is a must. I hope they fix that.

  7. Sounds like a great race (except for not having medical when you need it). That is an awesome medal. Love when races give you all the swag. -L

  8. This sounds like a great race minus the lack of medical support. I agree that sometimes I haven't paid much attention to whether or not races had that and now that I think about it, I don't recall any of my recent races having it (granted most are small races, but it would make sense to at least have an ambulance onsite if you have a few hundred people running a 5K/10K). Congratulations on finishing and earning all that cool swag- that door hanger sign is the coolest!

  9. Lack of medical support in a marathon is not okay. I'm glad that you didn't seriously need it while on course. And, congrats! You are such a rockstar and should really be proud of what you accomplished :)

  10. I'm really surprised about the lack of medical support, that's a bit disappointing! I think I need to run this race sometime soon!

  11. hmmm i didn't think about medical although i probably could've used a medics massage or tips on my cramping in those late miles as well. i enjoyed reading this. i don't think i'll have my lessons / final thoughts post up until next week - i'm still thinking ALL the thoughts :) congrats again!

  12. It's all about running with the cards you are dealt that day. You should be very proud. You did it!