Well, there is no turning back now… I have registered, paid, and told the world that I’m running the Richmond Marathon in November. This gives me a little less than 4 months to complete the rest of my training.
So far, I think it has been going pretty smoothly, aside for the heat and multiple treadmill dates. I’m getting in the mileage that I’ve set for each week and I haven’t hit a “why am I doing this to myself” wall yet. *knock on wood* I am in the middle of week 5 of Marathon training and now have 17 weeks left. I have been adding a mile to my long run every week (I have a 12-mile run this weekend), and have left enough time to reach 26 miles, if I choose to take my training runs that far. Even if I do go to that distance prior to the race, I’ll still have 3 weeks that I can use as cushion/taper/
vacation weeks. My other, shorter runs range from tempo runs to treadmill intervals with the distances at no less than 3 miles and so far up to 7 miles. I have started to build these runs up, whether by increasing my pace, adding incline, or furthering the length. I will continue to do so until I reach my tapering weeks.
I am pretty excited about my decision to switch to the Richmond Marathon. It has been named “America’s Friendliest Marathon,” and from the reviews I’ve read, a lot of people agree. The website states: “Runner’s World Magazine named us a “Must Do” marathon in 2005 & 2009 and twice selected us as the site of their Marathon Challenge!” The race is also described by Runner’s World Magazine:
This marathon starts and finishes in charming historic downtown Richmond, once the capital of the south. The scenic, fast loop course takes in all of the city’s old neighborhoods, traveling up Monument Avenue, past statues of Confederate soldiers and Richmond native and tennis star Arthur Ashe, through the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, then alongside the James River. Along with the typical water and sports drink stops, this is probably the only race in the country that offers junk food stops, at miles 16 and 22, stocked with Gummy Bears, cookies, and soda. There are also two wet-washcloth stations, at miles 17 and 23, perfect for cleaning up for your finish-line photo. Three party zones set up along the way with free food, prize giveaways, and noisemakers for spectators and family means lots of enthusiastic, cheering support. The last mile features a fast downhill to the finish in the trendy Shockoe Slip area, where there are plenty of postrace goodies, including bagels, fruit, and pizza, and a band to celebrate your finish. (Runner’s World, January 2005)
JUNK FOOD STATIONS??? Music to my sweet tooth’s ears! And as simple as a wet washcloth may seem, when I was handed one at the Run for the Dream Half Marathon, it was as if someone handed me gold. It was just what I needed and felt amazing! And since the race is located in Richmond, where a chunk of my family lives, it’ll be easier to have a bigger cheering section waiting for me on the big day.
According to the description, the course features rolling hills and a downhill finish, which I am sure I’ll be thankful for. Runners will follow a road through the historic district and alongside the James River, making for a pretty scenic route. Hopefully the trees will still be showing their fall colors. Click the image of the course map to see the clear, .pdf version.
Because this will be my first marathon, I don’t have a clear idea about what a good finish time for me would be. I’ll have a better idea once I work up to a 20-mile long run (training week 13) and see what pace I can last at. Right now my goal is simply to finish. Based on my half-marathon time, I’m hoping for between 4:30 – sub-5:00. I’ll worry about getting faster once I complete my first marathon. Time really isn’t that important to me for this specific race; no matter what I finish in, it’ll be a PR, right?!
Is anyone else running the Richmond Marathon? Or any other Marathon?
Does your race have any cool features like a “Junk Food Station”?
What is your goal finish time?
What are you most excited/nervous about?