Just three weeks after running the Marine Corps Marathon, I spontaneously signed up for the Richmond Half Marathon the Monday prior to the race. I had originally planned for MCM to be my last race for 2015, but I was a little disappointed with the outcome of Marine Corps Marathon, despite getting a personal record and shaving 7 minutes off my Chicago Marathon time from last year. I know I am capable of running better than I did, but I know I can do some things differently at MCM next time. I also knew several other people running Richmond, so I decided to sign up and see how it goes. I had only run 4 times between MCM and Richmond, the longest and last run being the Monday before the race. I went into Richmond relaxed and not caring too much about the results – just be under 2 hours.
I had a friend pickup my race bib and packet, so I cannot comment on the race Expo, but on race day, things seemed to run very smoothly. There were plenty of bathrooms for 10,000+ runners or more there that morning. It was easy to find parking and get to the starting line. The course itself is fairly flat with some hills here and there but not bad at all. I felt like the crowd support was pretty good for a smaller city. The course winds through a very nice park and through streets in Richmond and through some very nice neighborhoods. The weather was perfect for this race – cool and sunny, very low humidity.
My plan going into this race was 1) Eat a better breakfast than I did for MCM 2) Try taking some salt tablets, and 3) Run the first 6-7 miles at a 9:00 minute/mile pace and then run the back half a little faster, ensuring that I would meet my goal of being under 2 hours. I was not thinking about getting a PR following this strategy, but then something crazy happened. Around mile 7, just as I started to increase my pace to around 8:45, I had an empty gel wrapper in my pocket that I wanted to toss at a water stop. When I did, I think my car remote must have dropped out of my pocket at that point, and I did not notice.
Around mile 8-9, I did finally notice that my remote was not in my pocket! I left my keys in my car and just carried the remote with me as to not worry about carrying all the keys. So in the middle of the race, I am concerned about losing the remote, and I began to run faster. My pace went to around an 8:20 pace for the remaining miles. Towards the end of mile 12, I realized I had a shot at a PR, and despite the lost car remote looming over my head, I focused the last bit of the race on my running and keeping a pace that would ensure a PR. I was able to do that and achieve the PR and then worry about the remote afterwards.
I did not get my car remote back that day and had to wait and hour and a half for a towing company to unlock my car. But I contacted the race company by email and told them about the remote. A couple days later, I received a phone call from them saying they did have my remote. This race has a happy ending – A PR because of a lost remote, which was bitter sweet, and then getting the remote back just makes this race perfect!
New PR: 1:53:19, Top 20% finish
Rating: 4.8/5.0 stars