Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Richmond Marathon: Before the Race

With my friend Dane R. The year Dane did 52 marathons in 52 weekends I was a slacker and ran 12 marathons in 12 months. During this year I believe we ran about 8 marathons concurrently. Each marathon Dane beat me by a significant margin. In fact in all of our events (which I would guess is about 20+ events including several in which I took an hour or two early start!) he has beaten me significantly.

Dane is really nice and a wonderful friend. He is always so positive, upbeat, kind and encouraging. I am looking forward to seeing him next year at Umstead 100 when we both will be running 100. I have proposed to him he consider pacing me a few laps because this event he is using as a training run for a 200+ mile ultra event from Gettysburg to DC!!!

I have met Bart Yasso at several different marathon EXPO's. Bart is very nice and super encouraging. He has run Badwater many years ago and has an exciting presentation about his running experiences.

Tristan and I were very lucky to see Bart's presentation a few weeks ago when he presented at the Gaithersburg Fleet Feet Fun Run when was in DC for the Marine Corps Marathon.

Oddly enough, Tristan spoke a few words to Bart. This is highly unusual. If you have ever met my very sweet but very shy husband you probably have not heard much more than a word from Tristan. But I think Tristan was amazed by the spectacular scenery during his presentation including the top of Mt Whitney after Badwater.

My friend Jen from the New River Trail 50 km was at the Runners World Booth. I was very pleasantly surprised to see her and for a bit was confused about this.

When we met at the New River Trail 50km, I knew her as a really nice runner turned spectator at the finish line. I knew she had run with Annette B. at the 24 hour world championship but it never registered that she was also active in other aspects of the running community.

Jen is so sweet and will be running JFK50 miler (her first 50 miler) this coming weekend. I know she will do GREAT!!! She has trained and will have great fun along the course. If she doesn't she can always slow down and we can hang together because I always have fun along the course:-)

Before the marathon I decided to change up my pre-race diet.

Also I inadvertantly forgot to grab my Ukrops cake from the car when Tristan dropped me off. Having gone to school at MCV (Medical College of Virginia) right near the start of the Richmond Marathon, I knew there was a McDonalds at the hospital. This meant food and a nice bathroom with running water. For my pre-race bathroom visit I was the only person in the bathroom.

I love knowing where real facilities are because I really hate porta potties. In fact given a choice I might revert back to gallon ziplocs which I am a pro at using thanks to JJ100!

The MCV McDonalds has artwork adorning the walls from local artists. Since I had never appreciated art before a race, I decided this was a good time to start.

I think it is cool that this McDonalds (and the rest of the hospital) does try to add some color and distractions for patients, visitors and staff. The art was pretty interesting and seemed to represent a bunch of different artists.

Of course it did not hurt that while inside I was not exposed to the constant drizzle and the slight wind in downtown Richmond.

This past weekend I ran the Richmond Marathon. This was my 3rd running of the Richmond Marathon. It is a fun race and because my father in law lives just south of Richmond we get free room and board the night before the race:-) And of course we get to visit with Tristan's dad who is very nice.

Since it is only one week before the JFK50 miler, Richmond marathon is a good "training run" or warm up" for 50 miler. So far it has helped me keep my JFK50 miler streak alive so I would not want to change things up this year.

A few weeks ago when I was running Javelina Jundred 100 I was a bit worried I would not be up for running Richmond. But alas my 100 km "wuss out" has enabled me to return to running with ease.

Friday I was graciously granted by my very kind supervisor & division director a full day off from work for my contribution in co-chairing the FDA/Industry Workshop Statistics Workshop back in September. Before Friday, I had not packed for Richmond (either our overnight stay at my father in laws or my race paraphenelia) so I needed to pack. And I also wanted to hang out with the critters who I not hung out with much. Also our critters had their annual exam on Thursday so I wanted to give them a little extra love.

Once Tristan's reduced workday was complete, we drove to Richmond. Upon arriving at Richmond we went directly to the race EXPO. I know several friends who were running but knew many were going to be arriving later, so I had few expectations for seeing friends. But I was in for some real treats!

After picking up my bib and tech shirt I shopped a little (I'm a girl aren't I?). Also considering how many events I run and on occasion lose, give away or even drop my cloth along the course I frequently need to restock running clothing. Expo's are the perfect place for replenishing basics for running.

While wandering the EXPO I was lucky to see my friend Dane. During his 52 marathons in 52 weeks I ran into Dane frequently. Now he has published a book about this experience, "See Dane Run: One Man 52 weekends, 52 races" (which I highly recommend) and I am fortunate enough to see him at many events. Most recently I had seen him at Marine Corps Marathon when I got a signed book for my sister and this time I got a book for my father in law as a host gift.

After running into Dane, I wandered over to the Runners World Booth. Bart Yasso and several others were present because the Richmond Marathon was the Runners World destination marathon. It was nice to briefly chat with Bart, who is a very nice person. He remembered that I had met him several times during the MCM when he was a guest speaker at the Fleet Feet Fun run as well as the marathon. I was bummed that I had to indicate that I was not successful at JJ100, but mentioned because of this I was ready for Richmond Marathon, JFK50 and my double marathon in December.

I was surprised and excited to see my friend Jen from the New River Trail 50 km race back in early October. Somehow when I met her during this event, I did not realize she was one of the editors/contributors of Runners World. We chatted about Richmond as well as JFK50 which we both will be running. JFK50 will be Jen's final event completing 4 marathon or longer events in 4 weeks. And she is running marathons in 3:10!!! I of course have done 4+ marathons in 4 weeks but my time tends to be a pedestrian 4:30, 5:00 or even 6 hour times.

By this time Tristan was getting a bit antsy so it was time to head to his dads. Of course no visit to Richmond is complete without a trip to Ukrops for an Expresso Express (a really tasty coffee shake) as well as some cake. After getting some treats we headed to Tristan's dads place.

Tristan's dad took us to Carrabba's for a pre-race dinner. This is one of Tristan and my favorite restaurants. They have really good grilled chicken and a YUMMY desert called Chocolate Sonya which is a brownie with chocolate mousse and kahlua chocolate sauce. This is one of the few desserts I cannot eat by myself. Although perhaps someday I will risk a reversal of fortune to see if I can eat one solo.

After dinner I arranged my stuff then went to bed.

Saturday morning I work up pretty early. Getting ready was easy as I knew what to expect from the course, anticipated seeing Tristan at mile ~8 at the Huguenot Bridge and was optimistic Tristan would make it to the finish. Also, as this was my 77th endurance event, I was pretty sure I could almost run the event without any of my usual preparations. The phrase "it's only a marathon", slipped out of my mouth a few times during the weekend, aack!!

While the race did not start until 8 a.m., I wanted to make sure I made it to the start line with plenty of time to spare. Because the first race of the day the 8km started at 7 a.m. and the half marathon started at 7:30, I was a bit worried about the traffic situation. Apparently it was pretty bad for those parking. Luckily I had Tristan dropping me off at our old Universities Biostatistics Department building: Sanger Hall.

Initially I wandered over to City Hall (home of where marriage licenses are acquired...and cell phones are not allowed at least in 2000) to loiter. I got a bit chilled and it was raining a bit so I decided to head back to MCV to McDonalds. I used the real restroom and got a Egg McMuffin for breakfast. I have been curious what a snoball free race start would be like. My advice is that it was not as happy or whimsical! But I did enjoy the McDonalds as it was warm and dry and it even had some artwork along the wall.

Finally it was 7:45 a.m. and it was time for me to head to the start line. It was still raining. This did not make me happy. I am like a cat. I hate being wet. Even worse the weather reports on TV, my father-in-law and the internet all said the rain was over. I had no rain-gear except two garbage bags. This did not stop my head from getting wet. If I was my cat, I would have bitten someone. Perhaps more than just one person!


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

At a mere 1,700 words, this post had me worried that you had perhaps contracted the swine flu or had been contacted by a blogger administrator to warn you that your blog was running out of space or something.

But from the abrupt, in medias res way it ends, I assume there will be more on this marathon to come? Possibly 6,000 more words? Woo-Hoo?

Two critical edits are necessary, sister, to make this post more authoritative: The stuff you buy at McDonalds and then consume should be referred to as "food" - WITH the quotation marks. Also, anything hanging on the wall in said "food"-vending establishment should be referred to as "art" - again, WITH the quotation marks.

Otherwise, naive readers will think a McMuffin is actual food and that the stuff on the wall is actual art.

Do you really wanna be responsible for such gustatory and cultural atrocities?

Then again, you also seem to imply in this post that sno-balls are food; and you can be seen, in at least two pix, wearing a trash bag.

Better put the whole post in quotation marks, just to be safe.

Congrats on finishing another marathon!

Now where are MY congrats for finishing another of your posts?

Runner Tammy said...

Congrats on your copious amounts of response. You deserve a Gatorade for your success! Or perhaps a beer...

I think you will notice I reassembled my blog, somehow my new computer pinkie and her Vista gets nuts now and again and somehow moves the cursor in places I least expect when I am typing. This led to the quotation mark incident of 2009.

I am firmly convinced a McMuffin is food. My father was a food scientist at Kraft Foods before he retired so I was raised on "fake" foods. In fact for a long time I thought the "Vacation" movies were about my family (well except for tying an in-law on the top of a car--and that was more because we have very few relatives).

I could go on with my reply but alas I know you are word counting this. I am not sure what I am up to now but assume it is about 1,000 words...congrats on finishing it:-)