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Richmond Marathon - Run

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Richmond, Virginia
United States
Sports Backers
60F / 16C
Total Time = 6h 45m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

There is a lengthy back story to this race that needs to be told. I have toyed with this distance over several years. Finally thought I was ready. When I signed up last winter I was running really well, I was excited and I was looking forward to all the run focus.
Unfortunately somewhere in the heat of summer and the choice of my training plan the speed disappeared. It hurt. I was slow. I found myself dreading each run. Running slower and slower and hurting more like I had never before known.
Somewhere around week 6 or 7 of my training plan I changed plans to a slightly easier one. It helped to drop one of the midweek long runs, but I was still hurting in ways running never made me hurt before.
BT's wisdom had me confused, run more? Run less? This hurts! I don't want to get injured. Run less.
Massages on the drop back weeks and all sorts of stretching & foam rolling.....But I still hurt, calf sleeves. Pillows under the name it I did it.
I give up, there is no run in my legs for these long runs. As much as I have always avoided run walk Galloway method I have to do this cause my legs are fried. It's either that or quit cause I'm injured.
Event warmup:

My Sherpa husband is the BEST. He was up before me and made breakfast for me. Yummy French toast on Great Harvest Cinnamon Crunch bread.
We drove up to Richmond and promptly sat about 15 minutes on the exit ramp waiting to get to a parking lot.
Walked up to the race start, saw my old work friend Mark at the start area, he was doing sherpa duty for his wife who was doing the half. Chatted with him a bit then ducked into the nearby restaurant to use a bathroom. Had to buy something to use it--but a juice would be fine for calories and vitamins….
Lined up in the wave behind where I had signed up for since my training had not gone the way I wanted. And we're off!
  • 6h 45m
  • 26.2 miles
  • 15m 28s  min/mile

My plan was to do 10 minutes run to 1 minute walk from the start. Somehow I missed my first walk interval and didn't begin them until 20 minutes. Not a huge deal, I was keeping a slow pace but it was all my legs were going to give me.
Hit a porta potty around mile 3 --great no paper already! Grrrr. Got up to Monument Ave and some of the women near me were asking about the statues. First one we see is Stonewall Jackson sitting on his horse. Guess they were from out of town--didn't realize that almost all the statues were Confederate heroes…..Yeah, as a transplanted northerner I have a hard time celebrating the history of the Confederacy--but I knew who was who on the course at least! Pass the statue of Arthur Ashe (ONLY non confederate statue on the road and evidently a big ruckus when they decided to put him there but he is a local hero to many people)….Some guy named Maury….keep the 10:1 going. Finally turned onto Grove Avenue and passed St Catherine's School--managed the first part of the hill fine on Grove then that last incline before the turn to River was no fun.
Finally through the first 10K and heading down the hill near 3Sports. The river was so pretty as I crossed the bridge. Around mile 8 I made a stretch stop for a few minutes. Stopped to take a few pictures along Pony Pasture because I had honestly never been there in all our years living here.
Mile 10 and I needed to hit the port potty. Waited up waiting a good 4 minutes to use that one….
Made it up to Forest Hill finally…and my knees started to complain. I had to walk a lot more than the 1 minute intervals, but was still mostly running. There was a man dressed in a Santa suit around mile 14, he made my day. I had my picture taken with Santa--first time in my life I have ever had a photo taken with Santa. A junk food stop!! YUMMY tootsie roll and piece of dark chocolate :)
The party stop was blaring the YMCA song there and I was dancing the motions in the street. Some man in a big fuzzy coat came out in the street ant spun me in a circle to hug me.
By the time I crossed the Lee bridge my knee was really pissed off. I tried stretching it out more but it was NOT having it. I got on Main and was in tears from the pain. It felt like someone was stabbing the inside of my knee and it was just radiating down. I was limping to walk but could still bear weight--running was out of the question. I tried, I really did, but the pain was ridiculous and my bigger goal was to finish without an injury so walking became my mode of motion.
I thought I would see my husband at some point, kept looking for him. Got to mile 19 party zone and was quite vocal saying I needed a hug. The volunteer laid down her camera and gave me a big hug. Grabbed some twirlers and a piece of orange.
Limped through the next few miles trying to get motrin from ANYONE but no one had it. Got to mile 23 where the Endorphin Fitness team had a tent up. Guy tells me I looked like I was hurting. Asked if I needed anything. Motrin? Please?? He had Aleve. Oh, thank you sweet baby Jesus. He sprayed some icy hot on the knee and I hobbled off.
Got into the neighborhood by Bryan Park and one of the men in the neighborhood walked with me a bit to encourage me. Texted my husband to let him know I was walking and what mile I had passed, hit the port potty (AGAIN) I guess I was well hydrated.. Saw a woman in a Wonder Woman costume--asked her if she had kids wearing "MY MOM IS WONDER WOMAN" tee shirts--yes, we walked together for the rest. Hit the last turn and tried like anything to run the final 0.2, but it was a steep down hill and about 3/4 of the way down that knee gave me a big F off.

I had my prayer cards to mentally take my mind off the pain……every mile was a prayer for someone else. It was a good way to make use of my time and keep my mind occupied with something other than "this hurts" I never let go of them. Kept the lists in a baggie and just flipped the card when that one was done….If you were on my list (and a few who weren't) I prayed.
What would you do differently?:

NOT SIGN UP FOR A MARATHON AGAIN….seriously, my run was soooo good when I sign up for this race. Now it will take me months to recover and rebuild.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked through the finishers area and the volunteers barely acknowledged me to give me the finisher's medal and blanket. Found my husband, got a slice of pizza. Headed to medical to get an ice pack

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Cranky legs, cranky knees

Event comments:

America's Friendliest Marathon--yes, it was. Plenty of volunteers and people in the neighborhoods setting out tables with snacks & water….

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-03-18 12:00 AM
06:45:00 | 26.2 miles | 15m 28s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Course: Starts downtown Richmond and stays primarily in city limits with a section in the southern part of Henrico.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5]

2013-11-16 5:13 PM

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: Richmond Marathon

2013-11-16 6:34 PM
in reply to: #4899772

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Extreme Veteran
Columbia, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon

Congratulations!  So very sorry it hurt so bad during training AND the race, but you didn't quit!  And now you can cross that off the list and never have to do it again!

2013-11-17 1:48 AM
in reply to: runnerg1rl7

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Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon

That is a great photo!  I'm so sorry this hurt so much for you, Judi.  Take care of yourself now, rest and recover. And Congratulations!

2013-11-17 5:23 AM
in reply to: bcraht

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Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon
Awesome smile at the finish! Congratulations!
2013-11-17 6:47 AM
in reply to: #4899772

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Berkeley, Calif.
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon
You are amaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing! I'm SO impressed with you -- pushing through the training, always fighting, always getting out there and doing what you needed to do, never giving up. You toughed it out to the finish line, and you made the most of the marathon and enjoyed it any way you could. And now you're done! Never have to go through this again. Yay! Congratulations, Judi!!
2013-11-17 7:10 AM
in reply to: #4899772

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Out running or enjoying a fine glass of red...
Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon
Sorry it didn't go like you hoped, but you finished and that is flippin' awesome. I'm so proud of you for sticking it out, through the rough training and the less-than-awesome race. Love the pic with Santa...

2013-11-17 8:27 AM
in reply to: enders_shadow

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Canandaigua NY
Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon

Sorry that your marathon experience wasnt what you hoped it would be.  I think that you did all the right things to prepare and it just didn't work out. 

On the other hand, you need to be proud that through it all you never quit and never gave up on the goal to finish the marathon!!  Way to Judi!!


2013-11-17 12:49 PM
in reply to: kenj

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Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon
Congratulations for sticking with it through all the trails and tribulations both in your training and the race. You are one bad azz lady!
2013-11-17 3:16 PM
in reply to: #4899772

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Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon

Oh, Judi, that is a seriously bitter sweet RR. 

You certainly toughed it out, but I hope, hope, hope you are OK, whatever is going on with your knee resolves quickly, and it doesn't take you long before you're running again and ENJOYING it :)

Love the photo!

2013-11-18 3:09 AM
in reply to: switch

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Santa Clarita
Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon
Well done on pushing through a tough challenging training schedule . Even though it was not your day. Congradulations on finishing this crazy long distance . You did the best you could and finished what you started . Now rest up and recover your body will feel beat up and spent for the next month . You deserve it ! And Santa said so...
2013-11-18 3:44 AM
in reply to: #4899772

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Peoria, Arizona
Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon

Congratulations on becoming a marathon girl.   I'm so sorry about the knee giving you problems,.  That's not fun.  But you finished, and that's a HUGE accomplishment!

Relax now and enjoy recovery,    Take care of your knee.

I'm extremely PROUD of you for accomplishing the goal.


2013-11-18 6:04 AM
in reply to: UTTriman

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Simsbury, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon
Oh Zippster I know you had such a hard time mentally leading up to this race. I'm sorry it didn't go better for you - but I LOVE the pic with Santa and the big SMILE on your face

And in all that nasty knee pain you still finished! You are seriously one tough chick!

Congrats on finishing a marathon - that's HUGE!!!

Rest up this week. You earned it.
2013-11-18 12:17 PM
in reply to: mtnbikerchk

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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon
Well done Judi! Taking pictures, that's awesome. You didn't forget the small the roses on your day. I hope your knees heel up. Your husband is a smart, not to mention a lucky man!
2013-11-18 12:52 PM
in reply to: reecealan

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Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon

Yay, got that in the bag. Now move onto something you enjoy!

2013-11-18 5:55 PM
in reply to: #4899772

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon

Judi, as I read through it, I could feel the emotion and how much it hurt you. I am so impressed with your toughness, your desire, and your "never quit" attitude. And even if it wasn't the day you had hoped for, you were still able to find bits of joy in the experience. 


2013-11-18 7:42 PM
in reply to: #4899772

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Olney, MD
Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon
Congrats on finishing a marathon; so sorry it didn't go as you wanted. Take care of that knee and come back stronger.

2013-11-18 7:43 PM
in reply to: #4899772

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Liverpool, New York
Gold member
Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon

you did it!

you finished!

ok so you had to walk the last part, but you finished - and now you can put it behind you as an accomplishment and a lesson learned

so inspired by your perseverance and seeing it through

way to go

and now enjoy yoga, massages, and whatever else inspires you -

2013-11-18 7:53 PM
in reply to: tinkerbeth

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Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon
Well cross that off the bucket list and burn that part of the list so it never come back again. Great job hanging in there to finish. Must of been hard to not call hubby to get you. Rest well until you are ready to get back at it.
2013-11-19 8:44 AM
in reply to: dexter

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Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon
You know I know the pain Judi.

You may be right, that the marathon isn't for you, that all that running isn't for you. It's tough, and we aren't all built to handle it. I know I thought I would be running marathons for the rest of my life and now I am swimming and haven't run for a long time. Hope you don't mind I invited myself to your pity party.

You mentioned that you knew about the emptiness that I expressed back in September. For me, such a huge let down, it never leaves. You were out there for a long time and, it just won't ever leave you. It will always be like that crush you never asked out, or that test you failed, or any of a countless list of missed opportunities and foolish mistakes. Which is silly because you finished a marathon.

You had nothing to prove to anyone but yourself and you did it. I am so impressed by your tenacity, it is inspiring and I know that one day you will be able to see tht yourself.

Ryan (yeats) wrote me this after a very epic failure(?) of mine and I think it applies to your circumstances, so I share it:

""it's like it stains that place in you where you really believe in yourself, believe that you can do anything, and the effort leaves its mark for you to carry. You make it under the banner at the line, well, some of that gets a fresh coat but you don't forget that mark was there -- d@mn thing bleeds through. If you don't make it, you wear that mark and it becomes like a Rorschach, every time you see it, it becomes something different. On the good days, it's: look how far you went, look how deep you dug, look how close you were. On the bad days, well, I don't have to write it out. You know what that mark looks like......... Reminds me of a Neil Young song, "Tell me why / is it hard to make arrangements with yourself / when you're old enough to repaint / but young enough to sell?"

I still cry when I read that...

For that emptiness that you feel, and it is trite to say, the only way out is to remember that you are wrapped in love.
2013-11-19 12:30 PM
in reply to: van_paulus

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Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon

Judi, what can I say?  Congrats, of course, and I hope you feel better soon, of course, and that hopefully nothing is seriously wrong with your knee.  Sorry to hear it was such a miserable process and not-so-great-feeling (physical-wise) race, but you stuck it out to the finish and completed what you set out to do no matter what and there is definitely something to be said for that.  Rest up, heal, and feel better!

2013-11-19 1:37 PM
in reply to: #4899772

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Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon

Like Elesa said, this is a bitter-sweet RR. I love that you had fun with the volunteers and enjoyed the course, even took some picures! It sux that it hurt. I hope that after some time off you will want to run again. Listen to your body and enjoy some well-deserved rest days!

2013-11-20 4:16 AM
in reply to: rrrunner

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Caerphilly, Wales, uk.
Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon
Well done Judi.
It's really tough when our expectations of what we can achieve take a knock. Don't let the whole experience be sullied by you not performing the way you wished. Take the positives from the race, and the lead up to it. You've achieved the distance and dug in deeper, I imagine, than you have ever had to and have come out the other side. Even faced with the arduous task of finishing the distance with a knackered knee, you still found time to pray for others. I commend you.

P.S. Ref the ponies, of course I knew you liked ponies, that's why I took the pic, thought of you and thought it was spooky there was a field of them at the 26 mile point of my run.

P.P.S. that the BigDH has written some wise words a few posts back.
2013-11-20 7:24 AM
in reply to: #4899772

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East Side of the Bay
Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon
Putting all the emoticon faces in here because they all apply. I can feel the heart break in your RR. Betrayed by a sport you love is tough. You finished and can surely see the good and the bad in the day and the months of training. I know you will rehab and get back out there stronger and as determined as ever. BigDH's post said it all.

Take care and find your JOY again. *\0/* *\0/* *\0/*
2013-11-20 8:00 AM
in reply to: Asalzwed

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Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon

You are one tough cookie! So proud of you for pushing through !

2013-12-05 1:17 PM
in reply to: trishie

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Richmond Marathon

CONGRATULATIONS on completing the race!  *HIGH FIVES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*  <--- 26 exclamations, but I couldn't figure out how to do a 0.2 of an exclamation.

It concerns me regarding the running, training, and the big problems that you were experiencing.  There are so many factors: shoes, terrain, conditioning, development, nutrition/water/supplement intake, etc. etc.  With what you explained, I'm wondering if there is something medical that needs to be looked into a little more deeply?

I'd hate for you to give up on the running, especially the longer runs.  Please check with a sports doctor and get a second and/or third opinion just for some relief.

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Glassy waters greeted the nearly 600 participants for the quarter-mile swim. The 15.5-bike ride followed a beautiful course around the lake with the 5k run winding through a quiet residential area