In 2002 I signed up to run the Richmond 8K. Up to this point I had run a half marathon and two 10K's so I knew that I was capable of finishing. The only thing that I remember about this race is that I went to it all by myself and didn't know anyone who was racing. I felt really proud of myself for finishing but it was sort of sad to have no one to share it with. My time was 51:01 and I had a lot of fun.
By 2003, I had been running for awhile and I was starting to get a little bit better. H had started to run with me as well and so this was our very first race together. We ran the 8K together and finished with a time of 45:03.
H and I were married in October 2004 and we had way too much going on to think about racing that November. We were training for our first marathon at this time (Shamrock Marathon) and we just sat this year out.
H and I ran our first marathon in March of 2005 and followed it up by registering for the Richmond Marathon. We were excited to set a new PR and race in our hometown but that is not what happened. H had a few issues that are not pleasant to write about and from mile 14 to the finish, we did a slow and steady death march to the finish. We finished in 4:11 and went straight home to shower...enough said!
We had an exciting year of racing in 2006. We ran quite a few marathons that year and I qualified for Boston for the first time that spring. We trained really hard through the summer and we had our sights set on running a great race in Richmond. However, it was not to be. In October of 2007, I was diagnosed with a foot full of stress fractures and was told not to run. I was so disappointed but I refused to not finish the race. H, our friend Jon and I walked the entire race together. We had a fun time walking through the streets of Richmond and I was so happy to have them there for support. It took us 6:31 minutes to reach the finish line and my legs were SO sore. Honestly, walking a marathon is MUCH harder than running one. For real.
By the time the fall of 2007 arrived, I was fully recovered and ready to run. H and I spent the entire summer working hard to train for this race and when race day arrived, we finally ran the race we had been hoping to run at Richmond. We didn't run the race together but I did see him on the course quite a few times and H was flying. I finished with a time of 3:24 and set a new marathon PR. It was a perfect marathon day!
All of 2008 was consumed by training for Ironman. We started training for Ironman in January of that year and went really hard until race day on November 1st. The Richmond Marathon was exactly two weeks after Ironman that year and although I knew that I was worn out from racing in Florida, I really wanted to run Richmond. I signed up for the race and about half way through, I realized that it probably wasn't a very good idea. I was definitely not recovered enough to run a marathon and it hurt SO much to run. I refused to DNF though so I stuck it out until the end. I actually managed to run into Mel who was running her very first marathon and we finished the race together. I had so much fun running this race with her and it was awesome to cross the finish line and be the first one to congratulate her on her amazing accomplishment. We finished the race in 4:13 and honestly, seeing her face as we crossed the finish line will always be one of my favorite running memories. It actually makes me tear up a bit when I think about it so lets move on...
So there you have it. I have had quite a history with this race. Some of it is good, some bad and some of it has been just plain weird but I keep coming back for more. I am not really sure how I will do this year but I am excited to run the race and find out what happens. If nothing else, I will have another story to add to my Richmond Marathon recap.