Tomorrow is the Richmond Marathon, marathon #20 for me! You can check out the full map and list of marathons I have done HERE. Richmond will be my 15th state…Many more marathons to go on my way to 50 states!
We arrived in Richmond last night around 10:30 pm EST. We were supposed to arrive much earlier, but our (direct) flight from Minneapolis kept getting delayed for mechanical reasons. This was a little stressful to me as the quality of sleep you get two nights before the race is incredibly important; you never sleep that well the night before the marathon, so the sleep two nights before is vital. Fortunately, it was a quick cab ride to our hotel (the Hilton Garden Inn). We slept in until about 7:30. Still almost 8 hours!
Around 8:15, we headed out for a quick shake-out run. It was a beautiful day in Richmond- sunny and already in the 50’s. Too hot for a marathon though…a high of 70 degrees and bright sun would be too warm for me, but fortunately the forecast is looking much better tomorrow (37 at the start line, 54 at the finish)
Dustin and I ran about 4 miles along the canal trail by the James River. There was some very impressive graffiti art along the way. So colorful!
We ended up checking out the Pipeline Trail during our run. We just happened to find this but I’m so glad we did! It was definitely unique.
It starts with a metal ladder down to the trail. A little bit treacherous? Perhaps.
“The stairs below lead you to a narrow catwalk that rests on top of a large pipe. It is a wonderful place to watch nature and escape the city if even for just a few minutes. Located underneath the rail line, it follows the river and crosses above the rapids. The pipe you are walking on carries storm water down to the huge holding tank located beyond the Mayo Bridge. (The pipe and treatment plant are the reasons the river is clean today!) The Pipeline Trail leads to a sandy beach. In the Sping there is a good view of the Heron Rookery with its nesting Great Blue Herons. The trail goes upstream about 1.4 mile to Brown’s island.” source
Running on top of the pipe, which was on top of the rapids was a little freaky…mostly because I was carrying my phone and I definitely did not want to drop it into the rapids below. Pretty fun little excursion though!
After our short run and breakfast, we took the scenic walk to the Omni Hotel for the free shuttle to the expo. Along the way, we stopped by the capitol building, which was incredibly white; I swear it must have just been painted or cleaned. So bright! In fact, so far I’d say that Richmond is a very well-kept and historical city. So many beautiful old buildings, cobblestone roads, and gorgeous green spaces. I was impressed!
We took the free shuttle from the Omni Hotel to the expo at the Arthur Ashe Athletic Center. The Richmond Marathon expo was well-organized and had plenty of awesome gear. I purchased a comfy short-sleeved cotton tee and a long sleeve technical tee. Love them both!
I really wanted to find a “Virginia is for Runners” shirt (based on the “Virginia is for Lovers” motto) that I saw many other runners wearing at the expo, but I couldn’t find one. Bummer…
This will be Dustin’s 23rd marathon. I’m catching up to him!
The shuttle to get to the expo took a bit longer than we expected so we were running behind and we missed a lunch with a few other bloggers (like Jess Runs Atlanta!). Then we realized we would have a lot of time to kill until the 2 o’clock course tour, so we skipped that as well. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do the course tour anyways, as it was supposed to take nearly 2 hours. Hopefully I don’t regret not knowing more about the course tomorrow. I do know that its more hilly than I expected; there’s a serious hill around mile 16 that we walked up today. That will be a beast!
I did spend some time studying the course map (per my coach’s advice) to try to run the tangents, so as not to make the same mistakes I made at Tokyo (where I ended up with almost 27 miles!)
I think I’m ready!
Dustin is definitely nervous, as he has a pretty aggressive goal for himself (which I am confident he will obtain.)
Personally, I feel pretty calm. My training went well. I’m not injured. I’m not sick. The weather looks great. I can do this! I’m not calm because I don’t have a goal; I’d love to qualify for Boston. I put in a lot of hard work and miles. But if I don’t do this time, I’ll just keep trying. This whole marathon thing? It’s definitely a lifestyle I’ll keep living as long as I can. I love the marathon. I love the training, I love the excitement of the race, I love the travel to a new location. I JUST LOVE IT.
(Just don’t ask me if I love the marathon tomorrow at mile 25. I might have a different answer…at least until I cross the finish line!)
For now? I’ll be practicing the Mantra that did me well at Grandma’s 2015:
“I believe in myself. I believe in this pace.”
I’ll also be channeling my inner Kara Goucher:
“Your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is.”