This weekend I ran the Richmond Half Marathon! It was cold. It was tough. And it was different from any race I’ve ran before. It’s not like I haven’t run a marathon or half marathon before, but this time I was pushing myself to a whole new level.
In the past, I’ve completed a few OUC half marathon’s in Orlando, as well as the full Disney marathon, but those times I ran it just to finish it. I did well, but not great. In fact, I didn’t even really train for those.
But this time was different. I wanted to see how well I could do with actual training. My training basically consisted of 2-4 short tempo runs during the week (about 3-4 miles each) and a long run every Saturday. As each week progressed, we, my running partner and I, added another mile or two to our long runs. We ended with a 12 miler two weeks before the race. Ideally, I would have liked to train with hill runs and sprint training, and we did a bit of that, but time was simply not on our side for that intense of training since we are both very busy people.
We were placed into corral B, meaning we intended to finish somewhere between 1 hour and 45-50 minutes. It wasn’t until I was half way through mile 2 when I noticed a pacing leader holding a big sign saying 1:45, which meant that if you wanted to finish in 1 hour 45 minutes, follow him. That was absolutely perfect for me, and I stayed right next to him. It was soooo hard to keep up with him, but it prevented me from slowing down or randomly speeding up. I stayed with him for the whole race, though towards mile 10 I was falling behind, but I picked up my pace on the last mile and caught back up, crossing the finish line just under 1 hour 45 minutes.!
I had no idea I was capable of running at such a fast pace- but it’s amazing what the human body can do. Most of the time our physical struggles are just mental, and we really can push past them.
This week, I challenge you to push a little further in your work outs. If your a runner- run those miles a little faster. If you are a weight lifter- add on a few more pounds to those weights. You can do more, you just have to push past the mental barriers that tell you you can’t.
If you’ve ever ran a half- or full- marathon- comment below! I’m always looking for new races to try. 🙂
P.S. How gorgeous is Richmond?! I made these photos black and white to symbolize just how frigid and challenging of a race this was. It was 40 degrees!! But luckily I started warming up after a few miles- and the sky scrapers and cute cobble stone streets kept me distracted haha.