Virginia is for Lovers…

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Some of the local running stores sell t-shirts with a play on the Virginia slogan “Virginia is for Lovers” that say “Virginia is for Runners”. Cute huh? Well, this weekend Pete and I ran the Virginia is for Lovers 14k. We signed up at the last minute for this race, and really had no expectations other than getting in a good workout. I mean, first of all it’s February, and it’s a weird race distance. How does one even go about pacing 8.7 miles? So we both kind of picked random times to shoot for, basically close to our half marathon paces.

We left our house on Saturday morning with no time to spare, as usual. I get really anxious if we’re not at the race one hour ahead of time. I don’t know what my problem is, but I go into this weird state of panic if we don’t have that hour to warm up and prepare mentally. My dear husband, on the other hand, could not possibly care less what time we get there. Of course, since we had not run this race before, we were not prepared for massive traffic delays. I thought there would be a couple hundred people there, but there were a few thousand! We finally parked our car and had 45 minutes to pick up our packets, wait in line at the porta-potties, warm up, get changed, and put on our numbers with tiny pins and numb fingers. Since we were pretending this was a workout, I made it to the starting line without too much emotional damage. I really though I was going to freak out in those last few minutes, though.

The race itself was pretty fun! I ran most of the middle miles with another woman who I met on the course. It was nice to have someone to talk to, and it made the race go by quickly. In general, everyone was friendly, we were all talking to each other and encouraging each other, remarking how we had no idea where we were going, and laughing about how were all going to set a new PR for 14k. At the halfway point of the race there was a wedding! The bride, groom, and wedding party all ran the race, too. I thought that was a unique idea, although I think the woman should have gone with the Oiselle wedding dress. The only tough part for me was in the last two miles when we ran into a strong headwind for what felt like forever. A woman passed me on that stretch, and for whatever reason I could not get it together. I didn’t know where the race ended, so all of a sudden we were running into a building (the race finished indoors), and that was it. I was encouraged by my pace and overall finish time because I had met my goal. I’m pretty sure that I can hold that pace for a half marathon, and I think I’m going to try for that in two weeks at a half marathon in North Carolina. I’ve been feeling pretty unmotivated lately, and racing is the best way I know to stay motivated.

I’m trying to get my mileage back up to 60. This week I ran 50 miles in 5 days, and last week I did 40 miles in 3 days. The week before that I ran 45 miles in 5 days. Ugh. I’m feeling guilty. My goal for next week is to get back up to 60, and to only take one day off. I don’t understand how people run high mileage. Shamrock is only a few weeks away, so it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty, as my mom would say.

I have run my last race as a 31 year old, since my birthday is this Friday! Happy Valentines Day to all of you and happy running!

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