November 16, 2019 - Richmond, VA TIME: 2:05:58
Oh man this was such a long time coming. I set my PR for the Half Marathon in 2013. I had trained hard for Disney and then got chewed up for the heat that year, so about 2 months later I tried another half- Nike Women's and crushed it.
Since that day I have tried many times and failed to beat it. In 2017 I trained smartly all winter and spring - but then pulled something in my hip during my spring 5K. I PR'd that race and went on to PR my 10 miler the following weekend. But after that I was hard-cord injured and had to defer my late spring half. Months of PT later, I was finally cleared to run and then BOOM pregnant with twins. Soooooo I have been waiting for this day for a long time.
After the twins were born I started working with Becki Spellman. First to rebuild my core, and then next to train smartly. She got me to a point where I was able to complete my deferred half last October. I did intervals and was so proud of completion 7 months after twins. Then she stuck with me all winter/spring when I was just not into running and my body was NOT cooperating. This past summer she asked me if I was going for any fall races and I told her I was considering Richmond. She made me feel like it was possible. So I registered and committed myself to going all in on training.
I have never had a more successful training cycle than for this race. I worked hard on my speed sessions, took my runs easy when necessary, and lifted weights and did core like never before. I went all in.
And FINALLY FINALLY I did it. I bested that time from 2013 but more than that I proved to myself I could do it. I CAN DO HARD THINGS.
So race recap.
My plan going in was to attempt a sub 2 knowing that I would also be happy if I beat my PR. I started with the 2 hour pacer and hung on as long as I could before settling back in a hard but comfortable place. I took my GU around 4.5mi, drank some water and settled in. I was feeling good until about the park when I started having some issues with numbness in my toes. I slowed back a little and tried to curl them as I ran. Then we hit some decent hills that my body just did not want to go over. My slowest miles were here: 10:20, 10:05. Once we got out of the park, I was continuing to curl my toes from time to time to keep them going but we had some decent downhills so I just kept trying to pick up my speed. I took another GU around 9 miles, more water, and told myself to buckle in until the end. From there I counted down each mile, focusing on the one I was in and completing it just a little faster than the last. I'm pretty sure I had a progression run on the back half of the course. I realized about 2 miles away that if I could just keep going I was going to PR. I teared up a little thinking about how much work I put in and how it was finally paying off.
I sprinted downhill toward the finish, careful not to fall because the steepness is real y'all and finally claimed my new PR of 2:05:58. SO FREAKING HAPPY.