Time: 3:01:03 Place: 100/4,240
This one had been on the bucket list and with the wife travelling with work that weekend, it was the perfect opportunity. And they offered bib mail out for a small fee which meant I could travel down on race morning.
No specific training as focus was on Hawaii in December. This would be my first big run since Ironman Maryland in early October. Decided to treat it as a training run so wore my Epson watch (which was set to show distance and heart rate but not pace or race time.
Up early for the 2 hour drive to Richmond. Had a bagel with PB&J and a pecan bun in the car. And a coconut water.
Very cold. Parked nearby and did a slow jog for a mile or so to start. Ate a banana and drank another coconut water. Waves were not enforced (I was in late wave as entered late) but managed to get in alongside the 3:20 pacer. I could see the 3:05 pacer so decided I’d try to stick with them for the first 20 miles and see how I felt as I hadn’t run near that pace since Boston.
Caught up with 3:05 pacer by mile 3. Ran with the group, which thinned rapidly at about mile 10, low point around mile 12 but M&Ms and an oreo from the junk food stops seemed to help. The pacer changed at half way (Through in 1:32) and he didn’t have a watch so kept asking people pace. Long slow up hill at mile 16 was tough and at mile 18 he asked another runner what pace they were on, they said 3 hours, so pace maker backed off. I was feeling good so decided I would push on and see how far I got. Upped pace again with three miles to go. Doing calculations in my head estimating finish time but hard to do is I didn’t know the exact start time. Knew it was going to be under 3:05. Picked up pace again in final mile and went hard on last (steep) downhill to the finish. Crossed the line in 3:01:03, 6 seconds slower than my PR.
Fueling: Gatorade and water from aid stations. Used gels for fuel (at 5, 10, 15, 20 and 23) and even had a sip of beer handed out by a supporter at mile 24!
Running in a pace group is easier than pacing myself. Negative splits are great.