Richmond Ready? I will be in one month!

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I will be running the Richmond Marathon on Nov. 11.

The hashtag #RichmondReady is one that’s associated with the upcoming Anthem Richmond Marathon. Am I ready? Not quite yet. But I will be.

The race is one month away — it is set for Saturday, Nov. 11. I have been training, and not everything has gone exactly according to plan, but overall, it has gone well so far.

Because I have a lot of other things that I do and because I don’t want running to feel like a chore, I loosely follow a long run plan leading up to marathons and do other runs during the week — I don’t follow a day-by-day plan. I realize that I probably could improve my times if I followed a full plan, and I know this works for lots of other runners, but for now, I’m just doing this for fun.

I’m ready to set a time goal. I’m hoping that telling you, my blog readers, about my goal may give me some extra incentive to reach it. I’ve also heard of other runners setting A, B and C goals, so I decided to do that.

Of course, I would love to set a new personal record, or PR. However, that is a long shot given my training and recent race times, so I decided to look at reasonable goals. My PR is still from my first marathon — 4:17:45 at the Rehoboth Beach Seashore Marathon in 2013 (I’m giving away an entry for that race here through 12:00 a.m. Monday, Oct. 16, if you want to enter my giveaway).

Richmond will be my seventh marathon, and my times have ranged from that 4:17:45 PR to a 5:18:04 finish at the Big Sur International Marathon in 2015. I have also run marathons in five states so far.

My most recent marathon was The Louisiana Marathon in January, which I ran in 4:53:11, an 11:12/mile pace. Without actually going back to check, I feel like my training is relatively similar to my training for that race.

I put my most recent half marathon time (2:14:07) into a Runner’s World calculator, and when I just put that in, the predicted marathon time was 4:39:07. When I added my most recent 5K time, it went way down, and when I put in my average weekly mileage (I put 30, but it’s always different), it went way up. So I’m sticking with my gut instinct for the “A” goal.

A Goal: Run the race in under 4:45 (a 10:52 average pace or less, according to this Runner’s World chart)

B Goal: Run the race in under 4:52:36. Why the unusual time? This was my time at the Baltimore Marathon in 2015. If I run faster than this, it would be my third-fastest marathon time and fastest since the Rehoboth Beach Seashore Marathon in 2014, my second-fastest marathon.

C Goal: Finish the race! Of course, finishing any marathon is a huge accomplishment, so of course I want to finish! I also want to stay healthy, hydrated and happy.

I want to be pleased with my race finish time. However, no matter what my time is at Richmond, I anticipate it will be a fun experience. On the website, it’s described as “America’s Friendliest Marathon,” and I’ve heard great things from people who have run the race. I have never done this one before.

It’s the 40th anniversary of the race, and the swag is just awesome — marathoners will get a shirt, blanket, stainless steel pint and medal (one of which will include a real ruby). You can see it all on the marathon’s home page here.

If you have been reading this blog or follow me on social media, you probably know about my love of food as well — so I was excited to see Richmond named as one of “The South’s Best Food Towns” by Garden & Gun (check out the article here). My boyfriend Mike and I have been to Richmond before, and there was a cool brewery I hope to get back to — Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. I’ll do some more research and see if there are any other good breweries to check out, too. Feel free to make recommendations on restaurants, breweries or sights to see!

While on the race website, I just saw that there’s a Q&A session that includes Bart Yasso at 1 p.m. the Friday before the race, so I’ll have to make a point to leave my house early that day so I can be there for that! I met Yasso at the Shamrock Marathon in 2016 and he was awesome!

Some of my long runs have gone well, and others have been tough. I ran out of time the day of my 18-miler and did 13.1 in the morning, had a busy day and then ran the other 4.9 that evening. I had a tough, humid, slow run this past Sunday, when I planned to run 20 miles, and did 10.5 that day and 10 the next day. On a different Monday evening, I ran 16 miles after work because I did a race that weekend. I still need to get in a 20-miler in one go, though — I’d prefer two 20-milers if I can do it.

I have been running a lot — I logged a 53.5-mile week in a seven-day period that included two long runs, which could possibly be my highest-ever weekly mileage — but I haven’t been doing speed work.

Leading up to the race, I’m also participating in the Seaside 10 Miler in Ocean City and then the Across the Bay 10K over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on the two preceding weekends. That may not be the smartest idea, but as I noted, I already know I’m not going to PR — and I run for fun. I wanted to do these other races, too!

The marathon will start at 7:45 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11. The event also includes a half marathon and 8K. Interested? Learn more at www.richmondmarathon.com.

Like She Runs by the Seashore on Facebook here.

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