RVA Race review

I did it again – signed up for a race with only 2 weeks to train. And I’m still waiting for the day when it will catch up to me. So far, I lead a charmed running life! 🙂
Today, I ran the 2014 Richmond Half Marathon. Though I didn’t get a PR (wonder why…), I count it as a win for many reasons. But I’m getting ahead of myself. 
I like bling. Race bling to be specific. Something about shiny medals hanging on my wall, providing proof of my hard work and insanity. 
Each medal had a story. This one reveals my problem for shiny things, because yes, I signed up primarily because I liked this year’s medal so much! 
But not only that. I love Richmond! The course is beautiful, the spectators are amazing, and it’s home. And I like being just a little crazy. 🙂 Yesterday, Baby Thunder turned 11 weeks old. With Little Man, I ran Richmond – for the first time – 5 1/2 months postpartum. So yes, I like to challenge myself. Test my limits. So far, I’ve yet to find it. 
So, race review:
The thing about running while breastfeeding – you have to wake up extra early to pump before going out to run.  So, my alarm went off at 5:15am to give me extra time to pump, get dressed, and make espresso.  I carpooled with a friend since Hubby was coming later with the boys, and we managed to be in the city and parked by 7am!  It got up to 28 degrees by the time we made it to the start.  Note here about Caty:  I do not like the cold.  More than that, the Cold does not like me!  Nearly every race that I run in months other than June, July, or August (and occasionally September) find me in the medic tent at the finish line to be treated for hypothermia.  So for the start to be extra cold, and the day to not get above 45 degrees was definitely cause for concern.  However, I bought 2 zip ups from Goodwill and bought Thermacare back heat packs to keep on my core for as long as needed (huge shout out to my running buddy for this genius idea!).   Thanks to this extra preparation and heating pads that work quickly, I stood at the starting line at 7:30am feeling relatively comfortable.  
At the starting line, I happened to be standing behind a former MTT teammate and his wife.  Around mile 3, Jennifer (the wife) caught up with me and helped pace/keep me company until mile 10.  From my hips down to my feet (in brand new shoes – stupid, I know) hurt, but at the same time I felt so energized.  I love running with “my people” – reading the signs, hearing spectators cheer for you, encouraging other runners.  It felt so good to be back out there doing what I love – running long distance.  
This is the first race where I didn’t have a plan for pace, fuel, or hydration.  I just ran to finish and have fun.  I ended up eating a Honey Stinger at mile 8, and drank Powerade at every other water stop.  My 1.5 liter Camelbak was empty by the time I hit mile 11; I did try to remember to drink frequently to prevent the hypothermia. 
At mile 10, we caught up to Mike (my former teammate).  I left Jennifer with him and spent the last 5k alone.  It felt good to push my aching legs a little faster.  I crossed the finish line in 2:15:05, a full 10 minutes faster than my first Richmond half when I was 5 1/2 months postpartum with Little Man.  It’s also my third fastest half.  Like I said – I like pushing my limits… 
Hubby captured this picture on the downhill finish
The best part of the whole race – knowing this was waiting for me at the finish!
The one bad thing about this race – taking off my shoes and realizing that I will be losing at least one toenail in the very near future. 

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