50 States Racing: Virginia
BibRave Race Review This was a tough race for me for a few reasons. First, we drove all night Thursday after I worked 3-11 to get there Friday. We tried to sleep, but couldn't, so we went to eat twice with packet pick-up in between. What was nice was being able to get up at 6:30 and walk out our hotel to the start and be there by 7:15 for the 7:30 start. My fast times of 2012 and early 2013 landed me in the "B" corral for a nice starting position, although as you can see by my finish time, I wasn't all that deserving of it! I had no appetite, so didn't eat a thing other than a few swigs of orange juice and a few pieces of dried fruit. I've had a sinus infection and bronchitis for the last few weeks, so I ran accompanied by my pet elephant on my chest. My legs felt like lead just walking so I knew I was in for a tough race. There was a light drizzle but 50 some degrees, so the rain wasn't much of a burden. I've battled major piriformis issues since April and so I wasn't sure what to expect honestly since that pain all but killed my marathon just 6 weeks ago. I took off conservatively, which is unusual for me since I always go out like gangbusters. My legs were super heavy and it was a chore to move them plus I was flat-out exhausted. My right Achilles was throbbing but my hamstring and piriformis played along nicely. I decided pretty early on, that as long as I stayed under 2 hours, I would consider this race a small victory. Jamie has been having calf pain to the point that we thought he had a serious strain, so we weren't sure what the day held for him either. Thankfully, his calf behaved and he was able to run about where he'd anticipated. He started in coral "A" so we were able to go to the start together.We both have had one heck of a year with setbacks (injuries and lack of adequate training) so we have been just having a good time knocking off our 50 state challenge and letting the chips fall where they may while putting no pressure on ourselves other than to rebuild our endurance. I guess you can't have all good, fast and productive racing years and setbacks are to be expected.The race itself, it was well-organized and all 3 distances started in a different set of corrals, at staggered times so there was never the first bit of race congestion or people-dodging to hold us back. The course had some hills and grades, definitely not flat, but not what I'd call hilly either. The finish is a kick-ass, swift downhill for about 1.5 miles so you can really make up some good time there if you have it in you.