Thursday, September 15, 2011

longest run ever

Last weekend I ran the farthest I have ever run...ever...15 miles!  I went to bed pretty early the night before in preparation for this big day.  I wasn't nervous, I knew I could do it with the support of my fellow marathon trainers.  

We started the run by crossing the Nickel Bridge.  I think this is my favorite place to run in Richmond.  You can see the city skyline, the rocks on the river, the train tracks, and the Carillon behind you.  Once you cross the bridge there are so many hills!  I felt like we were running up hill the entire time.  I kept wondering when we were going to go down hill!  We eventually did and there was a water stop at the bottom - perfect placing!

Once my watch beeped 13 miles I thought, "Here we go - 2 more to go."  There was never a thought in my mind that I could not do these last 2 miles.  My body was ready.  My mind was ready.  I had to let me body do what it knew to do - put one foot in front of the other and head back across the Nickel Bridge.  Crossing the second time I felt stronger.  I was focused on what I was about to accomplish...I didn't have time to think negative thoughts!

As I turned the corner to heard back to the stadium, I hear "Go Adrienne Go"  The only person who screams the words the way I heard them is my dad.  I look up and my parents are at the stadium welcoming me back from my first 15 miles!  I had no idea they were coming and it was a nice surprise!  They are by far my biggest cheerleaders!  I could not do what I do every Saturday without their support!  Thank Mom!  Thanks Dad!

running in a hurricane

August in Richmond is known for the heat and the hurricanes.  Who would have thought to add a half marathon to that?  Well luckily there was a hurricane who joined us for the Patrick Henry Half Marathon in Ashland.  In the past this open country road course has been super hot and hazy....nothing on the course but cows and corn fields.  Hurricane Irene decided to join us for this race...she brought rain and wind and more rain.  

At one point during the race it stopped raining, but by the time I realized it had started raining again.

I was soaking wet when I finished I could sqeeze water from my shoes and socks!

The wind and rain didn't slow me down much - I still finished with a reasonable time of 2:23.35.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ashland Railroad 5K

Thank goodness there was an extra weekend in April - this allowed me to run my April race!  We are four months into the year and I have kept up with my new year's goal of running one race a month!

Tyler and I ran the Ashland Railroad 5K.  This race started in the middle of town and was an out and back loop following the railroad tracks.  It was a cool and crisp morning for a race.  The sun was up bright in the sky, dew on the grass, and the town was bustling with activity!  At the start of the race we had to pass lots of walkers and slower runners.  Tyler was on a mission to pass everyone and be out front - i however wanted to enjoy the which was much different from running the city sidewalks!  We ran down the railroad tracks and saw fields and could smell the country was heavenly.  As we turned around to come to the finish, the walkers and those with jogging strollers were cheering us on.  Runners are so friendly.  People run for different reasons, but we all cheer each other on.  It brought a smile to my face as I came to the finish line.  It may have only been a 5K, but I felt such a sense of accomplishment when I crossed the finish line!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

no time to race in April

April has been a busy month!  I have had so much school work and worked many evenings and weekends at CCV which has not allowed me to registered for any races this month.  I keep asking my mom to wave her magic wand to give me more hours in the day - so far it hasn't worked!  

Since I didn't run a race this month I decided I still need to make big strides towards a goal I have been thinking about for a while....I registered with Sports Backers to train for the FULL MARATHON in November.  That is 26.2 miles in case you were wondering!  I have run four half marathons and I think I am ready for this challenge!  I know my body can do it (well I hope) I just need to get my mind ready!  

Training starts in June - so until then, I will be hitting the roads to keep my legs in motion and healthy before the miles start adding up! 

Here is a link to the race event - mark your calendars!  

(I know a celebrity - that is my friend Shannon at the bottom in the yellow race shirt!  Wooo!  Go Shannon!  She trained and ran her first marathon last year with Sports Backers)

To all of you who have told me to go for it - 
you better be out on the course cheering for me! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

i love the color green

Green has always been on of my favorite colors.  and then my love for green grew stronger when I went to Mason.  During Shamrock weekend in Virginia Beach everyone's favorite color was green  It was everywhere - banners on the board walk, shamrocks on the hotel windows, t-shirts, face paint, and balloons!  It was awesome!

On race day I put on my green shirt, green shamrock headband and my green race number.  My dad walked with me to the start where we saw even more green!  There was so much excitement in the air as we lined up in streets to wait for the start...

The gun goes off and I am crossing the start...the sun has just come up and reflecting the green of the crowd.  There are so many shades of green and lots of crazy outfits.  

Here I am at the start in the sea of green....

The course was super flat with not much wind.  As i turned the bend in Fort Story, i could see the lighthouse.  What a cool sight to see while running!  This was such a fun race and I will definitely run it again!  There was so much excitement in Virginia Beach! 

I had a great race and my legs felt great the entire 13.1 miles!  I had enough to sprint down the boardwalk to the finish with a new best time!  2:17.26

After the race, the finishers got so much cool stuff!  We got a medal, a t-shirt, and a hat!  Inside the finisher's tent was beer and irish stew.  I didn't have any stew, but you better believe I had some beer!  

All dressed in green and ready to go!

the sunrise on race morning

my family - the best cheerleaders!  

in front of the sand art

runners and spectators on the beach

I worked hard for those 2 beers!  mmmmmm - delicious!

the boardwalk and finish line from our hotel 

After brunch in front of the better believe I wore that medal ALL day!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

staying true to my asics

If you have ever come to my apartment, you are greeting at the door by this pile of running shoes that Jennings and I have collected.  And yes, we do wear all these shoes.  Each has a purpose in our active social and sports life!

This pile has become smaller as many of these shoes have lived their life.  I have thrown one pair away and donated another 2 pair.  Richmond Road Runner's store in Carytown take shoe donations and sends them to countries who could use the shoes. 

But I can't get rid of some shoes without buying another pair! And my feet are begging for a new pair to  run the Shamrock race this weekend!  I tried on several brands in an array of colors, but I have to stay true to my Asics which I have worn since joining the track team in middle school.

ASICS 2160.  The shoes is the same with some new technology.  The smell of a new pair of shoes is AWESOME!  The first few miles in a brand new pair of shoes is true bliss!  My feet say, AAHHHHHHH!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

one and done

February is the shortest month of the year, but I felt like I picked the longest race to run...or so it seemed!  Actually, I didn't pick this race, Shannon picked it for me!  When you tell people your goals, they hold you to it and help you get there.  So she found a February race in Williamsburg... We ran the Colonial Williamsburg Half marathon on Sunday, February 27.

Here we are headed to the start line...notice my shirt?
It reads, "I am only doing this so i can post a picture on Facebook"

The race started at 1:00 pm.  I thought I like that idea, however, it throws off the whole pre-race routine.  i thought I had eaten enough.  I thought I had drank enough water...until there wasn't much water on the course and what water there was it was warm.  Not what a runner needs on a warm February day.  I was hungry before the race even started!  Once I crossed the start line I had my music pumped up and I fell into my pace.  Shannon was quickly getting smaller and smaller as she zoomed ahead.  I waved and said, "See ya at the finish, Good Luck!"

I saw mile marker 4 and hear a rumble.  It took me another few steps to realize that was my stomach growling.  Oh this wasn't good.  I had 9 more miles to run!  I turned up my music and kept running.  I had to walk a few times because i was getting tired.  i told myself if I could make it to mile 7 I would be home free.  After singing out loud and passing a few people, I saw mile marker 8.  Now I was really hungry and starting to get thirsty...the next water stop was at mile 10.  I could make it there.  I could drink 3 cups of water....after that stop i pumped up the volume and started singing out loud to PINK.

I felt like I was always running up hill.  I learned in science at a young age, what goes up must come down.  I was waiting for the down part, but it never came.  Williamsburg is supposed to be flat...are all the hills in one spot and happen to be on the course?  ugh

Finally I see mile marker 12 and I have one more mile to run until the finish.  The course marshals were still cheering even though I know they were ready to wrap it up and go home.  ha, funny thing, I was ready to wrap it up and go home too!  I was so hungry at this point I really thought I wasn't going to make it to the finish line.  Couldn't these smiling officials move the finish line?

I have 3 more turns until I see the clock.
I literally had to tell my brain and body to put

one foot in front of the other

to keep going.

I hear Shannon cheering and running along side the finish as I cross.
FINALLY - I see those red digital numbers that tells me I am finished - 


That was the hardest race I have and done...I am not running that race again!

Thank goodness my parents came to the race to cheer for me and drive home after the race.  I will leave it up to you to decide what happened on the car ride home....ugh

Monday, February 21, 2011

stress relief

Running is a pretty inexpensive sport, once you buy the shoes and the cute clothes and the songs for your iPod.  Well, OK, maybe it isn't THAT inexpensive.  But it is pretty easy to lace up and head out the door when you are feeling stressed.

Stress isn't the word I would use to describe the last few weeks...overwhelmed. fatigued.  School and work have kept me off the road for a while.  I have set my alarm early a few mornings but hit snooze because I wanted the sleep more than I wanted to run.  I come home from class thinking I will get a few miles in, but decide to get some reading done or an early start on the paper due next week.  

Tonight I remembered that I am running a half marathon on Sunday.  13.1 miles for my February race.  I figured I should get a long run in before the weekend, so I laced up and headed out for 7 miles.  The weather was perfect for running!  The sun was setting so it wasn't in my eyes.  The cloud cover kept the cool air close to the ground.  I hit play on my iPod and put one foot in front of the other.  I forgot how good it felt to run.  I wasn't excited about having to run for over an hour...but then I hit mile 1 then mile 2 then mile 3 then I turned on Monument and was headed home.

I used this time to unwind and think about everything I have accomplished when I am not on the road.... I also thought about all the things I needed to accomplish this week, including running the Colonial Williamsburg Half marathon.  If it wasn't getting dark and my stomach hadn't started growling, I could have kept running.  I was still overwhelmed and I know I will be more fatigued tomorrow.  But I am overwhelmed with how good it felt to be on the road again!  My legs and feet are going to hurt tomorrow, but I will be thankful for the time on the road and got my long run done for the week!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Frostbite 15K

My first race of 2011 is over..thank goodness because it was cold!  I don't know why I was thinking it would be warmer....the race is called frostbite after all!  

One of the reasons I enjoy running in races is the people watching, especially in the winter.  People are bundled up like they are going on a hike in the frozen tundra land.  And there are men who are wearing tights who should not be.  As i waited for the race to start I just stood to the side watching...then I saw some smiling faces that I knew; Whitney, Shannon, and Sarah.  Thanks ladies for your encouragement at the beginning of a cold morning!

As we started running, I took it slow as I hadn't run more than 4 miles in a little over a week.  I was nervous about the 9 miles, but once I found a good play list on my iPod I was in the groove and there was a dance party going on in my head!  We rounded the corner and I could see the James River - it was so pretty!  The scenery was distracting me from the slight hills I love so much!  The race volunteers were so excited to see us runners at the water stops as we approached the lakes in and around Byrd park.  I thanked each person that I took water from.  I can only imagine how cold they were, but you would never know it from the loud cheers and dancing they were doing!  I was almost to the turn around at the end of Boulavard and I hear a loud cheer, "woo Go A!  looking strong!"  It was my running friend Vickie cheering me on!  Thanks lady! I needed those cheers because my hips were hurting and the dance party was slowing down in my head!  Once I turned around and saw you again I was good to go for the rest of the race!  

My legs went numb around mile 7 and I wanted to stop. be done. call it quits.  I was tired.  I was hungary.  I wanted pancakes.  I kept running but slowed my pace.  As long as one foot was in front of the other I would keep moving forward.  And soon enough I saw mile marker 9 and rounded the corner and there was the finish!  I looked up and saw the clock...1:39.19  -   Not bad considering this is the longest distance I have run since the 1/2 marathon in November.

Monday, January 17, 2011

crunch run

We ran last Saturday morning as it was snowing to prepare for the Frostbite this was so pretty!  There were some crunchy and icy spots on the road so we named it the "crunch run."  We ran across the Nickel Bridge and down Riverside Drive.  There was something magical seeing the city blanketed with snow.  I felt like I was running in a scene from a calendar.  I wanted to bring my camera and snap pictures during the run, but I knew the pictures just wouldn't do justice!  We snapped this pictures after the run before heading home.  Thanks Sara and Vickie for running with me!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

runners are so friendly

It might be this way in all cities, but I feel like Richmond has some of the friendliest runners.  I love when I am out and haven't yet gotten into a rhythm and here comes a runner who smiles and says hello.  It is such a pick me up!  I feel the pep in my step and the next runner I see I smile and say hello.  I feel as though there is an understanding between runners:  we are all out on the roads for the same person, ourselves.  
During my 3 miles tonight, I kept crossing paths with the same girl.  We smiled the first time, laughed the second time we passed, and the third time she said, "We keep passing each other - enjoy the rest of your run!"  We were both so happy to be out in the crisp air and running!  I should have stopped and asked her about her running and if she was looking for a new running buddy.  Maybe next time if I see her!
If I see you out on the road, you better believe I am going to smile and say hello!

Monday, January 3, 2011


With a new year comes new resolutions and goals.  People talk about making a new year's resolution, some actually make a resolution, but not very many commit themselves and stick to the resolution.  With this new year, I am setting a challenge for myself.  (Yea, I know, this is pretty much the same thing as a resolution, but if it is called something different it will be easier to complete!  I am challenging myself to run at least one road race each month in 2011.  The distance doesn't matter as long as I am running!  I will put one foot in front of the other to reach this goal!