Friday, February 22, 2013

Race Recap: VA is for Lovers 14k

When my friend, Lauren, asked me if I wanted to run the VA is for Lovers 14k with her, I hesitated for a few – I knew that I was giving myself the month of December off from running after the half marathon, and I wasn’t sure how things would go in January. I finally just said what the hell and agreed – I loved the last J&A race that I did, and I wanted to get something on my calendar, knowing that my schedule is already pretty full until June (weddings and babies, oh my!). I’m so glad that I did – we had so much fun, and it was a great race! It was a pretty perfect way to kick off another year of running and racing, if I do say so myself.
One of the reasons that I felt comfortable with signing up for this race was the fact that it was in Virginia Beach. I knew that the course would be smooth and flat, and that’s exactly what it was. I was prepared for a nice, easy long run, and that’s just what I got. What I was not prepared for was the weather: IT WAS SO COLD. “Average” temps in the area are around 50’ that time of year… no such luck for us! What we got was low 30s and GUSTING wind – I’m talking blustery, cold-to-the-bone, hurts-your-lungs, strong winds, for pretty much the entire race. Not SO bad when they are tailwinds; really bad when they are pushing against you. Also, I forgot to pack long pants (bad move!!) so I was running in capris, and my lower legs and ankles were freezing!! Not my smartest choice. However, I had an ear warmer, a ColdGear shirt, and gloves, so I made the most of it. When the wind wasn’t gusting, I actually felt great. I like cold-weather runs, and the sun was shining, so it was just warm enough for me. 
Twins! Hanging out inside the field house to stay warm before the race!
The 14k distance was a little strange, but I actually liked it – it was just long enough that I had to push & challenge myself, but not so long that I felt like dying afterwards (great considering it was my longest run since the previous race). I cruised along with my half-marathon playlist playing, and monitored myself off a few of the runners around me. I kept a pretty even pace, and my legs felt good.  I passed people confidently and strongly, and even passed a guy right before the finish line (yeaaaah!). I tried to focus on my breathing (always hard for me) and my steps – this was a good race for checking in with my I love how J&A sets up their races – there is music playing, lots of water stops, and for this love-themed race, there were signs all over with cheesy pick-up lines and even a candy station! They have so many little tricks to keep everyone encouraged and cheerful. I was totally in the zone for this race, and definitely had one of those “I love running!” days.

I crossed the finish line with a power sprint, on a huge high, and couldn’t stop smiling! One of the things that J&A does is call out the names of runners as they finish, and it was awesome to hear, “HERE COMES LINDSAY!” over the loudspeakers. Volunteers were waiting to hand the runners everything from medals to water to pretzels and bananas, and my hands were full of goodies. My mom had come down to VB with me to be our cheerleader, and I had text messages from her letting me know that she'd found a table in the field house and was waiting for us there. I sent her a quick "DONE!" picture to prove it.
Then, I maneuvered my way to a great spot to watch Lauren come through a few minutes later and cheered as loud and proud as I could. We found my mom and enjoyed our post-race bread bowls of soup and beers (have I mentioned that J&A is awesome??) while stretching and getting warmed back up. Lauren and I were both so pleased with how the race had gone – apart from that crazy wind, it was a great experience! J&A does it again. We’ll be back!
We deemed lunch necessary immediately, and Lauren took us to a great hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant where they make guacamole fresh at your table… I die. May or may not have consumed guacamole and chips for the majority of my lunch (and I’m not mad about it at all). It was just what we all needed. A few hours later, my mom and I headed back to Northern Virginia, with another successful race weekend in the books and an awesome medal to show for it. 
Thanks for having me, Luscious Lo! Love you, little runner :)

Not too shabby


Lisa said...

So walking across the Drillfield wind? Can't say anyone misses that. Have you thought about running the Diva race in April? Several of my friends (and fellow Tech sorors) are planning on doing it.

Liz @ iheartvegetables said...

Haha my best friend ran this and she said it was freeeeezing! I'm impressed!

Lindsay said...

I saw the Diva race, but I already have a commitment that weekend! It looks like so much fun :) And this was seriously reminiscent of the Drillfield.... YIKES.

Lindsay said...

It was SO COLD. The things I get myself into... haha!