On the Run: Week 11

I expected to talk about reducing my mileage and increasing my carb intake in preparation for the Richmond Marathon. Unfortunately I’ve got some bad news.

  • Days Until Anthem Richmond Marathon: 8
  • Miles Run: 319.62

Week 11 of this project. The week where I expected to talk about reducing my mileage and increasing my carb intake in preparation for the upcoming Richmond Marathon. The week where I’d start deciding which of my obnoxiously brightly colored tees I was going to wear in the race and washing both pairs of lucky socks–because you can never be too prepared. The week where I would start to ask you guys to maybe think about possibly, you know, if you were nearby or something, coming out to holler at me as I ran by, triumphantly, mid-26.2 mile journey, preceded by (let’s face it, I’m slow) 18,000 of my closest friends.1

But that’s not what’s happening–or not exactly, anyway.

As I revealed last week, I’ve got an injured foot. The extent of the injury isn’t known, and I’m waiting to see an Orthopedic Specialist to get a diagnosis beyond what an urgent care doctor told me, which was that my x-rays show multiple problems, and I should see an Orthopedic Specialist. But the Specialist is in high demand, and won’t be able to see me for another two weeks. That’s a full week after the marathon. This? This is a problem.

I’ve had the Richmond Marathon on my radar since May of this year. True, it was a tiny blip. A impossibly tiny blip, as a matter of fact. I had just begun running and was only about halfway through the Couch to 5k program, when a customer said to me “You should do the Richmond Marathon.”

“I’m not really interested in running a marathon,” I replied.

Because I wasn’t. Marathons were for the thin and serious. For people who consumed sports drinks and lost toenails. For folks who were the opposite of silly, pudgy me.

But the more I ran, the more I realized that I was a cut out to be a distance runner. Running for time wasn’t at all fun for me, but running for hours, then checking my pedometer and being surprised and delighted at how far I’d gone, that was my jam.

At some point, a marathon not only piqued my interest, but I was sure I was supposed to run one. And so I’ve been running with this event in mind.

But, it’s not to be. I was feeling better a few days ago and decided to try out the foot with a quick (it’s all relative) six miles. It wasn’t terrible. I realized though, that not terrible for six miles does not equal conquering 26 and change. Not even close.

And, so, I decided that I just can’t risk permanent injury. The thought of never running again depresses me more than the thought of missing one race. Much, much more.

That’s the bad news, and, frankly, that’s quite enough.

The good news is, I’ve decided to run the HCA Virginia 8k. It’s part of the same family of races, including the Anthem Richmond Marathon and the American Family Fitness Half Marathon, that take place on the same day. The HCA Virginia 8k is rumored to be five miles of fun and, holy cats, could my running use a fun injection right now.

The better news is that you can totally join me for the 8k. There are still spaces left and five miles is runable, walkable, and cartwheelable (OK, maybe only if you’re McKayla Maroney and completely unimpressed) for more people than, say, a marathon.

I might run this thing with a little bit of a limp but I am running it, and I’d love to see you out there, either on the course or the sidelines. I promise high fives and hugs and an annoyingly peppy cheerleader in the form of a hobbling checkout girl.

So, who’s in?

— ∮∮∮ —


  1. Props to Richmond Marathon for breaking their entry record 13 times in 14 years. Runner’s World magazine declared it “America’s Friendliest Marathon,” and I have to think that they’re onto something. 
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The Checkout Girl

The Checkout Girl is Jennifer Lemons. She’s a storyteller, comedian, and musician. If you don’t see her sitting behind her laptop, check the streets of Richmond for a dark-haired girl with a big smile running very, very slowly.

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