Monument Ave. 10k: Race recap

Last Saturday I was one of 38,600 runners and walkers in Richmond’s Monument Ave. 10k.

I considered not doing a race recap since I only walked it. But the more I thought about it I realized that walking this race was just as much a part of my journey as a runner as any of the other races I’ve recapped; just as much as the 5k I ran with Track Club girls, my first race after giving birth, or even the 10k last year.


When you’re walking instead of running, the race experience is completely different. The night before I ate a normal meal, and I never felt that sinking feeling in my stomach that I normally feel the night before a race. Then, the morning of the race, I woke up, drank an iced coffee, ate a big yogurt smoothie, and then started thinking (for the first time) about what I would wear.

If I’d been running, I would have woken up early, eaten two pieces of toast, and put on my clothes which I’d nervously laid out the night before. Then I would have paced around anxiously until time to leave.

Our wave didn’t start until 9:30, so we walked outside to Monument Ave. to cheer for the elite runners.


The guy in the green won with a time of 28:18.

We also got to see our friend Steve speed by.


ran the 10k with Steve’s wife when I was pregnant with David. Steve is an incredible runner, I don’t really have any clout in the Richmond running community, except that I know Steve.

David really really liked all the race. He’s been to lots of races, but now he’s old enough to really enjoy the activity.




The race crew included me, my mom and Tom’s mom. We started off with a run/walk wave, waving our arms and clapping with Carly Rae Jepsen. No one in our wave was stretching or jogging in place or had their hands poised on Garmins. The walkers are way more chill than the runners.

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The weather was incredible, and walking felt great. I’d started to get a little nervous about the 10k because the third trimester fatigue is setting in. I’m still running, but  I stopped running 6 miles about seven weeks ago. And on the days I run I’m tired, and usually have ligament pain. So I wasn’t sure how my body would feel after walking for two hours.

The crowd was incredibly supportive. I heard tons of “go mama!” cheers.

Around mile 4, a runner passed me and then ran back and asked to take my photo. She said that her step daughter in law was pregnant and due a month after me. She wanted to send my photo to her to show her that it was possible to be active while pregnant.

You want to take a photo of me? You think I’m the poster-mom for pregnant ladies everywhere? SURE! And did I mention that this is my second pregnancy? That’s right, I have a toddler at home. I know, aren’t you impressed with me?

After she took my photo she told me that she was “just like me” when she was pregnant. She had been on her feet working all day the day before her son was born. It wasn’t until she told me that story that I realized what I’d been a part of and started to regret it.

Ladies, take a moment and imagine what it would feel like to receive a text from your mother in law saying, “See this pregnant stranger? WHY CAN’T YOU BE MORE LIKE HER?”

I’m ashamed of myself.

I thought about chasing her down and throwing her phone in a porta john, but every time I tried to run, I felt my mom’s fingers close around my wrist. She kept squeezing until I lost circulation in my hand or stopped running.

Speaking of porta johns.

When I’m running I rarely take water, but this time I took water at every single aid station. In fact, I usually took two cups of water. As a result, I was completely hydrated, and stopped twice to use the porta johns along the course.

I’d carried my phone (to call Tom to come pick us up at the finish) and put it in a small pocket in my pants right on my lower back. Periodically, I’d reach back for my phone to make sure it was still in place.

Then, I felt for my phone and it was gone.

I stopped in my tracks, with both hands on my lower back, and said “OH NO!”

Three people turned around, and one ran over and said, “Ma’am? Are you ok? Do you need help?”

(Or at least call my husband for me and tell him I destroyed my phone. Make sure to mention that it was an accident and that I’m very sorry.)

It took a moment until I realized why she was so concerned. No, I’m not in labor. But seriously, are you interested in looking for my phone? I remember which porta john it was.

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We finished the race, minus one cell phone. I took several pictures along the way, but if you’d like to see them you’d have to call these guys.

There aren’t any photos of the three of us walking together, but this is a great photo of my mom and Peggy finishing.

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Our time was 1:54.19, about 18 minutes per mile, which is the perfect pace for enjoying the cheering, bands, blooming trees, and beautiful houses on Monument Ave.

My favorite part might have been later that afternoon, though. We were eating fish tacos and homemade salsa, and my mom started talking about doing the race again next year.

This was her first 10k, and it was all she needed to get the race bug. She didn’t say it, but I think she’s already got her eye on beating her time.


  1. Jenny April 18, 2013

    confession: as I was reading I kind of wished I was there so I could have tripped that mother in law. I’m glad you saw the light. haha
    Way to go! You are awesome and I love the pictures! 🙂

  2. Karen April 18, 2013

    Great photos! Great writing and message.

  3. Kristie April 19, 2013

    Sounds like fun. I like the way your two bodyguards totally coordinated with their punchy spring colors. Hard to do when you’re wearing your hubby’s shirts, I suppose. Nice job!

  4. Grammy April 26, 2013

    I think I’m still sore!


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