Virginia Is For Lovers [And Runners] 14k Recap

Woowee it’s been awhile since my last race recap (as usual you can find the calendar of all the races I’ve done since starting the blog on on the right; click for recap—->)


I usually try to wait for some pictures from the race because, well, because they’re kind of fun and sometimes they can help tell the story of what happened on a particular day on a particular course. Case in point, this photo from the Virginia is for Lovers 14k:VA Lovers 14k You can probably deduce that a) it was freezing cold, b) it was crazy windy, or c) it was crazy windy and cold (<– yep, c!). I came to Virginia Beach for the race woefully unprepared for the 35 mph winds and 30 degree temps. I actually planned to run in just my Nike capris and a long-sleeve shirt but then the weather took a turn for the worst. And so I used what I had: compression socks, nike hoodie, and a fleece scarf wrapped round and round my neck to battle the blasts of freezing cold air. That guy behind me in shorts? He’s just crazy. Or stupid. Or both. It was cooooooooooold. Much colder than the Frostbite 15k I ran last year.

So that brings me to what I have decided is my absolute worst running weather. Y’all know from all of my running posts last summer (like this one, or this one, or this one) that I really dislike running in the heat (I write about my favorite running weather here) My body actually has a reaction to the heat and I can end up getting some pretty bad chronic migraines. But I actually don’t think the heat is that bad. It’s the humidity guys. I really think it’s the humidity that makes me feel so crappy when I run (and, yeah, it’s humid here in central VA in the summer). I’ve decided that in addition to humid weather I also hate when it’s windy. Sure a little bit of wind is good and I don’t mind it. I’m talking crazy gusts of wind that make it seem like you’re not even moving even though you are running. Like the 30 mph gusts I was running against almost the whole VA is for Lovers 14k race–I say almost because there was only one small portion where the wind was behind me. You just see me battling it at the beginning of the race below…

VA Lovers 14k 3 So if you’re wondering: No. I don’t usually run with my neck all bundled up like that. But I do have to say that the scarf really did help. I heard people the whole race complaining about the wind. Running can only warm you up so much. I was really happy I chose to run in that scarf 🙂

The race itself is super fun. It’s got a great theme (pretty obvious from the name) and they hold it every year right before Valentine’s Day. I had never run in that part of VA Beach before. I honestly thought I would be running on part of the same course as the Shamrock Marathon that I ran a few years back but no dice. We were out close to Farm Bureau Live where they have bigger concerts. So it isn’t the most exciting course…and actually it was pretty boring while I was running. But it is flat and it has really fun lovey dovey and funny signs along the way.


It also didn’t hurt that the FI and Sophie came with me. This was the first race I ran after our engagement so it was really fun that it had a love theme


They had little signs that said “in a relationship”, “single”, or “it’s complicated” at the bib pickup. so fun!

Sophie was fresh off her tail removal surgery–which by the way, she’s doing great and I’ll do an update post later this week–and was ready to cheer me on until she felt the cold and wind. Then she decided to stay in the car 😉

IMG_0897 But the FI was there, as usual*, to cheer me on


*ok I put an asterisk there because he wasn’t at the Marine Corps Marathon. I actually had no one at the MCM. Not one person. So when I finished after a bad race and had to wait 3 hours to get back to my hotel I had a total meltdown. And told myself I’d never run a marathon again without having any kind of support. Thankfully the FI has been at all of my other marathons.

Waiting for the start was excruciating because it was so cold and the wind blasts were unbearable. I wanted to wait until the very last minute to get into the first corral (which was taking the brunt of the wind), so I hid behind some cars (you can see that I wasn’t the only one with that idea). At my second car a woman inside actually invited me to sit with her! So kind of her, bless her heart. I was warmed up for 2 minutesIMG_0889 IMG_0892Finally I sucked it up and walked over to the corral.


Another guy in shorts? Oh the crazies I tell ya. Even the more “elite” runners in the very front were wearing tights.

And then we were off! Once again, so grateful for that freaking scarf

VA Lovers 14k 4The course was quick and fast so before I knew it the 14k was over (yes 14k is a very strange distance indeed…approx. 8.7 miles…but I think they want to do a play on Valentine’s Day). IMG_0901At the finish line they give you a medal (YEP a MEDAL for only 8.7 miles!) and there are firefighters waiting to hand you flowers. Ok, definitely going to run this again just for that reason alone. Slow pace for a cold day, but I had fun and finished strong (my last mile was right around 8:15 so I was happy with that)…

results 14kmedal Next up? The NYC Half Marathon! I’ve been able to get in some nice tempo runs, like the one I did Sunday

tempotempobabyWhat are your feelings about running with/against the wind? 

What is the strangest distance race (formal race) you’ve ever run? 

And just for fun: favorite rainy day/cold weather meal — I’m a big soup gal. Anything with warm broth I love on a cold, rainy day. I also make a mean turkey chili 😉

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4 Responses to Virginia Is For Lovers [And Runners] 14k Recap

  1. pickyrunner says:

    Haha I love the scarf. That’s a new one I haven’t seen before 🙂 Bundling up for a race is always such a hard thing to figure out. Congrats though! I’ve never heard of a 14K- it’s a cool distance to run!

  2. holy shiz i couldn’t agree more, wind is the devil. I give you credit, I probably would have wimped out like no other. love the in a relationship on your little dog, adorable

  3. That is a cooooool medal!!! Love it!
    Congrats and goodluck with your training for NYC Marathon!

  4. katiemoves says:

    OMG I love Sophie! That sign is too cute. Glad she is doing well! I despise the wind and cold so that scarf sounds like a great idea to me! And I’m a big soup person too. Today I just had a southwestern style potato soup for lunch! Delicious 🙂

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