Category Archives: half marathon
The Spring race season kicked off at Myrtle Beach Marathon in February. I have to admit, it was nice not to be racing. My friend Tara and I had the pleasure of volunteering on Friday night and walking out the condo door to cheer on the runners. We had the opportunity to see Bill fly by at mile 15 looking like he had just started running.
As Bill sped past us and Fred PR’d his half and I knew it was time to fill out my spring race schedule. Too much FOMO going on!
nOg St. Paddy’s Run Green 8K kilt run in March has become a tradition in Raleigh. I needed a few more miles that day so I had run 7 prior to the nOg thinking I would have a “fun” 8k to reach my goal but Kelly of River Run Club was after an 8K PR and needed company.
Isnagged a bib for the sold out Tobacco Road Half -perfect training run towards my 50K. This was my 3rd Tobacco race and I reluctantly have run some long training runs on the trail but it’s not my favorite. Love surface, but the tree lined, straight, flat trail gets mundane. It attracted Runner’s World attention this year as a great Boston Qualifier option. The race atmosphere improved this year offering a better beer garden tent and band. The tent was great pre-race for warmth. I finally broke through my half to PR of 1:51 and finished at 1:50.
Next up was All American Marathon with a few River Run Club folks and Ambassadors: Todd Griffin and Paul Laviska. This is a great race I highly recommend. It was easy to park close to starting line, well organized and a great course. I had never been on a military base before so it was cool running through it with Todd as my tour guide. This was the most inspired race I’ve ever ran. #thanksTodd. The bonus of running with Todd is his fan base cheering us on and the fans he picked up along the way. Todd holds the record for running with me longer than anyone. You learn a lot about someone running 26.2 miles and he’s a good one. Todd didn’t beat Oprah but he will in 2015.
Last training race before Run the Rock 50k was Rock and Roll Raleigh. In it’s second year, Competitor Group changed the course and reportedly had fewer runners. But I had a good time and I love running downtown, hills and all. My run buddy was Julie who beat cancer finishing her last chemo merely weeks before race day. This was her last training run before her 3rd trip to Boston. We began in wave 2 at the rope-ahead of where we needed to be and resulted in starting out faster than we planned. Once the 1:50 pacers caught up to us, we stayed with them. The plan was to help me run at my race pace and to keep Julie from going too fast and seeing if she could maintain the pace. I almost immediately had to go to music because the costume clad pacing girls weren’t just pacing, they were coaching; loudly and enthusiastically. Most people hanging with the 1:50 group don’t need and didn’t sign up for coaching. After the 7-8 mile climb, music wasn’t enough to drown them out so I took off. Julie kept me in sights and we finished together. A PR for me at 1:48. I love running downtown- hills work for me! The party afterwards with Smashing Mouth is not worth writing about-they sucked in the 90’s and still do. Also Michelob Ultra sucks. Runners in these parts prefer craft beer, local even better.
I won! I won! Thanks to Ron Wahula, Director of City of Oaks and Big Boss Brewing run club, I won a race registration in a raffle drawing. Scheduled two weeks before Richmond; it was a perfect, final 13.1 training run.
I chose City of Oaks last year as my first full marathon; I love this event. Great route through downtown Raleigh, lots of familiar faces, great crowd support and the best beer garden in the Triangle.
It was a great race, my legs felt great and I saw lots of friends along the way. I finally broke through the 1:54 barrier I’ve been stuck at all year with fresh half PR.
The best part of the day was watching @triangleexplorer accomplish his goal of crossing the finish line in sub 4 hours.
Race 13.1 Midtown Raleigh Spring
This race was on my list but with potential hot weather in June, I was undecided. With temps predicted to be ok, I decided to do it and try to break my half PR.
Writing 6 months later, these are the sticky facts:
- Lassister Hill stole my PR
- It was hot
- I couldn’t shake an annoying, gross, spitting, sweat falling off him, too close runner guy for the entire second half.
I’m sure I’m not the first to say that Lassiter Hill stole my PR.
Raleigh has arrived: First Ironman and now Rock & Roll Marathon
When Rock and Roll Raleigh was announced it was received with much controversy among local runners. Unfortunately, the inaugural date chosen by Competitor Group and the City of Raleigh was terrible and highlighted their disconnect with the local running community. It was wedged between a couple of big local races, took the date of one race and fell on Palm Sunday causing considerable issues for downtown churches.
It split the community in two; I landed on the supportive side. While sympathetic to the local race directors and questioning some of Competitor Group’s practices, above all, I love Raleigh and I didn’t want to see a national race series fail here. Once WRAL and Jimmy V Foundation decided to sponsor, I knew it would be a success.
All in all, it was a win for the city and the running community. For runners, it raised registration fee awareness of which charities are supported and how much money actually goes to them. It forced the city to examine it’s schedule of races and the impact on downtown residents and businesses. And finally, it launched a whole new marketing theme with running stores and races: Run Local.
You know you’re going to have a good day when you get to the start line without much traffic trouble, you buck your assigned coral and are able to find River Run Club friends in coral 2. I had no agenda for this race except to have fun. My friend Jill, however, had a PR plan of breaking 2 hours.
The route (it’s hilly, get over it) and crowd support were fantastic. Most memorable was the Wear Blue Memory Mile designed to honor fallen war heroes. The mile was lined with American flags and personal signs with their spouses cheering on the runners. Placed at mile 12, this was especially emotional for us because we had just passed one of the 2 men who collapsed on the route. Jill and I were choking back the tears knowing we were so close to her PR, we had to mentally focus on the finish line.
Today I ran with a guy who joined River Run Club in June. He is a guy who doesn’t “look” like a runner. He looks more like Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is the type of guy who is grabbing life by the horns and shaking it up.
“I want to learn how to run,” said Arnold. We made plans to run together at our next meet up. He was so excited by the group energy, he took off with the leaders who planned on running 8 miles, sub 8. “There’s no way he’ll be able to hang with them,” said me. “When he falls behind, I’ll show him how to run.”
Well, he was able to keep up with them for the majority of the run and has been coming back for more week after week. I had told him he was already a runner but he has denied himself that title like so many runners do…until this morning.
We set out to run 10 miles at an even 9 minute mile pace; this was to be his longest run ever. Due to my fantastic sense of direction, we were off by 2 miles, luckily in the right direction. When we finished on pace plus 2 miles he said, “You know, when I came to run club I was a jogger and now I’m a runner.”
I’m on the other side of halfway through 16 weeks of hills, intervals, cross training, short and long runs to my first marathon. What I’ve learned along the way:
Intervals and long runs are hard.
Intervals and long runs are my favorite.
I discovered I love riding my bike.
Running friends make my world go around.
- Work is too busy right now
- It’s too cold (disclaimer: NC cold)
- Less hair maintenance
- Lots of late night TV
- Less laundry to do
- Sleeping in
- One less website to keep up with
- Liberated Friday night cocktails
- Saving miles on new Mizunos
- Normal looking barefeet
A more balanced runner friend said,
Giving ourselves permission to be ok with time off is an important part of balance.
I cannot publicly repeat how I responded because none of these ten things beat running. #8 is close but there are 6 other nights!
Running takes a turn for crazy in 2012
I don’t know how it happened but it did. It started in March with my friend, Tara H. inviting me to run Tobacco Road with her in place of one who bailed at the last minute. Seldom to turn down run offers, I accepted. Flat, fast and fun began the year of crazy. At this race I realized, “I’m stronger than I think I am.”
In April, Winnie R. was coming to town and wanted to run-it worked for Raleigh Rocks. Fun group of girls and lots of laughs pre-race with Nancy D’s full face of make up and Ben Gay in appearing in strange places. At this race I learned: Your Race, Your Pace.
On May 6, 2012 Tara Hill and I founded a social running group, River Run Club. The club meets every Thursday to encourage, motivate and inspire each other to RUN. We really just wanted an excuse to get together each week doing one thing we both love and we have this penchant for starting things. Amazing things have happened and this is one of the best things we’ve ever done. I’ve learned: Running Changes Everything. I’m lucky enough get see to see these changes in others every week. The club has given me back 10x what’s it’s given others.
River Run Club’s first race was the 1 in 9 Pink Shamrock 5K. This was a bucket list item for a few of our members which made it a lot of fun even in the rain. We partied on in to the night for a great event. On this run I learned: No Runner Left Behind.
Suzanne S. a RRC member and new runner wanted to run the Eno River Run , a trail run. “Ok, I’ll do that with you, no I haven’t done a single trail run in 2012 and only one in my lifetime, but sure,” said author who doesn’t say no to running opportunities. The race was single track trail running through the Eno River park. It was the most challenging run I’ve done to date.But trail running is cool and I hope to do more of it in 2013. I learned to: Be Open to Possibilities.
One week later was City of Oaks that I signed up for by myself on impulse. This was my first solo race and I was on a mission to beat the 2 hour mark. I will skip the part about every hill I climbed and pot hole missed and get to the result which was: goal met.
I don’t know what is in store for me next year besides I’m signed up for Tobacco Road again and planning on Run Like a Diva at Myrtle Beach and City of Oaks. I’m going to keep things open to see what comes my way, I like how 2012 went crazy good.
Breath. Exhale. Repeat.
The good news is I’ve got two days under my belt on my new job. The bad news is I haven’t run for three days.
I am really tying to be all Ekhart Tolle, Zen, Mother Teresa about it but the truth is all I can think about is all the running I’m not doing. It started last week when I began to miss a few days and running was everywhere on Facebook, Twitter and Daily Mile. I was starting to get resentful but have moved beyond that. I’m now ok with my running friends and the miles they are logging with out me. Really I am.
I know it can be done, runners have full time jobs too.They make the time and make it work and I will too, hopefully quickly to preserve what’s left of my sanity.
Working peeps, how do you find the time to run? And do laundry, spend time with kids, shop, cook etc?