Raleigh Rocks the Greenway Half Marathon Recap

At about 9:00pm the night before they finally made the call to go ahead with the race despite the weather. There had been some concern about the freezing rain making the bridges on the greenway course a bit icy.

This was the first year for this race so I knew it wouldn’t be huge. But I was glad someone was finally doing a race longer than a 10k in Raleigh in December. I had been keeping an eye on this race for a couple of months. I had held off signing up because there didn’t seem to be a lot of advertisement like a lot of half marathons in the area. Finally I bit the bullet and got excited.

Raleigh and Wake County’s new Greenway along the Neuse River will play host to this inaugural race with runners crossing over 50 bridges in the half marathon (anywhere from 20’ to 200’ long). Runners will begin by making a loop on the road (4 miles for half marathoners and 1 mile for 10K runners) before entering Anderson Point Park and beginning this unique experience on the paved Greenway. Music will be provided along the route, keeping the tradition started with the Raleigh Rocks Half Marathon. Some will be live and some will be DJs.

imageThat’s me in the red shirt and red & green polka socks my mom found!

Due to the weather the music along the route didn’t happen sadly. My car said it was 35 degrees at the start and it was slightly drizzling. We started on time at 8:00. I didn’t have an exact goal in mind but I knew I wanted under 2 hours. But I didn’t feel like this was a PR day. I started off feeling pretty good. The first four miles went through a neighborhood and office building area. Not exactly an exciting course. After a four mile loop on the roads we entered into the greenway. Other than the first big hill going in and coming out of the greenway, it was fairly flat with some rolling hills. The bridges did seem a little slippery so since I like to fall I got a little nervous. The first nine miles I averaged about a 8:35 pace. After that I could feel the temperature drop and my legs started to slow. At the turn around point I tried to count all the women in front of me to see where I was at. I was in 12th place! I tried to keep the pace but as the temperature dropped and the rain picked up I started to slow.

I did the calculation game in my head I always do in a race. “If I keep XX pace I can still finish in XX time”. At the same time I saw mile marker 13 another girl came up behind me and passed me. I swear she came out of no where! So I picked up the pace. I finished in 1:56. Not my best but not my worst. I was happy that I got 2nd in my age group and I was 13th female. That’s my best as far as placing! That’s one reason I like small races! 🙂

Overall, I think I would do the race again. The race organizers were so nice and accommodating. Afterwards there was bananas, cookies, and bagels. They weren’t doing the awards ceremony because of the weather so they’re going to mail them. I was ready to get home and warm up too!

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Twas the Night Before Race Day

Last night I went to the gym for my last three miles & found they’re going to be closing at 5:00 on Fridays this month – i got there at 4:50! Lovely. I did enjoy my spaghetti dinner though.

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I try to do a heavy carb meal two nights before instead of the night before a race. Especially pasta, since pasta & running the next morning are not my friends. I usually do rice the night before a race because that’s what I’ve found works best for me. Tonight it’ll be plain rice & chicken with some gatorade.

I started off my day with some pumpkin spice French Toast (no cinnamon roll pancakes like last weekend)! I used Pumpkin Spice bread.

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Then I picked up my mom and sister and we went to Packet Pickup for my half marathon tomorrow.

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Twas the night before Race Day, when all through the house
Not a runner was sleeping, not even a mouse
Compression socks were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Race Day soon would be there.

The runners were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of race medals danced in their heads.
With my racing flats laced up, and my gu in my fuel belt.
Tomorrow could bring a new PR, that’s what I hoped I’ll be dealt!

Ok, that’s all I got! Hah! That’s my attempt at my Night Before Race Day poem. Since candy corn has proven the past couple months to help me run like a crazy woman when I eat it the night before, I’m off to eat me some!

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What race rituals do you have the night before?

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everybody! Has this week be extremely slow for you too? My countdown to my Christmas vacation has begun! I have four days to go! Yay! I have quite a bit of vacation days left and I’m sure gonna use them.

Are you ready for the holidays? Nope, me either. I can’t believe Christmas is almost here! Although I think I probably say that every year. I’m more ready for vacation than the holidays. No tree yet…. usually I’m a day-after-Thanksgiving-decorate-the-tree kind of girl. But this year I seem to be struggling to find the time or motivation. I think next week that should get better. That seems to be the week & weekend for parties & events. I have a holiday work dinner, taking my sister to Disney on Ice, my running group Christmas breakfast, and a holiday cookie exchange. Maybe that will get my butt in gear for the holidays.

My mom sure has gotten into the holidays! She awesome with decorating. She sent me a some pictures last night of her decorating.

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Only a couple days left until my half. My “taper” (if you want to call it that:)) seems to be going well. Although I still have those classic thoughts, “Should I be running more?” “Will I loose any speed or endurance?” Yada yada yada. Yes, I know, “the hay is in the barn”. An extra speed session is not going to help me at this point. Logically I know all that, but I think a runner always has their “what-if” thoughts before a race. Three easy miles tonight and I’m done.

Every race I do, I’ve always tried to buy myself a new piece of running gear. Yes, I’m that runner that wears a new shirt on race day. I know, you shouldn’t try anything new on race day. I’m a rebel, what can I say. Luckily I haven’t had that back fire on me yet. So I took a little trip to Dick’s Sporting Good’s yesterday and had a little fun. Ok, an entire outfit of fun. I can’t go in there without getting into trouble.

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Usually I’m a diehard Nike tempo shorts runner, but I decided to try something different. I bought my first pair of Brook’s shorts and I’m in love. I’ll let you know how they work!

As far as my goal goes, I haven’t decided. I think I’m going to see how I feel Sunday morning. The weather is not looking to great – a high of 38 with some freezing rain! Even Chicago was not that bad! So either I’ll run fast so I won’t freeze my butt off. Or my legs will start to freeze, get stiff, and slow me down.

If you’re doing a long run tomorrow, good luck! My plan tomorrow is to go to packet pickup & find some kind of Christmasy socks for the race!

Do you have any races coming up?

Are you ready for the holidays?