13.1, Run and Done!

Well, the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon is over. I finished my first ever half marathon and Amanda got a new personal best time on her run! We went to the expo on Friday and bought some new running gear. The only picture we got was me getting a little overly friendly with balloon running man. I don’t think he minded though.

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On race day we got up at 4 in the morning. That’s right.. 4. in. the. morning. It wasn’t so bad really, but it made us pretty silly for a while. The adrenaline of race anticipation coupled with a short night’s sleep made us pretty looney.

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We were also very cold! It was pretty windy and we were dressed for running in the sun, not standing around for two hours in the dark so we hopped into a hotel lobby to warm up and wait for the race to start.

 

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I had planned to take it pretty slow at the start, like 11 or 12 minute miles until I warmed up and could tell how I was going to feel for the run but instead I was amped up and excited and feeling good so I took off at around 10 minute miles which is more my typical pace for short runs. I was able to keep that pace going for quite a few miles so I was feeling good about hitting my target time.

A lot of the race is a blur. I was mostly focusing on good running form since I was still worried about my ankle and concentrating on breathing good and maintaining a steady pace so half the time I didn’t really know what street I was on but I do remember the music. The first band was playing Last Dance with Mary Jane. A short while later the marching band blared their horns down at the runners from a bridge over the street. Scattered cheerleaders and other bands and a really cool drum group later in the race.

One thing I wasn’t prepared for is how much the spectators cheering affected me. I remember the girl at the water station in mile 6 who said “I see you Steve! Keep it up!” She was the first one who called me by name and at first I was all paranoid like who are you? how do you know my name? Then I realized it was printed on my bib and felt kinda silly.

A little after mile 10 my foot started hurting. I had run the whole thing so far so I wasn’t about to stop. As I kept pushing on the pain in my foot got worse. To make matters worse, spectators were pretty sparse near the end until you got real close to the finish. I was nearly reduced to power walking status about half a mile from the finish when I heard Amanda yell “Go Steve!” She came out to run with me for a minute and cheered me on and yelled to the spectators “This is Steve!” so then they all started cheering for me and I got a fresh burst of energy that carried me to the finish. I couldn’t stop smiling and in most of the pictures I’m sportin a big delirious smile and look something like this:

If I end up buying the pictures maybe I’ll post one, but maybe not since I look kinda like a doofus 🙂

In the end I finished in 2 hours and 25 minutes when my target time was 2 hours and 30 minutes so I’m pretty happy about that. I never knew Michelob Ultra could taste as sweet as it did. Here we are enjoying our finisher beers! I felt super accomplished and proud to have finished and to have run the whole thing!

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Remember to hydrate kids!

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And then redehydrate! We went out to celebrate at Cowfish for burgushi and cocktails. We had a sushi foll with rare filet mignon on top that was really delicious.  Amanda had a refreshing citrusy vodka drink.

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But I had a bourbon drink. It also had some citrus undertones but the show stealer was the candied bacon. As you took a bite you first tasted bourbon dripping from the bacon, then a sweet candy flavor and finally finished off with bacony goodness. I highly recommend it if you have an opportunity 😀

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My foot is still hurting unfortunately. I did get it checked out and hopefully it will be better in a few more days but as of now walking more than very short distances is a bit tough. Next race will be easier though 🙂

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Rock n Roll Raleigh (now with llamas!)

Hi friends!

We had a fantastic race yesterday where we both PR’d! Which is a slightly bigger deal for me than Steve since this was his first so any finishing time is going to be your best finishing time.

I have always enjoyed reading race recaps from other people so here is my shot at a race recap 😀

We woke up at 4:30am (OMG) because the streets started closing at 5:30am and we needed to get to the parking decks. Yes this early morning wake up is as awful as it sounds. No they don’t get easier with more races.

The race didn’t start until 7:00 am so we had an hour and a half to chill and freeze in the wind. We hopped into a nearby hotel lobby with a bunch of other runners. This was glorious because hotel lobby = toilets that flush! And we were able to wake up a bit before it was time to get corralled!

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There were almost 6000 runners doing the Rock n Roll Raleigh Half Marathon this year so they did a wave start to help prevent congestion at the start (thank god!!). I was in corral 4, so I wished Steve good luck and left him to find corral 13.

And then we were off!

Crazy right?!?

I was shooting for 1:50 (8:20 min/mile) so I hung out with the pace group for a while. I also hung out with them because we had the same shoes on and therefore they were cool peeps ya know. The course was mostly downtown Raleigh which has some small rolling hills. Here’s an overview of the course with the elevation profile below it.

 

 

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The first downhill part was AWESOME. Was nice and relaxed and didn’t have my music on and had a great time! Then around mile 6 we started going uphill. FOR. 3. MILES. It wasn’t all steep. But it was all uphill. This was where I lost the pace group. Which really only happened because I walked through the aid station at 7.2 miles and grabbed a GU (the only fuel I took for the entire race). It was also where I decided that a little extra motivation was needed and I started up the iPod which was a miracle-worker for my morale!

I got my legs back around mile 10 and then promptly lost them on that last steep hill you see at the end of the elevation profile. Ugh. I walked a bit. Not gonna lie.

The finish was right around the corner though! So I picked up the pace for the last 1.5 miles and had some sub-8 min miles there at the end and finished strong at my new PR of 1:50:12!!!

Steve was still on the course so I speed walked through the finisher’s area and grabbed everything that was handed towards me (water, Gatorade, chocolate milk, pretzels, a sandwich, a banana, and a protein bar) and made a beeline for the gear check so I could grab my phone and try to get pictures of Steve.

I think I was a little out of it at this part because I saw a llama chillin on main street! I was like….OMG is that a white llama?!? Why would someone bring a llama to a race?!? Who has a llama in Raleigh?!?….wait…..that’s not a llama….that’s a dog. WTF Amanda…..

Anywho. I was able to catch Steve on his home stretch and ran with him for a bit before I realized that that was stupid cause I just finished a half-marathon and was tired and my feet hurt.

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See him in the orange!! Note: we both wore orange for this race. It was embarrassing.

On my way to catch him at the finish line, I hobbled walked past a new patisserie and stopped in to grab some celebratory macarons! (They were incredible and dreamy) If you are ever in the Raleigh area, check out Lucettegrace for some seriously delicious treats.

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I’ll let Steve tell you about the race, but we both had a blast!

Race pros:

  • Plenty of aid stations. I actually skipped 2 (which I rarely ever do).
  • Awesome spectators!
  • Great and challenging course
  • Very organized
  • Weather was perfect for running (slightly cool and breezy)

Race cons:

  • So many hills
  • The finisher area was pretty spread out (I had to walk a while to get to the med tent/gear bag area and to the beer garden)
  • Streets closed suuuuuper early

See ya later!