Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Rock n Roll Raleigh Half Marathon

Wow, I cannot believe it has been so long since I ran this race. Ok, 10 days isn't a lifetime, but I try to write my recaps while the race is still fresh in my mind! I hope I do not leave anything out. 
Raleigh was my first event as a Rock n Blogger, and I was super excited. I did pay for Raleigh before I was chosen, but I signed up for the 5k afterwards, as part of my Tour pass.  Anyway, back to the race.
After I ran Hot Chocolate, and it was sort of a train wreck, I entered Raleigh with absolutely no expectations. I am so blessed to be able to run these amazing races, Rock n Roll races are super back of the pack friendly, especially when there is a marathon going on as well. I was hoping to finish in under 3 hours but, honestly, I just wanted to finish. My Plantar Fasciitis has been giving me almost no trouble at all, and I cannot even remember the last time I had pain during a race. I have been walking barefoot in my house with no pain as well.
Raleigh is hilly. I cannot stress that enough. Hills Hills Hills.
We woke up on race morning, at the butt crack of the butt crack of dawn, and I got dressed for the race. I was nervous about wearing my new, super cute, VS sports bra because you should never ever ever ever ever wear new gear at a big race. Ever. There are reasons for this that will become clear later.
It was FREEZING out. I don't just say that lightly, it was legit 29 degrees out. I walked to the start at the designated, way too early time, and no one was there. For real. No one. I heard there was insane traffic if you waited too long, so I am super glad we got there early, but brrrrrrrrrr.
The hubs parked the car and texted me his location, and I went back and sat with him until it was closer to go time.
Fifteen minutes before the start we walked over, but it was still way too cold and I was in Corral 19. We noticed a lot of people in one of the hotel lobbies so we joined them. Sooooo warm! Lo and behold, there was Brandi, a fellow Rock n Blogger. We took a few pics, and then headed to our corrals. I found a folded up blanket left behind and I totally snagged it. I'm not ashamed. It was cozy, and I held onto it until the first half mile.

I lined up in my corral, and as the hubs was taking a pic, my friend Gigi popped up behind me. We chatted for a few minutes and then she headed over to the other side to maximize her first turn. She was headed for a PR and she was not messing around! (She got it, too! Way to go Gigi!)
The hills were no joke. They were fast and furious and everywhere. I had to pee, which is never good this early on, so I started looking for a potty with no line. I found one shortly after I saw these happy characters.
Just after I peed, which was soooooo worth the 2 minute stop,  we ran under this awesome drum line. I popped out my ear bud so that I could listen. It was also on a downhill, so stopping to take this pic was a little painful, but I just had to do it!
I ditched my throw away gloves around here somewhere. I believe it was between miles 3 and 4. There were just so many hills. Are you sensing a trend? Good! It was hilly.
The on course entertainment was on point as always. I really enjoyed them all. After about mile 5 I started having doubts. Let's call it "poor me syndrome". You know how it goes. I can't do this. I'm so stupid. Who does this? In NYC, I will have to do this twice. Oh look! A Starbucks. I should stop, there's an app for that. Hill!
I noticed a fellow Skirt Sports Ambassador up ahead and we stopped for a photo and then I continued on my way, feeling a little lighter, a little speedier.
Around mile 6 or so, I passed by these ladies. They were with a group playing Classic Music, Oldies but Goodies. They all wanted to be in the selfie. There was a downhill with a great Raptor and some other scary stuff, which I loved, but I just couldn't stop again so soon for a pic.  
Somewhere around mile 7, I started to feel the burn. No, not the "I'm running a half marathon" burn, or even the "wall". It was my sports bra. I was pretty sure at that point that my shower was going to be excruciating. It was rubbing a bit, and I tried tucking my shirt under it, but that kept slipping out so I eventually sucked it up and left it alone. After about a mile, the pain went away, and that was good.
Mile 8 I saw this amazing sign. PLEASE, if there are any nasty, ugly, disparaging comments about this sign, I will break my own rule and delete them. You can disagree all you want, just keep it clean folks. My daughter is in theater, so we have many friends and loved ones who are constantly effected by things like this. It was not the only sign, but it was the best one I saw. 
After passing some shops, and some hills,  we passed some really amazing buildings and monuments. It was nice to run past some of the places we had driven by while visiting Raleigh. I was feeling pretty good here, and my goal pace was starting to seem possible. I decided that I would be happy with 14 minute miles. This is a far cry from my PR of 11 minute miles, but with the hills, lack of training, and fear of PF, I have learned to let that stuff go and focus on what I can attain. My NYC goal is 13:30 miles, so 14 seemed reasonable considering the time I have left to train.
Woohooo! Who doesn't love seeing the Brooks Rocker out on the course? You know what this means, don't you? Mile 10 baby! This is that point where you can say that you are almost there. What's a 5k between friends, right?
I'm not gonna lie, though. Things got a little ugly before they got better. Did I mention hills? Plus, the marathoners were passing me now. We merged around mile 11 or so. They looked just as tired as me, but they had run twice as far! Yikes! The hills were intense, but there was this one hill. It was a total beast. I turned to a volunteer and asked if it was the last one. She thought about it and said "no, but this is the worst one, and I promise that you will smile at the top of it."
She was right, of course, but only marathoners got to run under the arch. It's ok, they earned it!
After that monster hill, it really wasn't so bad. The hubs wasn't where he said he would be, but he did text me to let me know he was at mile 13. I was feeling great at this point. I knew I did well, I knew I hit that 14 minute average, and I knew I was almost done. The hubs was at mile 13 and he ran the last tenth along side me, which was super cute.
I got my bling, chugged my milk, grabbed some food, and asked a volunteer where to find the bonus bling. They pointed me in the right direction which involved, can you guess? Hills!
Don't I look overjoyed? We had a long drive, and I wanted to shower, so we skipped the after party.
And the shower? I cried like a baby. It only took a few days to heal, but the chafing was about 3 inches long right under my.... well it was a sports bra. You know where it chafed.
Thanks RnR, for another amazing race. You never ever fail to put on a good race! I am looking forward to another new location: Nashville! Less than two weeks to go!
Are you jealous? You shouldn't be! You can run RnR too! Use my discount code for $15 off of any half or full marathon, but if it is introductory prices, the code won't work because the deal is already amazing! I'm seriously considering signing up for Raleigh again next year so that I can PR!

Will I see you in Nashville?


  1. 1) I LOVE that sign!!! And whoever made it is super clever and and awesome human being.

    2) Congrats on a great race!!