Vancouver USA Half Marathon – Vancouver, WA – June 15, 2014

Last Sunday was Lisa and I’s second in a series of three half marathons this summer. (I never got around to blogging about the Oregon Spring Half on May 3.  I’ll get that soon).  Vancouver represented a new state for both of us as well as a city we spend a lot of time in.  I work there, Lisa’s parents live there, we are getting married there.  The other fun thing about this race is it included a beer festival at the finish!

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A nice shirt and a beer mug for the festival were the swag for this race! Pretty exciting!

Lisa’s cousin Karadee as well as Karadee’s sister Zandra and Zandra’s husband Mike were running this race as well.  We managed to find them at the start and while Zandra and Mike were planning a much faster pace than us, Karadee was right where we were planning to be and so we promised to stay together as best we could.  It worked out really well.  We stayed together most of the way and also hung around with the 2:45 pacer (a fellow Half Fanatic!) most of the way as well.  Our goal for this race was merely to finish and enjoy the race.  No PRs for this one, at least not for Lisa and I.  Karadee and Zandra both PR’d!

The race started at Esther Short park in downtown Vancouver and wound it’s way through downtown, through Officers Row of Fort Vancouver (which was awesome!) and then up the only major hill of the course but it was a doozy! A mile and a half slog up the hill of death.  Then we careened down the hill through a couple parks and then along the waterfront and back through Fort Vancouver to finish back in Esther Short park.  It was a really nice course, even with the hill of death.  We all stayed together until about mile 8 when Karadee just caught some kind of groove or second wind and she took off! We cheered her on as she pulled away.  At about mile 11 my calves started cramping up (again!) and we had to stop and walk a bit.  Tried to run again but only made it another 1/4 mile or so before they cramped up again.  The only complaint I could have about this race is the late stage water stops had run out of gatorade.  I doubled up the water and even ate a second Gu for the sodium and potassium but it wasn’t enough to help.  We had to walk until mile 13 and then we just had one corner to turn for the finish, so we jogged it out to the finish.  I cramped up again immediately but I was able to keep going just until the finish.

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We finished! HUGE medals! Very nice.

After the race we grabbed some much needed food and gatorade and then walked to the car to change clothes and get our beer mugs.  We headed back to the beer festival for some beer and food!  We didn’t realize until too late that the gear check tag from the bottom of the bib got us a free beer from the beer sponser Heathen Brewing in Vancouver.  Oh well.  But we had our free tokens to get some samples.  We had enough tokens to get two samplers (one token each) and then one full beer pour (4 tokens) with our dinner.  I sampled a NW Red Ale from McMenamins, a Saison from Heathen and then got a full pour of Kiwanas Cream ale from Pelican Brewing.  Lisa tried a Porter from Heathen, another one I don’t remember that she just liked the name, and then got a full pour of Irish Stout from Breakside.

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It did suck to cramp up towards the end, for like the 4th race in a row no less, but we finished and we made it.  We had a great time and got to spend most of the race with Karadee which was really fun and made the miles FLY by.

Up next is the Foot Traffic Flat on July 4th, which I spectated last year, but this year I get to run it.  This will be the 3rd race in well under 90 days to qualify Lisa for the half fanatics, but after this race we are going to take a break from halfs for a while.  The training has been grueling and trying to fit it in among work, school, church and wedding planning has been daunting.  For the rest of this year and probably all of next year we are going to concentrate on shorter races, mostly 5Ks but some 10Ks and one 15K (Shamrock).  We’ll set different goals, like go for time and work on speed.  Both of us would love to nail a sub 30 minute 5K.

On to the next!

New running shoes?

It seems like I am going to need new running shoes soon, especially before taking on a three half marathon summer that is planned.  Although based on time and mileage, I shouldn’t NEED new shoes yet, but I think I do, which is why I’m opening this up to suggestions from other people.  What do you wear? What do you like? What would you recommend?

My first pair of fitted running shoes were a pair of Brooks GTS Adrenaline 12′s. (My first pair of running shoes were an off the shelf pair of Saucony’s).  These shoes were awesome, as if they were made just for me.  I felt great running in them and (until Disney) didn’t have any knee problems or injuries.  I put over 500 miles on those shoes including 3 half marathons.  When they were ready to be replaced I went back and got the exact same style, just the newer model, the GTS Adrenaline 13.  At first they were great, but pretty quickly I started to notice things such as them not fitting as well, not feeling as good and a spot on my right foot that’s been rubbed to a massive blister during my last two long races.  I’ve put less than 300 miles on them and the right toe is split open and coming apart, my last couple long runs/races I’ve been plagued by cramps, soreness and knee pain, not all of which can be blamed on/attributed to the shoes, but that’s never a good sign.  I don’t think these shoes are going to last much longer and certainly not for another 150 miles of training and three races.

Lisa is also running in a pair of Brooks that she likes but doesn’t love.  She’s thinking about switching back to her Asics that she was wearing before, or maybe even try something different altogether.  I love Brooks as a company, they do a lot of good things with health awareness, race sponsorship, charity work etc but maybe the shoes just aren’t for us.

I loved my first pair of Saucony’s but I don’t believe they make a support shoe that fits me.  So what would you guys recommend?

Here’s the caveat – I wear a 13 Wide.  Not all shoes come in 13, not all shoes come in wide.  I have flat feet and therefore have a huge pronation.  I need support shoes.  I ran in neutral’s before I knew what I really needed and thankfully did not cause any damage/injury.

Thanks in advance for the suggestions!

Foot Traffic Holiday Half – Portland, OR – Dec 15, 2013

After having met while training for half marathons and having run 7 other races between the two of us, Lisa and I finally got to run a half marathon together.  After I moved out to Portland Oregon in June we looked for a race that would give me time to get settled and plenty of time to train together and the Holiday Half fit the bill nicely!

The Holiday Half would be my third half marathon this year (6 total) and also Lisa’s third total half, all three from this year.  I was excited to run my first half marathon in the state of Oregon and also the city of Portland.  The course started at the Adidas campus in Northeast Portland and headed north along the bluff and up through St Johns and under the St Johns bridge and back in a pretty straight out and back.  The route was about as flat as you could get and still be within the city itself and the weather, while not great, was about the best we could ask for.  It was quite cold, starting out in the 30s and warming up to the 40s but the weekend before had seen lows in the teens and highs in the 20s so this felt downright hot by comparison!

The race started a little after 8AM complete with a Santa and fake snow.  Despite being a small race (approx 2500) it was very crowded at the start.  We were weaving through some neighborhoods while we made our way to the big main road that would take us along the bluff and back.  Our first two miles were a little slow at 12:43 and 12:30, although this was faster than most of my training runs.  At mile 3 we really hit our stride with mile times of 12:03, 12:15 (20:15 with an 8 minute bathroom wait), 11:57 and 12:02.  Everything felt good at the time, but in hindsight this may have been a little quick.

At about mile 6 we ran under the St John’s bridge and there was a group of singers there singing carols (one of whom Lisa knew!) and the acoustics under the bridge were amazing.  It sounded great and what a uplifting moment to push us on.   The route included a cutoff section on the return trip, so the turn around point was a little beyond halfway at a little over 7 miles.   We had slowed down a little but still were cruising along with miles 7-9 at 12:20, 12:45 and 12:59.  Right at mile 9 we stopped to take our gels, taking the ones that were offered on the course.  This stop cost us a few seconds and mile 10 was 13:55.  We got some of that back, but not all, in mile 11 at 13:12 and then that’s where things starting going bad.

Towards the end of mile 11 I could feel my legs starting to twitch and convulse a little but they weren’t cramping.  I got very tired and had to stop and walk for just a few minutes to rest and catch my breath.  At the mile 12 marker we started running again but sadly that didn’t last long.  At about 12.5 miles both of my calves cramped up so bad it stopped me in my tracks and I shuffled to a walk.  After a while the pain in my calves eased but it moved up to above my knees.  At this point even walking was extremely painful.  We stopped very close to mile 13 for me to stretch a little bit and then continued on.  We turned the corner and could see the finish line and the pain in my legs had eased enough to try to run to the finish but halfway there I cramped up again and limped to the finish line.

We finished at exactly 3 hours.  Not the best time for either of us but a long shot, but not our worst either.

It wasn’t a great experience, but we finished it and gutted it out.  There were some issues that probably led to my problems so I’ll try to work on that in the future.

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Took home a nice medal for finishing!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon – January 12, 2013

The Disney half marathon is a race I had been looking forward to for a long time.  Even before I could run 3 miles I wanted to run Disney, even though at that time 13 miles was an impossible distance.  It was supposed to be the race of a lifetime, and it was that, but not without a few headaches.

First off I want to thank my parents for setting this up.  They booked the hotel room with their vacation club and paid for my race registration so I could run it this year instead of waiting for 2014 or 2015.  Then they invited my brother and sister and their significant others for a mini family vacation.  Thanks guys!

Race morning alarm clock went off at 2:30 AM on Saturday morning.  The race started at 5:30 (To be finished before the parks opened of course) and the buses from the resort to the start line area only ran from 3-4AM so we had to be out there about 3:30 to make sure we didn’t miss the bus.  We got on the bus and then got dropped off at the starting line area and that’s when the first of the headaches popped up.  The family reunion area where the buses dropped us off was a MADHOUSE and no one had any clue what was going on, not even the volunteers with the ASK ME vests on.  Throngs of people milling around without any idea where to go or what to do.  We sort of deduced on our own that I was supposed to go through the bag check area and somehow make my way to the start line.  So I left Mom and Dad at the family reunion area so they could make their way to the Magic Kingdom and I headed out.

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Immediately past the bag checks was a huge line of PortaJons, which was nice, but the lines were so long it clogged up the whole area and blocked those of us who didn’t need to use the bathroom from getting to where we needed to go. The “20 minute walk to the start line” was more like 30 minutes because of all the congestion.  I finally  made my way to the starting area and found the corrals which were out in the middle of nowhere in a backlot area on Overpass road.  It was about 4:30 so I sat down on the ground, knowing I had an hour-plus to kill.  The first corral would go out at 5:30 but I was in the 5th corral.

The first corral starts and there’s huge fireworks (set off from the overpass behind us, whether that was meant as a surprise or was just a convenient place to shoot them from) and we were off! They continued to send the corrals off at 7 minute intervals and we set off from Corral E at 6:03AM.  We headed out in the dark road, and while there was a little bit of road side spectator space there wasn’t a whole lot and it wasn’t terribly easy to get to, so note for future races, send the runner to the start alone, there’s no need for spectators to come to the start area.

In true Disney fashion we encountered entertainment fairly early on the course, there was a local high school marching band playing before we hit mile 1 and since it was hotter than normal for that time of year, they also had the first water stop very early around 0.8 miles instead of the traditional 1.5-2 miles for the first stop, so well planned (or last minute change) by Disney.  It was also at this point between miles 1 and 2 that we started seeing the wheelchair racers coming back to the finish.  They started first, so they had a 35 minute head start on us, but that was still AMAZING they they were zooming past 10 miles on the other side of the road and heading for the finish!

A little after mile 2 we came across a giant pirate ship in the median with Capt Jack and Capt Barbossa! Pirates of the Caribbean is my absolute favorite ride at the Magic Kingdom so I HAD to stop.  And the guy they have doing Capt Jack looked so much like Johnny Depp it was uncanny.  Capt Jack was not originally in the ride, but I love the movies as well, so that was a must stop.

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After the Pirate excursion we headed down World drive to the “Entrance” to the Magic Kingdom.  We ran through the gates and the Cast Members there told us “Welcome to Magic Kingdom” but that was a bit of a misnomer since we still had about 3 miles to go before we actually entered on to Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom.  We ran along the parking lot roads and around the edge of the Walt Disney World Speedway as we weaved our way to the park.  As we ran in front of the Contemporary resort we got to one of the many choke points on the course.  The road had one lane for runners and one lane for car/bus traffic and it was really really cramped in this section, we also had a pretty major down hill as we went under a waterway “overpass” and then a pretty good climb on the other side.  This route was not exactly flat.  We had a turn around point right at mile 4 in front of Space Mountain (on the outside of the park) and then we looped down into an employee entrance to the park on our way to Main Street USA.

I entered Main Street USA and immediately in front of me I saw my brother Brian and his fiance Melanie who shouted and waved and then point to my left to where my Mom, Dad and sister were standing a few yards away. I jumped off the course (nearly tripping on the sidewalk curb) to say hello and have a few quick words.  The girl standing next to them was reaching her arm out and straining across the rope, so I made sure to give her a high five as I ran off and then further down the course to high five Brian and Melanie as I made my way back down the course.  We then looped around through Tomorrowland to make our way around to the back of the Castle and then in through the back and out the front.  Some people in front of us apparently decided to stop and pose at the entrance of the tunnel (despite the photographer sitting there yelling “KEEP MOVING”) as we came to a screeching halt inside the tunnel for just a second before we lurched forward again.  At the bottom of the looping ramp there was a photo op there with Castle in the background with very short lines since they smartly had 5 photographers stationed there.  I was still feeling good at this point so I stopped for a photo.

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I was still feeling pretty good at this point but things were about to start going South in a hurry.  We ducked down through Frontierland past the Country Bear Jamboree and Splash Mountain before we ducked back into the backlot behind Magic Kingdom and back out onto one of the resort roads.  We cruised along again elbow to elbow as we were funneled into one lane to allow for some car traffic as it was getting close to time for the parks to start opening.  I had felt a few twinges in my knee as it would start to get sore, but the picture stops, bathroom stop, traffic jams that forced walking etc would give it a chance to rest and then I would feel OK again.  Between mile 7 and 8 it started hurting pretty bad and I tried my best to soldier on (like the fireman near me in full turnout gear) but then between mile 8 and 9 I had to stop and walk to give it a rest.  When I tried to start running again I would make it about 3 steps before a sharp stabbing pain in my knee stopped me in my tracks.  I was done running this race, I would have to walk to the end if I was going to make it.

At this point I just wanted to be done.  The characters and ambiance didn’t mean anything anymore.  I knew full well I had a 4 mile walk to the finish line.  We continued down World Drive (back past the Pirate ship), until we got to the overpass to take us back to Epcot, and I had heard about this cloverleaf loop as being the “major hill” on the course, and I would have walked it if I needed too if I was still in running shape, but of course at this point I had no choice.  We bypassed the main Epcot gate and headed back out towards where the starting corrals had been before we did a quick U-turn and headed back towards the Globe.  The announcers were calling out where people were from as they turned the corner and as I got there, no one else was around and they hadn’t called a state in a few seconds so I threw out North Carolina, to which the announcer added “a Tarheel” which of course I did not tell him to say, but funny enough a few minutes later someone behind me must have heard that because then he called out “NC STATE”.  I hate that he had to jack me up that way, but I’m glad NC State ended up getting a shout-out.

For a while it was OK for me to walk and only painful for me to run, but at this point about mile 12 it was painful even for me to walk and I’m sure I was limping as I made my way into the park under the Spaceship Earth globe and into Future World.

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I can’t tell if I’m just breathing heavy or if I’m actually groaning in this picture (which I was doing quite often) but whatever it is, it’s not exactly pretty.  I don’t believe I’ll be buying a copy of this picture.

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This picture on the other hand, I did actually see the photographer and smile and pose so this one is not so bad.  Other than being obviously walking at this point it’s OK.

We turned around at the lake and headed back to the other side of the globe and then out to the parking lot and what do I spy? THE FINISH LINE. Oh my goodness… I made it.  I’m a little shocked and stunned at this point but I actually made it.  I made a beeline for the medical tent after I got my medal and  got some ice for my knee but the girl wrapped it so tight it hurt worse with it on there, so I had to take it off and just hold it in my hand. I managed a weak smile for the finishers photo.

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Don’t ask me how, but somehow I had done it.  I had finished.  I survived the Walt Disney World half marathon.

If I’ve got one major beef with the WDW half it’s the finish line area.  It was a DISASTER. They had water and Powerade as you were getting shuttled down the finishers chute (which I couldn’t grab as I was trying to hold the bag of ice on my knee) and when you got out into the family reunion area they had NOTHING.  They had soda, beer and champagne you could BUY but no water. In 85 degree heat. NO WATER.  I took advantage of every stop on the course to get water and had walked the last four miles, so I was fine but I can imagine this caused some problems to some people.  The food was also non-existent.  They handed out a prepacked box with some trail mix, whole grain crackers, cheese spread (really?) a tiny block of chocolate and a half size Clif bar.  I ate the trail mix and the chocolate but the rest looked inedible.  I also had a squishy banana that had been sitting out in the sun and was hot and mushy but I ate it anyway.  Really Disney? I’m sure you can do better than this.  Then the lines for the buses back to the hotels stretched all the way back to the Globe (nearly) and the line attendants holding signs knew which resorts their bus went to (printed on the sign) but had NO clue what line was for the other buses.  I stumbled around until I found the line for the Wilderness Lodge bus and then had to wait for a long time as every bus number EXCEPT ours came and went multiple times as we waited for ours to show up.

Finally the bus came and I held the ice on my knee the whole way home until basically my knee was numb, which of course meant when I got off the bus at the hotel all of a sudden I couldn’t walk.  I stumbled to the room, at which point my knee started to loosen up a little, took a hot shower (after which I felt just fine) put on my knee brace and was ready to hit the park.  Since it was my favorite park, I requested EPCOT and we had lunch reservations at the German Biergarten which was delicious (and no guilt after burning 1900 calories).

After that I stayed at EPCOT with my sister until they set off the fireworks and they kicked us out.  A fantastic finish to a not so great race day.

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Mistletoe Run Half Marathon – Winston Salem, NC – 12/1/12

This morning I ran in my third half marathon and the second in a series of three races in 67 days which will culminate in Disney on Jan 12 and qualify me for the Half Fanatics.

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Running only a month after Raleigh, I wasn’t planning to try to PR again, and in fact I didn’t really have any reason too try.  The Mistletoe is a walker friendly event with a four and a half hour time limit, so I was in NO hurry.

My friend Jennifer who finally got back into running last week with a Turkey trot, was on hand to run the 5K with her daughter Abby.

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The first picture didn’t take and Abby caught us by surprise by this one.

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Abby made us a cheering sign!

The race started promptly at 8:15 (which is nice since last year it ran very late) with a loud bang and a puff of smoke.  I never did see what they fired off but it was big, of course the Artilleryman in me was very interested in what it was but I never did see it.  We looped around Hanes Park and then ducked into the Buena Vista neighborhoods, which is “the nice side of town”.. Big old stately homes, some of them very large.

About a half mile in, as I’m weaving through traffic I hear someone behind me call out “ERIC!” and of course, even if you’re going to assume they are not talking to you, it’s hard not to turn and look.  I expected to see someone who I knew, but lo and behold it was a perfect stranger and she proceeded to tell me “I read your blog!” Of course my response was “Really?!?”  How crazy is that, and I didn’t catch her name, but if you’re reading this, Thank You Anonymous Blog Reader!

The course was laid out in a “T” shape, where we had a short out and back, followed by a longer out and back at a right angle to the first one.  Well, when we got to the portion where we started running into traffic coming in the opposite direction, they had signs that said “KEEP LEFT” but the oncoming traffic was on the left, so those of us heading “out” were on the right, while those coming “back” were on (our left, their right). At some point I didn’t notice when the people around me got over, and suddenly the oncoming traffic was on their left, my right and I was heading straight into oncoming traffic.  I stayed as close as I could to the very edge of the road, but I couldn’t get over so I was kind of stuck.  Finally a patch opened up and I scooted over to the left but that was frustrating for a minute when all of a sudden the traffic pattern changed dramatically.

After we got into the second part of the out and back, we ran through a couple more neighborhoods and then we snuck into the back part of the Graylen House and Convention Center, which I didn’t realize where we were until we got close to the house, and then we snuck across Robinhood Road on the the Renyolda house property, which is nice but HILLY.  We hit a nice downhill in Renyolda Gardens, but I knew it was going to be brutal on the way back (and it was, I had to walk up it) and then we did a loop around the Wake Forest University Campus, which a portion of that section exactly mirrored a portion of the Law Enforcement Memorial 5K from back in April.  After this is was time to come back.  I was getting tired at this point and I had to walk a few portions, including the monster hill and a couple of the water stops.  But I knew I had plenty of time and I was in no hurry, but the problem was once I stopped to walk it was really hard to get back running again.  I finally worked the kinks out I guess as I was able to keep a steady but slow pace for about the last two miles coming in to the finish where Jennifer and Abby were waiting for me.

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Crossing the finish!

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And we’re done!

2:48:32 finishing time.  Not as fast as Raleigh, but again I wasn’t trying to be.  All I needed to do today was FINISH.  And I did.  It wasn’t easy, but it was a good race.

Rex Healthcare Half Marathon Training

Next week starts the “official” training for my second half marathon, the Rex Healthcare Half Marathon on November 4th in Raliegh NC.  Run in conjunction with the City of Oaks Marathons, one of North Carolina’s longest tenured races.  Of course, I didn’t stop running after New Orleans so I guess technically, I’ve been training all summer, but now is when we get into the structured plan of increasing distances to get me back up to that 13 mile distance.  Here’s a look at my training plan.

I was originally planning for an 8 week training program, but somehow when I counted out the weeks I ended up with 9.  The first two weeks are the same, and I’ve actually already started the 4/4/5 rotation a couple weeks ago, so I’m already doing the first couple of “weeks” anyway.  I shortened this from my 12 week trainer from New Orleans because I didn’t want (or need) to drop back down to a lower distance like 2/2/3.  I made a few tweaks to customize it for myself, but in essence this is still the Hal Higdon Novice Half Marathon trainer. Please check his stuff out here.  He has great programs from beginners all the way up to Elite runners.  I highly recommend his stuff and I give him all the credit for this training program, I just made a few minor modifications, it’s still his program.  After New Orleans I stayed with the Tues/Thurs/Weekend pattern of running so I don’t have to adjust anything for the program other than just distances.  I’ve added my cross training (Spin and Yoga) in on the schedule just to help me keep track of things, and about halfway through I move spinning to Wednesdays to give me a rest day after my longer run days.  Spinning after a 7 miler was not fun.  I also included the upcoming shorter races on my schedule, since they are incorporated into the training.

When I set out to train and complete my first half marathon my only goal was to finish.  Even when I toed the starting line, I didn’t know whether or not I could do it.  I was determined to finish, even if I had to walk some or all of the distance (New Orleans had a 4 hour time limit, so pace was not an issue).  I did have a super secret time goal (meaning, I didn’t tell anyone, not supposed to have a time goal for your first race!) of 3 hours.  At first it was looking good, but then I hit the wall hard between 10 and 11 miles.  I finished in a very respectable 3 hours and 11 minutes.  I was happy with this, despite my secret goal.

When I signed up for Raleigh, suddenly this became a big deal.  Raleigh has a 3 hour time limit (14:00 mile pace).  Now, in theory, this means I only need to shave 11 minutes off my time (or 12, to be safe) which is less than a minute a mile.  Sounds doable, but any runner will tell you, even a 30 second a mile drop in your pace is HUGE.  I started to freak out about this, not knowing whether I could get my pace down to where I could officially finish Raleigh.  I’m not as worried now, because I’ve done some things that are encouraging, such as 7 miles around Salem Lake at a 12:30 mile pace, 5 miles as a 12:00 mile pace etc, but I still need to watch and work on my pacing, just to be safe.  I was originally shooting for 13:00 mile pace, which would be a 2:50 finish time, 10 minutes under the limit.  I’m hoping to maybe shave that down a little further to 12:30 mile pace, which would be a 2:44 finish and give me a little breathing room if I need to stop and walk, either for rest, or a water stop, or a congested part of the course etc.  I’m pretty confident that the sub 3 hour half is “doable”… now I just gotta go out and do it!

Here’s what’s waiting for me at the finish!

This is the 2010 medal (from SouthwestRaleigh blog).

And this is the 2011 medal (from MarathonReady.com)

I prefer the 2010 version with the “Colored Enamel” look, rather than the “Solid Brass” look of the 2011 version, which means with my luck the 2012 medal will be identical to the 2011 one, or since it’s been different the last two years, it may be something completely different!  I imagine the acorn shape will stay since that’s a Raleigh trademark (and it’s the City of Oaks Marathon) so we’ll see.  Of course, regardless of the design it’s another 13.1 in the books and more bling for the wall!

I chose to run Raleigh for several reasons (the other fall Half I was looking at was Myrtle Beach in October).  I went to NC State and lived in Raleigh for about 10 years.  The race begins and ends at the NC State Memorial Belltower, and while it doesn’t go through campus, any Wolfpacker will tell you Hillsborough Street may as well be “On-Campus”.  Two of my best friends from college, Gray and Katie still live in Raleigh, my sister lives nearby with her boyfriend and my parents are planning to come up as well, so I will have quite the cheer squad for this race as well.  Shorter travel distance to Raleigh played a part as well.

They say if you do something once, it’s a mistake, but if you do it again, it’s a habit.  While I don’t consider running New Orleans a “mistake”… running my second half marathon in Raleigh will certainly make it a habit!

Upcoming Race Schedule – Fall/Winter 2012

I was reading through my old blogs and came across one of my “seasonal” Race Calender updates and realized I hadn’t done one in a while, and my upcoming schedule is pretty much set in stone at this point.  So here goes! For the second half of 2012.

September 15th – Run for the Greenway 8K – Greensboro, NC
This race just happened to be in the right place at the right time.  This race falls on my second weekend of half marathon training which calls for a 5 mile run.  Well why not a 5 mile race? The race benefits a newly built greenway around downtown Greensboro.

September 29th – Salem Lake 10K/30K – Winston Salem, NC
Since I’m planning on doing all my Raleigh long runs at Salem Lake anyway (for the hills) and this race is put out by my fellow TCTC buddies over at Ultimate Race Management this is a must do.  It should be a great race.  Obviously I’ll be doing the 10K and not the 30K (18 miles! WOW).

October 20th – RHABA 10K – Rural Hall, NC
I’m divided on this race.  It’s rumored to be a flat and fast course, so I originally planned to set a 10K PR here, but since it’s 2 weeks before my half marathon and this is my half marathon “tune-up” I may have to hold back a little bit.  I don’t want to burn myself out or risk injury so close to the big race.  Although my 10K PR is right at a 12 minute mile pace, which now is my targeted half marathon pace, so if I’m slightly faster than that (for the shorter distance) I can set a PR without messing up my half marathon training.

November 4th – Rex Healthcare Half Marathon – Raleigh, NC
My second half marathon, this is a big race for several reasons.  First, this race has a 14 minute/mile (3 hour) pace/time limit.  If I want to have an “Official” finish at this race, I’ll have no choice to set a new PR and get under 3 hours, I think I can do this based on my current pacing and the pace I will attempt to train at.  Second, I lived in Raleigh for about 10 years during my two tours of duty at NC State, I love Raleigh, and the race starts and finishes at the NC State Memorial Bell Tower, so this will be a awesome and sentimental race for me.  I was trying to choose between Raleigh and Myrtle Beach and Raleigh won out. Last but certainly not least, my family will be there! My best friend Gray and his wife Katie (who may as well be family) will be there, and my sister and her bf as well as my parents are coming up for the weekend as well, so I will have a cheering squad and support crew with is very unusual for me, I’m used to running solo!

November 24th – Charlotte Checkers Charity 5K – Charlotte NC
Just recently got the email about this race from the Checkers (and 5 minutes later a forwarded version from my brother’s fiance) and it looks cool, and I also just discovered they are not running the Freisen 5K this year for the Hurricanes, so this will be my hockey race.  The registration includes a ticket to the game that night, so run a race, go to a hockey game and hang out with my brother and his fiance? Win win win!

December ?? – Mistletoe 5K – Winston Salem NC
I don’t know the exact date for this race yet, but this will be my December race, to make sure I run a race in each month of the year.  Put on by the local YMCA and I assume it benefit’s them and their charities.  Hope to run this one with my buddy Jen if her hip is healed up.

And that will finish up 2012 with 17 races including 10 5K’s, 2 8K’s, 3 10Ks and 2 Half Marathons. (85.8 racing miles).

  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.

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