Thursday, April 18, 2013

Half Again

Sunday April 14 was the second running of the RunRaleigh Half Marathon.  I finished in 1:49:08, 181 of 1102 overall and 23 of 75 in the M 35-39 age group.  Not too shabby.  This was actually the coolest part:

I got to hang out with the original BadgerGirl!  She came to Raleigh to visit with a friend that lives here now, and we got to meetup before the race and have lunch afterwards with Jess, and Kelley and Bigun got to pizza up as well. It was also the only pic I got from the race.

Last year I did RunRaleigh and pulled a 1:50:26, so this year's goal was just to beat last year's time.  Last year I thought it was an incredibly tough course and there was no way I was going to do it again.  I think Jenny shares those sentiments now.  Even through some route changes it's still a tough one with some huge hills thrown in there.

The 7 am start was pretty nice. It was cool and breezy at the starting line.  I hung back in the pack a bit to be sure I could meetup with Jenny & Jess before the start, so I actually started the race behind the 2 hour pace group.  That meant I had a lot of people to pass at first.  The course started with a huge uphill that is always longer than I expect it to be, and then levels out for a bit.  It's an out-and-back spur that is often used in 5k's that run out of Cameron Village.  Then it went down the huge hill past Pullen Park, where I swim and onto Western Blvd. Running east on western blvd left us staring at the sun for the next half an hour, which was "less than ideal".  At least that stretch of road is consistent.  Not really hilly either way, it just keeps on going.  It's the tour of prisons, you run past a couple of them and straight into the ghetto.  The road name changes to Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, and anytime you wind up on an MLK street in any city (besides Savannah GA) and can't lock your car doors you are usually in trouble.

This time we turned off of MLK and got onto some beautiful greenway.  There was a LOT more greenway on the second half of the course this year.  It was beautiful!  Lots of bridges and tunnels over swampy/woods stuff right next to downtown Raleigh.  I always forget how pretty that greenway is, partially because I usually refer to it as being in "the woods where the rapists live" because women keep getting raped on that greenway.  But with plenty of cops on the course and that many runners everyone was safe for the race. Just, you know, don't try running that one alone.

In mile 4 I had to stop and poop at the bottom of the hill by Pullen Park, and I had to make the same poop stop last year too.  This year it was mile 12 when we got back to that aide station, and since I was carrying a water bottle and had already take all of my gels, I skipped on past it and started walking up the hill that makes you cry.  Seriously, without that hill or the poop stop I would have finished at least 4 minutes faster.  Every time I looked down at the garmin it said I was around 7:15 pace for the first half, and a 7:45 pace for the second half, which was exactly what I wanted.  I walked the really steep uphills, and a few other times when I just totally ran out of gas and needed to lower my heart rate, usually at or near the top of a smaller hill. 

After making it up the hill that makes you cry, it was a brisk jaunt to the finish line.  A guy caught up to me who was in the marines, and said this was his first half marathon.  If he's finishing his first half in the same time as my xx half, he's doing pretty good.  Actually he out-sprinted me at the end after talking for half a mile, so he's doing great!  Have you thanked a marine today?

It was all nice and shady on the greenway, with a slight cool breeze blowing the whole time that you wouldn't call it "hot" outside, just really comfortable for running weather.  Sunny and cool when we came off of the greenway and back onto the roads too.  But after pushing it into the finish line, the sun came out and that cool breeze went away.  It got sunny and hot quick! 

I stuck around long enough to recover, get something to eat, and hit up the beer tent.  They had some good beer from a local brewery, it was 8.5% abv, because "if you're going to be drinking beer at 9 am on sunday morning it should be the good stuff".  I like the way that brewer thinks.  I went out to the finish line to cheer in some of the other runners and have some fun in the sun, but I was already fighting a sunburn from the Masters day and it was only getting worse.  I had to get into the shade.

Afterwards we got to meet up with Jenny and Jess for some pizza at our favorite pizza place, that was very close to Jess' house, and she had never been there before!  It was amazing as always and we had the best time visiting with them.  I think Jess is going to turn out to be a really fun friend to have in Raleigh.  Turns out she also goes to my gym! So lovely.

RunRaleigh is getting the weekend bumped for 2014 for a Rock 'n Roll marathon in Raleigh that Kelley and I likely will not do.  This means they got a weekend in the fall, and will actually be holding the race again in 2013. That's pretty unusual.  I think it's a bit too close to B2B for me to do it again, but it really is an incredibly well-organized race that's a lot of fun.  Plus since this was my first race since December it felt amazing just to be out there again! 


Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

I wonder which race was the first race to say "you know what runners need? Beer!"

Bless that race director, whoever he was.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats on the course PR. I have a race that I like to goto every year, which happens to be in less than 2 weeks, that I use to measure if I can happen to get any slower than the turtle pace I set.

I am also eager to toe to a starting line and get in a race, it has been since September for me

Kenley said...

Awesome going on the PR. Fantastic time with a poop stop thrown in. Thats why I abide by the Two poo rule. lol. beer is great after a race. take care man. and Congratulations!

CautiouslyAudacious said...

Great finish! Nice PR!

Badgergirl said...

That course was brutal for this Wisconsin girl! But it was so much fun! Glad I got to meet up with you!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Man that sounds like a brutal course! I think I remember reading about it when you posted about it last year! That is cool that you got to meet up with another blogger friend, though!

Unknown said...

You are too sweet! I loved getting to meet you and your wife & daughter! We must get together again soon! :)

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Love the yellow shirts! Was that on purpose? Anyway, if not, it seems like Boston supporters!

Unknown said...

Way to execute on a tough course! What's up next?