Race Medal Sneak Peak

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I am running the Hilton Head Island Marathon in nine days.  As the photo above was posted today on Facebook, it made me wonder.  Do you like to know in advance what a race medal looks like before you actually run the race?  Some people may view it as a great motivator to get to the finish line.  Others may want to be surprised at the finish line.

I have run races knowing and not knowing what the medal looked like.  I can’t decide which I like more.  Seeing this medal today has gotten me more excited, for sure.  I think the medal looks great.  It has multiple colors, and runners.  It shows the bridge, which will play a big role at the event, as marathon runners have to traverse it twice.  The medal also shows the iconic red and white lighthouse located in Harbortown.

At this point I am not sure if this medal will be presented to both the marathon and half marathon participants, or not.  Maybe it will be awarded to those running the 5k, as well.  Time will tell.  Are you a fan of separate medals for different race distances at the same event, or does it not matter to you?  Some races don’t differentiate, and others do.  Some races give different shirts.  I know that 5k participants are getting long sleeve cotton shirts at this race, and the half and full runners will get tech shirts.

So, what do you think?  Should race awards be different in some way based on race distance?  Please share your thoughts.

North Carolina Snow Storm

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It it sure is pretty, it sure is uncommon.

All hell breaks loose here in North Carolina when the first word of snow is whispered by a weather forecaster.  The grocery stores clear out, the salt and sand, shovels and sleds disappear from hardware store shelves.  Kids delight in a day or two or three off from school, and adults like me go stir crazy, and absolutely bonkers throughout the entire irritating situation.

It began last night around 6pm, with light, feathery flakes.  It didn’t stop for hours and hours.  Waking up this morning to about three inches of fluffy white stuff.  Kids are already out with their sleds, packing the snow down on the streets here in the neighborhood whirring down the roads.  As the weather isn’t supposed to reach over freezing today, and will plunge into the single digits tonight, this is a nightmare situation for trying to get out to work tomorrow.  The roads will be a complete sheet of ice, making it impossible to get out of here tomorrow morning.

I will have to augment my work schedule to accommodate this.  I am supposed to work at 7am, 20 miles away.

Look at these pictures.  Even the beaches in the south are snow covered.

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Amazing!  I don’t see anyone with sunscreen out there today, and yet we are supposed to be about 70 degrees on the beaches of North Carolina this Sunday!  Total craziness!  If you don’t give any credence to global warming, I think you should.

Have you heard about the travel nightmares in Atlanta, Georgia?  This was a record setting storm for areas south of here.  I have a friend that was trying to get home from work yesterday in the Atlanta area around the noon time hour.  She still isn’t home, 24 hours later.  The roads are parking lots, gridlock due to the snow.  This turned into abandoned cars, and just a horrible situation.  This sort of thing happened here locally back in 2010.  In fact, the three inches of snow we got, is more than we have had since 2010.  It just doesn’t happen here very often.

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Ok, so I guess I will try to get some things done around the house today.  I got my run in yesterday before the storm.  I logged four miles yesterday so that I would have to get out in this today.  This is what others say though, even though I don’t share this thought today.

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Be safe out there!

Snow in the forecast

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Can I just tell you that I hate snow?  I especially hate snow in the south!  Southerners don’t know how to drive in the white stuff.  We also don’t have the equipment here to deal with a significant snowfall.  A snowfall like is expected later this afternoon and evening will paralyze this area.  Lucky for me I have today and tomorrow off from work, by chance.

I live in the zone where 3-6 inches of snow is expected.  Although it will be pretty, I’m sure, it will be a complete travel nightmare.

My plan is as follows:

What do I want to eat today and tomorrow?  I will think about this as I get ready to head to the grocery store.  Shower and grab some groceries afterward.  Get back home, and then change and go for a quick run before the weather turns ugly this afternoon.  A run today before the storm will allow me to rest again tomorrow when the roads will be to slick for it anyway.  I won’t have to feel guilty that way if I get the run in today.

Then I will sit in the house and get some much needed chores done.  I will also get to watch the madness ensue on TV, watching all of the various broadcasts about the weather, the crazy drivers, and such.

It’s gonna be a mess.  Wish me luck.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon SOLD OUT!!!

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I cannot believe it, but the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon and Half has sold out.  Nearly three months before race day, the event is full.  As my readers will remember from previous posts, this marathon takes place on my birthday in April.  What is most curious to me however about the quick sell out, are a couple of recent posts the races Facebook page posted over the weekend.

I signed up about a month ago, when they offered a $20 discount prior to the holidays.  I was really hoping that I could get a few friends and family members to join, but that will not be with the lightning fast sell out.

Here is what was posted over the past few days online, leading me to believe that there was still plenty of time to get my fellow runners registered.

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This picture was posted on Facebook this past Friday at 1pm.  Ok, it was a good reminder that the race was getting closer to capacity, but I saw no urgency with this post.  “Less than 1,000 spots left”, doesn’t invoke registration panic, does it?  I didn’t think so.

Then came another post last night on the Facebook page.  This one left me saying “what? It was just at 1,000 two days ago, surely that many people didn’t just sign up in less than 48 hours”.

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So from 1,000 to 200.  Is Raleigh really that popular?  Surely this cannot be a huge destination race for runners, or is it?  I figured this race would end up being 80% local runners.  It will be interesting to see the final statistics when it comes to runners, and where they come from.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Raleigh, but 800 registrations in less than 48 hours?  I really don’t believe it.

Then at about 10am this morning, this post on Facebook left me stunned.  Literally my jaw dropped.

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Something seems fishy here.  I thought the world was watching the Grammy’s last night.  I didn’t think they would be signing up for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh while same sex couples were getting married during Macklemore’s “Same Love”.  I mean, Madonna, Queen Latifah, Keith Urban in tears, wasn’t enough of a distraction to keep the last 200 spots from filling up?

I read a post yesterday stating that the capacity for sell out here for the Raleigh race was 12,000 entrants.  This is another number I can barely wrap my thoughts around.

This race, and the popularity of it, I was clearly underestimating.  My gross miscalculations of how much time was left for people to sign up, is leaving a bunch of runners without a golden ticket to this event.

If it’s a true statistic that close to 10% of registrants in any road race never show up due to injury, etc., then this April 13th, I will be toeing the line in downtown Raleigh with 10,999 other runners.

I cannot believe this news…..but bring it on!

This is going to be the biggest Birthday party I’ve ever had.  By Far!

Healing

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It’s hard to fight the instinct to push.

It’s never easy slowing down when all you want to do is speed up.

When you give your heart and soul to something, it consumes you.

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We must learn though, that with every step forward comes rest.  To get better at something, our bodies need to be ready for it.  Without proper rest and recovery, we will never be our best.

I think that recovering from a marathon is like how my body feels after taking a red eye flight across the country and not being able too sleep.  It takes days to feel right again.

After my most recent marathon I was sore, as expected.  My legs didn’t feel right for a few days, and I slept like a rock.  I decided to run a two miler, four days later.  The resulting run was slow and tedious.  Another two days off led me to yesterdays run.  A two and a half miler, slow again, but a bit more natural feeling.  Ok, so let’s run again today.  Back to back days on the run.  Today I managed a 5k, and threw in a few hills.  Better.  Not whole yet, but better.  Getting there.

I’ve learned to take it slow.  I really don’t watch the Garmin, but I track my progress regardless.  Small steps forward, taking it slow.

There will be a time and place for that quickness, be patient.  A marathon is taxing, remember.

Ok, so these are notes to myself.  Sometimes I need reminding that a low mileage week is great for my body.  Taking days off is ok.  Chilling on the couch with my feet up isn’t being lazy, it’s being good to myself.

Self, relish in the accomplishment of another marathon, and heal to run another.

Rest.

Recover.

Hilton Head Island Marathon

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Only two weeks remain until the inaugural Hilton Head Marathon.  I am very excited to be running this event for the first time.  In years passed this event was a Half Marathon, 10k and 5k.  With the rise in popularity of the marathon distance, this will be the first year for the 26.2.  Of course it can always be iffy to run a first time event, but because they have the other distances down pat, I feel that adding the marathon will be pretty turnkey.

This event is put on by Bearfoot Sports out of Bluffton, SC.  I have run two other events that they have put on, and have been extremely pleased with the organization from beginning to end.  They produce high quality events, and I am sure this one will be no different.  The last race I ran with them was the Firecracker 5000, this past July 4th.  It’s one of the top 10 races of the year in the state of South Carolina in attendance.  The other event I ran with them was back in 2011.  It was the Hilton Head Island Bridge Run.  I ran the 10k, but they also have a 5k option.  That 10k, even though it traverses one of the islands bridges twice, is to this day, my PR at that distance.

Hilton Head is just under a five hour drive from home.  My mother lives there, so even though it’s a destination run for me, the expense really only comes from the time in the car getting there and back.  Accommodations are free, and so is the pre-race dinner.  I’ve already talked to Mom, and ordered up some chicken and pasta for dinner the night before the race.  it should be a really nice mid-winter getaway for a long weekend.  We will be heading down Thursday evening, and staying through Sunday afternoon.  The race is on Saturday morning.

It really will be a family affair.  Mom is not running this time, but between all of us running, we will have all race distances covered.  Three in the family will be running the 5k, my oldest son will be running the Half (his first one), and I will be running the Full.  I guess we better count on some good post race food, as some of us will be there waiting at the finish for quite some time.  Mom only lives less than ten minutes from the start however, so quick trips back to the house are possible.

I’m hoping for a bit of a warm up, too.  This winter has been incredibly cold.  I certainly don’t want a repeat of the conditions from last weeks marathon in Charleston.  I would love a sunny 50 degree day.

With only two weeks to go, I plan on just a few short distance runs between now and race day.  A mix of recovery runs is in order, as I am still not 100% from last weeks race.  I’m taking it easy, trying to restore my legs the best I can.

Bridges, beautiful homes, Blue herons, Spanish moss and live oak trees.  These will be along my run, and I plan to soak it all in.

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10 Time Marathoner

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This is what I will be able to call myself in just a few short weeks.  A ten time marathoner.  Wow!

Every day I give my thanks for my health, and ability.  Dedication, the desire to accomplish a goal.  I don’t know that this was really ever a goal of mine until half way through last year.  As I crested Roanoke Mountain last year in April at the Blue Ridge Marathon, I began to think that I could accomplish anything.  The finish line of that race was the completion of my fifth marathon.  I thought that if I could complete “America’s Toughest Road Marathon”, that my limits were endless.

From that race, I moved on to another, and another and another.  I finished 2013 with three more marathons under my belt, putting my total at 8.  Having just completed the Charleston Marathon last weekend, number 10 is now within reach.  It’s close.  Just a few weeks away.

I am heading back down to South Carolina with my family in a few weeks to grab #10 on the island of Hilton Head.

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There are no guarantees, of course, but my attempt at the successful completion of 10 marathons will take place on February 8, 2014.