Show me your medals! #Bling

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Marathon medals in order. Myrtle Beach, Tobacco Road, Outer Banks, Asheville/Biltmore, Blue Ridge, Asheville City, City of Oaks

Race medals are a great reward for completing a race.  Who doesn’t love some bling?  To have a medal placed around your neck after completing a tough race is very cool.  These days medals are getting fancier and fancier.  Bigger and bigger.  The photo above shows my 7 marathon medals.  It’s hard to pick a favorite.  What makes a medal special to you?

– the overall design?

– the size?

– the race itself?

– uniqueness?

– colors?

Let me know.  I my favorite is, ah, I can’t decide.  They are all special for different reasons.  The first, the last, the hardest course, it’s hard for me to peg just one reason.

Show me your most prized medal, and tell me why.

Halloween Race Bling today!!!

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I just rocked my final Half Marathon of 2013.

I finished 18th out of 273 Overall.

I finished 18th male.  No females beat me!  Fancy that!

I finished 5th out of 31 in my Age Group.

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The most thrilling part of all, is that this is a very hilly, tough course.  I managed (oh yeah), today, to run my fastest Half of the 2013, and on my 9th one this year.  I finished in 1:39:00 flat!!!!!!!  That is my third fastest Half to date, so I am ecstatic about it.  I maintained a pace of 7:30 or under all the way up to a gigantic hill at mile 8.

So, I am just thrilled today with how the race went.  I am right on track for two marathons over the next three weeks.  I would say that I am as ready as I can be.

Hey, what do you think of the Halloween coffin medal I got at the finish?  It’s hinged, and opens to reveal a skeleton.  Run in Peace, instead of Rest in Peace.  Pretty slick!

Two Marathons in 14 days!

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I’m training hard for my Fall racing season.  In fact, I am heading out on a 7 mile, hill run in just a little while.  Lots of things to consider while I am out on my run today.  I don’t listen to music when I run, so it’s always me time.  Time to think, contemplate, reflect.  I have a lot to think about today.

Things happened to work out for adding a race into the mix this Fall.  I recently posted that I have signed up for the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Marathon, as I was able to get the time off from work, and everything worked out perfectly schedule wise.  So I am registered, with full details of the trip reserved and booked.  I am there!

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Here is the kicker, and the topic of debate for my inner thoughts today while running.  I have yet to sign up for, but planned on running The City of Oaks Marathon, here at home in Raleigh.  Our areas premier marathon event, one that I have yet to participate in.  Last year I opted to drive to the coast and spend the weekend at The Outer Banks, and run the OBX Marathon.  The year prior to that, I had to work on the day of the marathon.  Prior to that, I never thought I would run a marathon.  I told myself earlier this year, that I would run this event.

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So, now I have to decide.  Do I play it safe, and run the Half Marathon, as a warm up to the Full in Vegas, or do I go for broke and register for the Full, and possibly qualify to become a Marathon Maniac by completing these two marathons in 14 days?  Wow!

Questions I have to ask myself…..

1.  Can my legs, feet, body overall hold up to two marathons in two weeks?

2.  Am I crazy?

I guess that’s really all the questions I have for myself.  Do you have any thoughts?  Positives, negatives?  Let me know what you think….

Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon

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Triumphant return?  Well, I haven’t registered yet, but things are shaping up for a trip to my favorite place to take part in one of my favorite things.  Running the Strip at Night is amazing, and this time I would be running the Full Marathon.

I took part in the infamous race of 2011..  The one talked about for months based on negative experiences by thousands of runners.  Over crowding, under equipped aid stations, lack of barriers between full and half marathon runners, running out of water at the finish, green bananas, the list goes on and on.  Let me be clear, I had a great time.  It was my third half marathon, I had no issues.

I remember thinking that if I were to go back again, I would run the marathon.  Well, that will probably happen.  Running this marathon would mean three marathons this Fall.  It would also mean two marathons in 14 days.  Maniac material?  I can do it, I believe in myself, and think it would be an utterly fantastic time to run a full 26.2 in one of my favorite destinations in the world.  LAS VEGAS!!!

This is a picture of me after the 2011 Half.

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Who wouldn’t want to run…..especially when there are showgirls around!

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Now, to book a flight, hotel, car, and register!

Raleigh Triple Crown

Training has gone well, and there is less than a week left until the third race in a series called the Raleigh Triple Crown.  So far this year I have done long distance races exclusively.  They are as follows:

Asheville Marathon at Biltmore Estate. 3/3/13

Tobacco Road Half Marathon. 3/17/13

RunRaleigh Half Marathon  4/14/13

Blue Ridge Marathon. 4/20/13

NCRC Invitational Half Marathon. 5/19/13

This coming Saturday will be the Midtown Race Series Lookout Capital Half, and when I finish I will score this cool medal for running the Spring triple.  This race will be meaningful in many ways for me.  First and foremost it will be my 40th race overall!!!  Can’t believe I can say that.  Seems like only yesterday that I began this running journey, and after years of not running, took this fitness challenge (aka not becoming fat in my 40’s) to the next level.  This race will also be my 14th Half Marathon in less than two years.  When I started out, I could barely muster a mile without being out of breath, and now I am running marathons.  So proud of what I have been able to accomplish.

Do you go the extra mile for extra bling?

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NCRC Invitational Half Marathon Recap

ImageWake up call came early today!  3:45 am.  The second race in the new Raleigh Triple Crown Series was taking place at 7am this morning.  Those who run three half marathons in the Spring in and around Raleigh are treated to a special medal to commemorate supporting local races at 39.3 miles.  I ran the RunRaleigh Half on 4/14, the Invitational today, and am signed up to run the Midtown Race Series Lookout Capital Half on 6/1.

Today’s race was tough!  Hills, trails, and 100% humidity.  I was drenched by mile 2.  It was very draining right from the get go.  There are several challenging hills all along this course, which is mostly run in a very beautiful State Park close to home.  Umstead State Park is a great place to run, and train.  Unfortunately I have never run there, so today’s race course was a complete unknown for me.  I did look into an elevation chart, but it was completely useless.  It shouldn’t be a problem for me anyway, right?  I mean, I just ran the Blue Ridge Marathon a month ago, so this would be mole hills compared to that.  Wrong!  The weather today was tough!  Climbing those hills while sweating profusely was ridiculous.  I slowed down a bit at mile 4, and then again at mile 9.  I was aware, and tried to make up time on some of the downhills.  The important thing for me today was to stay hydrated, and I stopped at every hydration station except the last one.  Having had a heat stroke during a 10k race a few years ago, I am ultra sensitive to my hydration during longer runs.  This was not the day to skip stations, it was a day to replace my liquids that I was losing every second.  I probably lost two minutes or more, but that was ok.

About 10 miles into the race the pace runner for the 1:45 pace group passed me.  What?  I don’t think so.  It took me two miles to catch up, but I did, having a very good finishing three miles.  I sort of had a second wind, knowing that I was about to be done.  I talked with the pacer and we ran side by side about a half mile before I passed her.  My strong finish felt good.  I crossed the line in 1:45:54 gun time.  Chip time has still not been posted.  I came in 7th in my Age Group.  Overall results have not been posted yet either.  Will update this post when the final results are available.  Overall I am pleased with my run today.  Not a PR by any stretch, but happy considering the course and conditions.  Next time I run this event, I will order up cooler weather and no humidity, and also a slight breeze that can penetrate the canopy of trees in the park.  I would have done better today if the conditions were more favorable.

Next race is Lookout Capital Half on 6/1, and already looking forward to it.