Johnson Lexus Half Marathon

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Title sponsor for upcoming Midtown Race Series Half Marathon

First things first….

I know I have a marathon in like 17 days…yeah, yeah..

Before that however, I do have a tune up Half Marathon on my calendar.  The Johnson Lexus Half is a week from Saturday, on September 21, 2013.  That’s like 10 days away!  How on earth did this race sneak up on me so fast?

Thankfully I have been training hard for the Asheville City Marathon on the 28th, so this Half Marathon will be a nice tune up for me.  I really don’t have a plan of attack just yet for this race, as it really is only a “B” race.  Sort of a means to an end.  That end being the marathon one week after.  I will use this race to shake the body out one last time for distance.  The hard work for the marathon is done.  I have decided that the 18 miler this past week was my last long run on this cycle.  I want my body, my feet and legs mostly, to recover and be as fresh as possible for the hilly marathon.  I really don’t think adding a 20 miler this weekend will serve any purpose other than tiring me out, and stressing my feet and legs even more.  I have put in plenty of miles, and I don’t want to overdo it.

Over the next week leading up to the Half, I plan on running about 30-35 miles.  A few 8-9 milers, but more like easy 4’s and 5’s.  The nice thing about the Halves I am running this Fall is that they are part of the Triple Crown.  The race directors from each of three Halves I am running in this series, have added an extra prize/bling, to anyone completing all 39.3 miles.  The races are as follows:

Johnson Lexus Half Marathon 9/21. http://www.midtownraceseries.com

RunRaleigh Half Marathon 10/6.  www.runraleighhalfmarathon.com

Hallowed Half Marathon 10/27.  Check them out on Facebook

The extra bling for completing all three?

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A nice shiny medal!  I also earned the Spring Triple pictured below earlier this year.

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Gotta support local races!  I am so lucky to live in an area with a very active running community, and so many dedicated and supportive race directors.  Many, many thanks to them for putting on such great events that are so very runner friendly.

So, like I stated earlier.  First things first…before conquering the Asheville Marathon, I have the Johnson Lexus Half to mentally and physically prepare for.  Hoping for a cool morning, and a beautiful run on the green ways of Raleigh.

Q’s for you!

#1. Do you have a lot of great local races you can participate in, or do you have to travel?

#2. Do you ever run a half marathon race to prepare for a full?

Half Marathon Crazy

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Getting deeper and deeper into Fall racing season training.  Training is going quite well!  I thought I would share some info on another great local event happening here in the Raleigh area.  Once again, local race directors have gotten together to offer a special race series, all involving half marathons this Fall.  For those who endure and complete three half marathons between September 21st, and October 27th, are treated to the special bling shown above.

The first race in the Fall Triple Crown is the Johnson Lexus Half.  Information on this race can be found here.  http://www.midtownraceseries.com.  The title sponsor is Johnson Lexus, and every runner has the chance to win a brand new Lexus IS C!!  Talk about race bling?  How would you like to drive home from the race in that car?  I would get the seat all sweaty, but wouldn’t mind.

Win this new car?

Win this new car?

The second race in the series is the RunRaleigh Half Marathon, the third running of this event in downtown Raleigh beginning at Cameron Village, on it’s new Fall date of October 6th.  Information on this great event can be found at http://www.runraleighraces.com.  This is a great race with a good portion being run on the green ways in the city.

Downtown Raleigh

Downtown Raleigh

The final race is located in Wake Forest, NC.  I ran the inaugural event in 2012, and it was challenging, but a ton of Halloween fun is in store for you at this unique event.  Information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/hallowedhalf. There is a cool video of the spooky section of this race on YouTube.

Greenway Spooktacular!

Greenway Spooktacular!

Raleigh has such a cool running scene!  I am proud to be a runner here, and although I love destination races, racing close to home is always special.  I plan on moving somewhere on the west coast in about 3-5 years, and I will get involved in a brand new running community, but until that time comes, there are plenty of exciting races to participate in here at home.

Do you enjoy running half marathons as much as I do?  They seem to be the race distance of choice by so many runners these days, and we are lucky to have more and more options every year.  If you are local to the Raleigh area, consider joining me in pursuit of the Fall Triple Crown.  You will not be disappointed running these events.  Happy running!

Upcoming Races

Here is a list (not solid yet) of upcoming races on my calendar.  My quest for 13 Half and Full Marathons for 2013 continues into the Summer and Fall.  There are a bunch of options, but spacing them out is proving to be a bit of a challenge.

Image  Taking a trip to South Carolina next month and will do this race with my kids.  This is one of the top 10 biggest races yearly in the state.

Image  On recommendation of folks that have run this race before, this Half Marathon is on my list during a road trip to NY this August.  This race will put my Half/Full count at 7 for the year.  That leaves 6 more for Fall.

9/21 –  Midtown Race Series Johnson Lexus Half Marathon in Raleigh

Image  I’ve already signed up for this Marathon in Asheville, NC.  I ran the Asheville Marathon at Biltmore Estate earlier this year in March, and just fell in love with the City of Asheville, so I thought I would return in the Fall for the City Marathon.  Completely different course.  I took advantage of the discount they were offering on National Running Day!

Image  Running this race again, as it is a favorite, and I am friends with the race director Paula.

image  The Bull City Race Fest!  This event is on 10/20, and I am signed up for the Half Mary.  This will be my first time running this event.

I may run the Greensboro Marathon on 10/26.

Hallowed half  I ran this hilly Half last year.  It is a Halloween themed race that was really tough, but very enjoyable.  Not sure I can do a back to back Half and Full the same weekend.  Jury is still out on this weekend.

City of oaks  The City of Oaks is our local marathon in the Fall, and this will be my first year running it.  I work along the race route, and have worked the last two years on race day.  It makes me very jealous to watch the masses pass by, but this year will be a different story.

Depending on if I get all these races in, my goal will be complete at this Marathon on 11/3.  If I happen to miss one of the events listed above, I have a fall back on race, the Skinny Turkey Half Marathon on Thanksgiving Day.  I have run that race the last two years, and really want to reach my goal prior to that this year so that I can just eat on Turkey Day.

So, what do you think of this schedule?  It means either 4 or 5 marathons this year, and either 8 or 9 Halves.  Lofty goal that I set for myself at the beginning of the year, but I can make it, if I stay focused, trained and injury free.

Lookout Capital Half Marathon Recap

imageOn 6/1/13 I completed the newest adventure in the Raleigh running community.  Local race directors from three separate Half Marathons this Spring got together to offer a special award for completing all three events.  The result?  The additional bling you see below.  Very sweet!

The Lookout Capital Half also includes a 5k and 10k option for those looking to run shorter races in the Raleigh heat.  I have never run this race before, so I was looking forward to it.  Most of it run on green ways on the northwest side of the city.  Very pretty run.  The temperature outside when I got up at 3:45am was already 70 degrees.  Yikes!  Thankfully the humidity was fairly low, unlike the NCRC race a few weeks ago.

The race started at 7am.  Parking and racer accommodations were fantastic.  I found a parking spot so close, it was almost a sin.  As I stated before, this race primarily is run on the green ways of the outskirts of the city of Raleigh.  The start of the race is located in the parking lot of North  Hills Mall.  It proceeds down Lassiter Mill Road, at a quick pace at the start.  This quick start led me to a very unrealistic pace as I hit the green way.  Mile 1 ticked by, and I was at 6:50, and I kept up that pace, rounding out at 6:54 at mile 3.  Wow!  This could quite possibly be the fastest Half Marathon yet, I said to myself.  I kept going, and began to get warmer and warmer.  My pace was slowing, and I was starting to feel the effects of the warm day.  Not to worry, I told myself, stay steady.  Soon I saw the leader, heading back my direction from the first turn around point.  I cheered him on quietly.  Then I started looking for others, and no one was even close.  He was a man alone, and way in front of the pack.

Soon I approached the first turn around point, about 6.5 miles in.  The green way passed several ponds, and the trees provided much needed shade as the temperatures started to rise.  There was also a nice breeze from time to time, and that helped a lot.  I kept my eyes on several runners around my pace, and we jockeyed back and forth, exchanging positions on the course several times.  Water stations were plentiful, but didn’t seem to be in the places that I needed them the most.  When I felt like I needed water, it wasn’t there.  When I felt good, a water station approached.

I soon started to feel the effects of the heat more and more, and started thinking about how I needed a break from long distance running.  My heart was sinking, and with it, my pace.  It was almost depressing!  I felt myself getting slower and slower, and really got into my head about it.  Needless to say, this was not good.  I kept pushing forward though.  Soon that amazing downhill start was about to turn into the nightmare uphill finish, as we hit the course in reverse for the finish line.  The last 3/4 mile was a tough uphill, relentless finish.  I pushed it as hard as I could in the end, but I had lost a lot of time.  I finished in 1:46:22.  Not what I wanted, but good enough.  I finished 80th overall, out of about 800 runners.  Top 10%, I’ll take it.  I finished 9th in my age group out of 69.  I recommend this Half, for sure.  Just wish they would move it to a cooler weather month.