A Roller Coaster Week of Running

I have had so many ups and downs during this training cycle that I sometimes feel that this roller coaster isn’t going to stop any time soon.  Heat, humidity, rain, sore feet, new running shoes and even lack of desire have really hampered my training for the last month.  I have one thing on my side though as I head into Fall racing season.  Experience.

If I was a newbie runner right now, I would be really worried about what lies ahead over the next two months out there on the race course.  Thankfully I have many races under my belt, and plenty of good and bad runs to glean information from.  I’ve had lulls before, times when I just didn’t enjoy the run.  Times when my pace was just sort of blah.  Times when one day is good, the next is really bad.  This bumpy ride has to end soon, and I know it will.  Experience tells me this.

This past training week I did manage to get in a 10k training run in between the rain, work schedule and heat.  In addition to that run, which wasn’t terrible, I managed several other shorter runs.  I don’t feel completely ready for my Half Marathon this Sunday, but I know it will come together.

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My 17 year old son and I will be heading to Charlotte this weekend to enjoy some time together.  I brief trip away to enjoy some roller coasters in the park, and a race.  My first race this Fall season, I am pacing the 1:50:00 finish group at this Sundays Run & Ride Half Marathon at Carowinds.  Will I be ready?  Of course I will!  I’ve received all of the pre race emails, and info on packet pick up.  I’ve gotten the low down on when and where us pacers will meet up prior to the race.  All that’s really left are a few short pace runs before the weekend, and driving down there on Saturday morning.  My son has actually chosen to sleep in on Sunday morning and not run at all.  He will be missing out on a fun race, I’m sure, but looking back on my own childhood, I probably would have chosen to sleep in too when I was 17.

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So, here’s to a very literal trip to roller coaster land this weekend.  I truly feel like my training has given me a very good start at being ready to ride some coasters this weekend.  It has been nearly two months since my last race, so I am ready to get back to it!  Feet don’t fail me now!  Chicago and New York are getting ever so close now and I want to have great marathons.  This weekend kicks off what I hope will be an amazing Fall 2015 race season.

Greensboro Marathon & Half 2015

As the sport of running grows and grows, so do the number of races.  I’ve read a couple of really interesting articles lately about the growth of our sport, which has led to gluttony of races when it comes to peak marathon season.

Of course there are big city marathons with big expos, lots of spectators and a big price tag that comes right along with it.  Marathons can cost upwards of $250-$300 depending on the race.  Most folks choose races very carefully, and cost can be a huge factor.  For runners like me that run more than just a couple of races a year, careful consideration must be used when deciding where your race budget will be spent.

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Trivium Racing, out of Greensboro, North Carolina puts on really quality events.  Located in the center of our state, runners from all over can convene in the city park this Fall for the third running of an great event.  Current pricing is under $100, and gets you an amazing race course, high quality bling, post race food, music and more.  Convenient free parking, included!

The inaugural year of this event, I learned about it too late in the season to run it.  I didn’t make that mistake last year, signed up early, and ran the marathon six days after running the Chicago Marathon.  The course winds in and around the city of Greensboro, through neighborhoods, and city streets, but also through beautiful countryside.  Yes, there are hills.  The course is challenging, yet so much fun!

This year I will be pacing the Half Marathon at this event.  I hope to take one of my sons along with me to experience this great race.  Running Chicago again this year, I figured I better run the half this time around, since I am running the New York City Marathon a few weeks later.  Gotta leave some steam in my legs for the Big Apple!

This years race is on Saturday, October 17th.  Pease join me!

RUN LOCAL!!!  Support the fine efforts of quality race directors like Richard and Libby.  When races are done right, we need to support them!

New Promo for @AvlMarathon

Are you already signed up, or considering running the Asheville Half, Marathon or both next Spring?  On March 12th and 13th, Asheville, NC, and the Biltmore Estate are welcoming runners for a weekend of running.  The past three years the Half and Full Marathons were run at the same time on the same day.  In 2016, the Half is on Saturday, and the Full is on Sunday.  Running both means you will be running what they’ve coined the Backyard to Vineyard Challenge!  This level of challenge will bring in all sorts of running fans for an amazing weekend in one of the most beautiful and hip towns in all of North Carolina.

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Right now, through September 15th, they are offering a free “In Training Tee shirt” for those that sign up with a new registration.  The picture above shows you where to go to register, and please let them know I sent you!  In the referral box at checkout use “INVITEDBYPAULAMA”. In the discount code box enter code “2016EARLYBIRDTEE” and the good folks in Asheville will send you an awesome shirt to train in.

Come run with me in Asheville next year!  I’ve run the Half and Full at this amazing destination race, and let me tell you, these folks do races right!  Since the regular cost of the training shirt is $25, for every person that signs up between now and September 15th, I will make a personal donation in the same amount to my NYC Marathon charity, the James Blake Foundation.

Run a great race, or two!  Get a free shirt, and I donate to charity.  How awesome is that?

#RunBullCity – Bull City Race Fest Discount Code

Just wanted to take a moment and spread some hype about a great local race.  The Bull City Race Fest is taking place this year on October 18th, in downtown Durham, NC.  This race festival includes a family friendly 1 mile run, an awesome 5 mile run, and the ever popular Half Marathon.

An amazing Food Truck Rodeo greets runners at the finish line.  And let me just say that the race course is beautiful!  Challenging, but gorgeous!

I have a friends and family discount to offer when you sign up.  Save $5 by entering code “USB13” at checkout.  Check out the race website at https://www.bullcityracefest.com.

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Join in me this Fall at one of our areas most amazing races!  Follow them on Twitter at @BullCityRace.

are you #UnStoppaBull?  Prove it this Fall!

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OBX Racing Challenge- What is that?

After my last post about running challenge events, I started to think.  The 10k, 5k back to back I raced last June was not the only time I’ve taken on a challenge.  I had an eppiphany!  Ok, spell check didn’t highlight that word I’ve probably never written, so maybe I spelled eppiphany correctly?  Anyway, here’s another challenge story leading up to my biggest challenge this Summer when I run a Half Marathon on Saturday, followed by a Full the next day.

What is OBX, you ask?  Maybe you’ve seen the oval stickers on the bumpers of numerous vehicles for years and always wondered what it meant.  Well, it refers to one of the most beautiful places here in my home state of North Carolina.  The Outer Banks!

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About a four hour drive from home, the Outer Banks of NC, are incredibly beautiful.  A vacation spot for thousands and thousands of people from all over the States and abroad.  It’s a place to slow down, enjoy the views, play in the sand and enjoy the ocean, sunrises and sunsets.  You only need to speed up in the OBX if you happen to be there to run one of the several awesome races they host over the course of each year.

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A few years ago I had the opportunity to run a race there!  The Outer Banks Marathon is a weekend full of events and takes place each year in November,  The weekend includes fun runs for both kids, and adults, the Buccaneer 5k, the Outer Banks 8k, a 5k and Half Marathon Challenge, the 8k and Half Challenge, the 8k and Full Marathon Challenge, Southern 6, the TowneBank Outer Banks Half Marathon, and the TowneBank Outer Banks Marathon.  Wow!  Tons of events, and a bunch of challenges to choose from.  Back when I ran these races the title sponsor was Gateway Bank.

In 2012, I chose to run the Blackbeard Challenge!  It entailed the 8k on Saturday morning, followed by the Full Marathon on Sunday morning. See?  How did I forget about this challenge when I wrote my last post?  At the time, I had never tried anything even close to this kind of challenge.  In fact, this Marathon was only the third marathon I had ever run.

Outer Banks Sporting Events has several great races throughout the year.  The Flying Pirate Half Marathon in April each year, Storm the Beach, and Saga Outerbanks Triathlon are other events they host.  This race company is known for great swag, medals and overall fun experiences.  The year that I ran this challenge, they even offered custom race shirts, and of course I had to get one since this was a big challenge to me, and I wanted to commemorate it with more than just “the race shirt”.  It’s from a company called WearYourNumber.com. Check it out!

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Isn’t it cool?  I got to customize it with my own photo (a beach photo because of where the race was located) and with verbiage/script of my choice.  It looks like a bib, but it’s actually printed on the shirt!  It was my actual race number, too!

We had the best weekend in the Outer Banks!  Family, food, fun and racing.  At the time I was suffering (and had been for months) with Plantar Fascitis.  It was excruciating, and added an extra challenge for me that weekend.  Looking back on it, I was pretty miserable for both races, and didn’t have great races at all.  But, I did it!  I ran and conquered both.

8k medal.  Completed in 38:21. 37th place overall!

8k medal. Completed in 38:21. 37th place overall!

There was a race shirt and medal for both races I ran, and an additional medal for completing the challenge.

Race shirt.  I absolutely love the logo!

Race shirt. I absolutely love the logo!

Next up, after much unsuccessful foam rolling was the marathon.  I started well, enjoying views from Kitty Hawk to Manteo, but failed miserably with cramping and of course my PF was killing me.  My worst marathon finish to date at a pace of 9:41 for an overall finish time of 4:13:58.  Yeah, I was happy to finish, but felt a bit deflated with my time.  I guess considering my physical struggles, finishing was probably all I should have hoped for.  Here is a look at the medal.

A beautiful medal, even if it is a little small compared to most races I've run.  Still love it!

A beautiful medal, even if it is a little small compared to most races I’ve run. Still love it!

To top off the weekend, I received this medal for completing the challenge.

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So there you have it.  I didn’t start blogging until six months after this race, so a recap full of detailed memories from my races isn’t included.  I really can’t go back in my mind and try to review it.  I do know though, that if you are looking for a great weekend at the beach in November, this is a great option.

On to the next challenge.  Back to back Half and Full.  This July!  Aspen Valley Half and Rockies Marathon.

Unplugged in Ashe County – A New River Marathon Recap

The New River Marathon has been on my radar for a few years, and finally I was able to run it!  Tucked into the northwestern corner of North Carolina in Ashe County, the New River Marathon is a small, yet wonderful event.

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I packed up the car and drove up into the mountains on Friday afternoon.  I decided to stay in a nearby town about a twenty five minute drive away.  In the small town of Jefferson there really isn’t a whole lot to see, except for the views.  I have never been north of Boone, so this was a nice treat.  It’s about a three and a half hour drive from home.

I spent a few hours just relaxing before studying the map, and figuring out my drive down to the town of Todd where the packet pick up, and race location is.  Because this area is unfamiliar to me, I decided that even though they offered race morning packet pick up, I wanted to know where I was going.  Plus, I was in the mountains on a beautiful day, and I wanted to see the sights.

The drive was beautiful.  Mt. Jefferson towers above the first portion of the trip.  Standing about 1,600 feet above my car, I knew that on the way back I wanted to check out this mountain from the top!  Making the turn onto route 194, the road becomes very twisty and turny.  Fantastic views abound!  First up about four miles through beautiful landscapes, there were farmhouses, horses and cows at every turn.  Beautiful long range views, I even stopped on the road to take a few photos.  (Luckily no one was behind me)

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Once at the top, it’s about a three to four mile descent into the historic town of Todd.  I did some reading about this little town, and it really is fascinating.  The community was originally called Elk Cross Roads and was settled in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It was a rural outpost in the Blue Ridge Mountains that was populated mostly by farmers.  The community was first noted on North Carolina maps in the 1850’s.  There were several dry goods stores operating there before the Civil War.  It’s hard to believe that in the 1890’s Todd was larger than Boone.

The Virginia-Carolina railroad came to Todd because of the vast tracts of timber in the area, but by 1934 most of the mountains in the valley had been stripped of trees, and during the Great Depression the the railroad tracks were pulled up, the Bank of Todd was liquidated and the town’s commerce all but vanished in just a few short years.  A devastating flood in 1940 washed away most of the town.  By WWII there were only a handful of businesses remaining in the town.  I took a picture of the Todd General Store (which is for sale), as its’ one of the oldest continuously operating general stores in the state of North Carolina.  Someone needs to buy it and keep it going!

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Just a quick history of the town, as it will pack in some interesting thoughts of its history as you run this race.  In such a small crevice tucked into the valley, they had quite a nice setup for us runners.  There’s a church, the general store, a post office, a rafting business, a mercantile and bakery, and just a few other buildings tucked in there.  The park where the race starts and finishes is small, but boasts green grass, a bandstand and enough room to camp out the night before the race if that’s your thing.

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A quick 20 minutes to park, pick up my shirt and bib, snap a few photos, and I was on my way.  I was so excited to have the chance to run this race in the morning.  Now that I was confident with how to get there in the morning I could relax, take in some sights and kick my feet up at the hotel.

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On my return trip to the hotel, I stopped off at the Mount Jefferson Natural Area for a few photos.  Not surprising to me was that at the top, there were still no leaves on the trees at all.  I live in Wake county, where Spring is much further along than in the mountains.  Dogwoods and azaleas are in bloom up there, whereas that season here has already passed.  You see where this race is located in Ashe County, right on the border of Watauga County.  From atop Mt. Jefferson, you get views of North Carolina, Tennessee to the west, and Virginia to the north.

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It was such a beautiful day, I just couldn’t get over the views!

I called it an early night, got my race day gear together and hit the hay about 10pm.  I slept horribly, fearful of oversleeping.  Marathon morning went off without a hitch though, and soon enough I was back in the car heading down to Todd.

I passed a beautiful sunrise over the mountains while driving there!  This time I couldn’t stop in the middle of the road to snap a picture because there was race morning traffic on the undulating country roads.  I arrived in Todd to a very well coordinated parking effort by volunteers.  It was a chilly morning at 43 degrees, but I knew it was going to be just perfect.  Highs for the day were supposed to be around 63.

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I packed a quick drop bag in the car before heading to the start line about a quarter mile away.  You can see from this picture that the race location is tucked into this valley.  I just knew that the views on this race course were going to be amazingly beautiful.

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This big guy was wandering around greeting runners as we made our way into the park!  That kid was fascinated!  So was I!  Not something I will probably ever see again as I get ready to run a marathon.

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I guess by now you can probably get a really good feel for the atmosphere of this race.  The New River Marathon has a very small town, country feel.  Lots of super nice people everywhere.  It is a great break from a large city event, or big race in general.

The race began promptly at 7:45am, a 15 minute delay, making sure that everyone got to the line in time.  The race course winds out of the town of Todd, and along the banks of the New River.  I was fairly close to the front of the pack over the first mile or so.  I knew with a few extremely difficult hills on this course, that I didn’t want to overdo it in the beginning.  The marathon had less than 200 participants, I figured I was somewhere in the top 50 heading out.

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Let me tell you something.  This is not the easiest course you will ever find, heck, it’s in the mountains of North Carolina, but you will be hard pressed to find one that outmatches its beauty!  There are amazing views of the mountains, the river, horse farms, old barns, wildlife, Christmas tree farms and so much more.  Because the race is small, you won’t hear much of anything other than the sound of your breathing, or the steps from other runners if one happens to be nearby.  There were times when I had no one in front of me, and no one behind me.

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The whole time I was running I feared that my Garmin would lose GPS because of the location of this race.  It actually never happened.  What I found unique about this race for me was the way that I really wasn’t hardly ever looking at it.  I was just content to run and enjoy the scenery.  The only other race I’ve run that can compete with the beauty of this one is Big Cottonwood in Utah.  This race is all kinds of eye candy, and it was so good for my soul!  The quiet serenity of this marathon course will almost lull you into thinking that you aren’t even running a marathon.  It was that special!

Water stops were just about perfect on this course, I never once was yearning for water.  Each stop was staffed with smiling faces, and some stops even had gels, bananas, chocolate candies, etc..  They did a great job.  Even after a couple of the tougher steep-grade hills, there were nice downhills to give you a break.  It really was the perfect course to challenge the runner, and yet give an awesome sense of nature and beautiful surroundings.

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I knew I was having a good race.  Like I said before, I wasn’t trying to set any land speed records, but I did want to perform well.  I few times I felt calf cramps coming on, but nothing major.  I did see plenty of folks in the later miles of the run having issues though.  I just plodded along, enjoying the views.  Every now and then I would pick off a runner who was starting to lag a bit, and we would exchange kind words of encouragement.  It was just that kind of race.

This is a race for anyone who loves nature.  Anyone who loves small town races, and is best run “unplugged”.  Enjoy the sights and sounds.  Leave that IPod at home.  The sounds of the flowing New River, and occasional mooing cow and chirping bird are all you need.

Nearing the end of my race I just couldn’t believe that I had just covered that many miles without really realizing it.  I made the final push back into the town of Todd, where family members and runners alike were cheering.  Then the final quarter mile, with a turn onto the grass into the park to finish.  My race was over.

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A finish time of 3:50:13, placed me 32nd overall.  With a unique medallion placed around my neck, I just basked in the glow of what I had just achieved.  It was a run for the record books, and I’m not referring to anything close to a personal best.  Record books meaning one of the best races I’ve run.  Best places, best atmosphere.  It truly was a devine experience for my soul.

It was an incredible, unique, beautiful, quiet, serene, cozy type of event.  Not a lot of fanfare, or bells and whistles.  If you choose to run this event one day, it will truly be you and nature only, running together in perfect harmony.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Half Marathon 2015- Race Recap

The most beautiful of Spring days ushered in and welcomed thousands of runners to Raleigh for the second annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half yesterday.  A bit of a chill and breeze in the air as I easily found a parking spot downtown.  The day had much promise!

I had made the decision to run the Half this time around, and I really was happy with my choice.  I arrived downtown about a hour and fifteen minutes before the race was to begin at 7am.  Stretching and hydrating, I felt pretty good.  I hadn’t gotten much sleep, but surprisingly felt some good energy.  I knew I wanted to take some photos of the starting area, so I made my way over to the start just before 6:30.

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The crew was furiously setting up the finisher village as I passed by the finish line.  Like a well oiled machine, the volunteers and folks with Rock n Roll had it under control.  Corrals, main stage, signs everywhere.  It was pretty impressive.  I didn’t use bag drop, but that was going in full swing.  Runners starting to gather in big crowds, they started filing into the corrals.  I was in Corral 1, so had a great view of the main stage where they were making announcements.  The National Anthem was sung by a guy who was there running something like his 65th marathon.  He did a fine job!

As the countdown clock was nearing zero, I snapped a few photos.

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Unlike my last race three weeks ago, I didn’t trip and fall prior to this run.  I wasn’t battered and bruised at the start, although my leg still isn’t fully healed.  All I really had to do was down my GU fifteen minutes prior, and tighten my shoe laces one last time.  I had decided to wear my RnR Las Vegas marathon shirt for this race, and snapped a picture right before the start.

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Promptly at 7am, the race began.  Unlike most races, this time I used both my Garmin and Runkeeper on my phone to track my run.  I wanted to track my splits at this race because of the unending hills.  Because this event is not homegrown, and draws in folks from all around the country, the course incorporates many of the iconic sights around the city.  Due to the nature of trying to include all of these sights, runners get the best of Raleigh’s hills right alone with it.  Local races typically try not to include every difficult hill in the city, as a course will draw more runners the flatter it is.  So, with that said, if you are looking for a flat Half or Full marathon, Raleigh is not the city to scout out for races.  It’s a perfect place though if you like to train on hills!  And I do!

The course this year was more well supported with aid stations than last year.  I never felt the least bit dehydrated, as water/Gatorade stops were aplenty.  I cruised along through the first few miles downtown.  I felt pretty good.  The first five miles, full of ups and downs, I maintained a pace under 8:00 per mile.  It wasn’t until mile 6 when my pace hit 8:20 that I knew the hills were taking a bit of a toll on me.  I felt good though, and really enjoyed all of the music and entertainment along the course.  I really think that there were a lot more spectators all along the course route this year.  The constant cheers were so appreciated, especially along some of the tougher uphill stretches.

Traversing Peace St. toward Cameron Village is certainly one of the toughest parts of this course.  I ran mile 7 in 8:26, and mile 8 in 8:57.  Yes, the hills played a big roll in those times.  My overall pace was now over 8:00 per mile, and that was my goal for this race.  I was shooting for a 1:45:00 finish, so if I wanted to achieve that, I would have to now make up some time.  Mile 9 brought us to the Bell Tower at N.C. State.  I had sort of pre-arranged seeing my older son here at the Bell Tower.  He wasn’t sure if he would be on campus that night since a couple of his buddies were in town for the weekend, and sure enough he wasn’t there.  Bummer!  We made the turn onto campus and down Pullen Rd.  I had found a bit more of a boost in energy here, but knew my miles running sub 8 were gone.  I was just trying to keep focused on running smoothly.  After that nearly 9 minute mile 8, mile 9 was 8:21, followed by an 8:06 mile 10.

The beauty of Spring in North Carolina was everywhere.  Azaleas are in bloom, dogwood trees full of whispy white and pink flowers.  Spring brings pollen, but the weather this year wasn’t as warm during the race, so it didn’t feel as bad this year.  Temperatures were probably about 55 to 58 degrees, and felt a bit warmer in the sunshine.  Heading toward the stretch on Dorthea Dix campus, I knew that the “Wear Blue to Remember” dedication was upcoming.  I looked forward to seeing it, and being inspired.  Right as I approached the flags, photos and inspiring folks on the side of the road, my race nearly ended.  It has never happened to me before, but my right knee completely gave out.  Out of nowhere!  It completely buckled and I almost fell.  I staggered over to the side of the road completely bewildered.  What was going on?  I didn’t know what to do, but to try to run again.  So, I did.  A few steps later it buckled again.  Almost fell again.  I tried to massage it, stretch it.  It wasn’t muscular though.  How do I fix this, I thought to myself.  All I could do was keep trying and see if it would stop.  Finally, after a few attempts, and some encouragement from the spectators I slowly began running again, careful, not wanting to fall.  I guess it worked, because it didn’t happen again.  Thinking back on it today, my only guess as to what the hell that was all about is that maybe it had something to do with my fall on that knee and leg a few weeks ago.

Anyway, I was finally running again.  Pretty confident that my knee wasn’t going to buckle again, I tried to pick up the pace.  My knee issue wrecked my pace though on mile 11 and 12.  9:02 and 9:21, despite the starts and stops.  I was determined to finish strong.  Boylan Ave. was approaching, a tough uphill run before dipping back down into the center of the city for the finish.  I managed a good showing on Boylan.  Ran it strong.  I really just tried to enjoy the last mile.  Clapping for spectators, saying thank you.  Winding my way to the finish mile 13 was completed in 8:32.  With the finish line in view, I gave it one final push.  I practically sprinted to the finish, not knowing if my knee would give out and send me flying through the finish line.

I managed to stay on my feet, passing about 8 runners in the final few hundred feet.  With a medal around my neck, my 26th Half marathon was over.  I came close to my goal, even with my knee hampering the later part of my race.  Finish time 1:47:46.  Overall pace 8:14.  Pretty happy with that!

Water, Gatorade, bananas, pretzels, chocolate milk, I took my time walking though the finisher chute.  Stopping now and then to rest in sunny spots.  A guy from Jersey Mike’s handed me a mini turkey sub sandwich that really hit the spot.  As I sat on the curb, I turned to snap a picture of the finish area looking back at the finish line.

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I decided to return to my car and grab a jacket before heading over to the Red Hat Amphitheater for the post race concert.  It was a good time.  It was nice to relax and take in some music before heading home.  “Hey now, you’re a Rock Star!”  Smash Mouth was the post race headliner.

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Results were posted last night.  5,599 finished the Half, and 952 finished the Full.

My results-  502/5599 overall, 378/2213 gender, and 62/359 on my last day in the 40-44 Age Group.

Pretty happy with my results!  Now that today is my birthday, and I am officially 45, let’s see what kind of impact I can have in my new AG.  Thanks again, Rock ‘n’ Roll, the Raleigh event is amazing!  Such a challenge, but so much fun!  Great swag, too!  Love the Cree Shimmer Wall on the medal.

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Are you ready for Asheville?

Asheville, NC…..

Trendy, southern, diverse, laid-back, artsy, mountainous….

A paradise for folks looking for a great new place to live, or vacation.  Luckily for me this city is within driving distance, offering me a great opportunity for a quick getaway.  I will be running the Asheville Half Marathon at Biltmore Estate as a pacer this year, and it is approaching quickly.  Only 50 days remain!

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Originally I was signed up to run the marathon, but when the opportunity presented itself to pace the 1:45:00 group in the Half, I had to jump on it.  Pacing a race is a great way to give back to my fellow runners.  I just love the idea!  I’ve paced several races now, and the experience is always gratifying.  Each race offers unique opportunities to impact others.

When I looked at the race website this morning and saw the countdown clock at 50 days, it really got me pumped up!  There will be over 1,300 of us runners out there on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate on March 15th, taking in the beautiful scenery, running together through the historic grounds of America’s Largest Backyard.  The Biltmore Estate is the largest privately owned house in the U.S..  Believe me, it’s grand.

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50 days remain.  Are you ready for Asheville?  I know I am!

One Day Race Deal – All American Marathon

The All American Marathon and Mike to Mike Half Marathon is offering a one day $10 discount off registration today until midnight.  I ran the inaugural marathon back in May this year, and had an amazing time!

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If you don’t remember, this is the race that I got to meet Meb Keflezighi at the finish and he signed my race bib and medal.

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Current registration fees for the marathon $90, and $80 for the Half go up on December 31st, so today is the perfect day to get in at the lowest possible pricing including today’s discount.  This fantastic race is going to grow in size every year, and I couldn’t be more proud that this amazing race is so close to home.

Act fast, and join me this coming March!

Sell Out Alert!! Asheville Marathon at Biltmore Estate

Quietly whispered….

…..and then it soaked in…..

Wow!  The Asheville Marathon & Half at Biltmore Estate set to run on March 15, 2015 is heading toward a record early sell-out!  It was announced yesterday that with an overall cap of 1,300 runners, there were less than 200 spots remaining.  I guess word is spreading far and wide about this truly unique boutique-style race.

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I ran the inaugural event back in 2013.  It is truly a majestic and beautiful bucket list event.  Well organized, with a great expo and plenty of runner perks, this is a race you don’t want to miss!  I mean, who wouldn’t want to run here?

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Check out the race website for current pricing, but act quickly.  http://ashevillemarathon.com

Follow the race on Twitter:  @AvlMarathon

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