I Did It! A new Marathon PR today!

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Today was my 7th marathon.  Lucky #7, I will have to call it from now on.  The Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon, on November 3, 2013. I will recap this event in full by early in the week, but my news from today warranted at least a quick post to let me blog readers know how I did today.

I am happy to report that I achieved a new marathon personal record today.  I know I could have done even better, but struggled quite a bit with intermittent leg cramping on the second half of the race.  I can’t wait to see my splits, and official results are not posted yet, but based on the unofficial results, I came in at 3:32:29 today!  I was absolutely ecstatic, as this is a tough race, filled with many difficult hills.  I have never run this race before, but came into it with a lot of confidence based on my half marathon finish a week ago.  That confidence, and perfect running weather proved to be the winning combination I needed today to beat my previous best.  My PR for the Full had previously been set in February of 2012, so this has been a long time coming.  My old PR was 3:33:32 at the Myrtle Beach Marathon, on a flat course.

So this really means the world to me, as the difficulty of this course is so much greater than the course in Myrtle Beach.  To set a PR on a difficult course like this left me elated.  I was thrilled.  Still am!!

Now on to the Las Vegas Marathon two weeks from today.  I need to recover well, work on speed work, and hopefully go for a sub 3:30:00 on the flat course in Nevada.

My full recap will be up in a few days.  Time to celebrate!

4 days til GO time! #COO #CityofOaksMarathon

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My hometown marathon will be my 7th.

The Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon is just four short days away.  This will be my first time running this event, and I am very excited about it.  Let’s look at the preparations….

Training has been ongoing since the beginning of the Summer.  This race was not originally on my plan for 13 in 2013, when I first started mapping it out at the beginning of the year.  What a wonderful surprise when I was offered a comped entry recently.  Because of my ongoing training, I felt fairly confident that I could include this race without disruption.  I didn’t plan on running the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Marathon either, but now that I am doing these two marathons 14 days apart, what a great way to wrap up 2013.

I feel ready and the body is holding up just fine.  I have done a lot of racing this Fall, including the Asheville City Marathon just over a month ago.  A friend of mine recently told me how her training works.  She runs dozens of marathons a year.  If you’re not injured in any way, the marathons themselves are the training.  If you continually run distance events, the events themselves are the long runs.  The training may be the short runs, the hill work, the pace and tempo runs.  The training then becomes more about increasing speed, versus getting the body able and prepared to do the distance.  This is where I truly feel I am at right now.  I am confident that I can go the distance, both body and mind.  When you are smack dab in the middle of several Halves and Full’s, there is really no need for long runs other than on race day.  Training becomes more about the rest and recovery, and speed work.  I am ready!

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This Sunday, at 7am. (Remind me to set my clock back an hour when before I go to bed on Saturday night), the race will begin at the N.C. State Belltower.  My parking plan is set, I know exactly where to go, and how long it will take me to get there.  Extra jitters avoided when you have a plan.  My race gear will be packed and ready to go for race morning.  The weather outlook still looks incredible.  Right now the forecast is for 0% chance of rain, sunny and a high of 60 degrees.  Perfect!  Now let’s just keep it that way.

I viewed a 12 minute video of the race course online yesterday and got very excited.  The Raleigh skyline will be awesome, as well as the greenways.  Hills abound, but what race around here is flat?  I don’t know of many.  Especially when you have to include 26.2 miles into the course around the greater Raleigh area.  Image

Part of the course will take me over that bridge on Sunday.  Am I ready?  Yes!  I am ready to enjoy this great city I live and work in.  When I first moved here from NY back in 1999, I never thought I would run a marathon here.  Never even crossed my mind.  I am just 4 days away, and can’t wait to toe the line.