Marathon Mental #RnRRAL

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The big day….just two short days away now.  You know the game.  As you move through the final week leading up to a marathon, preparation all becomes mental.  You’ve done the work physically, the body is now resting.  Now you have to deal with the emotions, the mental aspect of being ready to run.

How do you find your calm?  I guess the more marathons you run, the more prepared you become in finding that happy place.  I don’t get over nervous like I used to.  A certain amount of nerves is good.  Good to pump up the adrenaline, and get the blood flowing.  Once you know the process, once you have your preparations practiced so many times it becomes more old hat, than stressful.

As far as the legs are concerned, I will ask them for another, and final 5k this morning.  One final stretch out run.  I really like taking the last day before a marathon off completely.  No running.  Tomorrow, I will sleep in.  I will head to the race expo late in the morning.  I’ve looked at the expo floor plan, and exhibitor locations already.  I have to visit GU Energy.  I need a few packets for the race.  I am anxious to visit Generation UCan.  I have never tried this product, but need to learn about it.  Generation UCan is the official race hydration at my upcoming All American Marathon on May 4th.  I need to figure out if this product works for me, so will try it out next week on recovery runs.  Several race event directors will also be there promoting upcoming races.  I will, of course, have to visit to see if they are offering nice race registration discounts.

Here is a sampling of exhibitors at this expo….

Milk Refuel, SportHooks, Sweaty Bands, Tuna Run 200, BaySix, Anthem Richmond Marathon, Charleston Marathon, CEP, Garmin, Gatorade, Geico, Marine Corps Half Marathon.

The expo starts today, but I have to work.  It would have been great to get in before the crowds, but I think if I head there tomorrow prior to noon, it will be easy going.  Following the expo tomorrow, I have a day of relaxation planned.  Essential time with me feet up.  Planning on a veggie packed omelet for dinner, maybe a croissant, a little Nutella.  Then TV, and early to bed.

I have to be in the city, and parked prior to 6am Sunday, for the 7am start.  A big part of having a stress free race, is being prepared.  I’ve planned out my 20 mile trip into the city.  I’ve looked at road closures, and mapped out what parking lot I am going to use.  I am ready.  I’ve mapped out a plan for my family to get into the city and to the finish line before I finish.  It will be nice to see them as I finish.  I mean, it is my birthday, after all, they can’t miss this marathon finish.  I am looking forward to getting that “Happy Birthday” shouted out to me as I cross the finish line.

So, I am ready.  I am ready to Rock ‘n’ Roll.  Ready to Rock in the city I call home.  Ready to run marathon #12.

The excitement is building

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Now just four short days away, Raleigh is all a buzz.  The talk of the town is Rock ‘n’ Roll.  The talk of the town is the marathon.  I kinda like when we runners get some attention.

Road closure signs, and no parking signs have been being set in place over the past few days, and since tomorrow is the final day before the Expo kicks off, I guess they are right on schedule.  I work downtown, and have seen road signs on both Hillsborough Rd. and 401 heading north before the city.  I’ve been asked countless times by people in the city this past week how to find information on parking.  How to find out what road will be closed.  Just Google Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh, or their title sponsor WRAL, and you will be directed to links with all of the race day information.

Temperatures this week have been on the rise.  I do believe that a Spring is finally here in Raleigh.  Well, I don’t think we are in for any more frost, or freezing temps, and that’s good, because trees are budding out, and flowering shrubs and trees are nearing full bloom.  The azaleas are even starting to open up.  With the nice daily temperatures over the next few days, the run this Sunday should be just beautiful and full of color.  Race day temps are supposed to reach as high as 78 degrees, with overnight lows in the mid 50’s.  Dress appropriately, hydrate and make sure your Body Glide is applied liberally when you head to the race on Sunday.

i’m really looking forward to it.  Now, time to get in another taper run.  Good luck to all those running this weekend, be it the race event here in Raleigh, or the other countless races across the globe.  Run smart, and run happy!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon gets closer

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Looking forward to earning this bling on my Birthday!

With only 23 days to go, the inaugural Rock n Roll race here in my hometown is almost upon us.  Fanfare is starting to increase, and I am hearing more and more chatter about the race.  Folks are getting pretty darn excited!  I am, too.  It’s officially Spring now, the trees are starting to bud out, grass is starting to get greener and a marathon looms in the not so distant future.  Pretty exciting things in the air.

Spring is always a great time of year here to get outside and run.  Because of my marathon schedule this year, Raleigh will be my 4th of 2014, I haven’t been running nearly as many training runs over the past few months as in past years.  I have to carefully plan on my next three weeks to make sure I arrive at the starting line in good shape.  I really want to watch my diet, as well.

My last three marathons were essentially flat courses, and this one is not.  I typically do really well on hills, as most of my training runs are all hilly.  Funny enough, I chose to run my last three marathons on flat courses because I thought it would help me get closer to a BQ, but I fell short of that goal at all three.  In fact, my PR is here in Raleigh, on the hilly City of Oaks course.  Maybe the hills are just what I need. Maybe the fact that this marathon is on my 44th Birthday will also be a great encouragement to my race day pace.  I just went back and scoured my pacing at the City of Oaks race last November to see how I approached that race from a pacing standpoint.  I learned a few things that I think will help in my approach to this race.  Certain aspects of the course are similar, so my approach will be similar.  I think the challenge of hills, staying strong on the uphill, and using the downhills to my advantage, may be the key.

In any event, I have a few weeks left to prepare.  It will be a celebration regardless, as it is my sons birthday as well that day.  I hope to see some familiar faces out there on the course in Raleigh, and look forward to exploring the city that I love, by foot, yet again.

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Let’s ready to ROCK!  It’s going to be here before we know it!  Marathon #12, here I come!