4 days til GO time! #COO #CityofOaksMarathon


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!


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.

Fantastical Fall Racing


The merry go round continues

With less than 5 weeks to go until the Asheville City Marathon, training continues along the right path, and sometimes feels repetitive like riding a carousel.  Last week was a shorter distance week for my training plan.  This week cranks back up a bit.  I managed 4 runs with a busy schedule last week.  I ran 24 miles total.  That was following a long run of 15 miles that concluded the week prior.  Today will start out with a 10 miler, and the week will end with a 17 miler over the long weekend.  Overall mileage for the week will likely near 40.  I am ready, I feel pretty good.  Except the the nagging corn on have on the base of my pinky toe on my right foot.  That thing is annoying as hell!  I have to dig it up, and cut around it with nail clippers at least once a week.  I just don’t think it will truly go away until I take a few weeks off.  That is not happening anytime soon.

My mileage for the month of August so far has been right where I want it to be.  Following 108 miles in July, I am on track for about 130-140 this month.  Before today’s 10 miles, my mileage stands at 94.  It makes me feel pretty confident in being able to knock out this extremely busy Fall schedule I have lined up.  It all begins with a Half Marathon on 9/21….


Yes, the Johnson Lexus Half is now just 26 days away.  This is my next race, and final warm up to my first marathon of the Fall season in Asheville.  Thanks to some odd luck, and maybe the planets aligning just right, I am able to spend a few extra days enjoying the mountain city of Asheville on my upcoming trip.  Originally I planned on driving up on Friday, hitting the Expo, getting a healthy dinner, waking up the next morning, running the marathon, and then driving the four hours back home.  Now the plan is to find better, and more relaxing accommodations, and stay the weekend, returning home on Monday.  These plans are still up in the air, trying to nail them down in the next day or two.


Be good to me Asheville!

Once returning home from Asheville, I will have less than a week to prepare for RunRaleigh Half on 10/6.  This is a great course in downtown Raleigh, using nice portions of the greenways.  Last time I raced this course, I finished in 1:40:21.  Pretty sure I won’t be able to crank out that speed the week following a marathon, but I’ll give it a good go!

Two weeks after that is the Bull City Race Fest.  This will be a first time race for me, and should be a lot of fun.  This event also includes a Food Truck Rodeo afterward, so how could I pass this one up?  Plus, I signed up for this race months ago when it was ultra cheap!  I’ve heard the course is pretty hilly, so it should be right up my alley.


I hope they have bumper stickers to give away!

Just a week later is another Half Marathon in Wake Forest.  Another hilly race, and fun because it is Halloween themed.  Last year I ran this race injured, PF flair up, and I am looking forward to running it healthy this year.  The racing calendar closes out for the year with a bang!  A real one, two punch!!!  Two marathons, in 14 days.  The Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon….on 11/3.


Hometown run

…..and then the last minute addition to my 2013 calendar, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon on 11/17!


Downtown Vegas neon

I am so excited for each and every one of these races!  I am very pleased with how my body has held up this year with all of the training, and distance racing I have already done.  If all goes according to plan, I will wrap up 2013 in Vegas, with 9 Halves, and 5 Full’s.  That will exceed my 2013 goal of 13.  A real cause for celebration, and a great lead in to 2014.   I have my sights set on a few races already in 2014.  A Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon here at home on my 44th Birthday, another crack at the Blue Ridge Marathon, and a beach Marathon early in the year.  The rest will come into focus soon enough.  My concentration now has to be the successful completion of a great year of running for me.

How are you coming along with your 2013 goals?  Will you meet or exceed them?

Two Marathons in 14 days!


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!


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.


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….