Saturday my college roommate Amanda and her husband Scott hit up the race expo to pick up our timing chips, bib and race swag. There’s always good shopping and deals but I have to the say this was the largest and nicest expo I’ve ever been to! I also saw this hunky Garmin rep, (Anthony), being interviewed by WRAL news! The station was covering the event and showcasing some cutting age technology for runners so Anthony got to share some of the new items Garmin just launched. Post expo we grilled up dinner at the house and all got to bed early knowing race morning would hear some early alarms.
The Rock n Roll Half Marathon and Marathon took place this morning in downtown Raleigh. It has seemed so far away for so many weeks so now I can’t believe it’s over! There were training plan snafus for all three friends running this with me so of the four of us, that a few months ago were all going to run the full marathon, three of us completed the half marathon today and one was unable to compete due to injury.
My college roommate, Amanda, and I were dropped off at 6am and I’m glad we were local and knew side roads. We passed miles of traffic trying to park so we were thankful for a smooth drop off! After hitting the bathrooms twice we hopped in our corral (9 of 24). At about 7:20am we crossed the start line and jogged the whole race side by side! Having trained on portions of the course, mainly between what were miles six and nineteen, I knew it would be hilly. I still underestimated just how hilly it would be. The entire thing was extremely hilly and there were about three climbs where I walked in order to keep my heart rate in check. Even without pregnancy this would be a very uncomfortable event to truly race.
The temperature also climbed quickly up to 75 degrees so we stopped at every aid station and took water and Gatorade. At about mile seven I had a snack too. Unfortunately, at nearly mile eleven we rounded a corner and there was a group of medics performing chest compressions on a man. Come to find out from a friend who was about twenty minutes ahead of us this man had been undergoing CPR for quite a while as she had seen him too. Now as I write this we have learned two half-marathoners lost their life. More will come out as they learn if it was heat-related, heart related, etc. but I nearly fainted and had to grab Amanda’s arm. It was very, very disturbing to see. The second runner who passed away was nearly steps from the finish when we passed him which was equally sad as the thousands of finish line spectators were witness to the efforts of EMS trying to save his life. It’s a reminder to run smart and when the weather is warm or your body is saying no, listen!
Back to more lighthearted news…..so overall Amanda and I finished in 2:16 (2:13 if you take out the bathroom breaks according to my watch) so almost a perfect 10:00 minute/mile pace. This is a half hour slower than my normal time which is right what I had predicted. I’m very pleased with my race and making sure to run smart, have fun, get in great girl chat time, people watching and overall enjoy being healthy enough to participate.
Post race we met up with Anthony and Scott who were great cheerleaders. We grabbed chocolate milk (duh!), a slice of pizza and icy neck towels before heading home. After showering we were treated to Cheesecake Factory for lunch!