RnR Raleigh Half Marathon RR
Raleigh was another planned marathon I had to let go due to the meniscus surgery, but even the surgeon had estimated in January that I could run this as a half marathon, so the plan was to see how i was doing a couple of weeks prior. With at least three 10 mile runs and back to 50mpw, I suspected I could do it and even planned on doing it for a time. Then, I saw the course elevation and rethought, LOL.
I ran a 14 miler the week prior and had a heavy 51 mpw the week of the race, so I decided that I could run/walk it with my husband better, have fun, do away with the distance and feel better overall. It did help that I registered for the Disney's Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon at the end of April, which is flat and I would be able to race it alone, so that sounded like a better option to race it. Especially since it will be around 12 weeks since my surgery at the time of that race and, according to the surgeon, he expected me to be back to how I was before the surgery by then.
So, we booked a quick trip to Raleigh, stayed at the Sheraton, which turned out to be right by our corral. The start was right in front of the lobby and the hotel was great.
Raleigh is a small city, but it's really very nice. The weather was gorgeous and the people and food were nice. We arrived Saturday at 11:30am, drove to the downtown area and parked in the hotel. After check-in, we went to the expo and grabbed our stuff. I made sure I could still run the Half Marathon without an issue and, although they couldn't change my bib to one for a HM by then, they gave me the OK to run whatever distance I wanted and make it official. We grabbed some lunch at a pub nearby and went to a mall to watch a movie, grabbed a few things for the morning, and just spend some quiet time. We found a nice Mexican Restaurant in downtown where Margaritas were at $2 (OMG, winning!), had some nice food and drinks and were ready for bed by 11pm. Of course, I can't sleep in hotels, so sleep was scarce.
The race started at 7am, so we woke up at 6am to get ready. Since we were staying by the start, there was not much we needed to do so sleeping in was great. The temps was 50F and a bit breezy so we stayed in the lobby until 10 minutes before the start. We were in Corral 6; however, the race is relatively small, so the corrals moved pretty quickly.
Here is us at the start:
And we were off! First thing I notice is the standard knee aches by the calf, IT Band and the lower hamstring, but that usually goes away after the knee warms up. We were doing a 4:1 run/walk ratio, since hubby has been having issues with shin splints and lowered his run/walk, but he has been running the run portions pretty fast, considering. His goal was to remain below 12mm for the whole race. We started a bit slower, as I have been teaching him to start slow and finish fast.
The first mile was pretty flat, and then we had a bunch of rolling hills before a bigger hill around Miles 6-8. After that, the race leveled off pretty well and the hilly portions were not too bad. I was glad I wasn't running the marathon, though, as I felt the hills could do me in at some point.
I had a lot of people telling me through the course how the love the shorts I was wearing, which were new from INKnBURN, so it was nice to run, smile, say thanks and wave. Over and over, LOL. They were really a hit.
Around Mile 7, I noticed the leg/knee was fine and no longer ached at all. We were still having fun but I noticed we were slightly above 12mm, which hubby didn't want to do. So, at Mile 12, I tell him, you are behind on your goal. So, he turned the volume of his iPod higher and started with the Rocky song. I didn't see him again until after the finish. He left me in the dust!
This was the first time he has finished faster than me and by at least a minute. I could still see him the rest of the race but I couldn't catch him. I did sprint and finished Mile 13 at around 10:30mm and had a last sprint for the rest of the 0.23 (that's how long my GPS was) at 9:09mm or thereabouts and my knee didn't care. It was fine. I crossed the finished in 2:35:XX and hubby did somewhere around 2:34 (I have not checked the results yet).
We met at the finish line, grabbed our free beer and hung out a bit since we were staying close by and our flight was leaving at 6pm. The race is very well organized and I would definitely do it again. I missed picking up my marathon finisher jacket from RnR since I didn't run the marathon, but hoping I can go back next year to get it.
Thanks for reading!