Half Mary

I am running the Raleigh Half Marathon this Sunday and because of that, I remembered this post.  I’ve had it in draft status since back in March but I never posted it.  I like to keep race recaps so I can refer back to them and that is my sole purpose for posting tonight.  So sorry for the extreme lateness.  I just had to get it up before I have another race to recap.

The Tobacco Road Half and Full Marathon was held on St. Patrick’s Day. The expo was very well organized and quite fun.

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I loved the race shirt and they even gave out a pair of very soft running socks!

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Because I have a big superstition of never wearing a race shirt until I actually run the race, I needed something green to wear. The expo had plenty of green shirts to choose from.

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Here are my expo purchases:

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I ended up buying the shirt and a new pair of shorts. I had not tried the Runner Girl brand of shorts before but I can now report that they are absolutely AWESOME! Best running shorts I’ve ever had.

I also got a new Fuel Belt pouch for my phone. I really like it and my new iPhone fits very well. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that really fast runners do not wear fuel belts at all. I was running with a good friend for a few miles near the middle of the race and she pointed out to me that every marathoner that we were seeing, did not carry anything! I had one water bottle, one gel, and my phone. My friend had all 4 water bottles. I think I’m going to enjoy my phone pouch and water bottles on my training runs but I’m going to wean myself off of depending on them during races. They really aren’t necessary anyway. Most races have plentiful water stops. I might still carry a spare gel when I do a marathon again but other than that, I’m going beltless.

The race began at Brooks Park in Cary, NC.

This facility was very nice but it did not have enough parking spaces for all of the runners. You could buy a parking pass for $5.00 if you were lucky enough to snag one of the limited numbers of them. Since I signed up so late for the race, I had to take option #2 and park at a remote site and ride the bus in.

No worries there though. I knew exactly where the remote site was. The bus was warm and comfortable and was only a very short ride to the race start.

I arrived in plenty of time and got to stretch and relax a bit before it was time to line up.

My only problem was I forgot my Garmin. I was so bummed.

I had decided earlier in the week that I was really going to try and run faster than my Myrtle Beach time of 2:21. I had an idea that I would hook up with the 2:15 pace group. I knew this would be important especially since I didn’t have my Garmin.

The beginning of the race was very crowded and I didn’t see a single pace group leader.

I was in trouble.

However, I did spy a group of Galloway runners that I knew from my summer running program. I knew they were shooting for a 2:10 so I ended up tagging along with them for the first 6 miles.

This was torture. I know the Galloway method works for a lot of people but you have to run so fast during your running intervals to make up for when you walk, I just can’t do it. Also, my walk is incredibly slow and the group would get so far ahead of me when they were walking. I had to start running a little before they would each time just to keep up with them.

I wanted so bad to stay with them but I gave up around mile 6. About this time, I saw the 2:15 pace group so I decided to run steady and keep them in my sights.

This went on pretty good for a bit but I think all that fast interval running in the beginning really did me in. Slowly the 2:15ers slipped farther and farther ahead of me.

This is where I met up with another Galloway friend. She was running intervals but not a set interval pattern. She was just walking a bit every now and then. Maybe every other time or so that her watch beeped. This was heaven for me. We talked and talked and I enjoyed miles 7ish to 10ish the best of all.

I could sense that I was slowing down so I bid my friend adieu and encouraged her to go on ahead of me. I told her I was fine and to enjoy her race.

When I was all by myself, I ended up slowing way down and walking quite a bit more. The 2:30 pace group passed me and my heart sank.

Where was my 2:21 from just a month ago?

Just as I was turning the corner to head to the finish line, a policeman on a motorcycle came up beside me. I knew why he was there. He was the escort for the leader of the marathon.

My friends, let me tell you. When that lead marathoner passed me, it was if he was on cruise. His running seemed effortless. Just as if he was out for a little run around the block.

He passed me and finished just a little bit ahead. He had run almost exactly twice as fast as I did. 26.2 miles in the time it took me to run 13.1. So inspiring!

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My time in the end was 2:25. Not too shabby. However, looking back on the race, I think I would have had a lot more fun if I could just get the thoughts of time out of my head. I don’t know how I’m ever going to do this. I know this is my pitfall. Correcting it is easier said than done.

The day before the race, I saw the below on Facebook.

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Why did I forget this awesome philosophy?

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I am chasing my goal 2:09 half time but I am positive I will be no where near that on Sunday.  I’d also love to PR and beat my 2:18 from City of Oaks.  However, it’s probably going to be a miracle to get anywhere near the 2:25 from Tobacco or 2:21 from Myrtle Beach.  How about I just Run Raleigh and have fun and leave my Garmin at home?  Can I do it?

3 thoughts on “Half Mary

  1. Hey there! Congrats on a great race! I just came across your blog as I was searching for Tobacco Road recaps. I’m a current Raleigh Galloway runner and just wanted to let you know that this year they are doing a Winter program that starts in December if you are interested! Cheers!

  2. Thanks Rose. I will definitely look into the Winter program. I have missed Galloway! Did you do Run Raleigh this past Sunday? And did I see on your blog that you are doing Bull City next weekend? I am. I’m looking forward to it. I really love racing. :)

  3. I did not do Run Raleigh this weekend. I wanted to but ultimately decided not to. I am doing the 5 miler at Bull City next weekend. I’ve done the half the past two years and it is just not my favorite course.

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