November 12th was the day! RDC was going to be my comeback marathon. Charleston was such a disaster and Oak Island wasn’t too much better. I was determined to fuel well and really give it my all. I had certainly trained well all year so there was no reason RDC shouldn’t go very smoothly.
Ron and I were ready to run! Ron the half and me the full.
Let me step back a minute and let you know about RDC, Raleigh – Durham – Chapel Hill. This was the first year for this marathon. The route was almost exclusively on the American Tobacco Trail. We practice all the time on this trail with my run club. It is almost completely flat! Here are a few of my favorite training run shots. The first and last one are on the ATT but I think that middle one was on a greenway maybe around the lake at Koka Booth Amphitheater. That’s me and Connie in the first picture and I’m with Deanna in the middle. Me and Connie again and more friends from our run club in the last one.
RDC was a great race! I liked that it was local and that they were raising money to help find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
The race expo was held at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. It was a very cold day and the expo was very small but it was well run. I liked the shirt okay and they gave out a nice sweatshirt. Here I am a few hours after the race all showered up and sporting the swag. The medal was great!
The night before the race we were at home so I was able to easily eat my normal night before a long run meal. I had a Quorn chicken cutlet and baked Japanese purple potato. My good friend Claudia swears by a small meal similar to this and she runs a race just about every weekend. I tested this before my 23 miler and my 18 miler and those runs went very well.
I really wanted to do well in this marathon but I knew I had to be realistic. All the numbers from my training runs pointed to me doing between a 5:15 and a 5:30 full. So, I decided to hook up with the 5:25 pacer as early as possible. I knew I had to keep it slow in the beginning if I had any hopes of finishing strong.
Here I am with Charlotte. She was the 5:25 pacer and I hung with her from around mile 1 until mile 23.
Charlotte wears a costume in all of her marathons and I remembered her from Charleston. She wore a Southern Bell costume in that race that was so awesome. Complete with a parasol and everything. This costume was the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland and she wasn’t gonna let us be late!
Around mile 23 I slowed down a bit to put my earbuds back in my fuel belt and she got a little away from me. I caught back up with her but something happened and my legs just wouldn’t move any more. I was still running but I kept slowing down more and more.
I smiled and told her to go on and she did and she finished the race right on her 5:25 pace. She was so sweet to stick around and cheer me in when I came in 11 minutes later. That’s right. I finished in 5:36 and lost a full 11 minutes in the last 3 miles! So bummed!
I’m really thankful to Charlotte though because up until mile 23 I had a great race! I felt wonderful! Not a smidgen of pain anywhere and I was all smiles the entire course. Even after I slowed down, I still had a good run. So many of my friends were on the course racing and it was a beautiful day. It was a little cold but not too bad and the day was sunny with no wind.
I’m excited for Charlotte because she has been trying to run a marathon in all 50 states and will be able to achieve this goal in April of 2018. She’s running the Garmin Marathon Land of Oz in Olathe, Kansas. They have the Wizard of Oz theme and Charlotte has a lot of costumes planned. She told me about this article that was in the news about her and I found it. Click here and learn more about my awesome pacer!
Here I am at the finish with my good friends Connie (on the right) and Deanna (on the left.)
Connie has been trying to run a sub 5:00 full for some time and she knocked it out of the park! Deanna was in beast mode too and finished this marathon only 3 weeks after running the Marine Corps Marathon.
RDC is a great marathon and I might consider it again next year. I love that it is so flat and even though you are on the American Tobacco Trail for practically all 26 miles, you will have a little crowd support.
Ron gives RDC 2 big thumbs up. He had a great half marathon and loved waiting around for me due to the fact that they had an awesome craft beer on tap!
Happy Running friends!