Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh: Race Recap

23 Apr

When I heard that the Rock ‘n Roll Series was bringing a half marathon to my home state I was so excited and had to sign up! I talked my mom into signing up for the race as well and actually paid my dad’s entry for his birthday present so all three of us were able to run which was so great!

Pre-Race

Since the race was being held 20 minutes from our house we decided not to get a hotel and just leave extra early from home. Of course just because downtown Raleigh is 20 minutes from our house doesn’t mean it only took 20 minutes. We ended up leaving home at 5am and parked the car downtown at 6:20… an hour and 20 minutes later! Traffic was horrible once we hit Raleigh, which is why we decided to park in the first place we saw which was a bank that was charging $5 for the day. We figured that would be cheaper than anything closer to the start line so we went ahead and took it.

On the way to the start line we found the immense line of port-a-potties lined up for runners to use and the line of people that were formed in front of them. We ended up waiting in line for about 30 minutes to use the port-a-potties but we figured that was better than starting the run and than having to stop later on to use them on the route.

Once we got to our corral I ended up running into two of my camp friends who were rooting on one of their mom’s in the race. I was surprised that I actually found them before the run… with 12,000 runners plus even more spectators I never thought I would spot them in the crowd. That was certainly a nice surprise!

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Start time was 7am but by the time our corral got to the  start line it was nearly 7:40 so we had plenty of time for pre-race photos!

Me and my parents! <3

Me and my parents! <3

Me & my dad getting ready for out run!

Me & my dad getting ready for out run!

Because downtown Raleigh is so crammed the line of runners from the start line had to curve around a couple blocks! I’m not sure I’ve ever been to a race that wasn’t a straight shot to the start line. It was a bit intimidating just because it made it look like we were farther away from the start line than we really were.

In our corral and no sign of the start line...

In our corral and no sign of the start line…

We ended up crossing the start line about 30 minutes after the race started, which isn’t bad for such a huge half marathon!

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Race

I was really excited for this race for the mere fact that the Rock ‘n Roll series is really good about putting live music at each mile! That’s one of the things I love about this running company! I usually don’t carry my iPod with me because my earphones get on my nerves while I run, so it’s nice when I do a big run like this and they provide music along the course. I have to say, I was a little disappointed with the live music on this course though. Some of it wasn’t even upbeat!! It’s so hard for me to keep a steady pace when I don’t have upbeat music to keep me going, so to have slow music surrounding me… it wasn’t very encouraging unfortunately.

There were some pretty good bands along the course, not every mile was slower music. Within the first mile of the run there was a band playing atop a bridge which was pretty cool! It was different but very cool!

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There were a few other neat bands that played but I didn’t get any photos of them… I was too busy getting my pace up while I had the music to run to. :)

What I LOVED about this race was that they put up a lot of encouraging messages along the course which was so great to read along the way! I am all about encouraging words and to have them to read on a 13.1 mile run was genius! Here are some of my favorites.

Own every mile Celebrate every moment

Own every mile
Celebrate every moment

One day I will not be able to do this Today is not that day

One day I will not be able to do this
Today is not that day

Chuck Norris never ran a half marathon

Chuck Norris never ran a half marathon

I have to say, once I hit mile 8 the rest of the race went by pretty quickly (thank goodness since I wasn’t as prepared for this race as I should have been). The hills were the worst part! I remember the first half marathon I ran in Raleigh… I vowed never to run another half in Raleigh ever again because the hills were so incredibly horrible to make it through! Once I saw that the Rock ‘n Roll series was bringing a race to Raleigh though I couldn’t pass that up! Plus it was a great birthday present for my Dad!!

In mile 8 or 9

In mile eight or nine

Once we got to about mile eight they did a great job directing the marathoners to go one way and the half marathoners to go the other way. Honestly they prepped us for it for at least 1/4th of a mile I would say! That’s one of my biggest fears when running joint races like this.. that I’ll accidentally run 26.2 miles instead of 13.1. Knowing me though, once I got to 14 or 15 miles I’d think, “Well, I’ve already gone this far… lets go all the way!” Probably wouldn’t be the smartest idea but once I start something I hate to quit!

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They even had a handful of volunteers at the split checking bibs to make sure you ran the right way! I love it!!

After the split we hit mile 10 where we ran through an absolutely gorgeous part of Raleigh! We were out of the hustle and bustle downtown part and instead ran through a more relaxed few miles. It was so nice to have all those trees around to have a bit of shade for awhile. That was a nice refresher from the beating sun!

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It wasn’t long before we got back into downtown and were on our way to the finish line! While on one of the last bridges that we crossed over there was an amazing sign from fleet feet!

So creative!!

So creative!!

Post Race

I ended up crossing the finish line at 3:20:40. Not my greatest by far… and most certainly was far off from my goal time… but it is what it is. At least I finished, right?

My two camp friends who I ran into at the start of the race saw me right after I crossed the finish line so, after I grabbed some fruit and gatorade, I went to hang out with them until I could see my parents come towards the finish. By the time I made it through the after race line of munchies and walked back to the finish line with my friends it wasn’t long before my mom and dad crossed the finish line and were rewarded with their medals!

I also ran into my other camp friend, Nike, after the finish line who I ran The Color Run with back in October! This was her first half marathon!

Me and Nike after the finish!

Me and Nike after the finish!

Once I met up with my parents we ended to the side of the crowd to get some celebratory photos!

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I’m so proud of both my parents for running hard and keeping motivated to finish this run! I know none of us were as prepared for it as we should have been but we all finish strong! As soon as we got home my dad didn’t take long to start bugging us about, “when’s our next half marathon?!?!?!” This was his first half marathon in about three years, I could tell me missed it and he is so eager to get back into running!

I love the Rock ‘n Roll series races and would suggest any of them to runners… just watch out for the hills!

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I ran this race for my running buddy through ‘I run for…’, what an inspiration she is for me to keep going!

Every mile for you, Sara! <3

Every mile for you, Sara! <3

 

 

Motivational Monday

21 Apr

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This is so simple but I love it! Sometimes its the simplicity of something that makes it mean more!

Boston: One Year Later

15 Apr

One year ago today two bombs went off at the Boston Marathon changing the lives of many! It’s so hard to think that so many of those people are still struggling to recover today from their injuries.

I’ve learned many things from running but one of the biggest things I’ve learned is that once you start running you are part of the family, the running community, the circle of other runners all over the world. I feel so fortunate to be able to share my love for fitness with my friends and family but that’s only part of it… I love the encouragement and inspiration I get from readers I don’t even know! It’s such an incredible feeling when you comment back and forth and read each others journey and you really feel like you know this individual.

That’s why it was so heartbreaking when I heard about the bombing at the Boston Marathon a year ago. I didn’t personally know the three lives that were taken or the people who were injured but they were part of this running community. The runners who were killed and injured trained hard for this race and had no idea what was about to happen. Today I keep all those runners in my thoughts and prayers!

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Motivational Monday

14 Apr

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I had to keep this in mind this weekend as I ran the Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh Half Marathon! If you can walk, you can run!

New Food of the Month – March!

2 Apr

A few days ago I shared that it’s been really hard for me to find new fruits and vegetables that I haven’t tried. I found a handful of new foods at Harris Teeter late last week and ended up buying a starfruit to try… which honestly wasn’t too bad!

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When I got to the grocery store last week and found the starfruit I had to pull out my cell phone to look up how to pick a good starfruit. One person walking by was starring at me as I was browsing the internet while starring at the fruit stands but I wanted to make sure I bought a good one for my first try!

The website I found had five main steps in picking and caring for your starfruit:

1. Figure out the color starfruit you want. At first when reading this I thought, “Starfruit is all the same color! What does this mean??” Looking closer at the handful of starfruit on the stand at the store I noticed that some are more yellow and some are more green which meant that I THAN had to look up the difference between the yellow and the green. What I found was that the yellow ones are sweeter where as the green ones are more acidic. I prefer sweet taste, I definitely have a sweet tooth, so I went for more of a yellow one.

2.  Pick larger star fruits for more of a sweet taste. Smaller fruits won’t taste as sweet. So of course I went for a larger (more yellow) starfruit!!

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3. Look for firm starfruit. Your starfruit shouldn’t have any blemishes, bruises or cuts in it. That can mean there are bad spots in the fruit (much like apples or pears). The one I picked had a few brown stops on it but there were more on the edges so I didn’t think it would make a huge difference in the taste of the fruit.

4. Store fruit in the fridge. I figured this since it’s much like other fruit. Two days went by between the day I bought it and the day I ate it and keeping it in the fridge probably kept it fresher during that time.

5. Cut and enjoy! A few days after buying my starfruit I was ready to cut into it and try it for the first time…. I had to first figure out how to prepare it. Much like the pomegranate I tried in January, it was a bit more complicated than I had imagined.

After rinsing my starfruit, I had to cut the ends off than cut the corner of each of the points of the star.

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After that, it was pretty simple as I just had to slice it like I would an onion or a banana. I love the star shape to this fruit!!! It truly makes eating it SO much better!!

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Once you slice it you have to make sure to pick out the seeds. They aren’t harmful to eat but, much like apple seeds, it’s better to not eat them. There was only one thing left to do… FINALLY TRY STARFRUIT!!!

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I’ve read that starfruit taste like apples or pears, a bit sweet but still has that citrus taste to it. I found that it tasted more like a pear than anything at first but the more I ate it I realized it taste like a watered down apple. It wasn’t bad but I think I can safely say it’s not my favorite fruit. These are so good for you though so I may end up buying them again in the future, if they weren’t so expensive I feel like I would buy them more often. :/

Any suggestions of what I should try next?

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Motivational Monday

31 Mar

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The Search For New Foods

29 Mar

One of my New Years goals is to try a new food each month. At first I thought, “This will be easy! There are SO many foods I haven’t tried yet!”… three months in these are my thoughts, “I’VE TRIED EVERYTHING!!!”

Being a vegetarian I don’t eat any meat or seafood so I’m trying to focus my new foods on fruits and vegetables this year… part of the whole eating healthy goal as well. In January I tried Pomegranate for the first time. It was very sweet and a bit hard to get into but worth the try. I missed eating a new food in February (the month just got away from me!) and than March came. For the past 28 days I’ve been trying to think of foods I’ve never tried before and I’ve finally found it!

As I was at Harris Teeter tonight I found SO MANY new fruits I am so excited to try! I seriously wanted to buy them all and try everyone of them tonight… but limited myself to only one. I ended up buying a starfruit. I’ve heard of them a lot and have seen them quite a few times in the store but it’s not something I grew up with in the house (probably because they are expensive, just like pomegranate). I haven’t gotten into it yet but I’m excited to try it this weekend!

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I also found this fruit called pepino sitting next to the starfruit. I’ve never seen it before! Maybe that will be next months new food.

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I ALSO found these melons that are suppose to be super good! Again, I’ve seen them around but have never bought them! They are called a horned melon… the names fits so well!

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The last exotic fruit that I saw were these small packaged fruits called kumquats. My dad said he saw them a lot in Florida growing in his backyard when he was younger. He said they are a little sweet and taste a bit like pears… I bet I will love these!!

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kumquat up close.. looks good!

kumquat up close.. looks good!

 

I can’t wait to get into my starfruit this weekend!!!! I’m glad I now know I can go to Harris Teeter to find new and exciting fruit to try!

Has anyone tried any of these fruits? Suggestions for other fruits or vegetables to try please!!!

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