Tuesday, April 18, 2017

2017 Raleigh Rock 'N' Roll Race Recap-Part II

Sunday morning came quickly for the Raleigh RNR half marathon.  We were up and on our way to the convention center by 5:30 am.  Parking was easy and we waited in the hotel lobby. I have never seen such a huge line for the Starbucks along with the bathrooms.
 About 30 minutes before race time, we met our friends from the social meet-up.  It was fun to see the girls again and everyone was psyched for the race!

I started about 7:45 am and was off.  First, I hadn't run through this part of Raleigh and it was lovely. The course was flat at this point so it was easy going.  I saw this fun yard about two and half miles into the race course.   What a laugh!
I can't imagine what their neighbors say about this.

At mile four, there was a group of older ladies baton twirling and having fun, cheering on the runners.  It was great to see this group who looked as though they were having more fun than the runners. 
The bands along the course were also fabulous.  I knew that between mile six and seven, there was a huge hill.  I came up on that hill and remembered it from the  City of Oaks 10k.  The top of that hill was the finish line for that 10k which was my first race in my new home state of North Carolina.

We started toward North Carolina State and a beautiful part of Raleigh.  I saw the outdoor theater and the rose gardens-beautiful.  I can only imagine what they look like when they are in bloom.  As I came around a corner heading toward the NC State Bell Tower,  I saw the Brooks guitar guy.

I started to jump up and down with excitement!  This wasn't up in Washington, DC due to high winds and I was disappointed so it was great to see it!  Again, the band and music were amazing.

Off to run through NC State and head back toward Dorothea Dix Parks.  Now, I know that I was in the home stretch.  I saw this great sign at mile 12 and had someone take my picture.  However, they dropped my phone and the screen is cracked.
Accidents happen. :(  I was a bit disappointed and it was hard for me to stay motivated.  I also knew looking at my Garmin Vivoactive that my time would be much better than two weeks earlier in DC.  That kept  my motivation knowing that I would PR by about 15-20 minutes!

As I came to the home stretch of the last 3/4 of a mile, I saw one of my running groups,  Raleigh Running Nutz photographers and she took my picture while cheering me on!
I felt exhilarated coming into the finish line because I knew that I had a huge PR...15 minutes!!  The smile on my face was amazing and I felt great! 

Afterwards, it was getting my medal for my I run for buddy, Andrew and wait for Joe.  The runners' village was wonderful with all the food (bananas, pretzels, water and Gatorade along with chips and granola bars) along with free beer.  I grabbed my beer while waiting for Joe. The band Cracker was playing and it was great plus having seats at the stadium was wonderful!
He finished his full marathon in just under 4 hours-AMAZING!  He helped me take some pictures with the Raleigh Acorn. 

And then we headed home because I had to get him to the airport.  After all, this weekend couldn't have been better.  Like I said in Part I, amazing friends, food, music-what more could I ask for in a running weekend!  I look forward to attending the Raleigh Rock 'N' Roll race weekend next year and I'll see if it can be better!

Till next time and remember, my journey continues...If you can dream it, you can do it as Walt Disney said!

Disclaimer:  As a Rock-N-Blogger, I received a complimentary global tour pass, which I used as entry for this race.  As always, the opinions are my own. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

2017 Rock 'N' Roll Raleigh Race Recap - Part I

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of running the Rock 'N' Roll series here in Raleigh.  I decided to do the Remix Challenge (5K on Saturday followed by the half marathon on Sunday).  What can I say about this weekend except old friends, new friends, fun times, social meet-ups, spaghetti dinner and PR!  There is so much to share about this amazing weekend!

I had a fellow RockNBlog blogger say with me.  Joe (Instagram-run8va or http://run8va.com/) is wonderful.  He arrived Thursday evening after I extended him a place to stay for the weekend.  He taught me new things about blogging, garmin apps for my watch along with sharing his fabulous running life!  I also had good friends arrive on Friday and we arranged to meet for dinner.

After work on Friday, I quickly hurried to downtown Raleigh to the convention center for the Expo. It was your typical RNR expo except much smaller than the one in Washington, DC a couple of weeks ago. Upon arriving, the entrance was decorated with balloons.  Pretty cool!  I met Joe and we were off to see the expo.   I was on a quest to get a Sporthooks medal rack since my birthday followed the weekend.  It was a present from my sons.  Unfortunately, they didn't have any at the expo.  I was a bit disappointed but I quickly recovered upon going to the Balega display.  I ran into Dan once again and we joked that people would be talking-the new silver Balega socks were available! :)

I also saw all the medals that I would be earning!
My favorite part of the expo was Sir Walter Raleigh dressed up as a runner with a guitar!  Being the nerd girl that I am, I absolutely loved it.

 I picked up my race packets for the 5k and the half marathon and it was off to dinner.
I had agreed to meet my friends from home at the  The Player's Retreat for dinner which is a Raleigh tradition since 1951.  It was wonderful to see Patti and Paul and we all had a fabulous dinner.
 Home and get ready for the 5K tomorrow.  I had to figure out my flat me for the races as I had never done back to back races before.  Difficult but fun decisions.

Saturday morning came quickly.  I had to dash off to work right after the 5k so I was concerned about the timing for everything but it worked out well.  The 5k was held at Dorothea Dix Park.  Parking was available at the convention center with buses about two blocks away.  It was an easy travel to the park and arrival left plenty of time before the race started.

 The 5k started on time with the course through the park.  The park setting is the headquarters for the Health and Human Headquarters for the city of Raleigh and used to be a mental health hospital.  Raleigh purchased the park with plans to make it into a premier park for the city.  The course was lovely with only one hill. You can see the city of Raleigh from the park.
 I finished with enough time to catch a shuttle, pick up my car and head into work.

After work, it was back to the convention center for the We run social meetup.  I was one of the cohosts and looking forward to this even though I didn't quite know what to expect.  We run social is a cult following of the running community and encourages social meet-ups of people who have a shared passion of running and races.  It was held at the Starbucks at the Convention Center. When I arrived, there was a band playing outside. What a blast!
 I met so many new friends and we had wonderful conversations, shared race stories and social sharing of blogs and Instagram accounts.  I hope to run into these amazing running friends in the future and in the meantime, I will follow them on their social media.  I would strongly encourage you to follow them.

Ashley on https://www.smashthebaymiles.com/ or Instagram (smashlybink)
Rebecca on Instagram (nomadrunner)
Jamie on Instagram (thewholejaimo)
Jenn on Instagram (adventuringrunner)
Jason on http://www.jayknightlife.com/ or Instagram (jayknightlife)

After the meetup, Joe and I attended the spaghetti dinner in downtown Raleigh.  This was hosted by Gravy in the street in front of the Raleigh Times.  They closed down the street  for the dinner and there was music by Adam Pitts.  The dinner was $10 and the proceeds went to the YMCA Triangle Raleigh.  It was fun while the food and company were fabulous.

Aftewards, it homeward bound and getting ready for the half marathon on Sunday.  I laid out my flat me and headed to bed.

Stay tuned for part two of this amazing weekend!  Till next time and remember, my journey continues...If you can dream it, you can do it as Walt Disney said!

Disclaimer:  As a Rock-N-Blogger, I received a complimentary global tour pass, which I used as entry for this race.  As always, the opinions are my own. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Thankful Thursday - Race Ambassadorships and Discounts

This has been an exciting week for me.  I received two race ambassadorships!  One is a returning ambassadorship that I have been privileged to be a "founding finisher" and the other is a new ambassadorship.

I was chosen to be an Esprit de She ambassador for the fourth year.  I started my journey with them my first year running and it is a true honor to be a part of this women's only race series.  I love this series and it is one of the reasons why I knew about my new hometown of Cary, NC.  The Esprit de She race series offers a bubbly bar and a beauty bar.  Last year, we also had a full buffet of different types of food in the runner's village. I also received a cute running outfit as part of the swag-not just a shirt.  I love the spirit of this race series as it encourages women at any level to get out there and be fit and healthy. 

You can receive a $5.00 off discount by using the code GEDS17CARYKALL.  I hope to see you at the race in Cary, NC. 

My new ambassadorship is with the Zooma race series.  I am so excited to be a part of this wonderful women's only race series.  I was shocked to receive the ambassadorship because I have never run one of their races but have only heard wonderful things about them.  Again, this race series encourages women to be fit and healthy at any level.  Their swag is wonderful along with their medals.  They also have an amazing podcast on their website.  I recently started listening to this while I run-they are fabulous! 

There are four races in the Zooma series.  I will be doing the Annapolis race virtually and attending the Florida race.  I'm so blessed to have this new journey in my running career.  I hope to have a discount code to share in the next couple of days so please look to my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media for this code. 

I hope to have the pleasure to see you at these races-please introduce yourself as I would love to meet you and hearing about your healthy journeys. I am truly blessed in my running career.

  Till next time and remember, my journey continues...If you can dream it, you can do it as Walt Disney said!

Monday, March 20, 2017

2017 Rock 'n' Roll DC Half Marathon Recap

This was my second time running the Rock-N-Roll DC half marathon.  I knew from last year what to expect both at the expo and the race course but I wasn't prepared for the cold of the weekend.  I moved from the Baltimore, MD to Cary, NC last Fall so I'm now a southern gal.  This southern gal doesn't like the cold weather anymore.

I arrived in Washington, DC on Friday and headed right to the expo.  The lines were long waiting outside due to security but once you were inside, it wasn't crowded.  I took pictures at the Chocolate Milk Booth, saw my Brooks representative from Maryland and looked around at the Brooks merchandise.

Then I went to Charm City Run booth to check out the Balega socks and see my representative as a Balega Impi.  I met Dan last year and it was fun to see him again.

I picked up my Tour Pass and proceeded to spend more time at the expo.

The expo was smaller this year but equally as fun.  I left the expo and drove to Baltimore to stay with friends.  Needless to say, I had to stop and pick up some cold weather gear because what I had packed I thought wouldn't keep me warm enough. An email was sent out to forewarn of the cold weather but I thought that it wouldn't be that cold!  Friday night was brutally cold!  After dinner, I laid out my flat me and headed to bed since race morning always come too early.

Saturday morning, we were up and on the way to Washington, DC by 6 am.
After arriving and parking, we hopped on the Metro and found our way to the start line.  After some pictures and using the bathroom, I tried to find the meetup for the RockNBlog but didn't have any success. I saw the dinosaurs again this year.  Who can pass up a picture opportunity like this!
 I really don't know how they run in those costumes and saw them several times on the course.   I lined up in the corral trying to stay warm. 
Luckily, the race started on time and I was off.  The first couple of miles I was still cold but once I ran past the first band and the Kennedy Center, I was fine.  This race has lots of sights to see and the spectators on the course were great with their signs.  I saw one of my friends with a sign.

Halfway through the race at the end of Rock Creek Park is the blue mile.  It's sponsored by Wear Blue to Remember, a nonprofit running organization that remember fallen service personnel.  It's a hard mile physically and emotionally but well worth every step!

The next couple of miles are through the  Adams Morgan neighborhood while the bands and sites along the course were fabulous.

Around mile nine at Howard University, there is a great women's drum corp,Batala.  This is the third time that I've had the privilege of seeing them in a race.  Wow, are they amazing! They really kept us going with their music!

The last couple of miles, I do admit were hard for me.  I hadn't trained well for this race and my timing was off.  I was tired and cold but kept going.  As I got closer to the DC Armory, I heard another band and the crowds.  I ran with several people that kept me going-one was a 78 year old man and it was his birthday.  Another man was completing his 100th Rock 'N' Roll half marathon!  This kept me going to the finish line! 

The runner's village was superb with having heat wraps, chocolate milk, bananas and granola bars.  After wards, I listened to the music and had a beer but was still really cold so I decided to head to the car.  I had done another half marathon and my third Rock 'N' Roll race!

Another one of the reasons why I love the Rock 'N' Roll races is that when you receive your finisher results, you also receive these awesome badges!  It's just plain fun!

This is an amazing race in Washington, DC due to the race course and the spectators.  I would highly recommend doing this Rock 'N' Roll if you get a chance. If you did the race, what are your thoughts?

Please let me know. Till next time and remember, my journey continues...If you can dream it, you can do it as Walt Disney said!

Disclaimer:  As a Rock-N-Blogger, I received a complimentary global tour pass, which I used as entry for this race.  As always, the opinions are my own. 

2017 Raleigh Rock 'N' Roll Race Recap-Part II

Sunday morning came quickly for the Raleigh RNR half marathon.  We were up and on our way to the convention center by 5:30 am.  Parking was ...