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. 

#RIOTS Week Six and Seven

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