Tag Archives: Race

Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Half Marathon Training Update #2

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Medal
(photo courtesy competitor.com)

Update – March 24, 2014 (21 days to Race Day)
As I sit here writing my this training update fresh off an early five mile run, I am coming to grips with the fact that I am not yet ready for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh half marathon that is just three weeks away. Fortunately I am only doing the half marathon and not the full 26.2, but I am not as prepared as I would like to be by this point. I am not discouraged however. This is not my first half marathon and it will not be my last. I know I will be able to finish in under two hours and run injury free, but I need to let go the notion that a personal record (PR) is not within reach at this race. I’m ok with that. This is my first race of 2014 and I am going to have fun with it and use it to propel me into what I plan to make a great spring and summer of running.

Neuse Greenway

Neuse Greenway

Recent Training
The Triangle weather has been all over the map this winter. One day it is a mild 50 degrees and sunny, the next it is 29 and spewing freezing rain. I am a fair weather runner and I let this affect my training sometimes skipping days when it was just “too cold” to run. I’d get a few miles in on the treadmill, but usually no more than 3 miles at a time.  Now that I am in the home stretch I am committed to running four times a week no matter what the weather and making the regular runs 4 to 6 miles. My most recent long run was 9 miles and I am confident I can build up to 11 miles a week before the race and be able to taper into race day with rested legs. I am excited to race in the inaugeral Rock-n-Roll Raleigh race and think this race is just what I needed to kickstart my weekly running regime, albeit a bit later than I planned in the new year.

Bridge on Neuse Greenway

Bridge on Neuse Greenway

Looking Ahead
It is actually a bit of a relief to  know a PR is out of reach. It provides me the luxury the opportunity to take in the full race day experience. I will be relaxed and can take in the sights and sounds of race day. If there was ever a race to enjoy it is this one with the many cool bands that will be set up along the course. I am also planning to carry a small camera with me as I run and will snap some shots during the race to share in a post race recap here on the blog. I may not be as prepared as I had hoped, but I am still very excited to be participating in this race and am looking forward to warmer weather and a great year of running!

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon & Half Marathon is Sunday April 13, 2014. Even if you aren’t planning to race it is sure to be a great event to watch and cheer on the racers. For more information about the race and race day entertainment visit the official website here.

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Ella’s Race ~ 5K & 10K Saturday March 22nd!

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Are you looking for a 5K , 10K or 1 mile fun run this month and want to support a great cause in the process? Well lace up your running shoes for Ella’s Race on Saturday March 22, 2014 hosted by Chick-fil-A Capital Crossing and Falls Village in North Raleigh. The race will benefit The Cure Starts Now and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation to help pediatric research, aid, and support efforts for children with brain cancer & tumors.

The race will include:

The 10K and 5K Race time is 8am. The 1 mile fun walk is at 9:30am. The course will take you through some of the nearby neighborhoods in beautiful North Raleigh. Directly beside the finish line of the race will be a FREE Family FunZone for children under 12 years of age. The Family FunZone will be open from 7:00-10:00AM on event day and will be filled with free activities and inflatables!

Ella’s Story
Ella was diagnosed April 29, 2008 with a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. This is a rare, aggressive, non-operable tumor located in the pons area of the brainstem. The prognosis for this type of tumor is extremely grim. There is no cure, no known effective treatment except for radiation-which, for some, provides only temporary relief of the symptoms.  Ella lost her brave battle on Wednesday, February 8th while at home with her family.

How can you help
Run. Donate. Support. Proceeds of the Chick-fil-A Connect Race Series of Raleigh help organizations fight for children like Ella. Ella’s supporters believe in the work that The Cure Starts Now and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation do. They are partnering to make this race a reality and to save children diagnosed with cancer and brain tumors.

Chance to win FREE Race Registration!
Thanks to my friends at North Raleigh Family Eyecare I have four FREE race geistrations to give away to Triangle Explorer readers! To enter the giveaway just leave a comment below sharing why you like to run. You can also earn additional entries into the drawing by sharing a link to this post about Ella’s Race on Twitter and/or facebook. Be sure to tag me @Trianglexplorer and use the hashtag #EllasRace so I can see you have shared the link. I will select 4 winners randomly on Monday March 17th and notify them by email with the promotional codes. Thank you for helping spread the word about this wonderful cause!

Ella’s Race 2014
When: Saturday March 22, 2014 at 8:00am
Where: Chick-fil-A at Falls Village – 6701 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh, NC
For more information about Ella’s Race and to register visit http://cfaraceseries.com/races/103/

ChickfilA Race Series 1

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon & 1/2 Course Announcement & October 31st Price Increase

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I wanted to post a quick reminder that the registration price for both the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh marathon and half marathon will go up at 11:59pm PDT on October 31st. So if you have been sitting on the fence about signing up now is a great time to make the commitment and save a few bucks in the process. You can register for the race on their website here http://bit.ly/YPQ2hD

Discount Code for Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh
Don’t forget, you can continue to use the unique discount code I’ve been given to share with my Triangle Explorer readers. Save $10 by using the discount code “TRIEXPLORERAL10” when you Register online at the Rock’n’Roll Marathon website. This code will work as long as you register before April 6, 2014 and is good for both the full and half marathon.

Official Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Course Has Been Announced!
You may have also heard last week that official course has been announced. I’ve shared a picture of the course below but you can also view the official course map on their website here and zoom in and out of the various areas of the course to get more details. The course looks great and features tons of sights throughout downtown Raleigh!

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More Information about Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh
Date of Race: Sunday April 13, 2014
Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh website: http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/raleigh
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RnRRaleighNC
Twitter: @RunRocknRoll

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon & Half Training Update #1 and Discount Code!

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Training for my upcoming races has been going well. I was just out on the Neuse Greenway trail yesterday and completed my longest training run to date at 21 miles! It took me a little over 3 hours to complete but I felt strong and injury free. I do have a few races before the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon and Half-Marathon on April 13, 2013, but I have my mind set on this particular race as I work towards my goal of a new personal record for the half marathon distance. I really want to beat my previous half marathon time of 1:53:52 and plan to make this happen at the Rock ‘n’ Roll race.

Training Update #1

Race Training Update #1
Over the past few months I have settled into a nice manageable training program to build a nice base and increase my endurance on longer distances. I typically run 3 times during the week followed by a long run on Saturday. My weekday runs are usually something along the lines of a 5 miler on Tuesday, an 8-9 miler on Wednesday, and then 5 miles on Thursday. I do the majority of my training runs on the Neuse Greenway Trail since I live so close to it and it provides a scenic course to run along the river. I take Friday off to rest then Saturday I do my long run which I slowly increase by 1 mile each week. I’ve also started riding a bike on Mondays to work out the kinks from my weekend long run and it has been doing wonders for my legs. I also have continued my strength training at my local gym, O2 Fitness, by attending at least one or two group exercise classes each week (typically BodyPump).

Big Boss Run Club

Big Boss Run Club

Run Clubs – A fun way to keep motivated!
A big part of my weekday training is participating in local run clubs. These aren’t training clubs in the traditional sense. They are actually social run clubs filled with runners of all levels who are looking to run with likeminded people and socilaize. Two of my favorite social run clubs are the Tuesday night Big Boss Run Club which meets at the Big Boss Brewery just outside of downtown and the Thursday night River Run Club which meets at DeMarco’s Restaurant & Bar in North Raleigh. I’ve met a lot of great people at both clubs and enjoy having people to run with and learning from some of the more experienced runners who are always ready to share their race experiences and training tips. It is also nice to support the great local businesses like Big Boss and DeMarco’s, both of which are awesome hosts to the runners.

Save $13 on Registration October 13th

Save $13 by Registering Today! (October 13th)
If you haven’t singed up for the race yet, you can take advantage of a special discount code when you register on the 13th of the month. Register today (October 13th) with the online code LUCKY13 to receive $13 off your next race entry. Visit the registration page here. In addition to saving $13 keep in mind that you’ll want to register soon to beat the 10/31 price increase.

Rock 'n' Roll Raleigh T-shirt

Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh T-shirt

Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh T-Shirt Giveaway!
The nice people behind Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh were nice enough to send me a few free t-shirts to giveaway on my blog. If you would like one drop me a line at TriangleExplorer at gmail dot com and I will try and coordinate a way to get one to you (possibly by catching up at one of the local run clubs!). Supplies are limited and shirts will be given away in the order I receive requests. If I get any additional shirts or swag items to giveaway I will announce it in future updates.

About the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon & 1/2
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series is a little different from your typical marathon. This race combines a musically themed marathon and half-marathon with live entertainment. It has been described by some as “a 26.2-mile block party.”

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh marathon takes place April 13, 2014 and will feature bands positioned on stages along every mile of the scenic course throughout Raleigh, interspersed with cheerleaders & themed water stations. The running experience is topped off with a finish-line concert downtown featuring a major headline act.The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series has raised more than $283 million for charity in the last 16 years.

Discount Code for Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon & Half Marathon
Reminder: If you don’t take adavantage of the October 13th discount, you can continue to use the unique discount code I’ve been given to share with my Triangle Explorer readers. Save $10 by using the discount code “TRIEXPLORERAL10” when you Register online at the Rock’n’Roll Marathon website. This code will work as long as you register before April 6, 2014 and is good for both the full and half marathon.

More Information about Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh
Date of Race: Sunday April 13, 2014
Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh website: http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/raleigh
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RnRRaleighNC
Twitter: @RunRocknRoll

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I Survived The 9th Annual Krispy Kreme Challenge!

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Costumed runner in the 9th Annual Krispy Kreme Challenge

Well, I did it. I survived the 9th Annual Krispy Kreme Challenge! In case you missed my previous post about this annual race in downtown Raleigh, here are the basics:

The Krispy Kreme Challenge starts with a 2.5 mile run from the NC State Bell Tower on Hillsborough Street to the Krispy Kreme store at the intersection of Peace & Person Street in downtown Raleigh. Once there runners eat a dozen original glazed Krispy Kreme donuts and then run 2.5 miles back to the Bell Tower – all in under one hour. That’s it.

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Competitors prepare to start the race

This was my second time running in the Krispy Kreme Challenge. In 2012 I ran as a “casual runner”, meaning that I wasn’t going to try and eat all the donuts. I did eat 4 and made it back to the finish line in around 45 minutes. I was determined to make 2013 the year I successfully completed the challenge. I arrived to the NCSU Bell Tower early on the morning of race day, Saturday February 9th. I have been training for a few months so I had my running legs with me and an empty stomach. I was ready to go!

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My View from the middle of the pack on race day!

Although this race started out as a wager between a few NCSU students just a few yeas ago, it has now blossomed into a race of over 8,000 runners. I lined up just a few feet back from the starting line, but when the race clock started I was quickly overcome with a swarm of eager runners zipping by me and the field ahead was full of runners zipping down Hillsborough street.

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Runners eagerly racing towards Kripsy Kreme

My plan was to to run a nice moderate 8 minute mile pace that would get me to the Krispy Kreme Store 2.5 miles away in about 20 minutes. Along the way I had to do a little weaving around some of the more casual runners and folks dressed up in costumes. I have to admit that even some of the causal competitors and costumed challengers were faster than me. I didn’t worry about that as I knew that if I stuck with my plan and stayed on pace I would make a good time.

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Competitors hunker down & start eating

Once I arrive at the Krispy Kreme store on Person Street I grabbed my box of donuts from one of the helpful volunteers handing them out from the large piles of boxes laid out on tables along the street. I followed my fellow runners into the Krispy Kreme parking lot where we were surrounded by other runners and a large crowd that had collected to watch the spectacle. I had made the 2.5 mile run just under my goal time of 20 minutes. So far so good!

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My dozen Krispy Kreme donuts!

I found a “quiet” spot in the parking lot and settled in for the eating portion of the race. When I opened my box of donuts I was immediately struck by just how daunting a box of 12 donuts can look when you realize you need to eat them all as quickly as possible. I had heard of the different strategies some people use. Some like to dip the donuts in water to remove the glaze and make them softer. Others smoosh several donuts together and eat several at a time.

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I used the “smoosh” method to eat multiple donuts at one time!

Initially I ate three or four of the donuts as is but quickly realized I was getting full by the sheer volume of the donut, so I opted to try a variation on the smoosh method. I stacked three donuts on top of one another and and used a piece of the donut box (to avoid getting my hands too messy) to mash down the three donuts into a three layer Krispy Kreme donut puck. While dense, I found this to be a good approach.

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Self portrait as I work on my last donut!

As I munched on donuts #5-7 I started to doubt myself and wonder how I could ever finish the rest. Then I had an epiphany. I was really focused on each bite. Which made it a bit grueling. Instead, I started to talk to people around me as I ate, looked at the scene unfolding around me, and even took a few quick pictures. I found that if I distracted myself as I ate that the donuts went down a lot easier. Kind of like the mindless eating we are all guilty of when eating in front of the TV. Ultimately this was the best strategy for me and before I knew it I was down to just one donut. At that point there was no turning back and I ate it right up!

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Competitors show their empty boxes

After finishing my dozen donuts I took a quick look at my watch. It had taken me about 14 minutes to eat the dozen. So my total time was up to 34 minutes into the challenge. It was only then that it dawned on me that with 26 minutes left that I had a very good chance of actually making it back to the finish line in  the remaining 26 minutes in order to complete the challenge in under an hour.

I grabbed my empty box and showed it to the volunteers and tossed it into the pile of discarded boxes as I ran through  the challengers shute  as I headed back to where it all began on Hillsborough Street. I momentarily thought about grabbing a 13th donut from the guy who is always out on the course offering an extra one to runners as a cruel joke (to make it a baker’s dozen), but I thought better of it since I wanted to make sure I finished the race in under an hour.

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Runners approach the finish line!

I felt surprisingly good on the run back to the finish line. Maybe it was the sugar rush or the thrill of knowing I was going to complete the challenge and would soon earn the right to mark it off my bucket list. Either way, I felt good and enjoyed the run back. I even took in a few sprints to pass clumps of slower moving runners now and then. I didn’t notice anybody getting sick on the way back, but did observe some evidence of those not so fortunate along the road on the way back!

Before I knew it I was approaching the NC State Bell Tower on Hillsborough street and had crossed the finish line surrounded by excited spectators cheering on me and my fellow.

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Costumed Competitors – Elvis & Gladiators!

My official “chip time” for the race was 56 minutes and 37 seconds! Success! A friend asked me if I plan to race again next year to try for a better time, but I have officially announced my retirement from competitive donut eating. If you haven’t competed in the challenge yet I suggest you check it out next year. It really is a fun time and it raises funds for a great cause. Proceeds from the Krispy Kreme Challenge benefits the NC Children’s Hospital. This year the race raised $177K for the hospital.

To view more of my race day photos visit my 2013 Krispy Kreme Challenge Flickr photo album. For more information about the race visit their official website and facebook page.

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