Music To Run With: Wasa Tusa by IAMDYNAMITE

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IAMDYNAMITE are a local band from Cary, NC. I heard them for the first time on Tuesday night when they opened for Bon Jovi. Great summer feel. Perky songs and strong vocals to keep you running. This was my morning soundtrack for a quick 5K before work today. Pull it up on your favorite streaming platform, have a listen and let me know what you think!

 

Review: Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

This was my second ever Half Marathon race. I have to say I really enjoy racing this distance. I’d never ran a Rock ‘n’ Roll race before, so I was glad to have an opportunity to do so on their last visit to Raleigh, NC.

I went to the EXPO on the Saturday, the day before the race, and picked up my bib and shirt. The shirts are nice — Brooks technical shirts with minimal sponsor logos. The EXPO had some great vendors. My wife managed to get a great deal on some compression socks. There was lots of official Rock ‘n’ Roll merchandise as well. I loved the shirts with every participant name on it. Very cool.

Parking for both the EXPO and race day was very convenient. I managed to park quite easily within a block of the starting line.

I have heard over the years of how hilly a course it is, so I was expecting the worse. To be honest, it wasn’t all THAT bad. Yes, it had hills, but there was plenty of relief on downhill sections of the course.

The funny thing is — Because of the “hilly” reputation, Rock ‘n’ Roll made modifications to the route this year to make it less it less hilly. Well, according to past runner’s Strava records, this years route had a 100ft increase in elevation gain!! šŸ™‚

The Live music along the route was awesome. I can’t recall the number of times it brought a smile to my face. I also loved the energy of the spectators throughout the various Raleigh neighborhoods. They really helped keep me going.

It was so cold at the start of the race that I did something I never do. I went and grabbed a coffee and drank it around 30mins before we started. I’ve never had to use the bathroom so bad during a race before that I needed to stop — until THIS race. At mile 9 something very bad was going to happen if I didn’t find a porta-john. Rock ‘n’ Roll are fantastic for providing so many along the route. Not sure what I’d have done otherwise…!

Aside from messing up my time a little, I was still happy to finish within 2 hours on this course. I’m sad I won’t get a chance to do better next year.

The medals were great, and you could get your medal engraved with your name and finishing time if desired. And there was plenty of snacks handed out as you walked through the end section of the course after finishing.

The band, SUSTO, sounded really good at the post race event. My only gripe is that I finished the race around 9am and the post race party didn’t start until 10am. I was so cold at that point I couldn’t even imagine holding a cold (free) beer. And yes, I made use of gear check and had a coat to wear post-race!

While a specific review of the Raleigh race may not be super helpful to the reader, now that the race is gone, I will say that in general that the race was really well organised and executed. I would not hesitate to run many of the other Rock ‘n’ Roll races across the nation.

Check out a poem I wrote after the race.

Poem: Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Rock ā€˜nā€™ Roll Raleigh as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming aĀ BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check outĀ BibRave.comĀ to review find and write race reviews!

I wrote a poem after my first half marathon at Tobacco Road. So, in keeping with (what may be a short lived) tradition, here’s another poem for Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh

On Sunday past
I went for a dally
Up and over
the hills of Raleigh
The songs that played
were new and old
It was fun to run a
Rock n Roll

The streets were lined
with smiling faces
As runners whisked by
at their own paces
Most hoping to crush
their personal best
With no pressure at all
to run past the rest

As cold a race
I cannot remember
Twice-as-cold as a race
I ran in December
But tell me this
before I go any further
Who can predict
NCā€™s crazy weather?

My second Half Marathon
is now in the books
And Iā€™m fairly happy
with the time that I took
It was definitely way more hilly
than Tobacco Road
But Iā€™d been expecting worse
based on what Iā€™d been told

It saddens me now
to see the race leave
As running it faster
is something I perceive
Me doing next year
if given the shot
But itā€™s not to be
chance of that is nought

Review: Allscripts Tobacco Road Marathon & Half Marathon

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Disclaimer: Iā€™m promotingĀ Tobacco Road Marathon & Half MarathonĀ as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming aĀ BibRave ProĀ (ambassador), and check outĀ BibRave.comĀ to review find and write race reviews!

I had such a great time at this race, it just didn’t seem right to review it like every other race I’ve reviewed. So, I decided to write a little poem that covers my race experience from start to finish.

Tobacco Road Half Marathon 2018

I went to bed early
To get plenty of rest
My wife was so supportive
There’s no doubt that I’m blessed
(Love you Lizzie!)

The morning arrived in no time
Long before the promised sun awoke
It was freezing bloody cold outside
But I had no plans to wear a coat

After multiple trips to the toilet
It was time to lace up and go
If I still need to empty my bladder
I’ll make the trip to porta-potty row

With a van full of MRC runners
We traveled to the Tobacco Road race
I munched on my energy gummies
Hoping I could stick to my target pace

The participants all began to gather
Three-thousand, two-hundred and fifty two
Nine-hundred and seventy-five the full
I’d be running my first Half with my crew!

The gun give a blast and off we went
Passing under a huge American flag
I tried to keep up with the one-fifty pacer
But very soon I started to lag

As the road leveled out the crowd opened up
And I managed to catch my pacers
There up ahead was one of my friends
She’d passed me and I didn’t see her

After two and a half miles of pounding the road
The Half went left and Full went right
There were plenty of water and Gatorade drinks
If I partook every time, need the toilet I might

The trail was cozy for an out-and-back
The lead pack were returning at my mile five
As runners flew past they were followed by a breeze
The atmosphere was electric, I felt so alive

I was still feeling fresh at mile marker nine
By mile marker ten I was feeling half dead
The energy gels had lost their effect
My legs felt heavy, a battle ensued in my head

Was the last stretch and the finish was close
But again my pacers had gotten away
Determination kicked in and dragged me along
This race won’t beat me, not today, NOT today

Downhill to the end is a wonderful thing
I knew I had it in the bag
Crossing the line with my arms raised high
An eleven minute PR! I know, I brag

 

Last Long Run Before Tobacco Road

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Disclaimer: Iā€™m promotingĀ Tobacco Road Marathon & Half MarathonĀ as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming aĀ BibRave ProĀ (ambassador), and check outĀ BibRave.comĀ to review find and write race reviews!

On Sunday past we completed our final long run (8 miles) before we run 13.1 miles on the American Tobacco Trail on Sunday, 18th March (which is also the day I can finally place a 13.1 magnet on my car — it’s the little things).

I have regained a lot of confidence that was lostĀ during one of our recent long runs. This Sunday’s run covered a lot of the same route and terrain as before, plus it rained constantly, and it was still a much better experience overall!

This week, training will be lighter and my focus will be on hydrating and sleeping. I want to go into Sunday as fresh as possible. I’m only planning to run on Wednesday (6 miles) and Friday (3-4 miles).

Weather conditions look good for the race, around 50-60Ā°F with a slight chance of rain. I’m not planning to carry any water – I will manage with the water/nuun at the aid stations. I will carry some Honey Stinger gummies though!

On my Athlinks profile I’ve listed 1:55 as my goal, which includes a little bit of buffer. If I’m being honest, the goal in my head is actually 1:50, which means a pace of 8:25/mi is required.

The Race Expo is on Friday and Saturday so we’re planning to visit it on Saturday afternoon to pick up our race bibs and shirts.

Check back for a race report next week!

Added: Tobacco Road Half Marathon

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Disclaimer: Iā€™m promoting Tobacco Road Marathon & Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Here’s me and my running buddies on Sunday past, training for the Tobacco Road Half Marathon on March 18th in Cary, NC. We’re putting on our best smiles for the camera, but this was probably one of our toughest runs in a while.

Tobacco Road will be my first official half marathon race and I’m already suffering some pre-race nerves. Does anyone else get these?!

Continue reading “Added: Tobacco Road Half Marathon”

Athlinks – Centralize Your Race Data!

Disclaimer: I am promotingĀ AthlinksĀ as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becomingĀ aĀ BibRave ProĀ (ambassador), and check outĀ BibRave.comĀ to review find and write race reviews!

I was sitting at lunch the other week with a good buddy and colleague (for the sake of a reference we’ll call him Elmo). While Elmo is not a runner, we will often talk about running and upcoming races that I’m training for.

Conversation will usually gravitate toward some rough ideas for hosting a race on his farm in rural NC and making a load of money. Easy, right?!

“Yes”, I tell him. “It’s that easy”, rolling my eyes.

This latest conversation was slightly different. Elmo had a new idea. This idea involved building a website (I work in software development) that would keep everyone’s results in one place.

“Elmo, we already have that”, I said.

He wasn’t listening and continued, “And the race organizers would all send the results in and…”

“Elmo, I’m telling you, this exists already”.

“And people would pay to use such a convenient service!”, he said, finishing his proposal.

“Elmo, this exists! I’m reviewing the site right now. It’s called AthlinksĀ AND it’s free to use!”

While Elmo has gone back to the drawing board to think up more ideas, let me tell you about Athlinks.

Continue reading “Athlinks – Centralize Your Race Data!”