City of Oaks Marathon - RunMarathon

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Raleigh, North Carolina
United States
Total Time = 4h 08m 56s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Admittedly, I did not train as I probably should have for this race. I did IMKY just over 2 months ago and recovered REALLY well, I just wasn't ready for my season to be over plus I missed running and only running. So a mere 5 days post IM after a few martinis while at the beach, I signed up for this race. I am a firm believer the best races are entered while under the influence of liquid courage :)

Training was very slow to start, I almost immediately regretted signing up as I had no desire to train, especially during the week. I almost deferred but Scottie assured me I could do this. So I got my act together, fell in love with some trails in Umstead Park and got my running mojo back. Due to a busy weekend schedule I didn't get a 20 miler in like I wanted, but a solid 18 miler in the hills of Umstead put my mind at ease...just a bit.

I had zero nerves going in to this race, literally no time goal in mind...just finish without injury (I had another goal in the back of my mind.) Friends would ask how I felt and I almost forgot I had a race coming up...kinda lame I know. But I think it totally worked for me, I slept a solid 7 hours and felt awesome race morning. I am glad I ran the day before as I wasn't sure how to dress for a cooler race. I spent literally all summer getting ready for the heat and humidity of Louisville and here I was with a 50 degree day (perfect running weather!)and no idea what to wear. But I layered up, put my fashionable throw away sweats on and Scottie drove me to the start. It felt so weird to have so little with me, I'm so used to bags and bags of crap, I just had shoes, belt, 3 gels and an iPod just in case.

Took care of business at a porta potty without issue (after my...ahem...issues during Shamrock, I am quite happy this went well) and met up with my co-worker and his wife. Scottie had a cyclocross race 2 hours away so he went to move the car so he could leave after the start. The race started on time and off I was for my 5th (stand alone) marathon!
  • 4h 08m 56s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 30s  min/mile

I started off quite conservatively, just in front of the 4:30 pace group. After some initial traffic due to 3 races starting at once, I got a great spot with open road. I LOVE fall marathons, I love the foliage and love seeing my city in the early morning. After a mile I noticed Scottie, so sneaky! I guess the benefit of the race weaving through the downtown is spectators can see runners at different spots for the first 5 miles or so. A nice little surprise for sure. After our downtown tour we started working our way towards the greenway, splitting off from the 10k and half marathoners.

Now the fun began, I was literally giddy with how pretty the trees were! I know so cheesey but I live for that stuff. My right ankle was a tad achey which made me nervous but after a quick tightening of my lock laces and I was good to go.

The greenway narrowed quite a bit, with traffic going both ways at this point we really had to pay attention to not run into others but the race had really thinned out by this point. The hills weren't terrible but I ran down one and made a mental note that this would not be fun to run up late in the race. Nonetheless my Umstead runs certainly helped. Before I knew it I was at the turn around at Shelly lake and heading back "home."

I was pretty consistent with my Gus, at miles 8, 15 and about 22...the fig newton at mile 19 was also a nice treat! Took a sip of water at almost every aid station and no tummy issues...woot!

I could not believe how the miles were ticking off and...dare I felt...easy? I know that's a jerk thing to say but I was just so happy to be running and feeling as good as I did. I maintained right between 9:15 and 9:40 for the most part...I think I had a few miles closer to 10 mins but I didn't care, I felt so great. At mile 22, before that hill I was dreading, I saw a few friends had set up a beer aid station, I figured...what the hell, a little PBR will get me up that hill! I tackled the hill without issues, everyone around me was walking it, it felt weird!

I was at mile 23 at this point....what, no wall to hit? None at all, the last 3 miles were on Hillsborough street and there were people cheering us on, it was awesome! Before I knew it I could see the finish line! I picked it up just a tad, spotted my friend Phillip and gave him a thumbs up and I was done!
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

My friend Sandy congratulated me and gave me my medal, I hadn't seen her in ages and she remarked that she had been following my races and couldn't believe I did the full...yeah I heard that once or twice! I got my water and space blanket then found Phillip, my ride home! We chatted a bit and he asked how I felt and if I needed anything. I felt great, no feet pain, just some sore ankles but that was about it! I drank my water then met up with a few of his friends who brought me beer. Somehow I missed that there was a beer tent?! It was probably for the best though! We stuck around for a bit then walked to the car to head home.

Came home and had a Recoverite shake, an ice bath, shower and compression. Just a tad bit of stiffness but nothing major. Met up with friends for beers later that afternoon...can't think of much that I would change about the day! (well maybe have Scottie there the whole time :) )

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not much, I probably could have gone a tad faster, but I had a pie in the sky goal of getting my Marathon Maniac membership this fall. I spied this race and Thunder Road in Charlotte in 2 weeks. I was going to wait to sign up for Charlotte until after this race but with NYCM getting cancelled I thought it might sell out since people might be scrambling for another marathon. So I was impatient as usual and signed up on Saturday for Charlotte...eeek! I held back knowing I would be doing this again in less then 2 weeks. I probably could have PRed and gone sub 4 but I didn't want to chance that race entry and a fun weekend in Charlotte.

But I really am not one to judge a race based on if it was a PR, I am super thrilled with my race and my performance.

Event comments:

This was really well done, great volunteers as usual and a beautiful course. I would definitely recommend this race!

Last updated: 2012-11-05 12:00 AM
04:08:56 | 26.2 miles | 09m 30s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Hilly but beautiful, starting downtown and then weaving through some of our awesome local greenways
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]