Being the ‘World’s Largest Running Series’, the Rock and Roll Series attracts over 500,000 people taking part in 26 American cities each year. This year I just had to be a part of that. I also loved the fact that the benefiting charity was the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
The V Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to saving lives by helping to find a cure for cancer. The Foundation seeks to make a difference by generating broad-based support for cancer research and by creating an urgent awareness among all Americans of the importance of the war against cancer.
We had two days to pick up our race packets at the Health & Fitness Expo inside the Raleigh Convention Center. Since packet pickup closed at 6:00 pm on Friday, there was really no need for me to head into the city any earlier. So Diallo and I headed out Saturday afternoon to get to the expo in plenty of time before it closed at 5 pm. Those hours were really horrible. With only two days to pick up packets and knowing a lot of people travel for these races, it would have been great if they could have stayed open a little later.
The Health & Fitness Expo was huge. Once again, I didn’t come across a lot of friendly faces, but the ones I did come across were awesome.
We walked around the expo for a few minutes and stopped by to see my sole sistah Shalama doing her thing at the parking exhibit.
Per usual, I got my stuff all ready the night before the race and laid every thing out for in the morning. I was ready to Rock and Roll Raleigh!!!
Let the Running Begin
I woke up only fifteen minutes earlier than my alarm was set to go off (4:15). If you have read previous race blogs, you would understand that I’m usually up hours before a race because of the race jitters. Well not this time. I was excited for the race but a little nervous to say the least. Not because of the course but because of my health scare last week (still has me on edge).
Headed out around 5:00 am to find parking and to meet my BGR! sole sistahs from all over at 6:15 am for a group photo.
As we were waiting for the race to start, my sole sistah and team member of Team Red, White and Blue (TRWB), Tenika and I met and took pictures with two other members from The Fort Bragg Chapter. It’s always great meeting members from all over. Every one I saw with a TRWB shirt on, I went up and at least said hi and asked what chapter they were from. I met four different members that day (should have taken a picture with them). A few that didn’t wear their shirt spotted me and came over to introduce themselves.
I really trained well for this half marathon and was really looking forward to running it, until I wasn’t 😦 . My overall goal going into this race was just to finish ‘alive’. I kid you not, with my chest pain scare from last week, which is still ongoing (going in for more test this week), I just wanted to finish alive. That was my goal!!! My second goal was to beat my last half marathon time of 1:53:52.
The weather was great for running (in the 5o’s). The sun peeked out every now and again but it wasn’t too bad. Note to self: Pick up a pair of running sunglasses. For this race, I decided to run with the 1:50 pace group. I was running really good with them, even running up the hills. Until around mile 7.5, I got all in my head. ‘Why is my chest feeling like that, is my right arm tingling’. I kid you not, I really thought I was having a heart attack right then and there (HYPOCHONDRIAC). I’m such a worry wort when it comes to my health and I just didn’t want to push it, so I fell back. I mean come on, two people died last year during this very same race. I just really hope that the test next week can really tell me what’s going on with my chest/heart. For a second, I was really beating myself up on my performance during that race. Oh well, I didn’t PR, but I still did pretty good…finished in 1:54:29.
All in all this was a great race experience, yes even with all the hills. I just don’t like the fact that they have hills right near the finish of a race…I mean come on…we just ran 10.1 miles and then you want to hit us at the end with a couple of more hills. But like I always say….hills build character. I would definitely recommend this course but beware…it is challenging (but who doesn’t like a challenge?). I would suggest that you really dedicate runs specifically for hill training.
Awesome race support throughout the entire race. I loved the fact that people were lined up all around the course (I don’t think there was a moment when I didn’t see any body cheering the runners on). There was also a nice tribute to the falling soldiers around mile 11 (after the hill of course) and that was really nice. I really should have stopped to snap a picture.
There was also a lot of post race snacks to choose from. Jimmy Johns was even handing out sandwiches (nice).
After finishing this race, I said I would never ever do this race again….well, if every thing comes back good on my heart ultrasound, I’m going to sign up and do it again next year. Care to join me?
Any recommendations for running sunglasses? Did you have a race this weekend? How did it go?