Raleigh Summer Half: Lassiter Hill Anyone?

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This half event was Part of the Spring triple crown. This was also the event that three years ago I started running the half marathons distance. The training for this event has been off and on. Meaning that even tho I have been doing all the runs and workouts, I have been meeting and exceeding the weekly mileage. Each run has been more like a, just a run rather than a focused workout focusing on a goal. My baseline mileage is passed the 10 miles. Since I have been able to comfortably do multiple 10 milers in a week, completing the 13.1 was not going to be too much of a problem.

The event is on a Saturday, so Friday night I went out to eat some pasta and spinach dip at Brixx since I am feeling a little bit tired of eating at Carrabas for the event carb load meal. It settled pretty well and could do that in the future. I set all the items that I needed that night, bib, energy gels, running shirt and shorts, nipstrips, GPS watch, socks, running shoes, Body glide, carrying belt for energy gels and race bib belt, MP3 headset. Now I am ready.

That morning the usual, oatmeal, latte, getting ready by checking the mental list and off I go. I got there with plenty of time and did a 1 mile warm up. An easy pace with 3-4 short sprints to warm up and loosen the legs muscles. Drank some water, visited the porta potty and met with my running friend. We chatted for a while and then headed to the starting corral, where I hang out near with the 2:45 pacer with a plan in place to move towards the 2:00 pacer early enough to sustain a PR pace for this event.

Race started pretty good, good pace, good group, some familiar faces. My sugars were a bit on high side but holding there steady. I put on some music and press on a little bit the pace going around the neighborhood. The neighborhood portion of the race is the short portion that is somewhat short hills, there is no hill super challenging, but with the few ups and downs, the pace changes constantly. Early in the race is ok, but on the way back it can drain your energy.  I went past that area and into the segment one of the greenway portion of the race. Very flat, mostly shaded, great opportunity to accelerate and start to catch up with the pacer. At the second water station, I decided to stop for a quick port-a-potty stop. Since for the last mile, I was running a little bit uncomfortable. After that stop all was gained in term of speed and time I lost during the 1st few miles, so since this part was flat, I pressed on. Feeling great I pressed on further and started to close the distance to the pacers. I was passing a lot of runners, all is well. With about a mile to the 1st turn, a runner asked as I passed them, what was the pace I was running. Without looking at my watch, I responded that was pursuing a “1:50 half target, which it was going to be around 8:30 minutes per miles.” The funny thing for me as I think about this interaction was, that I knew exactly what I was running and my target. That by itself it makes me feel good and to realize that I had a purpose/goal in mind and that I knew the performance I was trying to hit. He say thanks and I kept going.
The turnaround came and went, keeping with the fast (At least for me it was fast) pace, quickly got back to the up and down hills of the neighborhood. But this time, that came and went fast. I was expecting more struggles during this portion, but it was not as bad and it seemed short. Do not get me wrong, I loved that it happened that way because after that section the only thing left was couple more flat miles followed by the Lassiter Hill. The flat miles were un-eventful and as I turn into the hill I kept reminding myself that I have done this several times.

The hill is a challenging one, and like any challenge, your mind tries to play games. Every time I want it to stop and walk the hill, I kept thinking that it was going to be over soon and that I have done this too many times for me to walk. After hitting the crest of the hill and with about .2 of a mile to go, I pressed on to the finish. I collected my event and the Triple Crown Medals and grabbed some food.

I waited for my friend to finish his event, not too long but before him, there was this guy that it looked that he was in pain. He chafed his nipples so bad that there was lots of bleeding, the sad part was that he was wearing a white running shirt. It was a bit painful to watch. I felt bad for him, I have been in the same situation, not necessarily white shirt, but bleeding and the painful shower that follows.

My friend finished strong and grabbed some goodies. I talk to few other runners that I have seen in previous events or in the trails during training runs. This was another good race.

[vtftable cols=”{0}0-4:c9daf8;{/}”] {f1}Month/Year;;;{f1}Event;;;{f1}Location;;;{f1}Type;;;{f1}Time;nn;
Jun-15;;;Race 13.1 Raleigh;;;NC;;;Half;;;1:52:46;nn;
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[vtftable cols=”{0}0:c9daf8;{/}”] Event Highlight & Learning Points;nn;Highlights:

Course: Fantastic start/finish area near Northhills area. Great ample road right of the start. It narrows at the entrace of the Greenway. One challenging hill with 1/2 mile to the finish.

Venue: At finish, as usual excellent food (Bananas, snacks, food…) and plenty to drink.

Expo: No Expo

Weather: Sunny and hot, 63º with 93% humidity at the start.

T1D: Sugars high at the start. But remained stable during the event.

Fueling: Pre-Race: 1 serving Hot Cereal and Latte.

Race: Gatorade and water at the water station. One gel about 6 miles in.

Post: Tons of water and half of banana.

Learning Points:

    • Warm and humid weather are not perfect, so you can use the event as a test, traning run.
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