Remixing the Remix Challenge with the Raleigh Rock n Roll Marathon

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IMG_2704Two years ago the Rock and Roll marathon taught me a lesson about respecting the distance. Last year I was able to redeem myself with a PR event. This year I had nothing to prove other than I needed to finish to be able to collect the remix medal for finishing the 5k yesterday and today the Full Marathon. And so I thought that was going to be it.

Not going to cover the expo or the route in this post. You can see a few comments about the expo from yesterday’s post here. And some course details, review and info here. But I will talk about the weather this year. Compare to the last two years, this year was the coldest so far. The 1st year the temps fluctuated from 54 to 66 degrees. Last year it was around 50 to 60 degrees. But this year it started at 30 and just barely when up to 49 degrees by the end of my run. It was awesome running weather.

Also different this year was my calf injury. I did perform much, much better than expected during yesterday’s 5K. But 26.2 miles is not walk in the park. I knew that I needed to be aware of any signs of discomfort if I want it to finish this event. IMG_2749The morning routine, same as usual. Checked sugars, Oatmeal, Latte, quick bathroom stop, drove early to the venue, banana one hour before start, another sugar check, tad high some bolus adjustment, quick porto-potty stop on  my way to the starting corrals area and I was ready to go. It was freaking cold. The wait at the corrals of about 30 minutes outside and breezy was miserable. I had bought a jacket at the Goodwill, had my $1 gloves and $1 stocking cap from the dollar store the day before to donate after the race start, but it was so cold, I knew I was going to hold on to those three things then entire event.

I quickly started reviewing the goals for this event:

  1. Finish under 4 hours, but do not get hurt.
  2. Run the entire event. No pit stops, no walking, not even at the water stations.
  3. Run under 3:45



I check once again my CGMS and the sugars were a tad on the high side of my running range but holding steady. I am now at corral #4 and I am liking it. The 3:45 pacer was in the same corral. I thought I saw my friend Rob King but it was too late to get his attention we were about to start.


Off we went, ample roads both the half and the full together. I keep an eye on the 3:45 pacer which was ahead. All very familiar, music, lots of conversation going around, some runners doing Galloway others trying to keep a pace. The first few miles went fast, water at the water station. The water was really cols and then cause I was hold the cup some spilled, making my hands extremely cold. I kept my jacket, gloves and cap for the next 5  miles. After that I took of my gloves and kept running at a really good pace. I knew it was close to what I needed to achieving 3:45, since the pacer was still well in sight and slowly getting closer. By mile 8.5 I am feeling good, my legs are feeling great and I am holding an excellent pace. Still feeling I could push some I decided to keep the same pace around 8:15 minutes per mile. I slowly pass the 3:45 pacer group and kept going not too fast just a little bit ahead of that pace. Every 40 minutes I took my energy gel, but at the water stations I was alternating Gatorade and water. Sugars were still high, so the running bolus for energy gels and for the carbohydrate drinks. Legs still feeling good.

The next miles were uneventful.  Passing people one by one feeling good and holding the pace. Mile 16 I felt a little bit of a pull on my right calf. OH NOoooooo! I slowed down a bit and concentrated on being relax since I felt that leg was getting tighter for a while. I drank some at the water station and kept at a slower pace for about a mile. It worked, leg was feeling better, or better yet was not feeling it at all. I kept sustaining a little bit the pace since the next few miles were hilly. We were a group about 5 runners, we were just passing each other for a while. Some will run and then walk, others like me were holding a pace. I am still on track for a PR, not sure about the 3:45, but I have not seen the pacer pass by. So I should be ok, I kept repeating to myself. Also kept reminding me that the main goal was to run the entire course. At mile 17 sugars were still way high this time, I had a gel and Gatorade at the last water station, so I did the bolus adjustment.  Did some running math at that time and I was still on track to meet all my event goals. Just needed to held an under 9:45 minute per mile and I could make it just fine.

At mile 21, I checked my CGMS again since I was feeling my leg quickly getting tire, and now another problem, sugars were plummeting. Around 95 and trending down. Few thoughts crossed my mind, not again! I can’t accept a repeat of the 1st RnR event. I quickly set a temporary basal reducing it by 80% and drank some of the energy drink I was carrying. I slowed down a bit, but still running. Fortunately by mile 23 I was feeling better and although the CGMS was not trending up yet I was able to hold a good pace, my legs started to feel better. They provided the runners with a wet towel, which I grabbed and put over my head. It felt great, cold but awesome great.

Last few miles felt great, I cracked a smile and finished strong this my 12th marathon, 1st time running the entire event and a PR of 3:42 well under my original target. Grabbed some water and snacks. Legs were sore but still in good shape. Walked down to the concert area, spend a little time there stretching a bit and grabbed my protein shake and off I went home. Very happy with the results, extra medal and extra finisher’s jacket. SWEEeeeEEET!!!


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April-16;;;Raleigh Rock and Roll;;;NC;;;Full;;;3:42:00;nn;


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Event Highlight & Learning Points;nn;Highlights:

Course: Great ample road right of the start, lots of short hills with couple long rolling hills. Great music along the course.

Venue: At finish, excellent food, plenty to drink and excellent music.

Expo: Great expo many booths and freebies.

Weather: Clear skies, great 30º with just 50% humidity.

T1D: Sugars at running range at start. Trending way up during event and held there for few miles. Adjustment done, followed by a quick drop that forced me to do a temporary basal for the last 45 minutes of the event.

Fueling: Pre-Race: 1 serving Hot Cereal (oatmeal) and Latte. A banana about an hour before start.

Race: Alternating water and Gatorade at the water stations. A Gel every 4o minutes, 1st gels no caffeine high calorie followed by two with caffeine, but skipped one half way. Carrying fluids with me E-fuel.

Post: Water and protein shake about 45 minutes later.

Learning Points:

    • There is a lot of mental work to keep running when wanting to walk
    • Having more multiple goals keeps you on constant checking throughout the event.
    • Cold temperature makes a huge difference.
    • Recovery is so much important after big fast events.

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