Since I have a lot to say about the Raleigh Marathon, I decided to break it up into more than 1 post. I am going to start by backing up to the days leading to the race. I had left off 3 days before the race, talking about my efforts to stay positive.
On Friday I left work early to go to see my chiropractor for dry needling. I really felt intense muscle spasms/twitches from some of the needles, and apparently this is a good thing (meaning its relaxing the knots in the muscle…or something like that…).
After this fun experience, he taped up my leg. It felt weird after (kind of like I got punched in the leg and then someone put tape all over it).
It was hard to tell if my leg felt better or not, but I hoped for the best. After I left the appointment I went home and packed for the race.
We had to leave for the airport around 6am on Saturday, so I decided against doing a 2 mile shake out run. For my previous 3 marathons, I had run 2 easy miles the day before the race. I figured I didn’t need to worry myself more if I had a crappy 2 mile run, plus I could use the extra sleep.
We got into the Raleigh airport around 9:30, and took a cab to our hotel. We were staying at the Sheraton and it was right at the start and finish line. I have never been at a better location for a race. We were able to check into our room right away, and then headed over to the expo (which was at the convention center across the street).
We moved through pretty quickly after getting our bibs and t-shirts. It was a little crowded but not too bad. We decided to get our free beer bracelets at the expo, so we wouldn’t have to worry about showing our IDs or waiting in line after the race.
We grabbed lunch and found a convenient store to buy some bananas and Gatorade before heading back to the hotel. By the way, our hotel had a club lounge type thing, with free bottled water all day, snacks/fruit all day, and free breakfast. They also had hors d’oeuvres out for a couple hours in the evening and you could purchase wine for $4. The food was more like a dinner- if we weren’t planning to go out for pasta we could have filled up on that stuff!
At this point I was feeling kind of negative about the race. We kept hearing about how hot it would be, plus I was doubting how my leg would hold up. I also had a headache and my low back was bothering me. (Turns out I was PMSing, so that’s never good the day before a race…) Not to mention I had started to see some of the hills of downtown Raleigh first hand.
We spent a few hours relaxing in our hotel room and then headed to an Italian restaurant, which was about 20 steps from our hotel, called La Volta. I had a house salad, and penne with meatballs. Rob had a Caesar salad and penne with Italian sausage- he might have ordered a second serving of it- but who’s judging? Once we were nice and carbo-loaded we went back to the room and got all our stuff ready for the race. I was asleep around 8:30.
I woke up at 4:30am feeling optimistic. We had coffee and pre-race fuel (for me- a banana and bagel with peanut butter). After getting ready and warming up a little in the room we headed downstairs to the start line around 6:40.
(First we took some pictures since we had some extra time)
My phone said the temperature was 57, and it felt chilly standing around in a tank top and shorts. The start line was so close to the entrance of our hotel and we were lined up in corral 5 by 6:50. They announced that the race would start a few minutes late to give everyone time to line up. I think the gun went off at 7:10, and I crossed the start line at 7:15.
I’ll be back in a day or two with the rest of the recap!
What is your favorite dinner before a race? Pasta with either grilled chicken or meatballs, and salad.
Do you usually eat in the morning before the race starts? I will usually have a bagel and banana with peanut butter at least 2 hours before a half or full marathon.
How long do you usually spend at expos? I always get excited for expos but once I am there I get overwhelmed and want to leave pretty quickly. I think we were there for 20 minutes.