It's spring time which means more time to run in the evenings and lots of race options on the weekends. One of my favorite local events is the Tarheel 10 Miler held in Chapel Hill each April. I've actually only run it once prior - last year but found it to be a fun, well organized event that is highly attended and run my many competitive runners. This year, I registered to run with a group of friends and Michelle. Most of us did the 10 miler while a few chose the 4 miler - either way, you get to run the Laurel Hill Challenge towards the end.
It was a nice day for a race, cooler and less humid then last year. The race went well for all of us. The TH10 course is a nice one that runs around parts of UNC-CH campus, down Franklin Street (a place I spent a lot of time in my early college years) and back to the start/finish in Kenan Stadium. Before arriving back, runners race (mostly) up the .82 mile Laurel Hill Drive which turns out isn't as bad as advertised (unless you never run hills).
There are separate timing checkpoints at the base and top of LH.
I had a good race overall finishing in 1:11:57, 7:12 pace, 200th overall by chip time and 27th/222 by male age group. Considering the competitiveness of the field, I'm happy with that. I also made it up Laurel Hill in 6:19. My previous 10 mile PR was the first 10 of the Austin Half last year where I ran an official 10 mile split of 1:14:58. Last year's TH10 was 1:17:07 and LH a 7:09 so I definitely made an improvement.
The following day, many of us met up again in Raleigh for the Sunday afternoon Boston Memorial Run. Over 3,000 runners participated in a free 5k run organized by officials from all of the Triangle's major marathons and run clubs. Over $20,000 was raised for 2 charities that are supporting those injured in the Boston Marathon bomb attacks. I had a great time running with all my local running friends and crossing the finish line with my friends who had run Boston just a week before.
For the heck of it, when the Chicago Marathon opened a lottery for their race, I entered my name and to my surprise, I was selected. After some consideration, discussion of it with Michelle and friends, I decided to plan on running both. I accepted the Chicago Marathon entry and last week, received and accepted my guaranteed entry to the New York City Marathon as well. These are the two largest marathons in the United States and 2 of the 5 major marathons in the world. By comparison, the Marine Corps Marathon that I have run twice is the 5th largest in the US. This year, there are 3 weeks between the 2 races for me to recover from Chicago and prepare for NYC. I think that is a large enough window considering I will treat Chicago as a PR attempt and NYC as a fun run.
To add to the excitement for Chicago, I'll be starting towards the front of the 40,000+ field from Corral B which is right behind Elites and Corral A. So I will only have 4,000 or less runners starting ahead of me (all fast) and a better chance of starting the race at goal pace instead of in a deficit. My City of Oaks finish time qualified me for Corral B. If only my half PR was a little faster, I might have been able to use it to get in Corral A. No complaints.
I am now definitely on track for my goals for 2013. The key to it all will be to remain healthy and injury free. A tough challenge in itself considering the mileage I will be running.
Here is an update on my goals set 4 months ago:
- Set a new half marathon PR - Completed, 1:32:34 in Wrightsville Beach Half. Also ran new 8k and 10 mile PRs in Raleigh and Chapel Hill races.
- Set a new 5k PR, run sub 20 minutes
- Run 40 miles the week of my birthday
- Run the New York City Marathon (Chicago as a backup) - Registered for NYC and Chicago
- "Investigate" running the 50k and 50 mile ultramarathon distances - volunteered at Umstead 100, looking at 50k race to run within next 12 months.
- Run 1200+ miles - over 400 miles logged entering May
- Have fun - every time I run, especially at Big Boss Run Club and The nOg Run Club
- Kick ass
- Stay healthy - hanging in there, I think the mostly plant-based, vegetarian diet is helping