It was a chilly Saturday morning in Raleigh as Anna & I made our way downtown to catch the shuttle from the convention center to Dorothea Dix Park bordering the campus the NC State. The 5k was a quick run through the park, I was set up in Coral 1 and was hoping to push for a strong time. In Dallas I ran the 5k very halfheartedly and didn’t enjoy the run very much. So as soon as the command to go was given I darted out with the first handful of runners. The course featured a couple of climbs along the way, one in particular right around Mile 2 really pushed me to the limit. The extended length of the climb caught me by surprise and made the final stretch a harder than it should have been. I crossed the finish line with a time 21:39 (with an average pace of 6:58 per mile) finishing 28th overall of the 1,770 runners & 7th in my age group.
After finishing and collecting my medal I made my way back to the finish chute to cheer on runners coming through and to see a few friends come through. After Anna finished we found each other and went back to catch the shuttle back to the convention center. The expo was just starting to open when we arrived back. I stopped in for a moment to take a few shots for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Snapchat story before heading a few blocks south. The City of Raleigh Museum has a featured exhibit that includes a weekly yoga class on the museum floor. An old building with creaky, wooden floors was a great site for a mid morning yoga session to stretch out after the 5k before tomorrow’s marathon.
Next door I found a New Orleans styled restaurant, and we all know I can never resist the opportunity for some quality alligator. After lunch I had a couple of hours to spare so I went to the nearby Mariott and curled up on a couch in the lobby to rest. I may or may not have spent 2 hours sleeping before heading to the Starbucks in the lobby for a meet up. The #WeRunSocial crew is an incredibly welcoming group always looking to inspire the runners we encounter everyday and learn something from everyone around us. There were friends old and new here, we stayed there for over 3 hours chatting about runs past, present, and future; plans for tomorrow’s race; and life beyond running.
After the meetup Anna and I walked a few blocks north for a spaghetti and kale salad dinner happening. Served from a food truck and seated in the middle of a street with a band playing on the corner, it was a delicious pre-race dinner. The profits from the dinner benefited the local YMCA chapter and I’m always a fan of putting money back into the community. We met a few new runners at the dinner and chatted while we ate before heading back to the apartment to get ready for the marathon the next morning. I set out all of my gear for the run, took a flat runner picture, drank a glass of pedialyte and went to bed, hoping for good sleep before conquering my 47th marathon and make North Carolina my 20th state to finish a marathon in.