1/2 Marathon #9!!
This was a very fun race. It wasn’t a new state or a new race, but that is okay. I am sure I will end up running tons of races in Atlanta over the years to come! I loved running my first 1/2 marathon course again-it brought back a lot of memories. I also felt like I knew tons of people on the course-running, cheering and volunteering, which made it an AWESOME experience. And, of course, running in your own city is always cool. It made me appreciate Atlanta just a little bit more.
Pre-Race/Heading to the Start
Kristin and I woke up around 5am. If it weren’t for Team In Training, I totally would’ve slept longer. But, Kristin had to be downstairs at 5:30. So we got dressed, ate the usual bagel with peanut butter and headed downstairs. We walked to the start and were probably there by 6am. A lot of time to kill. The beauty of a downtown start? Lots of hotels and we totally snuck in and used the bathroom instead of the porta-potty! Score! We hung out at the TNT tent waiting on the rest of her team and all of the alumni to arrive. I saw so many of my friends-Jessica, Kimberly, Zack, Andy, Matt, Mike, Carey, Kimberly, Lori, the list goes on and on. It was quite the party!
Miles 1-3 were definitely a mess. I was dodging people a lot more than I usually have to at races. I stuck with Andy and Carey for these miles and there was little talking, just dodging. Daylight savings time definitely changed the feeling of a race-we were running in the dark…but it lead to some really cool views of the city skyline as the sun came up. We ran through Midtown and headed into (miles 4-5) Inman Park and then Little Five Points. All of these areas have beautiful homes, great running scenery and HILLS. I quickly realized that my last 3 races have all been flat courses and kinda worried about my pace. I have luckily been training on hills and managed to still do really well on them, even passing some folks along the way. I had several snide comments from men not appreciating being passed by a girl in a tutu. I hope they were kidding…regardless I left them in my dust and it goes to show that being an man doesn’t make you faster (I told them that too )!!
TNT had a water station around mile 5/6 and that definitely kept me pumped up-I knew a lot of the volunteers and heard tons of “GO TEAM” cheers as I ran by….gotta love the TNT singlet! The 1/2 marathoners and marathoners split around mile 7 and then we hit my favorite neighborhood, the Virginia Highlands. The crowd support was great in this area-lots of families cheering-and lots of little girls envious of my tutu! It was so cute. I ate my half of one of my GU’s at this point to make sure I had enough in me to keep up the pace. We made a turn and I knew we were headed towards Piedmont Park.
I can remember this part of the course from 2 years ago. I hit Piedmont Park and just wanted to be done…but not this time. Even though the hills definitely felt harder than earlier on the course (I was worried I had pushed a little too much); I was still doing great. I lost Andy at the water stop in the park but I didn’t let it get to me and stayed focused. We ran past my old condo in Midtown (more memories from 2 years ago), through the Georgia Tech campus, and back into the West Midtown area. The cheer sections were smaller at this point but I knew I was almost done. I kept reflecting back to the past. 8,9,10 miles seemed so hard. So scary. This time around, I was definitely tired, but I could’ve kept going. I love that feeling. Knowing that you have just a little bit more to give at the finish even though you don’t need to. I thought about really pushing it in the end to try and come under 1:50 but decided to just maintain-the big goal is Big Sur, not this 1/2 marathon. It wasn’t a PR, but it was a COURSE PR coming in 8:30ish faster than 2 years ago. What a difference 2 years makes!!
87/1064 Women 30-34
No negative splits this go round. I blame it on the hills I was a little all over the place! I was, however, pleasantly surprised that my distance wasn’t further-there were a ton of turns but I must have managed them well.
The post race goodies may have been some of the best I have seen. Gotta love when a grocery store chain sponsors a race! Only downside for me was realizing that everything was processed and I couldn’t really eat any of it (I gave this stuff up for lent). So, when you crossed the finish line you got your medal and a water and then a little plastic grocery bag. Then you shopped. It was crazy. Bananas, pretzels, trail mix, lara bars, go-gurt, bagels, chocolate milk, cupcakes. There was more, but I can’t remember all of it. I should’ve taken pictures but I guess I was so out of it and was too busy looking for my friends.
I headed back to the TNT tent for a second, mixed up my Endurox and went back to the finish line to cheer on Kristin.
She rocked her first race! So proud of her!!
I was also able to meet Jill from Running for the Hills. It was brief but great to meet face to face. We randomly have a mutual friend in TN where she is from. Small world. Loved her outfit!!
I hung out for a bit longer, hoping to cheer on my friends running the marathon but I was starving and ready to eat! What can I say, only being able to eat bananas and Endurox doesn’t quite cut it. So, I headed to the Ritz to get my stuff and to brunch at Rosebud with Allison, her husband Chris and friend Suzanne. Can I say unfreakinbelievable.
I had the Nasty Royale-egg, ham, brie cheese and truffle honey mustard-along with a cup of coffee and the BEST bloody mary I have had.
Even though I wasn’t in very much pain and my IT Band behaved itself, I took an ice bath when I got home. And followed that with a nap.
Running in Atlanta
Running with friends
Cheer and Water Stations
Post Race Food (and extra “stuff” there were others tents and apparently massages but I missed those)
running in a Tutu
watching Kristin finish her first race
Not So Much:
The Start Line
I like the medal okay. It is heavy and has a cool skyline pic but I think it could be so much better. Maybe a big peach or something with a little local flair. Just a thought.
And, I would do the race again. In fact, I already am. I registered this morning with 50% off (one perk to having to get up for traffic court) and only paid $35 (including fees) for next year. I’m such a sucker for a deal.
Looking forward to beating 1:51:32 in March 2012!