Yesterday, I crossed another goal off of “my list” by finishing the Georgia Publix Half Marathon here in Atlanta, GA. I signed up for this race back in the Fall and I was super excited to register because I had heard so many great things about this event
mainly the food post race. I got up extra early 4:30am and meet some members of my local running group at the West End Marta Station and we were off. Unlike my first half marathon, I was not scared of HOW I would do (I knew I would finish) but I was more nervous if I could get under my time goal (2:45). Upon making it to Centennial Park in Downtown Atlanta, I was pleasantly suprised to see so many people I knew. I even saw a coworker who was doing the Full Marathon! I quickly did my pre-race rituals (use the rest room,stretch, listen to music and just meditate) and I was ready to hit the course.
Despite me being in Corral L, the start of the race started pretty quickly…(((gulp))) but could I do it? Well I did finish the race but not in the time I wanted. Around mile 7/8 (right out of Little 5 Points, I noticed one of my good running buddies, Mommyof2, struggling to breath. I became worried about her and walked/jogged with her the next 3 miles. Then right when I was assured that she was okay,I began to run but I had to stop. I began to feel a nagging foot pain on my right shoe. I stopped, stretched, hydrated but nothing could help it. I was still with the 2:45 group, but right when we started to pass Piedmont Park the HEAT started to beat down on me. I started walking more than running and needless to say I ended the race behind the 3:15 race. Now I’ve ran races in the heat before, but I was not ready to run in 75- 80 degree weather in March! Needless to say, I struggled to finish the last 3 miles..really struggled. Now before I go on and on, let me give you some more details.
- The course went through some of the prettiest neighborhoods in Atlanta. We ran through Downtown Atlanta, the Old 4th Ward, Little 5 Points, Inman Park, Midtown. Simply this was a beautiful course.
- There were TONS of supporters on the route in particular, members of Black Girls Run and No Woman Left Behind, lined the streets to yell motivational things to us runners. I even saw a supporter with a sign that read, “What Hill!?!?!” as we were attempting to conquer one HUGE hill.. LOL
- The miles seemed to go quick–enough. Every time I looked up there was another hydration station and one more mile I had completed.
- The pre/post race festivities were so well planned out and FUN. There were these cute food bags that the runners were given and there seemed to be EVERY type of vendor at the park that morning. There were a TON of volunteers on the course and they were so nice to a delirious runner (like myself).
- At the end of the race, my sorority sisters were YELLING for me and that made me feel good (especially since my husband was stuck in traffic trying to find me).
- All winter I had trained (well half trained but I’ll get to that later) in the cold. Not Alaska cold but cold enough to be cold. (Do you get it yet?) So the week prior to the Half marathon I noticed that the temperatures were seasonably OUT of character. Every day hit 80 degrees! On the morning of the race it was a cool 65-70 degrees until about 9am..then ALL HELL broke loose! Towards the last 3 miles I thought it was August by how hot it had became.
- My time sucked. I actually increased my time from my Half Marathon in October..by 20 minutes almost! Was I surprised? No..all winter I had half heartily trained. I took weeks off or sometimes did not run but twice a week. Here’s the point..if I want to do better I have to dedicate myself to the process.
- The hills of Atlanta SUCKED. No, really they did… there were some points in the race where I was like, “really another hill!?!?!?” This shows me that I am going to have to find a hill training close to my house so that I can get my body acclimated to that torture.
- After the race, my body wasn’t TOO sore but my darn feet were BARKING. I literally took off my shoes and behold the toe where the toe nail had feel off was hurting AGAIN despite me getting new running shoes. I think I stumped it when I took my shoes off in the park.
- I learned the importance of slathering my body in Body Glide. After the race I jumped in the shower and ALMOST JUMPED BACK out due to the apparent friction on “certain” parts of my body. Note to self: slather myself down in all of my nooks and crevices.
- My time.. Yeah I’m still talking about it because I know I could did better. I have got to find a way to mentally break through.
- I think I’m done with my bulky hydration belt. I felt like I was carrying a small child around my waist the entire race. Note to self: Sell it ASAP.
- I was forced to use a Port-A-Potty before the race and I almost vomited in my mouth. So I did what any responsible citizen would do..I saw a hotel on the other side of the park and went to bathroom. I was treated to a nice, clean 4 star hotel with nice soap, toilets,etc. Note to self: Always find a hotel nearby to use the restroom on race day, otherwise I’d rather hold it the entire race. Yes, it is that serious.