Friday, November 23, 2012

Atlanta Half RR--aka fun with FT for 13.1 miles

Best. Race. Ever.

Seriously, it was so great that I'm kind of afraid that no other race will be as awesome.  I guess I'll just have to keep testing that theory out...  I'm super pumped up about signing up for my next race!!!!!
Thursday morning started with a 5am wakeup call.  I actually slept really well once I fell asleep and didn't wake up 100 times thinking I had overslept.  I took out the dogs, got my race outfit on, ate breakfast, and we were off.  Adam graciously got up at the crack of dawn to take me to the race and stood in the cold for a few hours so I could run around the streets of Atlanta.  He rocks!

We waited in traffic for a long time to get a parking spot, but luckily there was not a line for the porta-potties and I made it to the corral with plenty of time.  Flying Tomato got there about the same time I did and we squeezed right next to the 1:50 pace group sign leaders.  We talked for a few minutes and then out of nowhere, the race began.

The first miles were at a nice easy pace.  The weather was perfect.  I felt absolutely pain-free and was really excited that it felt effortless.  FT and I chatted about this and that as we trotted along.  We were following the 1:50 pace group pack and discovered after a couple of miles that we could stop elbowing each other if we moved just ahead of the group.  8:20, 8:13, 8:18

The next couple of miles were mostly flat and we continued moving along rather nicely.  After mile marker 5, we climbed a bit on 14th street.  We went back and forth passing and being passed by FT's friends which was a pattern throughout the rest of the race.  FT and I would power up the hills and then be passed on the downhills.  For someone who does relatively little hill training (by choice), I actually did pretty decently on the hills.  8:07, 8:17, 8:20

Once we passed the mile 6 mark, we were headed into Piedmont Park.  I really started to amp up at this point.  I knew that I was racing great and that getting to the finish line was going to be breeze.  I collected a high 5 from a guy in a turkey costume, sucked down my 1 and only Gu (Mandarin orange, yum, yum!), and squeeled a little bit when I saw cute dogs.  Mile marker 7 began the series of rolling hills and mile marker 8 continued the hilly fun.  8:18, 8:17, 8:20

Mile 9 was where we picked up the pace a bit and tackled those hills.  We eased up on the talking and started working.  I still felt good, but I knew we were pushing the pace a bit.  Mile 10, we eased back a little bit and soon we found ourselves amongst the pace group again.  8:09, 8:16

The last 2 miles were me being a super obnoxious running partner and FT taking the entire brunt of my serial cheeriness.  The photos are not posted yet (so annoying, but I'll have to wait until my next post), but I'm fairly certain there is at least one picture of me yapping loudly in FT's ear while he is trying to run a $*@(*# race.  I talked him to death in those final 2 miles--I'm surprised he actually allowed me to finish next to him, haha.  I was feeling euphoric and clearly, oversharing.  Hopefully FT will let me run with him again.... 8:09, 8:04

I have no idea what the last .1 mile split was.  I completely forgot to stop my watch as I cross the finish line.  I was so busy trying to do an awesome double BP with FT (holy acronym Batman!), that I let it keep running for another 2 minutes.  Oops.

My chip time: 1:48:46

I'm super happy that FT PR'd and now that I have raced a half, I have a new PR to beat!  I know without the hills and with more training than 13 days, I could easily kill that PR.  Makes me even more excited to sign up for another race!!!

I was feeling so great today that I worked a retail Black Friday and came home and ran 5 miles. :)

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