The night before the race, I attended an awards banquet with delicious food. I had mushroom tortellini, fettucini with summer squash, turkey meatballs, a salad with mixed greens, cheese, lite caesar dressing and grilled chicken. Dessert (right) was a chocolate cup filled with fruit & yogurt. Very yummy!
The speaker was a 75-year-old body building champion.
|Me & the amazing body builder post-race|
After the banquet, I went to a mixer for group leaders very briefly since it was already late and I had to be up at 5 to prep for the race. I would've loved even more time with them. Such a wonderful experience to talk with other women from across the nation who are helping their communities! I might have sneaked a half glass of wine. MAYBE. LOL I have never had any alcohol the night before a race. Playing fast and loose!
Rashan & I got back to our hotel around 10:45. Before the banquet, I'd laid out my clothes and set up the coffeemaker so the only thing I had to do in the morning was press brew. I was so keyed up I didn't think I was going to be able to sleep. It didn't even matter that I'd only slept for 2 hours the day before. (I sleep horribly up to two days before races.) But I was pleasantly surprised to fall asleep before 11:30. I woke up with a start thinking I'd slept through the race. This is how my brain wakes up on race day. I grabbed my phone and saw it was only 3:08. The race is at 7. It's too early to eat or do anything else but surf the web so surf I do.
A sampling of my manic race morning tweets:
1) And I've now been up almost an hour. At this point I'm kind of scared to go back to sleep! As usual! Lol
2) I don't enjoy sleeping in king sized beds but these pillows are giving Rashan a run for his money under love of my life status.
3) I want some eggs. And toast. And a pickle. What the... Everybody watch out after the race. Eating all the food!
4) The 5k starts 30 minutes after the 10k. I'll be interested to see how finishing next to 5kers affects my race. In the best way, I hope!
5) I'm getting crazy hungry but I don't feel like getting out of bed. More races should start at 7 p.m. instead of 7 a.m. I would love that!
6) When Rashan gets up, he'll be so happy he wasn't to recipient of this chatter. Lol I'm always on 10 in the morning.
7) Let me clarify: RACE morning! Lol Important distinction.
All of those tweets were within 20-30 minutes. CRAZY! Rashan usually hates how peppy I am pre-race but this morning he was actually awake at 4 a.m. and fine with my energy! YAY! I brewed my coffee, ate a peanut butter sandwich & showered. Somehow I was still rushing to leave by 5:30. INSANE!! I grabbed some of our hotel's free cookies for Rashan as he got the car. Since I already had on my race bib, the hotel staff definitely heckled me. LOLOL "You're gonna have a cookie before the race???" LOL! No!
We hopped in the car and headed to Atlantic Station. We parked and took a quick picture! :) I love my number one race supporter! He tolerates a lot of my crazy running chatter. I literally talk about running every single day. Considering he has no interest in running, it is a wonderful thing that I married a very patient man! :)
As you can see, it was DARK. Why? Because it was 6 a.m.!! This is wrong. Running and traveling are the only things that get me up at that hour. Despite my night owl tendency, I am a ball of energy all morning on race day and this race was certainly no different! There might have been even more excitement in honor of this historic event!
I thought about my goals again. A) 1:09:00 B) 1:10:00 C) Personal Record so 1:13:45 or faster. There was a BEAUTIFUL rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. After that we couldn't hear anything happening on the stage (we didn't know there was a prayer until people closer to the stage said, "Amen") so we actually missed the start. I was turned around facing the stage when the people from my running group were like, "Oh. I guess we're starting." I turn around and people are streaming through the start line. Um. Okay.
It turns out the 5K and 10K were starting at the same time after all. I was soooo excited to be running! Hence my blurry shot of joy! :) All of my phone pics look like this while I'm running. LOL You can KINDA see the sun was just breaking the horizon. Even though I don't like being up that early, I love sunrise! And because I worked overnights in Pittsburgh, they always remind me of my time there. I saw the sunrise 5+ times a week for 3 years. It never got old. Look at God.
The first mile, we were running out of Atlantic Station. It was mostly flat and/or down hill. I ran with one of my group members for a few minutes and chatted with her and assorted random people. Do you see those town homes off to the right? I commented on how hilarious it is that people were asleep inside, some of them likely with no idea that 3000 people were running past. LOL Can you imagine waking up to that?
Shortly after, we hit the first mile marker. At this point I feel like the race might be short because I haven't heard a one-mile notification from my phone. Then a few seconds later it goes off. Cool. Except I'm moving way too slowly. I always do this in races. I'm so conscious of not going out too fast (and crashing and burning the later miles) that I go out too slow. Drives me nuts. I wrote my pace times on my arm again so I know I need to pick up the pace a little. I'm about 2 minutes under pace. Heading into mile two, two guys were calling out the 5K/10K split... no signs. Several people missed the split and went on the wrong course. Impromptu longer/shorter race distance? Not awesome. I run 5Ks and 10Ks completely differently. 5Ks will now be all out the whole time. If I drop a little at some point, fine, but I'm going all out and hanging on the best I can. Back to the 10K... I was certain I was on the right course (going up a good sized hill as far as steepness) and still felt a little nervous. Not too long after, we hit the two-mile marker. I glance down at my arm. Yikes! Still too slow! Like 4-5 minutes too slow. I speed up a little more, knowing there are a good number of hills still ahead.
There were very few people on the course as we ran through Georgia Tech's campus but at one point, there were a few workers sitting along the side. They were silently amused so I heckled them to cheer for us. LOL Apparently we also ran past a frat house with beer cans scattered across the lawn and a kid passed out on a leather couch. Whaaa??? LOL I so wish I'd seen that! I fell out when I saw this picture! I wonder if he ever woke up during the race...
Mile 4 was a blur but I glanced down, saw I'd picked up still more time and was getting very close to being back on pace. But I knew I'd need to pick it up again. The hills were rolling but not too bad. Definitely not worse than anything I'm used to running. [I heard the Floridians were MISERABLE. This makes me really REALLY want to run a half marathon or full marathon in Florida! :)] I decided at this point that not only would I run faster and do my fastest miles of the race for the last two, but if it didn't hurt a little at the end, I wasn't doing enough.
I had my own water with me so at each water station, I'd skip the first people handing out water while deciding whether or not to take water then grab from the last person. I accidentally poured water all over myself while trying to drink and run at every station. LOL This made me really glad I had my own water. It felt hotter than I was expecting out there. Nowhere near what I'd been running in all summer but hotter than expected.
At the 5th mile marker, I tried to enjoy some downhill and flat stretches knowing from the course elevation chart that there was still a monster ahead. Not too far afterward I heard someone who had run the route in practice say, "Last hill!" Oh HECK YEAH! Except.... from the bottom, that hill was EVIL-looking. It loomed ahead, long and steep. But I can do ANYTHING for one mile. A lot of us yelled out things like, "LET'S GO LADIES!" and "KILL THIS HILL!!" It was awesome! Then I bounded up that hill, encouraging people as I passed them. Then I ran out of breath to do any more talking. This is probably also where my cramp began. There were people along the hill encouraging all of us, too. It was amazing! I recovered by slowing a little at the summit but I knew we weren't that far away so I picked it back up. At this point I knew the race course was definitely short because I had to do a lot of weaving to go around people walking and I still was coming in under mileage. No matter, I was going hard all the way in!!
It started really hurting as we approached Atlantic Station. OH MY GOODNESS I HURT! I had an evil cramp for the last half mile or more of the race. Worst cramp of my so far short running life right under my right rib cage. NOTHING helped. As evidenced by THIS face heading into the last few turns. LOL
|Trying not to die! (I'm in all black w/the shades)|
As you see in my pace & elevation chart, my pace has a steady (slight looking) downhill slope. Each mile of this race was faster than the previous. My intended pace was 11:06. I ran the last two miles at 10:50 and 10:42 respectively. And (my version of) SPRINTED across in 10:30 in the last tenth of a mile for a 1:10:32 finish. I was ECSTATIC!!! And hurting.
|This chart is rude. It felt way worse way closer to the end.|
|My mom said we look like high schoolers. LOL!|
Then Rashan & I headed to Another Broken Egg with the interweb crew, Patti, baby Ty, Naima & Bakari. Great fun and deliciousness! Now that I eat during my runs at real intervals, I'm no longer starving at the end. It actually took me a while to finish this Mardi Gras omelette with smoked andouille sausage, red peppers, crawfish & scallions topped with tomato hollandaise. Quite tasty.
Oh and Rashan... this man... It's been a long time since he/we went somewhere and had to beat the women off with a stick. Every time I turned around to ask him to take a picture for me, some woman had already conscripted him for her own pics. Generally not a big deal but mildly annoying. Where is my photog??? I saw him taking a picture for a group, took my own pics, then looked back again and was like WHAT THE??? This chick is POSTED UP on the wall solo having him take pictures of her. Ma'am... He later told me she made small talk, "You from here?" "Why are you out here today?" "I'm here supporting my wife in the race." "Oh. That's nice." Side eye. He also ducked two former coworkers and a girl he dated a couple of times. That part made me laugh. Oh to have seen the girl he dated! Wedding ring flash, "I won!" LOL J/k j/k But I was irked by the woman who made him her personal photog. Have a seat.
Early morning tweet recap: The 5K had no effect because it started at the same time, I'm pretty sure the wine had no effect on my race and a week later I have still had 0 pickles. Well I had chips on a burger but I want a pickle spear! Overall? Great weekend!