On the road back
I figured if I started July's thread 8 days early it would make up for the fact that we skipped May and June altogether.
Happy Summer Running, everyone!
I have a love/hate relationship with running. I do it, but sometimes I love to hate it.
Happy July! Here is my RR from yesterday's Peachtree Road Race, copied from the Marathoner Dailies forum. Best race I've had in quite a long time. I'll be starting to ramp up my training soon for the Atlanta Marathon on 10/27.
After recovery from the Publix Georgia Marathon in March, I had planned a nice little cycle to peak for the Peachtree. Then life started to happen, including some job changes and other stuff, and my training got a little derailed. I trained decently off and on, but it was sporadic at times, and the schedule kind of went out the window. I did manage to lose about 12 lbs, to get back to the weight I was at when most of my PRs were set (2009-2010), which has ended up being great for my running. Still, I went into today looking at this as more of a test race than a goal race, since I didn't train to any kind of peak for it. I had run the course several times in training, which I don't do for most test races. I did have an idea that I wanted to run sub-50, if conditions were decent.
Was really happy when I woke up just after 5 to see the rain was very light. Drank coffee and ate some bread. Left a little after 6, as I was supposed to meet BoMF at Lenox MARTA at 6:30. I wore a clear plastic poncho like you get at concerts (left over from Atlanta Streets Alive). On the short jog to the station, a guy walking the other way wished me good luck. MARTA ride was uneventful except there was a huge bottleneck of people trying to exit at Lenox. Finally got through it and met up with the BoMF group. After circle-up, we chatted a bit, and I headed to my corral a few minutes after 7. Stopped on the way as the national anthem was sung.There was plenty of room when I got to the corral to do a few strides, then I got in place. I found a place on the right side, which seemed less crowded.
After Wave A started, they let us move up to the start. I ditched the poncho as we advanced. The rain was pretty much stopping by this point. The starter counted down the seconds, and pretty soon off we went. There really was not any problem with crowding. I was running this without a GPS watch (still have not bought a new one yet), so just using a regular stopwatch and the mile markers. Mile 1 came in at around 8:28 and I thought "Oh no, that's slow". I felt unusually out of breath for that pace. But I was enjoying the crowd, the spectators, and I was waving my small U.S. flag. I thought to myself, maybe I'll have to forget about a decent time and just enjoy this. Still stayed to the right, as there was more room on that side.
Soon we started to catch up to people at the tail end of Wave A (probably a few people running with other people's bibs), some of whom were walking. Mile 2 is downhill, and the pace began to feel better. At some point, a kid (a participant) kicked a full bottle of water which was on the ground into the middle of the street, so that it skidded pretty hard through a crowd of runners. I dodged a bit to avoid getting tripped, then shortly after, I got chopped in the collarbone by a walking person swinging her arms around wildly. At Mile 2, I had about 15:30 on the watch (did not bother with pressing lap button), and I started to wonder if the 1-mile marker was placed correctly. I decided to back off just a bit.
Mile 3 is mostly downhill, but then starts to go up Cardiac Hill toward the end. I hit the marker around 23:40. I did slow on this hill, but it didn't seem bad at all. The training I had done on it definitely helped.
I knew at the 4-mile mark there would be a group cheering me on. One of my running groups had a cheering section set up at this point. I wanted to work my way to the left, as they would be on that side. After Cardiac Hill, it becomes slightly downhill again toward the end of mile 4. I waved my flag as I approached the group--they were set up with a tarp and rain gear. People cheered me on and jumped up and down. I soaked up the energy and ran on, still feeling pretty good. Because it was so cool out, I had not stopped at a water stop or run through any sprinklers. Time at mile 4 was a little under 32, so I knew I was doing pretty well, just had to keep it up.
Mile 5 is mostly uphill. This was the hardest part of the race for me. During this time, I did drink one cup of water at one stop, and I did go through one sprinkler. The music is what kept me going. They were playing one of the songs from Rocky (not the Rocky theme, but one of the ones that is playing during the match, when Rocky keeps getting up for the next round). Then, I think close to the 5-mile mark (though I could be a bit off on this), is when I heard "Break My Stride". Back in high school we used to play this on the way to X-C meets. I might have lost a little time doing this, but I actually sang a little bit, and pretty loudly. I was having fun. Not sure what the time was at mile 5 but I know I was under 40, so still looking good. I began to be pretty confident I would get under 50.
Mile 6 is downhill again, and I knew once I hit that point I would be golden. Ahead of me, a guy with a Superman tattoo between his shoulder blades began to walk. "C'mon Superman," I said, "You got this!" I passed him and waved my flag as spectators cheered. A minute or two later, Superman passed me again and I cheered him on again.
Once we turned down 10th, I began to pick it up just a bit. I didn't really start my final kick until after crossing Piedmont, once I could start to see the finish. I waved my flag like crazy as I went past the photographers. Not sure what time I had when I passed mile 6, but I'm thinking it was 47:2x. As I approached the finish, the announcer said something about how many flags were out on the course, and I waved my flag again as I crossed the line. Just really happy with my time. By the time I stopped the watch, I had 49:09, knew I was probably a second or two faster since I always start it right before crossing the start line. Was even more thrilled after I got home to realize official time (49:03) was even a little better than I'd thought. Finished just 35 seconds slower than my 2009 PR. I guess I could have run a little faster with less flag waving and singing, but most likely not 36 seconds faster. So I feel pretty great about the race, and really enjoyed myself the whole time. Going to make a concentrated effort at getting faster and try to smash the PR sometime in the coming months, but this is the best I've raced in quite a while, so I am really, really happy with it. Thanks for reading--Happy 4th of July everyone!
PRs: 5K: 22:09, 10K:44:55, 15K: 1:10:35, HM: 1:42:49, M: 3:32:09
Congrats on having such a fun and good race.
We've started our track series, and are fairly busy with it. Also DW is doing a 6hr run at the end of this month as her first ultra, so we've been hitting long runs.
It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.
Great race. Enjoyed reading the report.
I'm getting to the meat of my aerobic phase of this marathon training cycle and I hate summer, so nothing new on my end.
Looking forward to the fall so the heat and humidity runs can pay off.