So, on July 4th, I joined 60,000 others in an Atlanta institution known as the Peachtree Road Race.
People take this thing very seriously...in a totally unserious way. Around March, there is a lottery to enter. About 70,000 people register for the 60,000 slots available...then we wait. Although the vast majority of people who want to run the race get in, the ones who don't, get rather angry about it. The day of the drawing, you will see tons of angry facebook postings from people who didn't make it, think it's unfair that walkers get in when they didn't, don't like that first timers got in when they didn't...you name it, they are angry about it.
That being said..I've won the lottery the past two years, so this made my second Peachtree. Just like last year, I entered with my best friend and Sole Sister, Sarah. We counted down the months to July. We had shirts made. We talked about the other stuff we would do when she came down.
Then, unexpected expenses caused her to not be able to come down. She will get guaranteed entry next year, so we have that to look forward to, but as far as this year, I was on my own.
So, on July 4th, I got up way too early and headed into Atlanta. I went as far as the MARTA station and rode that into town with the rest of the crowds. I found my way to my start corral, and waited. I had gotten there way too early. I should have stopped at the porta potty, but I was just ready to go. After an hour of waiting at the start (Plenty of time to go to the potty), we were off.
I'm running along, in my zone, headphones in, music up, and out of nowhere I hear my name. It's a rather common name, so it could have been for anyone, but something told me to turn around. There was my friend Rachael and her husband Jason. It was their first Peactree, and I knew we were starting in the same corral, and had looked around for them while I was waiting, but they were no where to be found. I thought it was hilarious that she recognized me from behind. She said it was my funky knee high sock monkey socks. I'm kind of known for my funky knee highs.
We said our hellos and awkwardly hugged while running and then we were both on our way.
Right after the one mile mark I decided I would take the time loss and stand in the potty line. There was no way I would make it to the finish and there was no use even trying.
Seven mins later, I was back on the road.
Before I knew it, I was at mile 3 and heading up Cardiac Hill. I remembered from last year that this hill wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, so I plugged along. When I got to the top, I let myself walk for about 0.2 mile just to refresh my legs. The sun was coming out and it was getting hot.
The rest of the race went about the same. I ran more than last year, but walked more than I would have liked.
The miles flew by and soon I was at the finish line. I grabbed my bottle of water, my shirt, stood in line for a finisher's photo, then headed to the other side of the park and on to the MARTA station. I didn't have any reason to hang out at the finish since I was on my own this year.
Last year, the walk to the MARTA was brutal. Uphill the whole mile (or more). My legs were dead by the time I got there. This year, it wasn't a big deal at all. It felt shorter, my legs were fine; what a difference a year of training does.
In the end, my Garmin time was 1:35:16...7 mins faster than last year's time, but those 7 mins in the bathroom line made my official time closer to last year's time. I'll take the bathroom break over the alternative
I'm already looking forward to next year. Sarah will be here and all will be right with the world :)