Yesterday was my second half marathon of the year, the Georgia Publix Half Marathon. It was my third time running this race and the second time with my husband. I have to say, this was the best year ever course wise. Normally the course is sooooo incredibly hilly but there was a change in the course from the previous years because of some bridgework (at least that is what my husband said). This course felt much easier at the end than previous years, which made me happy!
Only in our house when we have to wake up at 4:30 to get ready for a race does one of our children (who normally sleep through the night) wake up TWICE complaining of ear pain. That made us sluggish in the morning and we left the house a little later than we had intended. Oops! We take MARTA (Atlanta’s public transportation) to the event and there was mass confusion getting the Marta passes. The machine doesn’t give change apparently – it gives MARTA tokens. I watched as one girl paid for her $5 pass with a $20 bill and got $15 back in MARTA tokens. We missed the 5:40 MARTA train by 2 minutes….all because of the ruckus getting tickets. D’OH! So we stood and waited and I tried to not worry too much that we were not going to have enough time to exchange my shirt or go to the bathroom.
When we finally got to Centennial Olympic Park it was busy! We did a real quick gear check (my first time ever) and headed to the lines for the Porta Potties. Out of mere coincidence we saw my husband’s boss in the front of one of the lines. Had he been anywhere other than the front we may have tried a Chat and Cut but there was NO way that was going to happen.
We stood at the end of the line…and realized we were going to be there 30 minutes for sure. But we had 20 minutes until start time. What’s a girl to do in the middle of Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta? This girl has no shame…..and the bushes called my name. What?!?! There were three guys over there doing the same thing. After potty time in the bushes my husband and I headed to the start corrals as the wheelchair start was beginning at 6:55. We were supposed to start at 7:00 in Coral E. We followed the crowds of people and were dumped near Coral C. We tried walking backwards to Coral E but it just wasn’t going to happen. We were two people going the wrong way against thousands of people. We gave up and started with the speedy folks in Coral C. It is always exhilarating to start a race with thousands of people in the dark.
I really wanted to run this race in under two hours. My husband was doing awesome at motivating me in the middle too. We started our pretty fast – probably too fast, but that’s what happens when you have all that energy running beside you. Around the end of Mile 6 I started dragging. The Gu at mile 7 was a nice pick me up, but I stopped to eat it and that pretty much was my turning point. Things started feeling HARD! Mile 10 was definitely NOT my friend. That hill seems small on my Garmin, but it felt huge. Somewhere around mile 9 my husband ran in front of me. I told him I would catch him at the end.
Mile 1 – 9:08, Mile 2 – 8:53, Mile 3 – 8:40, Mile 4 – 9:06, Mile 5 – 8:50, Mile 6 – 9:12, Mile 7 – 9:59, Mile 8 – 9:23, Mile 9 – 9:03, Mile 10 – 10:44, Mile 11: 9:41, Mile 12: 10:31, Mile 13: 9:44.
I didn’t make my sub-2 time and I didn’t beat my first year’s time (2:01) when I ran with Nicole. But I did run a good race. I will continue training and beating my mental blahs. Did you know, 13.1 miles really is a long way and in that time you can convince yourself that you really need to walk a million times over? The physical challenge is not what I need to beat – it’s the mental challenge.
Did I mention that it was WARM bordering on hot? The race people did a great job with water stations. There were supposed to be spray stations, but the only spray station my husband and I saw was at the finish line. One of the girls in running group said that the marathon course had spray stations and towels. That makes sense, they were out there for a long time! A marathon is 26.2 miles in case you didn’t know.
My husband finished in 2 hours 2 minutes and I was slightly behind him at 2 hours 5 minutes. I grabbed my water and chocolate milk and met him still inside the racers only part of the course. We had our photo taken together wearing a ginormous Publix Marathon medals and then cooled off.
I do have to say….the food that was provided was a bit lame. We had one banana – mine was squished and bruised and I couldn’t eat it. There was also cheap artificially flavored vanilla cream cookies, a bag of M&M’s, a generic chewy granola bar, and some pretzels. Where was the BAGEL? Am I the only one who wanted a little bit of substance? Maybe I was just moody since I had been awake since 4:30. I don’t know!
Before leaving we found the tent where you could exchange your shirt. When I pulled the shirt out of my bag I realized I made a big big mistake. I brought my husband’s shirt instead of the small one I wanted to exchange. The girl felt so bad for me and she had literally boxes of medium shirts so she gave me one anyway. I really wanted to hug her! But then I thought about how sweaty and gross I was and just thanked her a million times instead.
Upon returning home the girls wore our medals for a bit (it’s kind of a tradition) and then my older daughter asked me to take her to the doctor. Such is the life of a mom….running 13.1 mile races followed by trips to the urgent care. 🙂 But you know, I love every minute of it!
My next half marathon will be the Silver Comet in October. And I WILL run those 13.1 miles in under 2 hours. Mark my words! Of course, that course is f-l-a-t and if I can’t run that race in under 2 hours I may never meet that silly goal! Running this third half marathon will also complete one of my New Year’s Resolutions.
Back to normal, money saving posts now….except I WILL start doing a weekly Running is Great post. 🙂