Now's the time where I start setting the calendar for the next year's runs. Of course there will be the old faithfuls/favorites:
ATC Atlanta Half Marathon (Thanksgiving)
ATC Atlanta 10 Miler
ATC Peachtree Road Race 10K
Botanical Boogie 5K
And, for 2015, I plan to participate in all the ATC Grand Prix series races!
It's hard to travel much while in school, so I don't have a lot of that on my radar, except for one race at the end of Spring Break...(drumroll please) the Palmetto 200 Relay with 11 of my favorite gals! Our team name is Chicks With Kicks :)
The Georgia Death Race is at the beginning of Spring Break, so I plan to volunteer at that race, along with the SweetH2O 50K and Yeti and Douglas County Rogue Runner races. I also plan to be a half marathon training program coach next year! I love helping other runners!
My general goals include completing at least one half marathon per month, running 3 days per week, and completing a 5K with Lexi!
Just a quick shout-out to our veterans. I don't have as much free time to blog as I'd like but I'm not complaining! I have a blessed life - wonderful family, close friends, a loving furchild, a special someone, the opportunity and privilege of attending school, 2 great jobs, physical ability, and all the essentials (plus way more than I need). To those who fight and have fought for our safety and for all the freedoms we enjoy - I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will use my legal skills to advocate for the elderly, and specifically our veterans. They do not deserve to be forgotten or cast aside.
I chose to run Soldier Marathon before I had my incident at 7 Bridges. I'm glad I had already committed, because I probably wouldn't have signed up for another marathon AFTER that last attempt! The Soldier Marathon exists solely to raise money for the National Infantry Museum. All costs of the race are covered by sponsors, so race registrations go directly to the museum.
I ran in honor of this fallen soldier:
Thank you, Marine Staff Sgt. David H. Stewart, for your sacrifice.
I was super nervous the night before. My stomach was in knots and I couldn't each much dinner, or breakfast the next morning. I slept really well, though. Pre-race with roomie Robin:
The "A" goal yesterday was a PR. I always have that in the back of my mind, even though I trained for a slower pace, for Chattanooga pace team purposes. The first 13 miles were great; I was right on point, maybe a little ahead of a PR pace by running with the 4:45 pace team, but I had to slow down and soften my landings due to the lower leg cramping. I actually felt like speeding up in the first few miles, but I'm glad I stayed with the pace group because it reigned me in.
So, on to the "B" goal: Finish under 5 hours. This seemed doable until about 17-18. I kept trying to hold off the cramping with more Gu, water, then a banana, but the walking become more necessary. I ended up finishing 20 miles in 4 hours, so 5 hours was looking like it wasn't going to happen.
Stopping to pee (three times!) took up some time, but I was obviously well hydrated!
Just saw this on Facebook and thought it was way appropriate! Walking (and being okay with it) was how I continued this race with a smile and a positive attitude the whole way! On to the plan C goal: get 'er done. I made a friend, Sarah, at mile 21-22ish, and she was walking as well. I had just finished stretching and I told her I planned to mostly walk until mile 25 and that she was welcome to hang out with me. Walking takes up time, so that's why it's frustrating, but once you accept it and smile, and when you have company and gorgeous weather, the time goes by very quickly! She's a fast walker which also helped us keep at it at a good clip. 14-15 minute miles! (We figured out that Sarah's boss and his wife ran with my pace team in Chattanooga. Small world!) We did a few downhill runs/shuffles as well. Once we got past the 25 sign, we hustled it in, making the final turn into the long finisher's chute. I don't know how I sprinted, but I did! (I kept praying that my feet were actually going to strike the ground each time!) There was a lot of cheering, and I was so happy [to be done]!
Post-race with Sarah:
There was a cute soldier at the end who asked me, "Would you like a bottle of water, ma'am?" So respectful. All the soldiers and other volunteers along the course were fantastic. There's a big hill around mile 2 (that's what got us all warmed up!) and the soldiers had lined it and yelled at us drill sergeant style. So funny!
It was pretty awesome that my ATC buddies stuck around to cheer my slow ass in to the finish :) What awesome people! Thanks Atlanta Track Club for sending goodies for us, and thanks Deborah for the post-race mimosas! Yum!
This is us pre-race:
The race had water stations about every 2 miles. They had Powerade, water, and Gu (except at one station where they had run out of Gu, so I switched to Powerade after that, for a while). The "turnaround" aid station at about 18 miles had pb&js, m&ms, bananas, orange slices, and Gu. I definitely took advantage of the bananas and chocolate! I can't say enough good things about the course, the volunteers, parking, everything!
I'm really glad I ran this marathon. I still hate them, but I can [indefinitely] end my marathon career on a good note! Who knows if I'll ever get the itch again?! But definitely not until I'm finished with school. Today, my muscles are sore, but I think that means I pushed as hard as I could.