For 3 weeks I trained. I did tempo runs, long runs, increasing speed runs, and hills. And then it rained. Since my injury, I'm super paranoid about my pelvis in the rain. The last long run I did was 6 miles, and my pelvis felt off around mile 4. I knew I should just call D to come get me, but I just went on with it. No biggie. Except Sunday, I was hobbling. The temperature was also climbing around and the rain was coming in, and I got scared I was going to end 2015 the way 2014 ended, barely being able to walk. So I decided to take a week off.
Around that time, D told me he wasn't going to have to go out of town, so to sign him up. For some reason, he thought 10 Miles was good for him.
The next week I went to the gym and started running. It still felt off. So I walked 2 miles. Then traffic at work, work, excuses, excuses. D, too, had excuses. Work, dogs, traveling.
So basically from Mid November until 12/12 neither of us ran. I did look at the elevation of the race. It wasn't that bad. We run hills all the time. HAHA!
So the day of the race, we arrived at Lulelemon on Howell Mill. We got there early and checked a bag in, since it was a point-to-point race. We hung out, and tried to remain calm. D still wasn't sure if he was going to run 10K or 10 Miles. He said he'd figure it out.
The race started. As usual for Atlanta, no start mat (what is up with that)?
Everyone seemed to pass me, so nothing out of the ordinary. Since I look down while running, I didn't really notice the incline going South on Howell Mill toward West Marietta Street. It was fine. I didn't feel fast, but everything felt fine. My heart rate was up, but nothing too exciting. I turned onto West Marietta and passed Five Seasons, Octane and Hop City. Slight uphill and then a big downhill.
Mile 1: 13:28
So down past some Student Apartments, and then up past King Plow Center. I really never pay attention to that since I always notice MeadWestVaCo on the other side. I walked part of that hill. We turned off of West Marietta into a little neighborhood. It was mostly downhill, so that was nice. Came out of it back onto West Marietta (from an uphill) and a water stop.
Mile 2: 14:31
So then things began to get easier. Lots of downhill. (961 ft to 830 over a 1 mile stretch). The turn onto Johnson Road was welcome quiet. West Marietta is an industrial road, and while the APD did a great job of keeping trucks from hitting the runners, the fumes of the trucks and the drivers who were "hugely inconvenienced" of driving on a road with runners so they could only go the speed limit instead of 70 mph were getting on my nerves. Right before turning into a neighborhood was Mile 3.
Mile 3: 13:58.
So there was the 10 Mile/10K split. I was glad I was only running 10K. I ran into the neighborhood. Lot of little kids were out cheering everyone on. There was a hill in the hood, but it came at a water stop. So I walked up part of it, where the 10K and 10M re-joined. Back to running. I passed the Perry MARTA Service Station, and then turned onto Perry BLVD. I got a little confused here because I didn't know Perry and Marietta were the same street, so I kept expecting to turn. Since I had seen the runners on Marietta heading in the opposite direction when I was going the other way, I knew that hill was going to be a bitch. Perry was incredibly hilly, but I was really focused on West Marietta Street. Suddenly there was the turn. But wait. That is Marietta BLVD. I've been on West Marietta the whole time? Like, I said, I got confused.
Mile 4: 15:47.
So D used to work off of Marietta BLVD, so I knew this area, or so I thought. MB was pretty flat, and I still felt good. I knew my times were slow, but I had handled those "hills." Laughing that everyone thought this was so so hilly. It seemed average for Atlanta. There was a turn for the 10K again onto Huff Road. The volunteers told me to keep it up. Slight uphill and then a steep downhill. The 10M joined back up. The side of the road where we were to run was really narrow (2 lane road) and the road was open to traffic. Going down hill shouldn't be that hard, but it made my breasts hurt...damn gravity.
Mile 5: 15:29.
Aw, shit. I can't even see the top of the hill I have to go up. WTF? Just do the best you can. I started to run it, but it was steep and long. My legs hurt. People were passing me. People seemed irritated they were passing me. Stop thinking about it, Al. None of these people are winning the race so your entry into the race is as good as theirs. Think of the beer at the end. When the hell is this hill going to end? Yes, there's the sign to tell you there is a stop. It's the stop sign to Howell Mill. Noooo, Howell Mill doesn't have a stop sign; it has a light. Jesus, more hill. Photographer lady, do NOT take a picture of me. I feel like I'm on a death march. Heart rate is reading 186. Maybe I am on a death march. Jesus. Finally see the actual stop sign. More hill. &#*$^!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I see the light! I see the light! I get to the light and the cop almost stops me to let trucks go through. I think he sees I'm on a death march and I have accepted my doom, and will not stop. I turn. No hill. Running past the Water Reservoir, and the road is now pretty flat. I'm back to running. I'm going to run to the 17th Street Light and walk up the next hill. I know it ends on a downhill, so I'll run that. This guy in a green shirt tells me that this really is the last hill (and it isn't that bad after the Huff Death March Hill), so I walk "fast" up it. Then finally I see Trabert Street.
Mile 6: 16:25
I see D waiting for me. I'm almost done. It really is just a downhill. Go, Al, Go! And finally I cross. Until the "injury" I had been aiming for 81 minutes. I got my 2nd personal worst at 93:27.
I'm probably supposed to feel bad about that, but did I mention this 10K ended at a brewery? So besides my medal, I got 2 free beers. And water. And food. We talked for a minute, and D tried to get me my beer glass, but I wanted water. They were out. So I got my beer glass, and we went into the brewery, where I knew there were water fountains. I pounded some water and then we got in line for beer. D said he ran the 10K, as well. And he laughed at my description of the Huff Hill.
|Beers and Medals|
Since the after-party was only for runners, and not for friends, family, or spectators, it was really fun, and pretty small (800 people). D and I aren't really after-party people, but we stayed around and drank our allotted beers and had some food.
Then we got a ride to our car and went home.
Overall, this race made me aware of what I need to do, in terms of training. But I had a great time being out in the sun, running, and having beer, in the meantime.