I debated to continue to write because 2016 was full of lows. A month after I broke my back, my mother-in-law passed away. Then came a depression, after the physical therapist told me I would never run again. The another doc found a lump in my breast and I had to get that figured out (benign). And I was going to another doctor, because I was averaging 4 hours of sleep a night. I worked hard to get out of the depression and to prove the PT wrong. This kind of bled into getting back to sleeping normally again. The breast thing took care of it self, thankfully. Every time I seemed to be going ok, my back would flare up. I had 2 rounds of pain injections. Then at my year appointment, the doc said I could have one more round but I really need to think about another surgery to get all my rods out. Physically, I'm ready, but mentally, I'm not about to go into the hospital again. So instead I signed up for a 5K. Since February, I've been doing the Couch to 5K, the best I can. Week 2 and 3 seemed to last for about 4 weeks. Then in March, something clicked.
My friend works for Topgolf, and I saw she had a few complimentary passes to run their first 5K, so I asked if I could have one, to which she obliged. I paid for D's entry fee, and for a month (except that week in Tampa where we drank our asses off), we trained.
Friday the day before the race, D told me he was going to Asheville for the day because Wicked Weed was having a bottle release. I decided to tag along.
|Wicked Weed Funkatorium|
While he bought beer, I drank it.
We got dinner and went home.
|Even in Asheville, I will eat my pre-race meal of Pizza (this is from Barley's)|
Did I mention I had sleep issues last year? Well now I'm going the opposite direction and sleep about 9-10 hours a night. So we left Asheville at 8:30 and got home around midnight. Set the alarm.
Saturday (race) morning: We got up around 6. Well D did. I played on my phone until 6:30. Then I rushed to get ready. I struggled deciding what to eat. I stopped eating Clif Bars last year, and usually our running takes place at night, or I run on an empty stomach. However running on an empty stomach when you get up versus when you wait 2 hours before a race is different, because you are actually awake enough to be hungry. So I ate 1/2 a Clif Bar around 7 and 2 bottles of water. And we were off. Traffic was not bad (I-85 had fallen down on Thursday). We got to TG around 7:25, and checked in. Put our stuff in the car and sat there until 7:45.
|Us, in the car|
Then we went to the start line, which got us there at 7:46. I walked around the parking lot, to stretch out my back. It was nice out...60 degrees.
I was beginning to get nervous. The Running Director started telling people to line up. It was now 7:57. We listened to the National Anthem, and stood around. We didn't hear, "Go," but it was said, because everyone started moving forward. Crossed the timing mat (that didn't time you...what is it with Atlanta races and that?), and started. We ran out of TG and down Ellsworth Industrial to Chattahoochee. D used to work over here, so I was laughing when about 100 feet off Chattahoochee, they had us turn left. There's a road there. For 10+ years, I've never seen that road. Anyway, it was downhill, which kind of scared me (what goes down, must come up). I could still see D although he was almost a red dot. But I must have been going fast. 9 minutes passed and I walked a minute. Restarted, and most of this road was flat. Except right around 12 minutes it started going up. Ding! What, 1 mile? 12:35? This is way too fast, yes?
So we turned off that road and onto a small side road that was flat, and then onto Marietta Street. It was gradually slanting up, but not that bad. I no longer saw D. I passed some people and some people passed me. It was odd to be passing people. Most people were walking. I felt I was shuffling. The incline started getting steeper. I walked at 19 minutes to 20, and resumed running. I passed the water station, and declined water...if I stopped I wouldn't re-start. Plus I wasn't thirsty. Keep going, keep going. Ding! Mile 2, oh, I slowed down. 13:35. But damn that still is pretty good.
Ok, by now I was tired. I was having trouble breathing and my legs hurt. I was only Week 6 into Couch to 5K so really I just needed to run .25 more miles. I thought of what my friend V told me earlier...run your own race. You have always run intervals before, it is allowed. So at the steepest part of the hill, I started walking. I decided I would walk the .25 miles. Oddly, at the top of the hill, the .25 miles was completed, and I was at 30 minutes. I turned left on Huff and that was down hill, as was the first part of Ellsworth. I am not a downhill runner...I don't like the feeling of not being in control, so I went as fast as I was comfortable with. A few more people passed me. I knew I wasn't passing anyone. I was tired. I must have been going slightly faster than I thought, because I hit 2.65 miles at 34 minutes. I can run .5 miles in 6 minutes, right? Let's see. Damn, the finish is uphill. Just try. You were aiming for 43 minutes, so you got that. Try for 40, douchebag! 43 is good enough. Yes, this is how I was talking to myself. I saw D around 2.85 miles. I refused to look at my watch after that. I was pretty sure I wasn't going to get 40 minutes. Still I pushed and pushed up this stupid hill. Got to 3 miles.
|D at 3 miles. Photo from Run Social|
|Me at 3 miles. Photo from Run Social|
|D finishing. Photo by Run Social|
|Me finishing. Photo by Run Social|
D and I got some water. I still didn't feel all that well, so I didn't stick around to look for G to thank her. We got in the car and went to leave. I must have been very far in the back of the pack, because there were 1 or 2 more runners, and it was very easy to get out of the lot without affecting them.
After, we went to QT and then to Argosy for a beer. Then I came home and slept 3 more hours to catch up on the sleep from the night before.
|Cascade Sang Royal at Argosy|