Weight I have lost

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Atlanta Half-Marathon 2013

So D and I broke rules on Thanksgiving. Actually we broke rules on the 1.1.13, but those rules were ok to break because we ran a race on a holiday at a brewery.  We don't run on holidays because it interferes with our drinking on a day we have off together. We don't run in half or full marathons in Atlanta because it is too hilly. So in August or September we decided we needed to get back into running.  Of course, Thanksgiving would be the "perfect" time because we only had multiple Saturdays taken up by football or beer festivals or out-of-town trips. What a wonderful idea!  On the plus side, the average temperature is 50 degrees.

We trained half-heartedly.  Although we did train with hills, my longest run was in October.  It was 9 miles.  I don't know if D got that far. He might have run 7 or 8.  I can't really remember.

A week before Thanksgiving, I was walking Lompoc.  I fell in a hole that the prior HOA landscaper never backfilled.  I crawled up the alley to the driveway with the dog, and hobbled to the stairs where I was able to get D to come help me.  I cursed the landscaper who happens to also be a neighbor.  I almost flipped my lid when later that day he commented on how lousy the new landscaper is.  But I refrained from telling him that at least they backfill trees they take out.  I iced the ankle.   Friday it felt fine. Saturday it felt pulled.  I quietly ignored it.  But I didn't run any of the "taper" runs.

Tuesday before Thanksgiving came and D and I met at the Marriot Marquis to pick up our numbers.  We bought some really cute gloves as well, because it was supposed to be cold, and we weren't sure where our gloves were.  I was slightly nervous because the cutoff was 3:30 and my runs weren't all that fast, although somewhere along the way in the past 3 weeks, my 3 milers were getting there.

Old hat, new shirt, and new gloves
Wednesday came and I came home and baked a cake.  And cursed that I couldn't drink the way we normally do the night before Thanksgiving.  (We did have 1 beer each).
Because everyone bakes a cake the night before a half-marathon: Samoa Bundt Cake
D was all into laying out his clothes.  I focused on the fact it was going to be cold, and went to bed.   In the dark we talked about our parking plan.  It was too cold to park in Grant Park and walk to Turner Field.  So we decided to park in the parking lot.

Thursday (Thanksgiving)...I turned on the news.  It was the coldest day so far of 2013. It was the coldest Thanksgiving since 1911. It was 25 degrees.  I looked around for my stuff, and finally found it all. My heart rate monitor said I was dead.  I finally got it to work.  We did multiple things and finally were ready to leave.
I had on 2 pairs of pants, 2 shirts, 2 pairs of gloves and a hat.

We pulled into Turner Field.  It was now 24 degrees.  Fuuuuuuuuck!  We sat in the car for awhile.  Finally at about 715 we got out of the car.  I really was nervous about the 3:30 time limit.  Somehow D landed in Corral A again. He asked me to put him down for 2:30 on the next race.  We decided to get in Corral C.  We talked to 2 women for a little while.  Someone sang the National Anthem (Question: Do you take your hat off during this in 24 degrees?  D was the only one around us who did).  My HRM read that I was dead, again, so I didn't bother to start it.  Finally we were off.

Waiting for the race
We ran up Hank Aaron/Capitol Ave.  It was a hill but nothing exciting.  Most people (shockingly) were passing me.  I kept going.  We crossed over MLK and turned onto Decatur. There were too many people to do my 9/1 thing, so I kept moving.
Mile 1: 12:35

Finally I was able to make it over to the sidewalk to take a walk break.  We passed part of Georgia State and Centennial Olympic Park.  I really thought it was nice. The sun was out and the cops and volunteers were very supportive.  As we approached mile 2 there was a water stop.  The volunteers were throwing sand all over the ground.  I got a water, drank it and then traversed carefully on the sand.  The ice, yes, I could slide on.  But only I could find a pebble and roll my foot and hurt myself.  Luckily no issues.
Mile 2: 12:45

I knew we were turning onto Northside Drive, but for some reason I thought we were turning via Means Street (by the Engineers' Bookstore across from Georgia Tech).  I was a bit sad when we didn't.  We ran passed the the Post Office and finally got to Northside.  Some downhill.  Then I started thinking about the really big hill on Northside by the Westinghouse Building (17th St). Ugh...we will have to run up that.
Mile 3: 13:24

I really was dreading the hill. I ran past McDonald's and Burger King.  I could see it.  Wait? What?  We are turning at 16th Street. No hill?  Yes!!! Past the IKEA to some little street and then to 17th Street.  We were now at Atlantic Station.  The 2:30 pace team passed me.  I have run this section for the Komen.  Ugh!  We are going to have to run up Spring Street and that hill.  Either I was going REALLY slowly or the 2:30 and the 2:45 pace teams were off, because guess who next passed me.  I tried to keep up with the 2:45 pace team, but they ran too fast (they run/walk).  I knew if I kept up with them it would screw up the rest of the race.  We turned onto Spring.
Mile 4: 13:09
Mile 5: 13:29

At this point I had no idea what my time was.  I know that sounds silly but I kept missing the actual lap on my watch.  Eh, whatever.  So we started up Spring Street.  I hate this hill.  I was still fighting with my head to not try to stay up with the 2:45 team.  My run/walk was completely off.  Wait, we are turning.  We turned onto 14th St.  Aha!  A hill.  And a bitch of a one to boot.  I ran next to someone with a 1:45 pace team shirt.  It was obvious he was hurt, also obvious he was going to finish (he was a Marine).  We shuffled up the hill together.  We crossed over Peachtree.  Both of thanked the police there.  Ran down the hill and entered Piedmont Park.
Mile 6: 13:24
Mile 6.33 (said the half-way...my Garmin said 6.33): 1:23:48

I stopped and had a Hammergel and some water.  And was on my way.  Lots of people stopped for the bathrooms.  I kept going.  It was pretty flat.  I knew the last 3 miles of the course, but I couldn't remember Mile 7-10.  I was excited when I saw 10th and Charles Allen. I thought we were going on CA.  I was wrong.  We turned on 10th.  I've run 10th. It is rolling hills.  It isn't horrible, but I also know to get back to Turner Field all roads lead to hills.  Damn!
Mile 7: 14:22

OK, Al.  Never wonder where the hills are again,  you moron.  Really you thought Atlantans didn't know what hills were.  What kind of ass are you?  We turned on Juniper.  Oh shit. Juniper and Courtland are the same street, aren't they.  They are going to take us up Courtland.  Well maybe they'll take us North to Parkway.  Here's hoping.
Mile 8: 14:33

Yay, Sportsbeans.  These taste good.  Crossing over Ponce and North.  No good.  I don't feel like climbing Courtland.  Especially by Georgia State.  Just keep moving.  Do 4/1s.  Just keep moving.  OK, something clicked.  I have some energy.  There's the Marriot Marquis.  Oh we ARE turning onto John Wesley Dobbs.
Mile 9: 14:45

Yay!  Downhill.  We must be pretty much done with hills.  Passing streets to Grady.  This is good.  I'll let gravity take over.  We crossed under the Interstate and BOOM!  The biggest damn hill ever.  It was in front of a school.  We were by the MLK National Park (back side of it).  I wanted to cry.  No one around me ran up this hill.  People were going down with leg cramps. I focused on keeping my feet moving.  It was a climb but finally I got to the top and turned onto Boulevard.  There was a water stop.
Mile 10: 15:17

I knew the run through the outer part of Cabbagetown would be initially downhill, but then we had to go up to get upto Memorial (by Oakland Cemetery).  I did well until I actually got onto Memorial.  And then I wanted to be done.  My foot had a blister on it (newer shoes).  I could feel my foot sliding.  Just kill me.  Why did we think this was a good idea?  Whose idea was this?  Finally on flat surface.  We turn again?  Ok.  And another turn...onto MLK
Mile 11: 17:00

OK, if I walk the rest, I can be done in 40 minutes.  But run, Al, and you'll be done sooner.  Shut up, Brain!  Oh wait, I can see people crossing Memorial back to the stadium from here.  Wait...no way that is 2 miles.  I bet we have to run some more. (I know...crazy to run in a half marathon!).  I remember Mitchell is involved. Does Mitchell cross MLK?  Shit!  A bridge.  Ah downhill.  This is a super long mile.  Where the hell is Mitchell? Why is there another god damn hill. Oh there's Central.  That's where D and I got married.  When do we turn?  Ah Peachtree!  Yay!  Downhill.
Mile 12: 16:18

Oh fuck.  If this is taking me to Capitol, I have another hill to climb.  I'm just going to stop.  I don't need to finish.  Keep moving your legs, Al.  It is a lovely Gold Dome (passing the Capitol).  I'm walking this hill.  Finally at the top.  Thank another cop.  And it is downhill.  Yay!  Cross Memorial and the bridge hill.  By now I'm sure the blister on my foot is the size of my head.  Damn it hurts.  Why are you walking with less than half a mile left.  Run, Bitch, Run!  Bitch, Puhleese!  Just walk it in.  Move that ass.

Moving that ass
The last half mile was my brain fighting with itself.  But then over the horizon by the Holiday Inn and the DMV, I could see it.  The FINISH LINE.  I ran, albeit slowly.  But each foot ticked off some distance and finally the blue mats were behind me.
Mile 13: 17:14
Mile .32: 5:00
Total: 3:13:17

I saw D and hugged him and then wandered aimlessly.  I found the medals people and got one.  We got a picture and then walked to the car.  Well D walked, I hobbled.
Us, done
At home, I popped that blister and drank a beer!

Beer and Medal