I have to say that, despite my general disdain for large races, I once again raced the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta with 59,999 other folks. My thoughts:
- This is possibly the best organized race anywhere. For starters, I had my packet mailed to me so that I didn't have to go to the expo.
- Good swag (finisher t-shirt, always the coveted item, given out in an organized fashion at the finish; Whole Foods postrace box of a packet of nuts, a Clif Bar, and Dang Coconut Chips, toasted cacao flavor; and for extra $--and yes, I did spring for these--another shirt, sent months before the race, and a finisher's medal, strangely mailed a few days before the race)
- Efficient wave start
- Sufficient water stops
- Various mist sprayers and sprinklers
- Fans all along the course, some handing out ice pops, bottled water, etc.
My run was pretty slow, as expected (there was a high alert heat warning), but pleasant, not terribly crowded after the first half-mile or so. I clocked along at about a 12-minute pace early but slowed down to walk through all water stops and drink slowly.
I should add that I had the luxury of friends dropping me off and picking me up near the start and finish. So that was nice.
Yeah, First World Problem, I know. But I have frustrated myself by having to cancel or defer a pretty high percentages of the races I signed up for this calendar year due previously unscheduled family events. So far:
February 11: Hot Chocolate 15K, Nashville
May 29: Chattanooga Chase 8K
July 23: Music City Triathlon
August 27: Rocketman Triathlon, Huntsville, AL
Signed up for but have not yet had a family conflict for:
September 9: Heroes in Recovery 6K, Leiper's Fork, TN
Quick observation: Anyone who thinks time moves too quickly needs to spend May with middle school students.
My Saturday running choices were as follows:
- Run with my normal running group, a 20-minute drive away from my house, already paid for, at 7am, or;
- Pay $40 to run this 5K at 8am, a 10-minute drive.
I paid and slept longer.
Worth pointing out that last week's Saturday weather was brutal, and today's was gloriously cool--30 to 35 degrees cooler than a week ago.
Seeing as how this was an event primarily aimed towards beginning female runners, I'd hoped that nobody else in my age group would show up. (That is my ongoing strategy to get onto the podium.) I ran a decent race, just under 30 minutes. By no means a PR for me, but better in this very slow year.
After I saw the results printout at the race site, I was under the impression that I'd finished fourth in my age group. Oh well. Still a respectable race for me. I don't know if they were actually having an awards ceremony, but it looked like I wouldn't be getting anything, even if they did. I went home, showered, then went to watch some tennis.
Then, this afternoon, when I went to look up the official results, I saw that I was second in my age group!
* Two in my age group placed in the masters and grandmasters divisions and therefore were not counted in with the rest of the 55-59 age group. So, yeah...fourth in my age division. Out of four. Hey, I was faster than everyone who was still at home, in bed or drinking coffee (also great options).
Start times changed for Nashville marathon, half-Marathon
The starting times have been changed due to predicted high temperatures. via www.tennessean.com
Well, that's just great.
As it turned out, I did not sign up for this past Saturday's Smitty 15K, so I went on a 12-mile training run with the Galloway group. Not saying it was a big mistake, but my body rebelled at about the 10-mile mark. I walked most of the last two miles.
And the back injury that laid me low in September reappeared. Better now, after five days. Also, hope is on the way as the Mrs. and I went mattress shopping. I'm ready to buy; she wants to look around a little more.
But less than 10 days to go before the half-marathon. Despite my surprisingly good run last year on much less preparation, I don't think I'll be anywhere near PR shape.
That's me in the orange hat rumbling in, Dizzy Gillespie-esque-blowfish-cheeks and all.
Time to put the winter running clothes away for good (I hope). What a strange, confusing winter this was, seeing as how much of it had stretches of summer-like weather.
I like racing. I can't help myself. I'd rather race than go on training runs. Something about pinning on a race number (and, if I'm honest with myself, getting the swag) appeals to me.
Here, then, are my upcoming spring races:
4/1: Richland Creek Run. A lovely five-miler that benefits and largely incorporates the paved greenway trails in my fair city.
4/15: Purity Dairies "The Smitty" 15k. This longstanding event added a 15K last year. The downside? The event sponsor, a dairy, ran out of promised ice cream treats before those of us who did the longest distance were through. (The sponsor, to its credit, sent a coupon for a box of whatever item--e.g. nutty-buddies, ice cream sandwiches--a few weeks later.) My advice: Don't let the kids of the people who ran the 5K raid the stash.
4/22: Shade Tree Trot 5K. Haven't done this race before, but I have a friend who works with the race beneficiary, a free medical clinic. This course goes around the campus of my alma mater (Go 'Dores!).
4/29: Rock 'n' Roll Nashville Half-Marathon. Too big, too crowded, and most likely too hot. And yet, last year, though I thought I was not even close to race-ready running shape, I came within 70 seconds of my PR.
5/29: Chattanooga Chase 8K. My favorite race. Let's put it this way: This race is old enough that I remember being a kid and thrilled that runners wearing actual numbers on their singlets were running on my street, past my house. My mom still lives in that house, and I'll be running past her and other assorted family members. Circle of life...
In the meantime, enjoy this springtime treat: