I got up at 5 this morning, had a cup of coffee and two waffles that tasted like cardboard (I think they were gluten-free) and left my house at 6:15 to head down to Atlantic Station for the Atlanta 10-Miler. Atlantic Station is only about 20 minutes from my house, but the Atlanta Track Club sent out a ton of emails saying there would be traffic getting there, so I left with plenty of time. I had ignored the emails talking about the terrible traffic situation at Town Brookhaven, where the packet pick up was, so I learned my lesson. I also learned that at 6 am on a Sunday morning, none of the radio stations play music. They all had weird local talk shows on. It was a little bit Twilight Zone-ish.
Anyway, the Atlanta Track Club wasn’t wrong about the traffic. I was at a standstill on the Downtown Connector for about 20 minutes getting off at the exit to 17th street. Fortunately, I had plenty of time, so I wasn’t worried. I somehow found my friend Christina relatively easily at the start of the race. We were both in Corral D and about 7 minutes after the super speedy runners started, we were off.
I knew this race was supposed to be hilly, but I wasn’t familiar with the course so I didn’t know where the hills really were.
I lost Christina around mile 2 – there was a big hill and I slowed down a bit. I didn’t really get into a groove until mile 3 or 4. It probably helped that the third mile was like all downhill. It was an interesting course – all through the Northside Drive/Collier Road/Peachtree Battle areas. There were a lot of interesting houses to look at and there was a ton of great crowd support. And also Sport Beans at mile 6.
Mile 7 brought the hill that I did know about – Cardiac Hill. This is a mile stretch up Peachtree that’s part of the Peachtree Road Race. It’s long, but it’s not that steep. There was actually a race-within-a-race for the Cardiac Hill mile, which was sort of cool. They had a mat at the start and a mat at the end of the hill and your Cardiac Hill time was measured in your results. Mine was 11:19 – not terrible considering I walked some.
I actually felt pretty good after Cardiac Hill. I’ve run this part of Peachtree a bunch of times and I knew there would be a nice downhill. What I did not know, however, was that right after that nice downhill, we went UP the big hill that we went down in the third mile. This actually felt like the hardest part of the course to me. But I made it up and the last mile was relatively flat.
I’m normally pretty competitive with myself when I do races, but this time I wasn’t. I let myself walk up all the hills. Part of it was that I’ve never done a 10 mile race, so any time would be a PR but also part of it was that I haven’t run a longer distance race like this since maybe 2012? I know I did a 10K in 2013, but I haven’t done anything since then until now. So the fact that I actually trained for this and was able to run 10 miles was sort of enough.
I forgot to turn of my app when I crossed the finish line, but the race results say 1:49.
Mile 1: 9:46
Mile 2: 10:11
Mile 3: 9:59
Mile 4: 11:09
Mile 5: 11:35
Mile 6: 10:34
Mile 7 (Cardiac Hill): 11:57
Mile 8: 11:34
Mile 9: 10:50
Mile 10: 10:26
Christina finished about 10 minutes before I did but again, I had no problem finding her after. We sat around for a while before heading out. Getting out of the Atlantic Station parking garage was not ideal. It took me literally 45 minutes to get out of the lot. So, yeah, that part sucked, but all in all, the race was a success.
Now what? I feel like I need to sign up for something else so I don’t lose my level of fitness.