Tag Archives: running

Hot Chocolate 15K

After I ran the Atlanta 10-miler, I was in that post-race, I want to sign up for another race immediately mode.  So I signed up for the Hot Chocolate 15K.  I wouldn’t say I trained perfectly for it.  I did all my long runs according to plan but my weekly runs were… sporadic.  So when race weekend got here, you’d think I’d be worried about the distance.  But nope, there was something else that was much more bothersome – the weather.

The predicted temperature on race morning was 24 degrees with a windchill of 16.  Now that’s cold for anyone no matter where you live, but for Atlanta, where the winter temperatures tend to hover in the low 40s, it’s sort of unimaginable.  So pre-race, that’s all everyone was talking about – the bitter cold weather.  So I went out and did what every experienced runner tells you not to do for race day- I bought some new clothes to wear.  I mean, I had to.

15K clothes

TJ Maxx for the win.

The weather forecast was spot on and it was ridiculously cold.  I drove to the race with two girls from my running group.  The race instructions said to arrive by 6:30 even though the race didn’t start until 7:40.  It actually said parking wasn’t guaranteed unless you arrived by 6:30.  Lies.  But anyway, we arrived at 6:20.  We sat in my car for a while before braving the elements and meeting up with some other ladies from the running group and also my friend Megan.

I was wearing a long sleeve shirt, another heavier long sleeve shirt on top of it, a hoodie, fleece running pants, a hat and gloves and I was still cold.  My saving grace, however, was that my friend Megan brought some disposable hand warmers.  Seriously could not have done it without those.

Before 15K

After we started running, the weather wasn’t too, too bad.  Megan and I ran together at the beginning but told each other that if one of us wanted to go faster or slower than the other, we’d just meet up at the finish.  I’m much better racing alone, to tell the truth.  I like to zone out and listen to my music.

The race started at Turner Field and went into Grant Park.  Megan and I lost each other around mile 2.  After that, it headed into the Old Fourth Ward and back through midtown through Georgia Tech.  At this point, I was feeling pretty good.  I was running at a comfortable pace and was, in fact, zoning out to my music.  I even removed my hand warmers.  Around mile 6, I started to think that maybe I could run the whole thing without walking.  The course was hilly, but not impossibly so and there were enough downhills to make up for the uphills.  Little did I know that a huge MFing hill was at Mile 7.

Mile7 hill

At least it’s pretty, right?  I let myself walk up the hill but then got a little discouraged when the 11:00 pacers caught up to me.  So once we hit the top of the hill, I started to run again.  Until I stopped to walk somewhere around the Capitol, which was another cruel hill.

After walking up the second big hill of the race, it was smooth sailing to the finish line.

Done

I ended up finishing in 1:45 which I’m not particularly thrilled with, but whatever.  After the race, I went to get my finisher’s cup of chocolate.  And I didn’t take a picture.  Fail.  It was a cup with compartments – one had fondue, one had pretzels, one had cookies etc.  And in the middle, there was a steamy hot cup of hot chocolate.  All I cared about was the hot chocolate.

All in all, it was a good race.  I’d actually heard that it was sort of a cluster because of the popularity of the thing, but maybe the weather made a lot of people stay home because it seemed fairly well organized to me.

After mrtt

Atlanta 10-Miler

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.

10miler

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.

Elevation

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.

Stats

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.

So This Just Happened

Screen Shot 2015 08 24 at 8 35 42 PM

Have I mentioned that I haven’t run a race in over TWO YEARS?!

Edited to Add – I just realized that last statement is entirely untrue.  I ran the Seneca 5K in March, some Candler Park 5K last September and walked the Emory Winship 5K while I was pregnant.  Well, it still feels like I haven’t run a race in over two years.

Why I Shop At A Specialty Running Shoe Store

Running shoes are fickle.  They’re not like regular shoes where they start out uncomfortable and then you break them in.  You don’t want running shoes to hurt ever (duh).  But sometimes they do.  I bought a pair of New Balance 880s from Big Peach, a local running shoe store, a couple of weeks back.  Looking at my purchasing history, they saw that I have tried both a neutral shoe and a stability shoe in the past.

I tried both styles on and went with the stability one.  And then I ran on the treadmill a few days later and my feet hurt.  It was a weird pain – on the outside of my foot.  I chalked it up to not running in a while (because that makes your feet sore in a specific spot?) but then I tried again a few days later and same deal.  Foot pain.

So last weekend, I went back to Big Peach with my shoes in a Target bag because of course I had thrown away both the box and the receipt.  They analyzed my gait and told me sometimes someone can go from being an overpronator to having a more neutral stride and I guess that’s what happened to me.  They said that I turn my feet outward when I run, but I don’t really overpronate.

After trying on like 5 pairs of neutral shoes and running with them on the store’s treadmill, I decided on some asics.  And they took back my used New Balances, no box, no receipt.

Shoes

Race Report: Seneca 5K

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a race report.  Back in the day, I used to run like 10 races every year.  I think maybe I ran one in 2014.  And it was terrible.  But now I can say that I’ve run one in 2015.  Hopefully this is just the beginning. I miss racing.

In the past six months or so, Jason has gotten really into working out.  His workouts put mine to shame.  He’s mostly been running and wanted to sign up for a 5K.  We decided on the Seneca 5K, in Jason’s home town of Seneca, South Carolina.

When we first decided to do the race, I was determined to train for it.  But then Alexander got a stomach bug one week and then I got it the next and somehow it was the day of the race, and I wasn’t trained at all.  Umm, oops?  That’s not to say that I hadn’t been running at all, but I definitely didn’t train.

Before race

The weather was perfect on Saturday morning.  Sunny in the upper 50s.  I started off feeling good and tried to run at a pace that felt faster than normal.  After about a quarter or half mile, I realized Jason was right next to me and we ran basically together.  The race was an out and back.  There were no mile markers which was sort of annoying, but since there was a turnaround, that helped me gauge how far we’d gone and how far the finish line was.  I took some walk breaks here and there, but managed to catch back up to Jason.

We both finished in around 31:20.  It was a PR for Jason!

After race

We hung out for a while after the race and took advantage of the free beer.  I mean, yeah, it was 9 am, but there’s something about a race that makes it okay to have a [very small] beer.

Beer

Race area

Even though this wasn’t my best time, it felt good to get back out there again.  Jason and I both feel inspired to do another race soon, maybe in April.  And maybe this time I’ll train for it.

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