Remember how I told you I’d had that hair-brained idea to run a 10k literally for the t-shirt at the end? And, remember how I told you my training for the said 10k had kind of disappeared? Well, just over a week ago that 10k became a reality and I only went and did it! Let’s face it I had no other choice.
Ready to hear what happened? Here goes…
So, after picking our numbers up the day before, this thing certainly started to feel a little real! We were running a 10k and there was nothing we could do about it. After a very healthy night before a race which consisted of beers by the pool and pasta, we got up mega early (we’re talking 6am people, on the 4th of July!) and headed to Mandy and Carson’s house, our running partners in crime who were just as up for it as we were, having pizza and beer the previous night! Hey, at least we were all on the same wavelength!
So, off we went to the starting line, where we needed to be an hour before our scheduled race start of 9am. Did I mention that this 10k is the biggest in the world? Nope, well it is. We’re talking 60,000 runners making their way down Peachtree Street (hence the name the Peachtree Road Race!) guzzling gallons of water and hoping to survive the heat and humidity to make it to the finish line…that’s one hell of a lot of people!
We made it to the starting line and stretched out a little, the German once again taking this thing very seriously…
After waiting around for a while, finding our start wave (the last one may I add!) and mingling in with the thousands of runners we were finally here…the starting line:
Uh-oh…here goes! We passed the starting line and I began my shuffle/jog. A few minutes in and everything felt good. We did pretty well with the weather, it was hot, but not too hot although we’re still talking around 80 degrees. The atmosphere was great, with people cheering you on at the side of the road, holding banners and placards with encouraging words on and holding their hands out for a high-five and my feet were working just fine…for now.
The four of us started together but the boys soon headed off on their merry way, a little further ahead of us girls. But we were just fine on our own, we carried on with our jog, passing runners who had started in the waves ahead of us, making us feel even better about ourselves! Soon we were at the 1 mile mark, that came a lot quicker than I expected. However, my thoughts soon turned to the fact I had another 5 miles ahead of me and I desperately needed to pee! I actually needed to go to the bathroom before we even passed the start line but I was too far into the crowd to escape to a portapotty!
I battled on, sweat starting to run down my face and chest (a pretty sight as you can probably guess) grabbing water along the way and spilling it all down me (have you ever tried to drink water from a cup whilst attempting to shuffle your way through a 10k race? Believe me it is a challenge!) I spotted some portapottys and mentioned them to Mandy but thanks to a huge queue and the fact I didn’t want to add 10 minutes onto my running time because I was standing in a queue for the toilet I battled on and carried on running. The view as you ran down Peachtree Street was amazing, just a sea of runners all heading in the same direction – for that coveted t-shirt waiting at the end:
We decided we were going to try to run at least half the way to the 3 mile mark without stopping, mile 2 came around and I was certain mile 3 wasn’t possible! By this point the temperature had got even higher and I was as red as a tomato. But I was determined to battle on and I spotted a water mister, surely that would cool me down? So Mandy and I ran through it but instead of being misted we were drenched! It did the job though and cooled us down a little. Suddenly, on the horizon, I spotted the 3 mile mark! We were nearly half way there and the 3 mile mark meant a little walk…phew. It also signalled the start of what’s dubbed as ‘heart attack hill,’ something I definitely couldn’t have shuffled up! So, we decided to take a walk for the next mile, a fast walk at that, and take in some of the random outfits people were wearing:
The pug costume was one of my personal favourites! There was a good selection of stars and stripes wearers (including myself and the German) and the people in the white t-shirt at the end of the picture were running with an 89-year-old an who does the race every year…their t-shirts were ace and Lamar was so cute! Good on him!
After walking for a mile we picked up the pace again, heart attack hill over and over half way towards the finish line, I was feeling a little tired but determined to carry on. We walked and ran the rest of the way, I missed the 5 mile marker looking for Mandy and suddenly was at the 0.6 miles to go mark…wooo! By this point the majority of the course was downhill, a huge bonus when your not so athletic legs had been running for nearly 6 miles without any training! People on the sidelines were shouting ‘Keep going, the finish line is in sight!’ and all I could think was no it isn’t, I can’t see it and, being under the impression that it ended at the Park Tavern, I still thought I had a long way to go. But, suddenly, in the distance, there it was, the coveted finish line was in sight! Suddenly, my legs picked up the pace and I was off, down the hill and across the finish line!
I DID IT!! I finished the Peachtree Road Race! I ran a 10k and it felt bloody amazing, well not at that exact moment, I was pretty happy it was all over, but, after 10 minutes or so when I’d got my breath back and my hands on that all important t-shirt I was one happy camper and bloody impressed that I’d actually done it! Cue after race pics:
Turns out Mandy crossed the line first, closely followed by Carson a couple of minutes later, I was just 11 seconds behind Carson and the German 5 minutes behind me. Official time 1 hour and 18 minutes! My aim was to do it in around 1 hour and 30 minutes so I definitely beat that one. For a first attempt with no training I think I did pretty well!
Next stop for us was the Marta home, closely followed by a Chick-Fil-A (the official food of serious runners of course) and spending the rest of the day on Carson’s parents boat at Lake Lanier, the perfect end to a gruelling morning of running:
We watched the 4th of July fireworks and took our tired legs home, they were already starting to hurt and left us walking like 90 year olds for the next couple of days! I’m guessing even Lamar, the 89 year old was in better shape than us in the days after the race!
Still, the most important thing is we got those t-shirts:
Oh and did I tell you we’ve all already decided to run the race again next year? Yes, we’re eager for more punishment…and to beat this years race times! Even the German says he’s going to train for it next year…is this the worrying moment where we turn into serious athletes and start eating all healthy and everything? I seriously doubt that seen as though wine and possibly pizza is on the agenda tonight!