[caption id="attachment_279" align="aligncenter" width="237" caption="Stretching before the race. "][/caption]
Hi ladies! Sorry it has taken me so long to post a race update. I have finally recovered from an extremely long weekend and I spent all week trying to get caught up on the massive pile of work I left on my desk at the nine to five. Nonetheless, I am still riding a high from the weekend – not only did I run a pretty good race, but I also took Chris, my boyfriend, home to meet my parents! *Singing “Put A Ring on It”* As I wrote about in earlier posts, I was more than a little nervous about the race. All weekend I had butterflies in my stomach and this evil voice inside my head kept taunting me “What if you bonk? You’re not going to make it?” It didn’t help that I seemed to be the butt of all of the family jokes over the weekend. It started with my mom teasing me about my hair. Then my grandmother got in a few digs when she asked me how much money I made running. When I replied that I pay to run, she had a few smart comments that left everyone at the breakfast table rolling with laughter.
[caption id="attachment_283" align="alignright" width="245" caption="Ashley and Sonya pre-race."][/caption]
All jokes aside, by the time Sunday morning rolled around, I was focused and in the zone. The entire drive downtown I was visualizing myself crossing the finishing line. When Chris and I arrived at the race we met up with my cousin Sonya, who is the original BGR in the family. She has run quite a few half marathons and numerous 5 and 10ks. So, it was great to have her there to give me support. She also gave me some really good advice and helped me sneak into a much better corral. I was originally supposed to be in “O” with the walkers, so it really helped to jump in with the “L” group.
Once the race started, I easily slipped into a rhythm, my legs felt light and I was full of energy. That’s pretty much how I felt throughout the race – smooth and relaxed. I had one minor mental breakdown at mile 5, but I was able to push through. All of the quirky runners around me kept me entertained, and I spent the majority of the time people watching. Here is a glimpse into the randomness that kept me amused for 13 miles.
“Wow, this girl’s hair looks amazing! I think she got a fresh perm just before the race. Hehehe…I wonder how she will look when this rain really starts coming down.”
“Why am I staring at this guys butt? Oh yeah, because his shorts are entirely too short and he is not wearing underwear….Ewww gross!”
“Wtf? Is that a pit bull? Oh Lord, this reminds me of that Jamie Foxx joke, “Who’s pit is that?” Oh, ok close call…that’s not a pit, it’s just some other ridiculously muscular and menacing dog smacking his lips and eyeing me like I’m a bone. Where is your owner???”
“OMG, I still have 8 miles to go! Why am I out here!”
“I’m so hungry! I wonder if the lady next to me will give me a piece of her energy bar? Dang it, she just ate it all. Was I really eyeing her bar like that? I must be delirious.”
[caption id="attachment_287" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Hurry up and take my picture! "][/caption]
“Only a 5k left”
“Is this nerdy white guy next to me really listening to Ginuwine’s “Pony?” LMAO!”
“Wow! I’m not tired. Time to speed up and sprint through the finish line. “
I’m not sure when I’ll run my next half marathon, but there are a few lessons that I learned that I will definitely keep in mind.
1. Bring more food! I had a package of gummies in my back pocket that maybe had 15 small gummies in it. I spent the entire race rationing out the gummies, so at every mile marker I had a “snack.” Half way through the race, I was hungry and all I could think about was my boyfriend’s bad joke about black people running with chicken wings.
2. Get off to a good start – I did not meet my goal of running 10 minute miles. I attribute that largely to my slow pace at the beginning of the race. During the first mile or two, I had to fight to get around the 2:30 pace group and other runners running slower than me.
3. Check the weather –I really thought I had covered all of my bases covered when getting ready to leave for Atlanta – running gear, map, pick-up form, etc. The only thing I did not think about was the weather. If I had known it was going to rain and be cold, I would have worn a hat and brought a jacket to wear after the race.
[caption id="attachment_278" align="alignleft" width="229" caption="Victory! I'm done, now get me out of the rain and cold. "][/caption]