This morning I ran the ING Georgia Half Marathon which was my sixth half-marathon and my third year running the ING. Well, technically it was my fourth. The innaugural year, I ran the full marathon (which was completely awful, but that’s a different post. Actually, I’m sure I’ve written about it before.) Every year that I do this race, I forget how f’n hilly the course is. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Jason and I woke up around 5:30 this morning and I made myself two slices of whole wheat bread with Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter. We drove to the MARTA (subway) station and headed downtown for the race. We got there at about 6:45. I was in Corral L which was at the back. People were pretty much going into whatever corrals they wanted after the beginning ones, but I didn’t mind being in the back so I went to the correct corral.
I wasn’t exactly sure when I crossed the start line. It was somewhere between 10-15 minutes after the official start. The first mile was spent weaving in and out of walkers. I was also trying to pace myself. I have a tendency to go out too fast and then I get tired, so I tried to keep my pace leisurely. There was a clock a the first mile mark which I don’t remember them having last year. Since I didn’t know when I started, I wasn’t sure how I was doing but from there on out, I could pretty much tell my pace. The first two miles were easy. It started to drizzle during mile 2 but fortunately, it stayed at a drizzle and didn’t rain any harder. From mile 3 to about 7.5 were a bunch of rolling hills. The worst being on North Avenue right after mile 7. After that, it was flat for the next two miles. I had some friends say that they were going to meet me right before mile 9 at the beginning of Piedmont Park but when I got there, they weren’t there. That was disappointing. Come to find out, they got there like 5 minutes after me.
Up until mile 9, I felt totally fine. I felt like it was easy. But for whatever reason, I started to lose steam at 9. After we ran through the park, it felt like we were going uphill for a while. I kept running but I felt like I was almost at a walking pace. Another friend was supposed to be at mile 10, but turns out she came out like 15 minutes later and I’d already run past. (I wasn’t sure when I was crossing the start and was a little off when I was telling my friends to meet me.) I’d really forgotten that mile 10 was hilly. The Mile 11 sign was a glimmer of hope that I only had two more miles. At about 11.5, the first full marathoner came by. That made me pick up the pace a little bit. The clock at Mile 12 was broken so I really wasn’t sure of my time, but fortunately, the last mile was flat, so I tried to keep my pace up. That mile seemed to go on forever, but eventually, I saw the finish line and ran through with a clock time of 2:32 or something.
Somehow, I found Jason very easily after I crossed the finish. I got my medal, a space blanket and various snacks and water.
My goal for this race was to have a course PR. I knew that I wouldn’t have a PR because my half-marathon PR is on a flat course, but I thought a course PR was doable. And it was. My chip time was 2:22 something. I ran this race in 2008 at 2:28 and in 2009 at 2:32 (that one doesn’t count because I ran with a friend that had this stomach virus and had to walk some with her).
And then I spent the rest of the day eating and sleeping. Mostly eating!