I think I last wrote on Wednesday that I had ruled out doing the half marathon. In a wave of anticipating regret if I didn’t run it I decided I *did* want to run a half marathon on Sunday after all.
Follow the dotted line on this picture if you’re interested in seeing the half marathon course.
I bought a bib from someone who couldn’t run, so I paid a lot less than I would have by signing up last minute, and I got to run as a man, haha!
It turns out Charles is exactly 3 days older than I am, as we were born the same year. I really doubt it, but the girl who sold me his bib said I ran about the same pace he would have run. He threw his back out or had back surgery so he couldn’t participate after all, and I kept thinking, “I’m running this for you, Charles!” like I was some sort of hero or martyr.
The girl I bought the bib from was going to run with me, but she also had to bail because she was very sick. 😦 We were going to take MARTA together. After I learned that, I quickly made other plans to catch a ride with another girl, who I had run in a group run with a month or so back. This turned out to be a great plan, as we were able to talk the whole time! She was funny and she’s a fellow mom, so we got to vent about life post-baby but also talk about how much we love our boys!
It was around 40 degrees outside so we hung out inside the Omni for a bit, taking the opportunity to pee and stretch as much as possible, but also avoiding the cold for a long as possible. My bib was in corral B, which meant I would have been able to start like a minute sooner than she would have in corral C, but I hung back, suddenly nervous about running by myself. Who knew I was so needy? I definitely had had my freak out before getting a bib about getting to the race by myself (this is one of my hangups, as I can get quite worked up about parking places and running late!), but then I was able to make a plan A (MARTA with bib girl) and then plan B when that fell through. Where there’s a will!
I had been worried about getting to her house by the time she wanted to leave, and after that I didn’t really worry about time or even what to do. She’d run this race twice before, and she just knew things, so I just followed her lead and didn’t worry! Now I know what the deal is with this race so maybe I can guide someone next year.
Downtown Atlanta is so pretty, so that was nice to enjoy:
The race was pretty good! The course was gorgeous, ran through some really historic parts of town (including Ebenezer Baptist, the Carter Center, etc.). We ran places I’d driven through a million times and through neighborhoods I’d never laid eyes on.
My time included a potty break where there was long line, a few water stops, and jelly bean stop. There were green jelly beans all over the road after that stop, and I couldn’t finish the ones they handed me. There were all kinds of handouts, which was nice in some ways, but a little too much in other ways. I would have needed a serious goody bag or a sherpa to collect and carry all the food they handed out. And runners are trashy! There was so much trash on the ground!
The police and other volunteers along the course were so sweet to cheer us on. I tried to thank them as much as possible. Many folks turned up to cheer on their friends, but they also cheered everyone else on. I got a little teary when the marathon course split from the half, as I was super proud of the marathon runners soldiering on to twice as many miles as we were running. They seemed so heroic to me! Maybe that will be me next year, too. Hmmmm.
My friend and I stayed together most of the race, she got a burst of energy the last mile, so she ran on ahead. I was so proud of her as I know she’d trained up to this race more so than I had. She also had time to snap a shot of me after I crossed the line, sweet!
It was all in a all a great experience and I’ll run it again, definitely with someone I can talk to the whole time to make it fly by. I’ll try to run it AS myself next time, too, haha.
Thanks for reading.