Let me tell you what's been going on up till now:
- Everyday, I've continued my training, which is usually:
- Monday: weight training & swimming (1.2 miles)
- Tuesday: run (3 miles)
- Wednesday: shorter bike ride (20ish miles)
- Thursday: run (3 miles)
- Friday: longer bike ride (30ish miles)
- Saturday: rest/yoga/walk
- Sunday: long run
- July 1st: last summer exam!
- July 3rd: 14-mile run!
- July 4th: Peachtree Road Race 10K!
- July 6th: last day of work at the library!
It's been crazy recently!
So, yes. I ran 14 miles on Saturday and then promptly ran another 6.2 at the Peachtree Road Race on Sunday. Am I insane? Why, yes! Yes, I am!
You see, I had to fit in a 14-miler this past weekend for my marathon training. First, I thought about getting up early and running 8 of the miles before the race started on Sunday, but I would have had to start running at 3:30 AM, which I just don't do. It's still far too dark at 3:30 AM for me to feel safe. Also, I wanted to be able to race the Peachtree (at least a little), so I didn't want to wear myself out with 8 miles beforehand. Then, I thought about putting in the extra 8 after the race. That plan just wasn't ideal either though because (a) it would be way too hot after the race, and (b) I wanted to relax at the post-race party afterwards! Lastly, I thought about splitting the 14 and doing 8 on Saturday and 6 on Sunday, but I wouldn't get the experience of the full 14.
Conclusion: Run 14 on Saturday and 6 on Sunday. I had to do it.
The 14-miler was good. It wasn't my best showing, and I wasn't begging for more after my Garmin beeped at 14, but I finished. I had a minor accomplishment along the way: I destroyed a hill that I thought would destroy me. We're talking a .5-mile-long, >1%-grade climb.
Can you see that mess?
Do talk to yourself (out loud or otherwise) while you're running? I totally talk to myself! All the time. I have a variety of mantras I chant to myself. Among my favorites for hills are:
- You don't have to win, you just have to finish
- Slow is smooth, smooth is fast
- Pain is temporary, quitting is forever
- I'm a warrior. I'm a WARRIOR!
I knew I'd hit the monster around the 10-mile mark, so I started psyching myself up around mile 9. I didn't know if any of my usual mantras were going to be enough to power me up the beast, so I started the pep talk early, hoping a new mantra would come to me. It did.
My pep talk started with me reminding myself about the "real" purpose of many competitions: Separating the men from the boys. Yes, it's sexist, but it worked. I had the following conversation with myself for about 5 minutes: "This hill is going to separate the men from the boys. Are you a man, or are you a boy? Are you going to be scared, or are you going to dominate? Are you a child? Are you no stronger than a child? No! I'm a man! I'M A MAN!" The whole way up the hill, I chanted to myself, "I'm a man! I'm a man! I'm a man!" Yes, the other runners and bikers moved to the other side of the path and probably thought I had lost my marbles, but it worked.
What do y'all say to yourselves to keep you going? Do you say it out loud, or just in your head?
Post-run, I iced and tried to take it easy. I was sore as all get-out, and I wanted to run some semblance of a decent race at the Peachtree. I ate all the carbs in the house! It was fantastic.
Sunday morning, I took the train up to the starting line, bright and early. I was greeted by a bevy of race photographers! Ack!
Surely someone could have told me that I had constructed the most poorly-matching, altogether-hideous running outfit ever? If you're wondering, "Did she get dressed in the dark?", the answer is yes. Of course, I did pack the day before...
Anyway, the Peachtree Road Race is the largest 10K in the country, and I ended up racing it with 55,000 of my closest buddies!
(photos from ajc.com)
It was the 41st running of the race, and it's become quite an Atlanta tradition! The whole 6.2 miles were lined with live music, spectators, and vendors. There were kids with water guns shooting us, and even the fire department was out there with their hoses! Everyone is cheering the whole time--it really helps ya keep going!
The first three miles weren't bad at all. They were mostly downhill, and I felt really good, despite waking up to sore legs from my Saturday run.
After those three downhill miles, it was pretty much three uphill miles. Ouch. I ran through almost all of it--only walking through the water stops--but I only ran so much because walking hurt more than running! Weird how that happens, eh? I tried to walk once on the hill Atlantans call "Cardiac Hill," but my calves started screaming, so I starting running again within a few seconds. By the end of the 10K, I was so ready to be done!
I crossed the line at 1:06:47. Also not my best showing, but I did it on sore legs! I'm an F-ing machine! I picked up my t-shirt and some grub, and then I wandered around looking for Jeff.
A lot of people run the Peachtree just for the t-shirt. There's a huge competition for the t-shirt design every year. This year, a chick from my alma mater (University of West Georgia) won! I think it's a pretty cool-looking shirt.
The t-shirts are coveted by Atlantans. They get you discounts and free things all over the city, and you can only get one by running and finishing. I used mine to get a free beer at Milltown Arms and a $4 burrito at Willy's. I wish I could have leveraged it for more, but...well...I wasn't walking so well. It sucked. I couldn't even go to the fireworks show I wanted to see! That's what I get for putting in 20 miles in 2 days, but I'd say it was worth it!
Coming up, I'm competing in the Georgia Games!
I'm doing a 32-mile road cycling race on Saturday with my friend Paul. It's going to be my first cycling race! I'm so excited!