Here is my yearly post about encouraging everyone I know to sign up for the Atlanta Half marathon on Thanksgiving. You know I love this race and think if I can do it so can you!
Let me sell you on it my fellow Atlantans:
#10. It is pretty much downhill for the first 6 or 7 miles (yes, then the next 6 are uphill but whatever. Think of it as a lifting and shaping your ass into fine perfection). There is a Starbucks at the midway point. Mmmm, pumpkin spice latte . . .
#9. You get to see Buckhead in day light and wait, never mind. Disregard #9.
#9. You get to start in the dark and see the sun come up on Atlanta. I at least think this part is pretty cool. Running into the light, so to speak.
#8. You get a t-shirt with the exact same design they have had forever--that phoenix/seraphin thingy-- so everyone will know exactly which race you did from a mile away. And they will think you are cool. At least that must be the reason why I still see people wearing the shirts from 10+ years ago.
#7. You will, without a doubt, see at least one person that you have not seen in forever at some point during this race--though it might be at the expo.
#6. Next year the Peachtree will seem so easy and you will be able to drink beer and get a PR.
#5. They give you candy bars at the finish. Oh, and a gay little medal that you should definitely wear to Thanksgiving dinner. I think I might wear all of mine (they have only been doing the medal for the half for 3 or 4 years). Hmm, maybe I'll even wear them during the race. Jingle jangle.
#4. You get to run under the Olympic rings and on part of the Olympic course (90% if you do the full). And you should know, that this is the only American Olympic marathon course that still has a race on it. See how special that is?
#3. You will not be the one making the turkey that day. And if that isn't reason enough, I don't know what is.
#2. Beer, for breakfast. (Every does post race celebrate with beer right?)
#1. You will definitely "earn" your turkey but really what we are talking about is some sweet potato casserole, some mashed potatoes, some dressing--and gravy mmm gravy, some warm pecan pie--with ice cream and some pumpkin pie--with real whip cream-- and lots of yummy wine and Oktoberfest beer and best of all you don't gain a single pound because you burned off 1300 calories running up and down some cute little hills in downtown Atlanta. So see, what I am talking about, really is looking cute, wait, smoking hot, definitely not pudgy-- at the Christmas parties. Your New Year Resolution will be to run more, not diet.
So me? I am all signed up for the full! I have decided the lure of sleeping in my own bed, and driving down to the start/finish beats out traveling (and the costs involved)for a fall marathon elsewhere. Not to mention I don't have to get up at 4 am and leave by 5am since MARTA will not be involved (it is for the half though). I bet I can probably sleep until 5 am which is only an hour earlier than I regularly get up. No biggie.
No, it probably won't be a PR for me but whatever. I really don't care. I am done shelling out money to go do some race and stressing about it going poorly because I spent xxx dollars. This way I only have to spend $60 and I still get to run a marathon --even if it is hard one. But best of all. Afterwards? I get to come home, sit in my shower and then drive around the corner to Lala's and have a big fat delicious dinner that I didn't have to prepare. And the kids don't have to go school until the following Monday so I get a long weekend to relax and recover from the tin man shuffle. Now if the weather will just cooperate this year and I don't get bronchitis. . .
I have been training. My feet/calves continue to be an issue but I am practicing active recovery and rehabbing and icing and massaging the heck out of them. And I think they are slowly getting better. I am optimistic I can run the line between injury and healing. As a result though I have let the speed slide and chosen to focus on building up the mileage. So while I am not fast these days I am in it for the long haul.
Since the half iron man I have just been piling on the running miles. LAst month I only ran 140 miles. I am already past that this month (month prior though I ran 200+).
I ran 58 miles (4 days of running, 1 double) and 21+ miler the 6 days after the race in addition to swimming and cycling.
Last Thursday I managed to pull out a crazy double with 23.5 miles in the morning (3 hours 34 minutes) and then a 3.5 miler recovery run in the evening to hit 28 miles for the day. I finished the week out Saturday at 65 miles (6 days running, 1 double)with a 14.4 miler-- so I am even getting that dreaded mid length run in there too. I did swim and bike once each last week too.
This week I punished myself with yoga on Sunday. I was so freaking sore from twisting myself all pretzel Monday morning (I am still sore from it!) that I did not want to run but I forced myself to do 7 miles. I had to switch my long run this week to today because of commitments I have Wednesday and Thursday and because I need to do it early next week too since I have the Silver Comet half marathon next Saturday and again, commitments at the end of the week. I really wasn't feeling it today but my body loosened up after a few miles and I surprised myself and did 25.3 miles today in 3 hours and 45 minutes. Admittedly, I was a bit slower with the overall pace than last week's 23.5 miler but it was hotter today and last week I ran hard, maybe too hard.
It has been brought to my attention that I might be running my long runs too fast. Really, I am just doing what I can. These routes are quite hilly (by design) and I start out very slow and conservatively with an average 9:30+ pace for the first 5 miles. I let all the stiffness ease itself out of me and then I just start feeling good so I just naturally pick it up. In the middle miles I test out hard/fast paces. Then I reel it in a bit and then run the last mile or two as hard as I can comfortably manage. Today I finished running with 7:30 pace and felt fine. I am glad that I am having the energy to kick it at the end of these mega runs. It is making me hopeful for what is sure to be a bit of a death march in that last uphill 10k on Thanksgiving and so it will be nice if I can keep it together and finish running strong. Sigh, that is the hope. . .
Anyway, that is what I am up to these days. Lots of running, not much of it fast and a little bit of cycling and some swimming too. Well, in addition to all the mom, wife and business stuff. You know; same old, same old.
PS. Go sign up!