Runner’s Rambles: 2012 Peachtree Road Race
365 days, 9 races equaling 57.2 miles, and 50 pounds less all came down to this one day. Running gear shopping in a practical tornado the day before the race, drinking a swimming pool’s worth of water, and happily carb loading was all completely and totally worth it (FYI–I was stuck inside Khol’s while the world as I knew it came to an end during the flood of Noah; I didn’t exactly drink a swimming pool’s worth of water…maybe a baby pool’s worth; and the carb loading was probably unnecessary but any opportunity to eat pasta and cake I’ll take). The end result of the PRR was me laying in the grass (once again) feeling like I would boil to death (it was that hot) with pinkie toes made of tiny fireballs (blisters).
This year, the fourth came pretty quickly. Unlike the nights before any other race, I actually slept like a baby. I woke up ready to go, got dressed, and headed out to meet with another runner girl who was hitching a ride.
The Husband dropped us off and we made our way to the start line. The Runner Girl decided she had to use it (not uncommon before a race…unfortunate yes, uncommon no) and we scouted the port-a-potty lines to find that it would take until next Tuesday for her to get to one. We made our way further in and found a Publix that would surely let her use the potty…well…her and about 9 million other people. Of course the mens line was super tiny and the ladies line…well…you already know. I waited with Runner Girl as long as I could and then had to split. I waved my good byes, gave good luck and headed out.
When I reached RPIC’s wave, a small white lady popped out of the crowd and ran toward me with her arms out wide. At first I was scared…who wouldn’t be…but then I recognized the crazy lady as an old co-worker of mine. This would be her first PRR and we were hoping to see one another before the start. Excited Runner Girl and I chatted, snapped photos, and moved slowly forward to the start line. I couldn’t find RPIC, but I knew she was in the sea of tennis shoes somewhere. It felt weird without her being next to me. I felt like I was being unfaithful starting the race with someone else (weird I know, but true).
Excited Runner Girl and I took off and made our way for 3 miles running. I did stop at the first water station and walked about 30-45 seconds through the sea of wax covered cups and wet asphalt (the last thing you want to do is (1) choke on your water, and (2) slip on a waxy wet cup and bust your ass). I warned my new running pal that (a) I was slow, and (b) I don’t do running through water stations, but I think she ignored all of that helpful information.
She ran ahead of me as I trucked along encouraging me the entire way. Once we got to Cardiac Hill I told her to save herself as I gave up. She smiled at me, probably wanting me to continue with her (or saying thank goodness), but honestly I was glad to get the break. At about mile 2.5 I started to feel something uncomfortable on my toes. It felt as if a small group of fire ants had somehow found a way into my shoes and started feasting on my toes. When we broke up on Cardiac Hill I felt sad for losing her and like a failure for allowing my toes to dictate my race.
I got over the disappointment and just started running my race at my pace. I turned up the music, sang to myself, and ran intervals the rest of the way. Passing by the photographer bridge, I knew we were close and I caught my second wind. Burning toes or not, there was no way I was walking across the finish. I had never done it before and this wasn’t going to be the first race to start that trend. I busted through the finish, limped to my size, snagged my shirt, and took off for the food. I was starving!
I was proud of myself for celebrating race 10 with a run where I could actually see growth through every mile. By mile 3 last year I was done. I was only able to run mile 2 last year and this year I ran miles 1-3! Knowing that I could have kept going if it weren’t for the fire blisters on my toes made me feel a little better, too. I improved slightly in timing, which is nice. Next year I’m taping my toes up like Michael Jackson taped his fingers and I’m not stopping until I cross the finish!
Here are my race results:
(2011) 1:46:23 (2012) 1:37:54
10k (6.2 miles)
(2011) 49,018 out of 55,090 (2012) 47,534 out of 57,754
(2011) 22,724 out of 26,705 (2012) 21,974 out of 28,656
Division Place (age 30-34):
(2011) 3157 out of 3507 (2012) 3087 out of 375