With the terrible events that occurred at Monday’s Boston Marathon, it has been hard to think about races, both past and future. Running communities across the country are doing so much to show support for the victims, their families, and the city, and it is truly inspiring. I ran 4 miles for Boston on Tuesday and 3 miles today, and each time I feel my feet moving beneath me, I am so grateful for the ability to do so. Check out CNN iReport’s #runforboston page and make your pledge today!
There is so very much to say about last weekend’s 2013 Georgia Warrior Dash. This was my first mud/obstacle run and while I had a blast running the race, overall it was a bit of a let down. Sure, we got nice & muddy but the overall experience was a bit tainted, thanks to some massive fails in race logistics. Consider yourself warned.
Although I’m still focusing mainly on strength training and rehabbing my knees, next Saturday’s Warrior Dash marks my return to pounding the pavement. 2013 is going by so fast that I nearly forgot my mom and I are running a 15k in six weeks! Time to get my brain back into the training game with the quickness!
What better way to do that than registering for a fun race?
My alarm went off at 5 a.m., and I immediately checked the weather – 63 degrees and 94% humidity. In January. I was really hoping for this race to be chilly, but oh well. In what would prove to be my best decision of the day, I wore my trusty cropped Nike Dri-Fits and a tech tee from Tarjay. I scarfed my standard breakfast of oats with almond milk, peanut butter, and cinnamon before Mom snagged me at 5:45. We hit the road, driving through a foggy downtown Atlanta on the way. Couldn’t resist a blurry iPhone-from-the-car shot!
The race sold out (19,000 people total), so unsurprisingly, there was a good bit of traffic getting to the parking lots, but we were parked by 6:35, no problem. The corrals didn’t open until 7:15, so to kill some spare time, we walked around, scoping out the post-race party area; the music was already blaring, and there was a group Zumba warm-up going on that looked like a blast. Before we headed to our corrals, we took a picture with the sign I made for Mom.
I was assigned Corral C but managed to sneak back to Corral D with Mom so we could start together – sorry for being that person, race organizers, but I just had to!
Roughly nine minutes after the race officially started, our corral crossed the start line. As we ran up Capitol Avenue under the Olympic rings, I could see the Atlanta skyline shrouded in fog while “Born to Run” played in my ears. A perfect start, I’d say.
My multitasking-while-running skills are still not that great, so I have no photos of the actual course – fail of the race. There were enough hills to make the course interesting, although it wasn’t particularly scenic. We ran through a lot of Georgia State’s campus, and I caught myself getting a little nostalgic. I graduated from State five years ago, and I can still remember where what my first day on that campus was like.
Mom and I crossed the finish line holding hands (final time: 34:57) and immediately hit the water station for some non-chocolate refreshments. I was so hot and sweaty that chocolate was honestly the last thing on my mind until I guzzled some water. After our H20 fix, we walked to the Finisher’s Mug area where we waited in a very short line before a super friendly volunteer gave us our mugs. Look how cute!
We popped a squat in the middle of the madness of the Turner Field Green Lot and enjoyed our chocolate. The pretzels seemed to suffer from the humidity, but the hot chocolate and marshmallow, banana, rice krispie treat, and fondue hit the spot!
Obviously, the humidity was not kind to our hair. After we took our picture, we joined the super energetic emcee and the crowd for a mass Wobble dance-off. Yes, my mom did The Wobble. It was pretty awesome.
Final verdict: even though I was hoping for much cooler weather, the Hot Chocolate 5k was a really fun and well-organized race, and I’m so glad we kicked off January and our next two months of half-marathon training by running it. Major shoutouts to RAM Racing and all of the friendly volunteers who made the race such an enjoyable experience!
One of my most important New Year’s resolutions for 2012 was to be more active. While I loved going to our local gym, I never considered running an option for exercise; I was born with hip dysplasia and dealt with off-and-on issues with my hips through my teenage years and early twenties. I could do the elliptical, hike the nearby trails, or take spin classes till my heart’s content but the thought of my feet hitting the pavement terrified me.
In March I decided it would be fun to participate in the Atlanta Color Run with my husband and our friends. In the interest of full disclosure, I really wanted to do the Color Run for the awesome pictures that would undoubtedly come out of it. I envisioned myself walking most of it and then joyfully running a few yards through the color zones before going back to walking. The morning of the Color Run, my friend Josh turned to me as we were waiting to cross the start line and said, “So we’re running this, right?” I shrugged and thought to myself, “Might as well…”
After crossing the finish line after 3.2 miles of slow jogging and walking, I realized that maybe running would not kill me after all; my hips felt fine, my legs felt great. Could I become one of those people that could feasibly describe themselves as a runner?
Days after the Color Run, I found out I had received a number in the Peachtree Road Race along with my BFF Novelette. After three months of consistent training with solid running playlists and the Galloway walk breaks method, I ran my first Peachtree in 1:24:01, crossing the finish line triumphantly holding hands with Novelette.
We felt so good after running the Peachtree that we shook hands (after a few Fourth of July beers) on doing something crazy: running 13.1 miles. I went from casually running 2-3 days a week to running 4-5 with lots of delicious yoga in between. My zero-to-60 adventures in running in 2012 culminated in my first half-marathon, the Savannah Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon. I had no other goal other than crossing the finish line, which I did in 2:37:54. Slow and steady might not win the race, but afterwards, I felt invincible.
I am excited to see what 2013 brings for my two feet. I have a 5k, a 10k, and another half-marathon lined up in the first three months of the year with a half-marathon in mind for September. I plan on blogging regularly – for real this time – as a way to hold myself accountable for training, to chronicle my journey as a newbie in the running world, and maybe even to connect with some like minds along the way.