|Huge Peachtree Road Race expo at the Georgia World Congress
Before we left the bay area, my last real race was the See Jane Run Half. Since then, I've only strung together more than 5 miles of true running effort on a handful of occasions. So, I was understandably a bit apprehensive about running my 3rd Peachtree Road Race.
We were in corral G, so we got to watch the final meters
of the Women's Elite field finish before we started.
I'd gone out for a few runs in ATL the week and a half before the race, so even before the red alert I knew that it was going to be rough for me (I'm very heat and humidity sensitive). When our corral started at 8:05 AM, it was about 74F with 95% humidity, and both the temp and the humidity just kept climbing. Just standing around waiting for the start caused me to break a sweat...
|My 70+ FIL is *very* fit and finished 7 minutes ahead of me.
3/4 of mile walk from where we parked to our corral,
then 0.4 miles of easy intermittent walking to the actual start,
and 1 mile from the finish to our other car.
Also, I observed two very interesting things. First, I backed off due to overexertion much earlier than I historically would have (probably because 13 months of not training gave me permission to be very conservative), and I actually cooled down the overheating and was able to finish the last 1.5 miles of the race with a stronger effort and faster pace than the portion in the middle where I was struggling. I don't think I've ever actually recovered from over-exertion and gotten comfortable enough to have a faster finish in a race before. It was such a great feeling (the downhill didn't hurt).
|Pace & Elevation vs. Distance (miles)
Second, I had remembered this as a race with lots of hills. But the hills near my in-laws' home are much more steep (where I'd run a few miles in prep), and that, combined with all of the hiking we did this year means that right now, I don't really register a total elevation climb of less than 300 feet over 6 miles as anything remotely hilly. The race felt flat to me, which was a big change from the 2 previous attempts where I'd done the running before the race in the flat bay area (also possibly because I took walk breaks up the hills and compared to uphill hiking, these inclines were nothing).
I am happy to be back in my home country and to be able to celebrate its birthday with such a big fun race. I highly recommend the Peachtree Road Race to everyone. The field is large enough that the raffle is relatively forgiving (all 5 of our group who registered as individuals got in). This year, it was the site of both the men's and women's US 10K road championships, which made for some fun fast US running to enjoy while waiting for our start corral.
This race is *amazingly* well run -- tons of security and volunteers, 60,000 participants, water stations are well-marked and large (but nothing besides water is on offer), the start corals go off *exactly* on time, the toilets are abundant, and the finish is in the beautiful and huge Piedmont Park where you can relax with friends and family and enjoy the ice cold water and snackboxes.
And now, I'm psyched to have time to actually build some real running into my schedule as we road trip across the US, I get to construct a 2.5 week training plan to get ready for Wharf to Wharf. Wish me luck (E2's in fabulous shape, so I'm gonna need to up my game -- I'm starting with praying for cool weather.)