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Atlanta 13.1 Race Recap

Better late than never!
Last Sunday: 2.5 m w/u, Half Marathon in 1:20:37, 2 m c/d (17+)

Top 5 Results:

Emmanuel Ngatunyi  1:03:59

Reuben Mwei 1:04:33

Jynocel Basweti 1:07:30

Devon Berkness 1:09:49

Nathan O'Connell 1:10:22

Lilian Mariita 1:17:28
Justyna Mudy 1:17:46
Meggan Franks 1:20:37
Jill Horst 1:21:16
Tamara Karrh 1:23:39

Maddy in her Jammy's getting ready race morning!
My Mom flew into GTR late Friday night so we waited until Saturday morning to finally leave for Atlanta. The drive is always difficult for me with passengers as I have no patience driving in traffic, so by the time we picked Houston up at ATL (he was getting off the plane from the Paul Short meet) I was pretty stressed! After picking up the packet, we went to a nice pasta restaurant for dinner (HA! Pasta, of course I never ate it, filled my face with bread instead,) Maddy had had enough by 8:30PM so we all ended up with a pretty good night's sleep.

After gulping down a cup of some of the most highly unpleasant ( nasty)  hotel coffee ever, Houston drove me to the start line about 15 minutes away and then drove back to pick up Mom and Mad. The air felt good and so did my legs, I tried my best to keep warm and relaxed before the gun went off exactly at 7:00AM
Mad and Dad cheering around mile 6
Miles 1-4 - Running in the dark
6:18, 6:06, 5:55, 5:44
The first 4 miles felt like we were running in circles up and down a freakin mountain. I could feel my hip and calves slowly tighten up but my breathing was controlled. The pace was fast even though Meagan and I had planned running about 6:10 pace, but the effort was the same being that the first 4 miles seemed more down hill than up. Still, once we hit mile 4 the tightness in my hip caused me to slowdown and relax.
Somewhere around the second half
Miles 5-8
6:08, 6:12, 6:16, 6:06
Once we hit mile 5 on Peach Tree Rd, the lady that would eventually finish second had already gaped by a respectable 20 seconds. The pack I had been running in broke up completely (Meagan finished her very respectable 5 mile tempo run before heading back to work the "after run party") and I found myself in no-mans-land. It was about this time I discovered I had a biker companion and he did everything he could to shower me with positive comments. It was around mile 7 that I was passed by a male runner (AKA "Taste The Win" is what I called him, that is what his singlet said) and instead of getting discouraged  I convinced myself that if I didn't catch up to him I would end up fourth and out of the money (literally).

Miles 9-13.1
6:17, 6:16, 6:29, 5:55, 6:05, 49 (5:20 pace for .15)
Heading into the hilliest section, I passed "Taste The Win" and really started to get after it. I heard a little rumor (from Meagan) that the second half was harder than the first- heck, YES! miles 8,9,10 were filled with sharp uphill and downhill climbs. Even though I really FELT like I started moving, my garmin said otherwise. I split 10 miles in 1:01:30 and felt I still had a chance to run 1:19 high. This goal disappeared quickly when we headed into a windy, paved, trail and split a 6:29 (groan).
Atlanta 13.1 Elevation Chart
My friend the biker told me that 4th was 40 seonds back, so if I wanted to end up third I really needed to get after it. Once I got my legs turning over I was surprised how good I felt, and almost disappointed that I didn't pick it up sooner. About 11 miles I passed me Husband screaming at the top of his lungs and my Mom and Maddy playing paparazzi. Houston would later catch up with me (on his feet) to which I would scream at him "That's illegal pacing you know." (Not really but funny at the time) I will say that if he caught up to me when I was running 5:55 going up, he must have been running 5:20 effort in jeans and boots. Got to love an overly dedicated Coach and Husband!!!

Half mile to go....
Typically when I run half marathons I feel sorta like I am running on the verge of passing out. I guess I was "waiting" to finally get tired or die. When I heard my biker yell "half a mile" I was almost in disbelief, "Am I really doing this?"
After a quick downhill my biker and I finally parted ways and I ran the last 250 meters or so to the finish (at 5:20 pace with the help of the hill). I watched the clock tick 1:20 and I couldn't help it, I was smiling and fist pumping! I had done it, skipped the 1:22's, 1:21's completely!
Feeling good coming into the finish!

Huge PR= Fist pump!

1:20:37 ranks me 14th on Canada's 2011 best list. Not as good as the marathon, but Atlanta 13.1 is not what you would call a "flat and fast" course! The goal is to run NOLA in the spring for a 1:19 or better.

Thanks for all the support and congrats! Was a well deserved PR! Look forward to reading everyone's updates! Niagara falls only 15 days away!!!


Amazing run and what a wonderful thing to have that biker support!
A-Pi (Peter) said…
Excellent running! You would've won the half I did last week. I set a PB too, though nowhere near yours of course.
Miss Erosion said…
CONGRATS on such a wonderful race. You are such a speedy runner. I cant wait to see what you do at Niagara! I'd seriously LOVE to have you as a coach, no joke!
Amazing race, and perfect timing for your marathon. I can't wait to see what you will do!
Mallory said…
Congratulations! The Atlanta race is very hilly. I'm almost done training for my first half marathon, and I agree with Miss Erosion. It would be awesome to have you as a coach!
Lize Brittin said…
Woot! Congratulations on a great race!!
lindsay said…
Your body is rockin'!! I would love to be so toned, trim and while we're at it... Running 1:20 halved too. :)


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