2012 Peachtree Road Race Recap

Well let me first begin with the only other 10K I've ever done....

2008 Bolder Boulder: My 1st 10K
In Colorado, one of the biggest Memorial Day events in Colorado is the Bolder Boulder (Not to mention it is the 2nd Largest 10K in the US). After going to school there for a year I had decided why not give the race a shot. Plenty of my other friends got to the finish line so why couldn't I? How hard could 6.2 miles really be?! Well when race morning actually came I was extremely nervous and this was the absolute LAST thing I wanted to be doing. I had not run a single mile prior to that morning but somehow thought I would survive. I managed to puke twice (once as we were walking to the start and again at the first mile mark). I was not prepared for this day at all and honestly it was miserable. Luckily Adam had already finished the race by the time I started so he came back and basically walked the entire course with me (as shown below). I did manage to finish the entire course but I was completely wiped out by the end of the day. 

AJC Peachtree Road Race 2012: My 2nd 10K - A NEW PR
Fast forward four years and my 2012 Peachtree Road Race experience was the exact opposite of the Bolder Boulder. While Adam & I are both members of the Atlanta Track Club, which automatically guarantees you a bib into Peachtree, we didn't end up purchasing them back in March during the two week window. We figured we could just do it next year and didn't really think too much about it until this past week. Honestly up until Monday neither of us had planned on racing and figured we'd just enjoy the 4th by relaxing and hanging out by the pool.

When I was watching the news on Tuesday morning I got super excited about all of the hype surrounding the race and decided I would just purchase a bib off of Craigslist and do the race. I didn't bother looking for a bib for Adam because he would have qualified for a top seed bib and didn't want to start any farther back then necessary as it would slow him down trying to weave through the people. That morning I probably emailed ten different listing on Craigslist and on all of them I quickly received a reply of "Sorry I just sold it". There were a limited number of bibs that fit my criteria: 1) start time before 8:30 AM - needed to avoid the heat and 2) Under $50 (the bibs were $45 if you had them shipped to your house, $35 if you went to the Expo).  Luckily at around 10:45 I finally got a hold of a race number - I was going to be representing "Scott" a 39 year old Male from Marietta, Georgia. Also Adam managed to get his running buddy's bib which was in the Top Seed wave (basically the first row of people behind the Kenyans) so we were both going to get to do Peachtree.

As the day progressed my emotions surrounding the race fluctuated between super excited to super nervous! What if I'm not ready? Have a really trained enough, since the marathon my longest run has only been 6 miles? Can I run the race under an hour? Will I survive "Cardiac Hill"? All of these thoughts were racing through my mind the rest of the day as slight flashbacks of the Bolder Boulder came back. I knew I was in MUCH better running shape than I was back then but I was still nervous.

All Ready for the Race!
When race morning came I began the morning with my normal pre-run breakfast (one piece of toast with peanut butter & honey) and overall felt good. Adam had left about 45 min prior to me as he was set to take off at 7:30 and I wasn't going to start until 8:18. While our house is only 2.5 miles from the start line, we decided it would be easiest if we parked at the Marta station and then walk to the start.

2012 AJC Peachtree Road Race Course 
At 8:18 it was finally time for Wave L to take off. I didn't want to take off too fast and burn out but I also wanted to push it fairly hard. I wanted to prove to myself what I could do, especially injury free. As you will notice with the elevation map, from mile marker one to three it is all downhill. At around the 9 min mark I kept looking around hoping to see the first mile marker. I glanced down at my watch and it was now 9:45...then 10:15...and then 11:00. I knew there was no way I was running that slow and obviously had to have missed the sign but I still had no idea what pace I was actually going. Finally as I hit mile marker 2 I looked down at my watch and saw 18:23. I was averaging a 9:11 pace and felt great!

As I approached "Cardiac Hill" I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew it was a long hill and that I should be careful but as I was cruising on up and still feeling good. I was pleasantly surprised when I looked up and saw the sign "Congrats, you have made it to the top of Cardiac Hill". I knew I still had a few climbs to accomplish but at mile 4 I was at 37:34. The next mile I slowed down to about a 10:55 pace as it was a continuous uphill and I had drank a little too much water at the waterstop. At this point I knew I had less than 12 min to run 1.2 miles and get to the finish line if I wanted to achieve my goal of completing the race in under an hour. I started to push my running at a level I never thought was possible but I managed to achieve my goal. I had finished the race in 59:41 a new personal record!

Happiest Race Finish EVER

Also a HUGE Congrats to Adam who PR'ed on his 10K!!

1 comment:

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