This weekend went by so fast.  I am back home recoverating from my race on Sunday.  If you missed my recap of the Olympic Marathon Trials, click HERE to read about it.

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This week’s Tuesday Topic:  Have you ever taken a break from running?  Why?  You can write about this topic or feel free to post any running related blog post.  Remember to link up with Kim and Zenaida!  Visit at least two of the other linked posts – the more the merrier!  Remember to come back for later linkers!

I’m deviating from this week’s topic to write my recap of the Publix Atlanta Half Marathon.  I ran this race the day after the Olympic Marathon Trials.  Did you watch it?  It was INCREDIBLE.  I have no idea where it will take place in 4 years but for sure I want to be there again.

I signed up for this race in April of last year.  I paid $50 plus fees.  Pretty great deal!

I didn’t sleep well on Saturday night.  I even took a melatonin.  I think I finally went to sleep around 10:30 pm.  The race started at 7 am but I always like to get there early and use the port-a-potty.  Plus, I knew it was going to be cold in the morning and I was planning on wearing sweatpants and sweatshirt, so I also needed plenty of time to check in a gear bag.

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I woke up at 4:40 am but didn’t get up till 15 minutes later.  I quickly got ready and went to the lobby to get a coffee from Starbucks.  Then I walked to the start line at the Olympic Centennial Park.  I had 3 layers so I did not feel cold at all.  🙂

I used the port-a-potty, took some pictures, then I checked in my gear bag.  I got in line about 6:30.  Then I waited.  And waited.  I asked myself why I had gotten there so early.  It was chilly but I wasn’t THAT cold.  I wore a Oiselle flyout long sleeve underneath my singlet and that helped.  

When it was almost start time, the race announcer introduced Meb.  He was pacing the 1:40 group.  I was in Corral C and I am assuming he was in either A or B.  I wanted to leave my corral and find him.  I didn’t.  Then she mentioned that the Olympic Marathon Trials winners were there as well.  Neat way to start off the race.

Then it was time to run.  My goals were to finish the race and to have fun.  I did finish it and made the best of it.  I was tired and in pain.  I knew it was a hilly course.  I underestimated how hilly it was.  The plan was to walk up the hills and run the downhills.  Good plan, right?  Well, in this race I was either going up or down.  There were very few flat areas.

Here is the elevation map from my Garmin.

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I felt good for about 3 miles then I got really tired.  I decided to just walk and run whenever I felt like it.  I don’t remember too many details because I was so focused on running and walking.  By then it had warmed up a little and the sun was out.  I was never hot nor cold.  In reality it was just perfect weather.

While running I saw Kim and we ran together for a few minutes.  I could not keep up with her.  🙂  I also saw Vanessa and ran with her but also could not keep up with her.  I saw Jessica pacing the 5:30 team but also could not keep up.  I was really struggling but I still wanted to finish.  I didn’t care about my finish time.  I just wanted to finish.

I took two Huma gels (mile 4 and 8) and stopped at every water station.  I think it was around mile 11 or 12 that I had some Powerade.  I needed something to get me through the final miles of the race.  I don’t remember being thirsty but that drink tasted really good!

I enjoyed running in Piedmont Park.  It was lovely and a great place for running.  I didn’t see other runners except those running the race.  I thought that was strange.

The last 4 miles is when I was cursing a little bit.  I was tired of the hills.  I was struggling more than ever.  But I was almost done and I just needed to hang in there.  

I was so happy to hear the race announcer.  I was almost done and could stop running.  🙂

After the race I got my medal and was handed a bottle of water and chocolate milk.  There was a tent with some food but I didn’t get anything.  I got my bag from gear check and went to take some pictures.  I just wanted to get back to the hotel to eat something.  I was so hungry.

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I showered, packed my suitcase, and my friends and I went to Hard Rock Cafe for lunch.  We then went back to Olympic Centennial Park to walk around for a bit before going to The National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

I loved that they offered FREE race photos.  I like the long sleeve shirt.  It is soft, comfortable, and perfect as a pajama top.  I don’t like the medal.  So plain.  🙁

There weren’t too many people on the course.  The volunteers were friendly and encouraging.  There were also plenty of water stations.  I was looking for a medical tent and did not see one at all.  I was disappointed because I wanted some Vaseline or something to apply to where I had chafed.

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This was state #43 for me.  Next is the Garmin Oz Half Marathon in April (#44) and the Fargo Half Marathon in May (#45).  Then I will need 6 more to go!  Total will be 51 because I am counting Washington DC as a state.

Have you run this race before?  Would you run a race knowing that it was a hilly course?

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38 Comments on Tuesday Topics: Publix Atlanta Half Marathon Race Recap

  1. Yay! Another Half in the bag, another State in the bag! And it must have been so motivating to have watched the elites and then known they were in the crowd for your race too. What an awesome weekend! Hilly races get me every time! The last Half I did in Feb was a hilly one and I had a few cursing moments too!

    • Now I am much closer to my goal. Really, I want to finish it next year. It was tough with the hills but I kept thinking of the elites that had to run twice as long as I did. And most of them finished in less than the time it took me to finish the half!! 🙂

  2. Well done, Zenaida! You look so happy on those photos!
    I love that sound of the race announcer as well when you get closer to the finishing line. I had hills on my half-marathon, too! One was particularly nasty. But I loved the downhill parts.
    Have a good rest – on to the state numbers 44 and 45!

  3. Congrats on your race and #43! I am glad you ran in to me! 🙂 What a perfect day we had to run. Those darn hills though 😉 As a heads up, the Garmin Oz Half is hilly too. The KC metro area has killer hills!

    • I had stopped to take a picture and when I turned around to start running again is when I saw you. It was meant to be! 🙂 Yes, I’ve heard about that half too. Want to go?

  4. I have run a lot of very hilly courses. There isn’t much flat in this part of the country! I’m sorry that you were struggling so much on a nice day — that always sucks — but you finished and that’s the most important thing!

    I actually really like that medal. Simple, but still pretty.

    Congrats on another state!

  5. This sounds like a great race, especially following the trials! I love free race photos and that shirt looks so comfy.

    • I agree about the race photos and the shirt. I hate paying for pictures (well, I’ve never bought them) and I am wearing the shirt as a pajama top. It is so soft and comfortable.

  6. I don’t mind a hilly course if I know it ahead of time. The hills are actually a nice break from the monotony of a long stretch of “flatness” …and my legs appreciate some variety on a race course. Congrats on #43!!

  7. I have a really tough time with hills, so a hilly course wouldn’t be my first choice for a race, but on the other hand there’s no fun in playing it safe with a flat course. Congrats on state #43!

  8. Sounds like a tough day but you did it! I shied away from that race because I know Atlanta and its hills very well. Can you imagine if it had been warm? My daughter loves going to school there but that said, she was away at a sorority retreat, so missed the whole race weekend.

    • This was in my radar years ago but one one reason or another I couldn’t make it to Atlanta. Two years ago I was supposed to go to Savannah but had to back out at the last minute. When I saw the $50 registration fee, I knew I just had to sign up. Then when I found out about the Trials, well now I couldn’t back out.

  9. Sorry you had such a tough race, that always sucks. But you finished and got a nice shirt. I like the medal. Hopefully your next race will be much easier!

  10. Well done! Those hills and the elevation chart have scared me, but I think I’m going to sign up for this race next year as I still need to cross Georgia off my list 🙂

  11. So I live right at sea level and it is pancake flat. Flatter than that. I have to assume that every race out of my area will be hilly lol. But yes, Atlanta is HILLY. And humid, even when cold. That’s a crazy elevation map.

    You did awesome, though! Congratulations on getting it done, despite the challenges!

Thank you for your comment!