Peachtree City Classic 15k

Let me start by saying that I did survive adding on the additional mileage, and I completed my longest run ever of 15 miles in conjunction with this race.  Sorry I left all of you hanging.  I know you were at the edge of your seat waiting to hear if I did it or not.  😉

I have to say that this race is close to the top on my list of favorite races so far.  I was buying someone else’s bib, so I missed out on the communication from the race directly, but my friends seemed to be well informed of everything dealing with the race.  I drove over to PTC on Friday evening to meet the lady I was buying the bib from, so I could have it transferred into my name.  Yes, transferred people!  That alone is a huge bonus since it seems that most races won’t transfer bibs these days.  The process was actually really simple and quick as well.  The lady picked up the bib, and I walked back up to the pick up area with her, filled out a waiver, and they wrote the bib # on my form.  Done.  That was all it took, and the entire thing took maybe 5 minutes.  They don’t give you your shirt until you finish, so I’d get it the next day.   On the way out, I had some questions about parking and the shuttle, so I stopped to ask the person who was standing at the entrance to direct people and answer questions.  She was very helpful and showed me on the large map of the course where the Kmart was where the shuttle could pick us up if we arrived after 6AM.  To park near the start, you had to arrive by 6AM, so since we were planning to arrive around 7:40, we’d need to take the shuttle or walk to the start.  As I left, I drove from the start to the Kmart to clock the distance since I was planning on adding miles.  It was a little over 1.5 miles, so taking the shuttle, walking, or running are all options to get to the start.

Saturday morning, I arrived at 7:40AM and met Gem, so we could run 3 miles before the run.  She needed 12 miles for the day, and I needed 15.  Her sister and our friend Michelle also rode with her, and they both took the shuttle to the start.  I think they had to wait for the 3rd shuttle after they arrived, but the shuttles came fairly quickly.  Gem and I headed out while they were waiting.  There was probably a shorter path along the cart paths of PTC, but since Gem and I weren’t familiar with how to go, we stuck to the roads.  Since rain seems to love me, rain was in the forecast and started as soon as we began our run.  It was pretty light to begin with, but slowly got worse, and Gem and I were pretty well soaked by the time we got to the start area.  It was a little chilly, so I continued to run until 5 minutes before the race started.  I figured I might as well get in as many of my extra miles as possible before the race, so I’d have less to do after.  I ended up with 4.2 miles before race start.

As I came to the start line, I quickly found Gem and Michelle just before the gun went off.  The race started, and we were off.  The first bit of the race was on a main road, but it soon turned into a neighborhood.  As we ran past one house, there was an older lady (probably in her 80’s) standing behind her clear glass storm door in pants, and nothing on top except a purple bra.  I’m not sure if she was confused by the race or maybe she just liked her purple bra and wanted to show it off, either way, several runners on the course were quite surprised, but it was entertaining.  Towards the back of the subdivision, we headed onto the cart paths.  The cart paths were covered with lots of shade, went through tunnels, through the woods, and around a lake.  The course was marked well, and they had lots of volunteers.  Someone was calling out the time at every mile marker as well.  Towards the end of the course, you exit the cart path and are back on the road for just a short bit.

As we crossed the finish line, I kept running, but since the shirt pick up was after the race, I had to run into the amphitheater, down the steps, get my shirt, then head back up the steps to run some more.  Walking up the steps around mile 14 for me kind of sucked, but it wasn’t that bad.  I had told Gem and Michelle along the course that I would just run back to the car while they took the shuttle since it was about a mile & a half, so off I went towards my car.  I hit 15 miles about 8/10ths of a mile from my car, so I walked the remaining part, and it seemed the further that I walked, the slower my legs got, but I made it to the car.

And off to Mellow Mushroom for pizza and beer we went!

Iron Horse 15K

Rocking the horns for Amber at the finish.

Rocking the horns for Amber at the finish.

There’s no better way to train and prep for a race than to forget that you registered for it.  Yes folks, that’s right, I forgot I registered for a 15K race.  About a month and a half ago my running buddy, Jeneen, asked me if I was still doing the Iron Horse 15K, and I told her that I never registered for it because of my injuries.  I even looked back at my old emails to see if I had a confirmation for it, but I couldn’t find one, so I went on my merry little way under the assumption that I didn’t register due to my recent injuries.

And then, Friday the 13th came.  A little after 8AM, I got an email informing me about packet pickup for the Iron Horse 15K.  Say what?  Time for panic to set in.  I had no clue what time the race was on Sunday or how I was going to get there.  I sent a quick text to Jeneen in a bit of a panic.  She said that she was sure someone would take the bib.  Uh, nope, not going to happen.  If I registered, then I’m going to run it.  I had 9 miles on the books for Sunday anyway, so I’d just make it a training run.  Jeneen said she’d pick me up Sunday at 5:20AM, and she, Veronica, and I could all ride together to Kennesaw.  After getting travel arrangements made, I was still dumbfounded as to how I could have missed the email confirmation a month earlier, and honestly, I was still hoping that it was a mistake, and I hadn’t really registered, so I searched my email again.  This time, I found the email in my vacation folder instead of my running folder.  Oops, I really did register.

Bright and early Sunday morning Jeneen showed up at my house, then we picked up Veronica at her house.  The ride to Kennesaw was a little under an hour, so it wasn’t a bad drive.  As we arrived, the packet pick up was well organized, so we got our packets quickly and stowed our stuff in the car.  About 7:00AM, the line for the porta potties was getting pretty long, so we briefly discussed driving to a gas station, but opted to stand in line.  With only a few minutes to spare, we finished our business and made it to the start.

Just before the gun fired, we found Joy, another running buddy, said hello, and then we were off.  I caught myself chatting with Jeneen for a minute and realized that I was starting too fast, but the course started downhill, and typically I run faster downhill.  I figured it’d probably even out quickly.  By the end of the first mile, I had settled in pretty well to my average pace, but I was still a little fast.  I lost Jeneen and Veronica around 4 minutes as I broke to a walk for my run:walk ratio of 4:1.  I knew I was going to be running the race by myself, but it’s hard to stick to your plan when you want to run with your friends.  I broke to my walk at 4 minutes knowing that if I didn’t I could be risking another injury, and I’d be dying by mile 3 if I tried to keep their pace.  They were aiming to finish in 1:30, and there’s no way I could hang with that.

The course was pretty neat for me since it took me back by my old stomping grounds.  There were lots of old memories as we ran by my Alma Mater, Kennesaw State University, and my old apartment complex.  I haven’t been back on campus in forever, so I hadn’t had a chance to see the new football stadium.  The course took us by the Home of the Owls on the way out and back, so I got a good view of it.  I knew the area by looking at the road names, but as I ran, I couldn’t actually recognize much of it at all due to the changes.  I guess a lot changes over 12 years.  Needless to say, I was pretty distracted by the sights.

The course was well marked.  Police were at all the intersections blocking traffic and letting cars through at some points around Town Center Mall, but they did a great job and never disrupted the runners to let the cars across.  At one point, there was a break between me and the girl ahead, and an officer tried to wave a car through.  The driver wasn’t watching, and the car finally noticed the officer.  He made the car wait because I was too close by then.  Just after I passed, he apparently tried to wave them across again, and the driver was once again not paying attention.  The officer yelled at the driver about not watching.  It provided me with a little giggle around mile 7.5 where I was struggling due to a rather long hill. The officer was not happy with that driver.

Mile 8-9 was my fastest mile at 10:05.  It was downhill which was a nice relief after the previous mile.  I knew I still had an uphill somewhere up ahead, but I couldn’t remember how far ahead.  Luckily, it was only the last 3/10ths of a mile on the course.  As I headed up the last hill, I saw Veronica and Jeneen standing on the side cheering for me to keep going, which sucked and was great at the same time because I really wanted to break to a walk by this point since I had skipped my last walk break trying to finish at a run.  There was no way I could break to a walk with them cheering for me though, so I topped the hill feeling like I was going to hurl as I turned the corner towards the photographer and finish line.  I really thought he was going to get a great photo there for a minute, but I regained my composure, smiled, and rocked the horns as I specifically thought about my friend & running buddy Amber who now lives in Kansas.  She always throws the horns at the camera, and for some reason she was on my mind, so I had to do it for her.  😉

They gave all the finishers a pretty cool medal as we crossed the finish line, and there were several sponsors with pasta, pizza, muscle milk, and other food in the finish area.  The race had great support, and it’s definitely one that I’d recommend to others.  My finish time was 1:42:08 on my Garmin which I’m happy with considering all that I’ve been dealing with injury wise lately.  My goal is to try to PR my half at the Savannah Rock n Roll, so I have to keep my eye on the prize and take it easy.

Next up, Allstate 13.1 will be another training run.  I’m sticking to the plan.

Post race with Jeneen & Veronica

Post race with Jeneen & Veronica

You never know until you try…

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After my Sunday morning run that my BRF’s and I had shared virtually in 3 different locations across Kansas and Georgia, we texted each other photos, and we were all wearing our Headsweats visors.  I’d been thinking about applying for an ambassador program, but I didn’t really know what company to approach until Amber posted the collage of her, Jeneen, and I, and we all had the Headsweats visors on.  It struck me immediately that their visors were something that I loved, and my friends loved them, so I knew it was a product that I’d feel good about sharing with my friends, running buddies, fellow triathletes, and basically everyone I knew.  My Headsweats visor is my favorite visor to run in because the terry cloth sweat band is great for keeping the sweat out of my eyes, and it doesn’t make my forehead itch or break out.

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I went to the Headsweats website, http://www.headsweats.com/, to see if they had an ambassador program, and they did!  However, as I read about the athletes that they sponsored, the self doubt started creeping in, and I wondered if there was really any reason that I should try applying.  Did I really even have a chance?  Their athletes sound pretty accomplished.  I’m still REALLY new in this journey, and they’re sponsoring people who look a lot more fit than me and who have qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships.  Amber & Jeneen have been encouraging me to apply for an ambassador program though, so I decided to just go for it.

As I finished the application, I didn’t really expect to hear from Headsweats very quickly since the website said it could take up to 90 days, so I just sort of filed it away in the back of my mind.  While I was at Six Flags with my kids yesterday, I checked my phone, and I had a new email from Headsweats.  I was glad to get the response so quick telling me that I wasn’t accepted….oh, no, wait a minute, what does that say?  I am accepted?  Me? Really?  I literally had to read the email multiple times.  I was so excited that I had to have the kids sit down for a second, so I could respond to Headsweats and accept.

What does all this mean?  Well, right now, I’ve got to get a bio and photo together to send to Headsweats to post on their website which is scary.  It’s going to be seen by who knows how many people.  What should I say?  What picture should I use?  Is my grammar correct?  Is it interesting?  I might have a little bit of stress going on about this now, but it’s a good stress.  It also means that all of you get a special opportunity to get a 25% discount!  To get the discount, simply go to http://www.headsweats.com, and use the code INNERSPARTAN on any full-priced purchase to get 25% off.  Myself, I will be ordering the Coolmax Shorty or Super Duty Shorty to try out under my bike helmet.  Keep an eye out for that review in the future.

Super Duty Shorty

Super Duty Shorty