Although I ran less overall, I didn’t give into any pressure to run half marathons like my other buddies (I know which distances work for me), nor to run races in town because they’re popular. I sought to do only “away” races (except for a special one, and you’ll see why in a sec.
FAVE BIB – Rise Up & Run (5K) with the Atlanta Falcons, October 18 (coincidentally, my bib number is also my hometown’s area code)
FAVE MEDAL – Peachtree Road Race (10K), July 4
As the days drew closer to the Hot Chocolate 5K/15K yesterday, my anxiety grew. I was prepared to run the distance (15K = 9.3 miles) because I trained properly and did my first running streak throughout December, but I heard that the parking situation was a mess last year, so I was on guard.
In Atlanta, several races begin and end at major landmarks like Piedmont Park and Turner Field, the former home of the Atlanta Braves. Like the Thanksgiving Day race I did, this race was at Turner Field. And I had received several emails from the race organizers stressing that parking passes were mandatory to park in their lots, but parking space could not be guaranteed if arriving after 6:30 am.
I tossed and turned early that morning, then arrived at the exit to Turner Field at 6:05 am. It took me one hour to crawl around the side streets and finally get a spot. Nerve wracking. And honestly, that was the worst part of the day. It was 10 degrees warmer than the Thanksgiving Day and New Years Day races, but still cold. For some reason, the 5K started before the 15K (I am used to the longest race distance starting first), so I had a long wait before it was time to stand outside in my corral (15K start time was approximately 8:25 am).
One thing I love about racing is the costumes, the volunteers and the spectators! A lady near me at Grant Park was running with a tutu, sash, and cute headband that said “30th.” I wished her a happy birthday as we went up that hill. Next I saw my people, Black Girls Run at a water station. Later I saw a lady on the sidelines holding a sign that read, “WHERE IS EVERYONE GOING?” On another street, cars were stopped and a couple of little kids were hanging out of the window giving high fives. Those kinds of sights do my heart good!
Continue reading “Chocolate Me!”