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ING Georgia Half-Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Atlanta, Georgia
United States
The ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon
42F / 6C
Total Time = 1h 49m 56s
Overall Rank = 1384/9539
Age Group = W 18-29
Age Group Rank = 127/1678
Pre-race routine:

Let's just say that this was the most serious I've been about pre-race prep. I did not drink a drop of beer or wine (well...until 2 nights before the race, but a girl has to have her breaking point...) the week before the race. I did not eat junk food the week before the race, but I was also careful not to eat too much fiber and tried to stick with plain stuff that I knew wouldn't give me trouble. I had worked so hard for this race that I was not about to let anything stand between me and a PR. I went to bed early almost every night the week before the race (until my husband came home at midnight on Thursday night and made me go to bed late, but that's how it goes sometimes). I was a total loser the weekend of the race - no staying up late, no fun, no nothing (you can ask my husband!).

So the night before the race I made a yummy pre-race meal (shout out to Greg for the risotto recipe - that was freaking awesome!) and got to bed by 9pm. I was out by 10pm and up at 4am. That is a solid 6 hours, which is way better than I usually do. I got up, had a bagel w/ PB and honey and black coffee. I was trying out my experiment of no dairy before a race. Coincidentally (or not), I had no race-day issues, so I think I will continue that trend. I ate exactly 3 hours before the race and I think it was the right call, even if it did mean waking up at 4am and watching an hour of "It's Me or the Dog" on Animal Planet while I waited to head to the race.
Event warmup:

Sam and I were downtown and parked by 6am. Perfect. I have a tiny bladder and knew I would have to go 3 times before the race to get it all out, which is exactly what happened. Fortunately we were there early enough that I never had to wait for a porta-potty. Awesomeness.

So then I start thinking maybe it's time to go get in line. Total confusion about where the corals started/ended. I found out when I got in line that I was somewhere in the 3rd corral. My # was for the 2nd one, so I tried cutting through people to move up. Yeah - that didn't work too well. I finally jumped out on the side walk and quickly walked up some, but I still couldn't tell which corral it was. I had to jump the barricade to get back in with the runners. Thankfully I did not break anything while doing this. I downed a gel and drank a sip of water and we are off!!!
  • 1h 49m 56s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 23s  min/mile

This was my first solo half marathon. I've run 2 before with my sister but she came down with a foot injury a month ago and could not run. Knowing this, I turned to my Ipod to become her replacement. I am a huge music fan and there are days that I think I could run on a treadmill forever with the right tunes. I agonized over my play list for days - no joke. I looked at a course map and profile and tried to time my songs to the pace I thought I would keep. I probably wasted 8 solid hours of my life figuring out this play list, but come race day it was freaking GOLDEN.

Second to my play list, I probably thought about how to pace this race for a good 4-6 total hours. Should I try for an even split or a negative split? Should I try to keep my HR in a certain range? In the end, it didn't matter, because when I started running, my body just some how knew what pace to run. I knew this course was going to be so-so for the first 9 miles and tough for the last 4. I started out running and after the first .25 to my right I saw Jonathan Collins. I ran behind him for about .4 miles or so and then he took off, and I knew that I should not try to follow because there was no way I was running his race. I tried to find someone to run behind but there was really no consistency. In the end it was me and my Ipod. Thinking back, the whole race is really a blur to me until we got to Piedmont Park (mile 9.X?). Until then, I really am just running and having fun and singing (to myself - not out loud - I am not that girl!) and smiling and waving to the crowd. And then enter the Park. I knew the fun was over as I ran into the Park, and I was looking for some water so I could take my gel. I had a small struggle with my gel at the water station, and finally decided to throw it aside and try for the other one I brought along (score one for Type A planning!). I downed the gel, drank some water, and it was on. The last 3 miles were totally rough, and that last mile down Marietta was miserable. It seemed like it would never end. I knew this would be the case, though, and I picked my 3 all time favorite running songs for this stretch. My Ipod clicked off as I was coming through the finisher's shoot. I would say that is perfection at its best for play lists.

I really tried hard to keep a good mental outlook even when the course got tough. I kept telling myself that the pain was temporary and if I could just hang on for 10 more minutes that I could rest and relax the whole rest of the day. Knowing how well I had done the first half of the race was huge motivation not to let it slip away at the end. My average pace did drop a little the last couple of miles, but there was not much I could do about it. Those hills were just rough!
What would you do differently?:

Nada. My goal was 1:52 and I smashed that by 2:04. I put in the training on the hills and it paid off. I was so happy during this race. I ran my first half marathon 1 year and 2 weeks before this race at 2:03:38. Beating that time by over 13 minutes is just huge to me. I think I may actually be a runner now!
Post race
Warm down:

I felt like I was going to puke when I came across the finish line, but thankfully just needed to breathe. I walked and walked and finally found my cheering crew - husband and Phoebe dog. I stretched for a few minutes at the car and then we came home. Ice bath when I got home and then a fantastic breakfast.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

I'm doing this race again next year, with a 1:45 goal. I can't wait!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-01-27 12:00 AM
01:49:56 | 13.1 miles | 08m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/1678
Overall: 0/9539
Performance: Good
Mile 1 - 8:19/166 Ave HR Mile 2 - 7:57/176 Ave HR Mile 3 - 8:18/175 Ave HR Mile 4 - 8:23/180 Ave HR Mile 5 - 8:03/177 Ave HR Mile 6 - 8:13/177 Ave HR Mile 7 - 8:28/179 Ave HR Mile 8 - 8:03/178 Ave HR Mile 9 - 8:06/177 Ave HR Mile 10 - 8:38/180 Ave HR (includes brief struggle with opening a gel. I had to toss it and try another. Good thing I brought an extra!) Mile 11 - 8:19/182 Ave HR Mile 12 - 8:36/183 Ave HR Mile 13 - 8:33/184 Ave HR Mile .26 - 2:03 (7:49 pace)/186 Ave HR (Garmin said 13.26 miles)
Course: Around the awesome Atlanta area - downtown, Little 5 Points, VA Highlands, Midtown, GA Tech, downtown
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2009-04-02 8:57 AM

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Smyrna, GA
Subject: ING Georgia Half-Marathon

2009-04-02 10:58 AM
in reply to: #2056846

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Subject: RE: ING Georgia Half-Marathon
Great job on the race- you had the focus and determination and it paid off beautifully! Either that or it was the risotto . Congrats on a huge PR!
2009-04-02 11:27 AM
in reply to: #2056846

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Roswell, GA
Subject: RE: ING Georgia Half-Marathon

Monster PR!  You have come a long way this year with your dedication to your training.  Can't wait to see you kick some a$$ during tri season.


2009-04-02 11:29 AM
in reply to: #2056846

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Subject: RE: ING Georgia Half-Marathon
Great job on the PR!
2009-04-03 1:47 PM
in reply to: #2056846

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Norcross, GA
Subject: RE: ING Georgia Half-Marathon
Congrats to you too!  You did awesome and what a great improvement from the last 1/2!
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