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Publix Atlanta Marathon 2021 - Run

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Atlanta, Georgia
United States
Atlanta Track Club
70F / 21C
Total Time = 5h 59m 23s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

After many years traveling over my birthday, I brought back the birthday race! Decided sort of on a whim to do this in November and nailed my training. Felt good going into race day.
Event warmup:

Headed out a 5:30 a.m. and drove south for an hour to get to Atlanta Motor Speedway, and 10 minutes before I arrived I got a text from my sister and brother in law that they were SURPRISING ME from Tallahassee and were 15 minutes away! I cried nonstop until I pulled into my parking space because I was so touched - "showing up" is my love language and this meant the whole world to me.

We were all able to get into the starting area (after filling out the health questionnaire, temp checks and masks) and chatted as I waited for my start time. Lined up and really did feel socially distanced - about 50 people in my wave divided between two start corals - markers on the ground for proper spacing.
  • 5h 59m 23s
  • 26.62 miles
  • 13m 30s  min/mile

This race maybe more than any other had me so grateful - with COVID hanging on for a full year and the world still upside down, being able to race was very much a luxury that didn't go unnoticed. Cross this start line feeling crazy grateful.

There was a good layer of fog near the ground, so the first 5 miles were very wet. My hair was immediately dripping and damp, and the sweat started flowing early. This was a "carry your own everything" race with minimal, no-contact aid stations. I'd purchased a (used) Orange Mud double barrel system and it worked out pretty well, all though I didn't drink nearly as much as I should have. I saw tri club buddy Andrew early in the first loop, then saw Brenda and Todd at the mile 6 turnaround! Felt great so far.

Finishing up the first loop you had to climb a crazy steep bank, basically up into a service road above the Speedway, then back down and head for loop 2. Getting warmer here and slowing down as anticipated - but still chugging along. After the halfway point I reached for my tiny ziplock of ibuprofen to realize it had fallen out at some point. So when I saw my sister again at mile 16 I asked if she had anything - she ran to the car and produced 2 Tylenol - yeahhh!

Longer walk breaks after this point in time, getting warmer out. At some point I chatted with a guy who was running his 68th marathon today, whoa. I wasn't hungry at all, which was sort of odd. But still moving and feeling OK so just kept going. Hit mile 20 and thought I would pep up, but my left IT band/hip was shouting at me and the balls of my feet were forming blisters. My shoes suddenly felt very "thin." The last out and back was very slow and very lonely. The later start half marathoners had peeled off to finish, and I could only see 1 or 2 people around me. Finally, for the third time, I came to a fork in the road and was able to turn in towards the Speedway.

Once I got onto the Speedway I had two laps to do, 1.5 miles each. It was a weird sensation though, as you could see the finish line the whole time, but it was like slow motion running 3 of the hardest miles at the same time. The track was nice and flat, but the wind had been building all day and was awful for half of it. I resorted to running for 100 steps before walking and did that the whole time on the track. I saw Brenda and Todd in the stands both times I came around, and then finally I got to head towards the finish line. Happy birthday to me :)

Nutrition: Like I said I wasn't hungry at all, which is rare. Pre-race I was really looking forward to a thicccc gluten free biscuit/egg/cheese sandwich from my favorite gluten free bakery, but when I went to eat it I could barely get half of it down. During the race I only had 2 Gu Rocktanes and 1 Honey Stinger Waffle. Had to CHOKE down the waffle and concentrate on chewing it small enough that I had no choice but to swallow the pieces. Stomach never growled or even threatened to growl so not sure what the deal was.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. This was a good race based on my abilities. Maybe memorize the very odd race course a bit more. There were so many loops and half loops and forks in the road, the volunteers were just asking "what mile are you in?" before telling you which way to go because it was NOT clear. Reading on social media comments a number of runners were sent the wrong way by a volunteer who was confused himself - eek. I made a point to say my mileage at every fork in the road and get confirmation from the most official looking volunteer.
Post race
Warm down:

Had to walk up the entire stadium stairs to get out! Found a close by Wendy's and we all went there for al little snack before heading our separate ways.

I just cannot explain how much it meant that my family surprised me and showed up, driving 4 hours each way and knowing how boring spectating is. It makes me feel so special and so lucky to have the family I do.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Probably nutrition.

Event comments:

Not the typical race or course due to COVID, but really well done all things considered.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2020-11-11 12:00 AM
05:59:23 | 26.62 miles | 13m 30s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Course: Odd loops around the Speedway grounds, plus 2 laps of the actual Speedway.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2021-02-28 6:31 PM

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Roswell, Georgia
Subject: Publix Atlanta Marathon 2021

2021-03-01 10:38 AM
in reply to: #5275141

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Publix Atlanta Marathon 2021

CONGRATULATIONS!! Lots of weirdness in the world right now and you were able to carve out a bit of normalcy. Especially cool that family was there for you.

2021-03-01 10:44 AM
in reply to: #5275141

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Subject: RE: Publix Atlanta Marathon 2021

This is so awesome, congratulations on marathon #13, wow!  I loved hearing how your sister surprised you and also how grateful you were just to be able to race.  Thankfully you didn't get caught up in any of the miss-directions from well-intentioned volunteers, that sounds like a nightmare course.  Big high five!

2021-03-01 10:53 AM
in reply to: #5275141

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, Minnesota
Gold member
Subject: RE: Publix Atlanta Marathon 2021

Man, doing a marathon with virtually no support and on an unimaginative course... That deserves an extra medal.  Great job!

2021-03-01 11:45 AM
in reply to: #5275141

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Publix Atlanta Marathon 2021
I'm amazed the race was able to happen! Probably one of the biggest events held in many months..congrats on your day..
2021-03-01 1:01 PM
in reply to: #5275141

Subject: RE: Publix Atlanta Marathon 2021
Congrats on getting in to a race and getting it done. Great report, and happy birthday!!!

2021-03-01 4:43 PM
in reply to: #5275141

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Subject: RE: Publix Atlanta Marathon 2021

Super SOLID! I was excited for you when I saw that Brenda and Todd made the trip up. Personal spectators made it a tad bit more "normal" of a race. 

2021-03-02 1:21 PM
in reply to: #5275141

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Silver member
Subject: RE: Publix Atlanta Marathon 2021

WTG Lisa!!! 

2021-03-02 2:33 PM
in reply to: #5275141

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Lethbridge, Alberta
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Publix Atlanta Marathon 2021
Congratulations Lisa!
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