Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Georgia Publix 1/2 (#3 13 in 2013)

The Race:1
Lifetime Half #45
2013 Half #3
Repeat State (originally state #5)
Official Time: 1:48:23
Sex Place: 286/4954

I'll be honest, this race was not on my radar at all. I've already ran Georgia and I'm trying not to spend money on states I've already done (unless its TN or Ohio since both are home). On top of that, Atlanta is hilly... like "Is there any flat route I can run?" type of hilly-- I get enough of that here in Nashville so why do I need to travel to a state I already completed to get the same thing? 3 great reasons...

1. Gals Weekend- Elizabeth, yours truly, Jess, Kim 

2. Glorious & unique Bling (this is in my top 5 fave ever earned!)

3- Redemption race from the last time I ran Georgia  (spoiler alert, I got injured)

Atlanta is roughly a 4 hour drive from Nashville,  I left after work on Friday and drove down to Elizabeth's house where we chatted for a few hours (first time meeting eachother IRL) before having to pick up Kim at the insane hour of 12:45am at the airport. Surprisingly we acted like we were teenagers and stayed up till after 2am talking away--- this translates into we slept GOOD that night and set ourselves up for a fun day exploring at expo, eating good food, and once Jess arrived from AL, catching up on all the running gossip :)

Race day:
The race itself started at the ripe hour of 7am, early start = early finish and that is a-ok in my book. Since Elizabeth is injured and awaiting surgery, she agreed to be our transportation to and from the race as well as our cheerleader during the race... how awesome is that?
50 shades of green

We get dropped off near the start, cycle through bathrooms at the hotel (unfortunately I did NOT have "success" and it crept up on me during race), and stretched while we waited for time to pass.

What do you call this yoga move?

I think there were some 16,000 runners between the half and the full, so I left with 15 min till start time to find corral E and hopefully avoid the cluster of people. It's been over a year, Livestrong 1/2 in Feb, since I've ran a race this large- my anxiety of large crowds of slow moving people was kicking in and it seriously took me 10 min just to get in my corral - why are runners so stupid and slow walking on race morning- gah!

Although there were corral assignments, there was no staggered start, so despite being in corral E, I crossed the start line about 1:20 after the clock.  Due to large masses of people, bobbing and weaving, and some slight downhill, my first mile was faster than I anticipated.
**Disclaimer- first mile was off with my satellite not recognizing signal right away, so my actual times are not accurate first couple of miles while my watch tried to play 'catch up' to equal the real running pace. **

6:45, 7:35, 7:59.

Although the race itself has some amazing views- its hills after hills, after hills... and then some more hills. I've gotten to a point in my running that I know my legs can handle the hills, but naturally it zaps my pace so then I just go into the "I don't care how I do mode". I felt myself already fading into mile 4. I got great sleep the night before, but I had no energy and just felt tired. We looked at the course the night before and although it didn't explicitly say they had gu, we all just assumed they would be giving it out at the jelly bean station around mile 6.5ish.  Since I was struggling so early, I chanced it and took my Cliff double shot gel at mile 5---- as luck would have it, only jelly beans at the aide station so I was SOL. (luckily I had 3 coke flavored jelly beans in my cup, they were delicious but man it took me forever to chew those up swallow them down.)

The course ran right by Elizabeth's home, and sure enough she was out there cheering like a true sport. I didn't know if Kim or Jess were low on energy like I was, but I let Elizabeth know that there was no gu for half marathoners, so she might want to grab some for when Kim and Jess pass by (they started in Corral I)--- man I wish  I would have brought a second one. The stretch by Elizabeths was the pretty much the only flat part of the course, naturally it was also where the most spectators and cheerleaders were as well.
8:36, 8:30, 8:28, 8:18, 8:11, 7:49 (clearly you can see where the cliff gel kicked in... i swear by these now)
why yes... I always smile when I run, don't you?

There wasn't much eventful going on, my whole race pretty much was watching all  the crazy outfits some had on for St. Patricks day, laughing at the drunks already out cheering for us with plenty of energy, and continually bobbing and weaving since the race was crowded. I had no idea at this point if my garmin pace was accurate, so I knew the only thing I could count on was my total time. Breaking the 1:50 mark is my new "I'd like to do this every race" pace. I don't claim to be a mathematician, but at the rate I was going it seemed doable--- only problem is Elizabeth warned us to save up for he last 3 miles as they were all uphill--- how cruel is that?

side bar: I'm either gaining weight, my shorts are getting old, or i'm changing the way I run but I got chaffing REAL BAD on my inner right thigh. Normally I don't notice it till after the race, but by mile 10 it was already rubbed raw. I saw a shadow of myself running and realized I was adjusting my stride to avoid the thighs touching... all I could think about was how bad that shower was going to feel later. 

Judging from the rest of the course, I think I blew the hills up in my head to be larger than they were, because although they weren't fun, they were not as bad as I anticipated- plus there was a little downhill action somewhere in there. The last mile seemed to drag on FOREVER-  You could hear the announcer speak,  yet my tangents were so off that I had no idea how close I really was to the finish line and I refused to "kick it in" till I actually saw it. Finally when we turned a corner there was the beauty- my legs didnt' really listen to me and I barely adjusted my pace since I knew I would get that sub 1:50 time
Look of determination

To "is it over yet" in a matter of sec

Photo proof that man in blue beat me- darn
, 8:22, 8:24, 8:35, 8:16, 7:56

1:48:23 for 13.32 miles (I'm awesome at tangents I know... I try not to think about 8:08 pace is 1:45:59 and just be happy with my 8.17 pace according to the 13.1)

Not going to lie, I had a HARD time breathing after the race- my legs want to do one thing and my lungs and heart are putting on the breaks-- this is my third half this year and the third time I've had that feeling that my heart was going to explode due to not being conditioned enough. No, I don't think its something medically wrong with me, I think its just my body reminding me "hey dummy, you need to train better if you want to go out at your pace"--- touche lungs and heart, touche. 

Elizabeth was cheering for everyone at finish line, but due to the way everything was set up, I couldn't venture back to her so I waited around in Olympic Centennial park and sent out texts of where to meet up. Once the gang was all there we chatted and laughed about how ridiculous the course was, but we all felt we did fairly well. Jess even rocked her first BACK to BACK double half marathon weekend... according to her, now she can be in the cool group with Kim and I...

Repeat State #5, State 20, State 12

All in all it was a decent race with some amazing gals. If you don't like or are not conditioned for hills, I'd definitely think twice before running this race. This was my 45th half and it was by far the hilliest. Was it the hardest, no, but most hills per course ratio, yes. We lucked out that the weather was great and the humidity subsided, otherwise things could have gotten ugly. I'm so glad I took the trip down, and extremely appreciative of Elizabeth for playing the hostess with the mostest.

Next up, Maine and New Hampshire double header in a few weeks! 


  1. Your race pics turned out great. That "top view" finish line one is really awesome, possibly worth purchasing??

    Thanks for bringing the shamrocks for our skirts--I think we had some of the best "shades of green" outfits for the course.

    Congrats on meeting your goal time, speedy.

  2. Georgia does have some hills! I don't know about Atlanta but augusta sure does. More so than most places I've been to that weren't mountainous. Maybe i will try this race next year when i am up to that mileage!

  3. Way to go speedy lady!!! Could I borrow your legs for just one run!? I love how Jess looks so short with you two!! What are you running in NH and ME?

  4. Such a FUN time in HOTlanta!! So glad you were there. You're an absolute speedy rockstar. I wanna be like you when I grow up... although probably never quite that tall. LOL :) Great run on tough hills!

  5. i love the outfits, how cute!! I definitely get sucked in to races when I know super awesome people are running :0) glad you had fun no matter what!

  6. Yay, awesome job!! You ran some speedy final miles... nice work! Even if the guy in blue did beat you. :)

  7. What a fun race! I love how often you get to run with other bloggers. I wonder if I smile that much when I run? 8:17? Sorry you had to settle ;)

    Lisa you look great!

  8. All VERY good reasons to run this race! :0) Congratulations! You crushed it!! Yall's skirts are adorable! Love them!!

  9. Sounds like a great race! So jealous of your girls weekend. I also love the medal. VERY cool.

    Sucks about the chafing... there are a lot of things I can no longer wear because I chafe. But I already KNOW I have put on weight. In your case I don't think that is the issue, didn't you lose a bit at the beginning of the year?

    Great job!!

  10. 45th half marathon??? WOW, that is amazing!!! Congrats on a good race!! Love your skirt!!

  11. You have done a lot of half marathons! Your race pictures turned out really great, nice job with all the smiling. Sounds like you all had a very fun weekend, I need more girl weekends! Your outfits were all great too, love the shamrock additions.

  12. Looks like heaps of fun! Love the medal!

  13. great job lisa! i think the awesome bling is reason enough, love it!

  14. love that last pic of you! had so much fun and hope to hang out again soon.

  15. NICE race! I hate that feeling of chaffing when you know there isn't anything you can do but suffer later! I'm sure it was that the shorts were old. I discovered this with my own pair of shorts a couple of years ago and there is no way I would have lasted 13.1 miles in them!