July 8, 2016

My final Peachtree Road Race?

July 4th, 2016, I ran my third Peachtree Road Race.

The Peachtree is the largest 10K in the world!
And this year, the Peachtree kicked my... butt. 

The first year I ran this 10K was in 2013. It was overcast, and there was a persistent drizzle for the first half of the race. But I didn't mind that at all! I was perfectly fine with the soft rain and cloudy sky as opposed to the July heat I could have been greeted with that day. And the second time I ran the Peachtree (last year in 2015), there was an intense thunderstorm that shut down the race for about an hour. The brief closure was a first for the event.

So both times I have run this race it was cloudy with rain. And I never realized what a blessing that was until this year. 

This year, there was no rain. There were no clouds. The sun shone down on me from start to finish, and the intense Georgia heat sucked away my energy.  What made the matter ten times worse was I had gotten my race bib from someone whose race time had put her in corral X. I was one of the last runners to start the race. Pre-race pictures below:


Finally at the starting line beneath the iconic Peachtree flag!
I knew it was going to be hot that day, so I had been hydrating the day before and that morning. I drank as much water as I could possibly stand. However, when you do that before and during a race, you can imagine what you'll need to do about 3 miles into the 6.2 mile course. Yep. I had to pee. For the first time EVER in my racing tenure, I had to stop at a portable potty and pee during a race. I tried not to let that bother me, though. I knew my racing time wasn't going to be as good as in past years given I was deliberately going more slowly because of the heat. And I was right. I ended up with a time of 1:31 as opposed to the 1:20 and 1:23 of years past.

Over four miles done. Man, I was HOT HOT HOT!!!
I did everything I could do during that race to stay cool. I got something to drink at just about every water station, and what I didn't consume, I was sure to pour it all over my head. I also made sure to run through every open fire hydrant I could maneuver through. I got in the shade created by trees and buildings whenever I saw it, but regardless of my efforts, I was still a hot mess once I crossed the finished line.

Upon concluding the race, I got my shirt and found my husband (he had been patiently waiting for me for about two hours since he started in corral C).  I had been looking forward to all the post-race goodies (cereal bars and ice cream and cold water) to give me the boost I so desperately needed to make it to the Marta train station about two miles away, but I was sadly disappointed. Much of the post-race banquet was already gone by the time I got there! Instead, I was treated to hot water and some bananas. Coke had brought plenty of coke zero, so I got a can of that. But my stomach made sure to let me know later what a mistake drinking pop (I'm from Indiana) immediately after a race is!

And so I summoned whatever inner strength I had left to walk, very slowly, to the nearest Marta station...

Walking to Marta after the race is like a scene from The Walking Dead.
Finally made it to the bus to Marta! TIRED!
It was a tough race. I don't regret running it, but I don't think I want to put my body through that again. It's not that it was a 10K. I've run a few 10Ks and plan to run more. It's that it was a 10K in the extreme Georgia heat, and my body has told me before and told me again on this day, it does NOT do well with running and high temperatures.  So for that reason, I think this might end up being my final Peachtree run.

I don't want to say I would NEVER run this race again, because a friend may convince me to do otherwise or you just never know, but I am leaning toward this being my final Peachtree Road Race.

Which would make this beautiful blue shirt even more precious to me than it already is.

The coveted shirt for Peachtree finishers ONLY.
Today's forget-me-not: Running in the heat is a big NO NO for Jamie!

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