I have never run a 10 miler but the Atlanta 10 Miler is a very popular race with more than 5k runners. I wasn’t planning on it but jumped into the Atlanta 10 miler in the last minute and used it as a substitute for my taper long run.
Starting lines are a different kind of thrill. I love it and I’ve missed it. I did not have any expectations of the race, but did want to finish strong and not have to walk up too many hills, especially in the second half.
After a whole summer of high 90s, the temperatures dipped to 42F and windy today. There were lots of people I knew running the race, but it was too cold to go and look for them. Runners were bundled up where ever it was possible to avoid the wind.
It took me about 2-3 miles to even get warmed up – I remember thinking around those early miles that my legs were refusing to run. One of those early miles was a largely downhill mile and even though my HR was on the lower end of Z2, thats all the legs could move. But once warmed up, it was perfect running weather. The next time I run a race, even if I’m not ‘racing’, I think I will take 3 miles before the race to warm up – I would’ve had a much better first few miles.
I’d forgotten how hilly Atlanta is! The hills were relentless. Except for a few small flat sections, it was going either up or down. After the downhill race that started the cascade of my injuries, I wasn’t going to run the downhills hard! In the first 3-4 miles, I walked up some of the hills when it got too long (I blame it on the non-existent warmup because they were definitely run-able compared to the ones I did run up in the later half).
After mile 6 or 7, I think I got a little serious. I was warmed up by then and kept moving. The last 2-3 miles, I really pushed it. Again, no expectations of pace, but was purely going by effort and it was nice to pass people 🙂
The Cheer Section
This being my first time running the race, I had no idea that there was designated cheer squads! They were the best! Even before we hit the first mile, I heard a lot of noise, A LOT. They woke me up and brought a huge smile. The cheer sections were themed and there was a Dinosaur themed one, a Butterfly themed one (this one felt like it was my personal cheer section as I was wearing InknBurn’s Monarch Tshirt), a Renaissance themed one, a Waldo themed one, the Atlanta Roller Derby girls, and another favorite – the Bananas, who were at the bottom of the long hill leading into the Botanical Gardens. They were chanting “Beat the Hill” a la American Ninja Warrior Style, and you bet I did!
(I wish I had stopped to get photos of the cheer sections, atleast one with the Butterfly section! These ones are from the cheer sections Instagram pages. Make sure to follow them to see what more awesomeness they are upto!)
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Post race Care
Georgia Sports Chiropractic and Georgia Sports Massage had sent up a HUGE tent with 6 massage tables and 5 Normatech Recovery boots, and mats with foam rollers for self-stretching. The BEST thing about them was that they stayed until 11am, well past the finish ‘cutoff’ of 10:20am. For a back of the packer, this was the best absolute treat ever – I almost always miss out on post race care as things are being packed up by the time I finish.
So extra kudos for all these amazing people for staying long enough to see that back of the pack slower runners are equally taken care of.
I have neither the endurance nor the speed to run races with race effort and definitely not in NYC marathon shape, but I’m glad I did this race. It told me how much I missed races and the fire to get faster and better is coming back stronger – not quite there yet, but it’s coming back. A HUGE part of the effort is continuing to get past the PTSD of injuries and WANTING to put the effort to get better instead of just talking about it (hello, nutrition!).
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First start line since injury in April. 2 weeks to NYCM. Happy to be running races again. . . Endurance is 70% there. Speed isn’t there at all. Long way to go before I tackle Tokyo Marathon in Spring – stay injury free and go up from here. . . #Atlanta10Miler #ATC #AtlantaRunner #Runner #Running #RaceDay @atlantatrackclub @inknburn @sparkleathletic
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These are some of the weekly linkups hosted by great bloggers. Check out some of the posts in the linkups.
Meatless Monday – Confessions of a Mother Runner and A Whisk and Two Wands
Tunes Tuesday (first Tuesday of the month) – KookyRunner, Run With No Regrets and RunSteffRun
Tuesdays on the Run –No Guilt Life, MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice
Running Coaches Corner – Running on Happy, Suz Lyfe, Crazy Running Girl and Coach Debbie Runs
Friday Five 2.0 –Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness
Weekly Wrap up – HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home