Hills, Hills, and More Hills – A 13.1
My race report for the 13.1 AllState Atlanta ends right at the title – it was hills, hills and more hills.
This was Half Marathon #8 (or is it 9?) and surprisingly the first one after Alien Half Marathon LAST YEAR in August!! Even though I’ve run 2 marathons since August. I had done this race 3 years ago and it was Half #2. It was the old course and hilly at that time. It was the new course and still hilly this time.
Enough about hills, though. I’ve just got to learn to get over it. Instead, I will just share some of my thoughts.
- Everything is funner with friends
We had a large group of runners from MARC (my running group) at the race and it was wonderful to have a “homebase” to come back to. I ran into friends from MRTT and Atlanta Disney Runners and plenty of girls sharing my love for my favorite skirts. It was a very festive and fun atmosphere. Completely took out that race day nervousness I usually have.
- Hydration and Nutrition is Key
This is a no-brainer. But I have not run races in such a long time that I have forgotten how to fuel for a race! I had gels and such, but since I have not used them in training, I not sure if they were really did any good for me. I had my usual Nuun hydration, but something was still off as my hands were swollen by mile 9. When I finished the race, I felt like I’d have to throw up. I didn’t luckily!
- Spectators really do make a race more cheerful!
I was pleasantly surprised by the cheer support at the race. The water stations were enthusiastic, of course. The volunteers were wonderful! And there were random bands of music playing on the street. Some awesome signs too of course. I wish I had stopped to take a picture of this awesome guy who had a poster at the beginning of the race saying “The Government may have shut down, but your body will not”. The same guy had another poster towards the end made for his runner that said “Laura, you are a beauty who runs like a beast”. Loved it !!!
- You don’t get better at running hills by walking them
I found this from Saucony’s #FindYourStrong ad campaign and it is absolutely true. Hills are my nemesis because I let them be! I had trained on hill repeats for Peachtree and I was running strong on those hills. Lazily, I gave up on hill repeats, assuming that crossfit would make up for it. And it showed! My hamstrings were screaming at me. On the other hands, my friends who had run hills all summer navigated the hills and soon left me after mile 5.
- Does 3 falls in 3 weeks mean I am over my jinx?
Yes, I fell in the race. Again. Luckily a nice guy caught me and I only suffered a roll in my ankle. This was at mile 10ish, so it did not impact my race much. But it did make me change my gait and that hurt my hamstrings even more! We saw a lady go down in the dark(she really went down faceplant!) at mile 1-2 over a speedbump. I hope the girl was ok, she was shaken and crying 🙁
- Facebook has shortened real-life connections
I could not believe the number of people I met at the race who I’ve known through the various Facebook groups. And then the number of people who I realized I was running “parallel” with when they posted race photos later. I even knew the winner of the race – Coach Cawood of No Boundaries Multisport!
I’ve been thinking that this is a most unusual race report for me. I usually detail everything mile-by-mile. And this report seems very weird to me. But then so is the feeling of lining up at the start line after 6 months. So maybe as I pick back on my training and races, I will get better at running them, and I will also get better at writing race reports 🙂
Did you run this weekend? A race or a training run? How did it go?
If you ran the AllState Atlanta 13.1, did I cross paths with you somewhere?