Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Atlanta Half Marathon Race Report

Tuesday, November 29, 2011  at 8:50 AM
After 10+ hours in the car through nasty weather yesterday, it's good to be home!  The long drive to Georgia and back is such a toughy, but it was well worth it.  I'll be posting two blog posts pretty close together about my Thanksgiving break.  The first will be the Atlanta Half Marathon Race Report, and the second will be about the rest of my Thanksgiving.  So here's how the race went.

Jennifer and I drove the seemingly endless drive from Michigan to Atlanta to make it in time to go to the expo and get our packets.  I have to say that this is such a well-organized event for being so large.  There were 10,000 runners, but the packet pickup was a breeze.  Maybe it is because we were within the last hour before they closed or something, but we were in and out in no time.  I signed up to run with the 1:50 pace team as that was my ultimate goal.  They gave me a separate number to pin on my back to identify what my goal was.
The race shirts are pretty cool, but mine was a bit too big.  Maybe I'm not a Large anymore...  We headed over to our hotel which is right next to Turner Field where the Atlanta Braves play.  This worked out perfectly, because the start/finish line is basically in the parking lot of Turner Field.  We were probably a half mile from where everything was happening.  After checking in and laying everything out, we went to sleep for the big day.
I always like it when they put your name on the number
We woke up at 5:50 to get something to eat and make our way over to the race.  Again, everything was well-run.  There were plenty of porta-potties.  The lines weren't too bad.  It was obvious where we needed to be.  I was starting in the "B" corral and Jenn was starting in the "D" corral, so we had to say goodbye and get ready for the start.
Another crappy Iphone 4s picture...
There were SO many people there!!!
This was in front of me..(notice the 1:50 pace group)
This was behind me.  They stretched on forever.
After the national anthem, the "A" corral started, and then 5 minutes later, we started.  I was thinking I'd take some video to show, but it was too much of a hassle to get my iphone out.  My goal was to start out a little quick, as I do on every long run, and then fade towards the end.  I hardly ever get negative splits, so going out quick seems to be the only way to get a better time.  Maybe this is something I need to work on!  I was hoping that when the 1:50 pace group caught up to me that I could just hitch on the back and they'd take me to the finish line.  I had been pretty pumped about this race, so it was go time.  There were so many people out there running, but I was doing alright weaving through them.  The first few miles went by pretty quickly.  The course was pretty flat with only a little bit of rolling.  It's always fun to run downtown in a big city.  We ran right by the capital building twice.

I was feeling good through the first 5 miles, and then came some hills.  I had looked at the elevation chart for the course, and it didn't look too bad, but running it sure sucked.  They kept running us up hills and then turning corners up another hill!  It was annoying.  Of course, I slowed down a bit, but I started to fall a part at about mile 7.  

I wish I could give an excuse like, "It was too hot" or "There were too many hills," but I hate excuses.  The REASON is that I slacked on training.  I know I didn't train hard enough.  Yes, I had some good long runs that showed that I could hold my 8:24 pace or better.  But when it came down to race day, I didn't have it in me. 

The 1:50 pace team went by me like I was standing still around mile 8.  I tried to hang on, but there was no way, so I had to pick out another goal for the day.  I had previously set a "sandbagger" goal of breaking 2 hours, which would be a PR for me, so that's what I aimed for.  My sister called around mile 11, and it was so nice to have her talking to me for the next mile or so.  Those were some tough miles!  At 12, I latched on to a guy going my pace, and we chatted it up to the finish line.  I crossed the line at 1:59:10 to get my PR and BREAK 2 HOURS!  It's not exactly what I wanted, but it was a PR for me.  The course was actually 13.22 miles, so I did 13.1 in 1:57:54 for an average of 9:00min/miles. 

As usual, the medals are super rad.
 Jenn did really awesome!  Although she thought it was a tough run, she got her goal of under 2:15 with a 2:14:50ish.  Way to go, Jenn!!!!  By the way, she gets a pukie award (5 or 6 of them actually).  Way to suck it up and get your goal, babe!

My dad, mom, sister, brother-in-law and neice all came to walk the 5k.  They had a good time and even GOT MEDALS.  Have you ever done a 5k where they give finisher medals?  If I had known that, I would have done the 5k.  :)

 Here's little Brynlie with her first race medal.  Way to go, Little B!
All in all, Jenn and I had a great time at the Atlanta Half.  Although I didn't reach my true goal, I got a PR. It'll just be easier to get a PR next time!  Thanks for all the encouraging comments, text messages, facebook comments etc.  You guys are great!  Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for a recap of Thanksgiving.



Congrats on the race and the PR!! Thats awesome

Glad you had a good Thanksgiving


Awesome job on PR-ing AND!!! Breaking 2 hours!! That is a real milestone. I forsee good things next season!

Ironman By Thirty

Congrats to both of you on the PRs!!! And ?congrats? to Jenn on the pukie! (Not sure if "congrats" is the right word.


Congratulations again on getting a PR and sub 2 hours! That is awesome, especially for a new course you aren't familiar with and one that has hills you weren't expecting! (Totally can relate to that!)
You are so going to get that 1:50 in your next race - I know it!
And congrats to Jenn too - great race and finish!!
Let's try to pick a half to do together!!

Matty O

Great job man!!! You both did wonderful and at least you had some decent weather to run in :)

Keep up the good work!

Caratunk Girl

SO EXCITING!! I am so happy for both of you - you both totally hit your goals!! Way to get under 2hrs!! SWEET. Those medals are pretty cool, Brynlie is so cute!

tri like mary

Congrats on a new PR! You'll get that 1:50 next time! :)


nice drive for the PR! congrats


Like I said to you earlier... congrats n the PR and just gives you something to shoot for at the next race! :) Sounds like it was a good one though - hope to run it next year!!!

And congrats to Jenn too!

Ms. Duffy

Nice job, guys! A PR is a PR, right?


Hold the phone!!! you got a sub 2 hour 1/2 and talked on the phone at the same time!?!?!?!? Wow! Call me impressed!

Great job to both of you!


Great job on the PR for the both of you!!! Atlanta is pretty hilly - so that is a totally awesome time. I loved that they had your name on the bib and loved the medals....The 5K finishers medal was pretty sweet too. You will def get the 1:50 next time :)


Sorry you didn't make the goal you wished, but nothing wrong with a PR :). Now you know what to do for the next one - so this was a great experiment to see what you can do. I'm not sure where that course goes, but I've done the Atlanta ING half 3 times and it is HILLY (still my 1/2 marathon PR though) so I understand your wife's tough thoughts.

Congratulations to both of you...and your whole clan who ran, too :).


Congratulations to you and Jenn! I was admiring your medals and the bibs with your names on them-- so spiffy! Then I scrolled down and saw that there were medals for the 5k! What?!?! I've never gotten a medal for a 5k... Clearly, I am doing the wrong races! ;) Brynlie is so adorable!

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