This race is one of my freebies with Atlanta Track Club membership and it’s a fun race, not to mention it’s the rare four mile distance, so I enjoy this race a lot. It’s going to be my summer sanity saver, it seems as I’ve had super stressful weeks leading up to the race. This time, I actually wondered if I would actually run as I was feeling dizzy the day before and actually left work early. I got a good night’s sleep and when I woke up at 5:45am, I felt well enough to attempt the run. I knew the summer heat wasn’t going to allow me to beat my time from May, but I hoped to beat my prior year time with a 14 minute mile goal pace.
This year, I made it to the Decatur Family YMCA before street closures and instead of freaking out about parking lots being full, I relied on ATC volunteers and followed them down and into a neighborhood which ended up getting me extremely close to the YMCA. Bib pickup was a breeze and it was off to wait in a long line for indoor bathrooms, which are a race day treat. This race is self seeded and I believe the last wave is 9:30 and slower (I think) which makes me hope I’m not getting in someone’s way. Time went quick and then we were off.
The race starts on a slight downhill, but shortly after turning onto Scott Blvd, it becomes a long uphill. This year I’ve run more than four miles, unlike last year’s race, so I planned to run as much as I could until over heating took over. I had hoped to avoid some of it with my new Amphipod Hydroform handheld water bottle. First water stop being two miles in is rough for a slow girl when it’s so hot. I made it up the first hill on Scott Blvd, but the second hill got to be a bit much. I made the turn into the neighborhood part of the route and finally was able to start running again. I paced myself until we got to the super long downhill stretch and I powered through that to the water stop and then some. Then the hill out of the neighborhood laughed in my face, but the volunteer there was super encouraging, so I walked some more, but soon I was ready to run and face those hills in mile three. One last walk break around mile three and I was determined to make it the rest of the way after mile three. North Decatur Road is hilly, too, but once I got through a curve that allowed me to see the corner at Clairmont, I knew I was close to finishing. The run through the McDonalds and gas station parking lot is funny to me and then as I got back on Clairmont, the cheering was incredible from those who already finished. Eventually you end on a downhill and turn off Clairmont to the finish felt short and then I was done. I knew I beat a 14 minute mile pace, finishing in 55:17, a full 2:10 better than 2015. Progress is happening, folks!
Post race, I took my time getting Powerade, a bagel and more water and ended up being around for all of the awards. And I got a lot of compliments on my outfit of the day. Because if that, I ended up meeting Betty Lindbergh, who recently set a world record in the 800 meters for 90+. Yes, she’s 91 and still running. I told her I wanted to be her when I grow up because if I can still be running in over 50 years from now, that will make me happy. Just being alive in 50 years would be great, too. She started running at age 63, so it’s never too late. There are two things I thought if that really put what Betty has done into perspective for me. She started running at 63 and my mother passed away when she was 62. And Betty is older than my dad would have been by at least a year. And she’s still running! It’s incredible and such an inspiration. I hope I can live that long.
Super fun race that helped alleviate my stress and I made progress toward my running goals. It was a great morning and I’m glad I didn’t give it up for more sleep. I needed that run so much!