The Atlanta Track Club puts on fabulous events throughout the year, but their leadoff event is pretty unique. The Resolution Run offers pretty unique distance options consisting of 4 miles, 1 mile and a 50 meter dash for the kids. Since the 1 mile started right after the 4 miler, I saw a good group of all ages lined up, so this race really does offer something for everyone and all abilities. It made me proud to see so many taking the opportunity to be active, and I wish them all the best in keeping up the healthy lifestyle. Last January 1, I still wasn’t cleared to run (or even walk that far), so I was able to start my 2017 off on a good note by signing up for the 4 mile distance. Four mile races are unique, but the ATC does two of them each year, with the other being the very hilly (and very hot) Decatur-DeKalb 4 Miler in July. I enjoy the extra .9 miles from a typical 5k and the extra challenge. The other unique thing about the Resolution Run is start time of 10am. While I didn’t make it to midnight on New Year’s Eve, it was nice to sleep in a bit before heading to the race. And I’m sure those who were up til midnight or later appreciated the later start time.
Unfortunately, the weather was not so great on race morning as rain was predicted much of the day. I don’t know about the rest of you, but running in rain when it’s near 40 degrees isn’t my favorite thing. Atlanta needs the rain, so I’ll suffer for the greater good. I just wish we had some of this rain during the super hot and humid summer races. I arrived at the Brookhaven Marta station around 8:30, which was the time bib pick up opened. There was no recommended arrival time on the ATC emails, but with mentions of limited parking, I figured it was a good time to shoot for. I wasn’t the only one there that early and I felt like a pretty late arrival, but there was still plenty of parking, but that could have been due to the weather. I was able to be the first to use a porta potty (it’s the little things!) and then easily get my bib with no wait. I stopped by the ATC merch tent and lamented about the weather with them (nothing stops runners!) before heading back to my car to stay dry and warm.
I hydrated a bit too well prior to the race as I ended up making two porta potty visits, barely making it to the start line for the first wave to go. I did learn from the first trip that it was a bit too cold to go without a jacket, so my rain jacket was going to get a race in. Wave D was ready for it and I was glad part of the race instructions was a reminder about safety. Considering the roads were already wet and we were running through Brookhaven neighborhoods, we got a reminder about slick conditions and potholes. Chanting “safety” with my fellow runners was fun. Then we were off at 10:06 am and it was on. be Brave, on my Momentum Jewelry sparklet, and YES! you can on my footnote would be a huge part of race day thoughts.
I’m still running 30:30 intervals of running and walking, but I kept up the tradition of running the first full minute, in the name of safety, as I’d be too afraid to slow so early on. I also made sure to get a high five shortly after leaving the start line. I’m not sure if the weather kept people away or what, but this race was the least crowded start I’ve ever experienced in the many ATC races I’ve run. I was grateful for not having to weave to start the race. The first turn came up pretty quickly as did the second turn and I was feeling great on the long stretch with rolling hills. Even if I wasn’t always on a downhill for a run interval, I was feeling good and saw I was under a 13 minute mile pace (one of my 4 miler goals in 2017) at the first mile sign.
I was doing great when I hit the water station and I promised myself I’d find a good downhill stretch to make up that run interval I missed. I had debated bringing my water bottle, but I don’t have the same hydration issues in cooler weather, so I was happy to feel good at close to halfway. I was still beating the 13 minute mile pace at mile 2. Some huge downhills were a part of the third mile and one was so steep I had to slow myself down since I was afraid I was going to eat asphalt. I have klutzy tendencies and I’m so terrified I’m going to wipe out at a race. I was excited for the downhills and didn’t realize because of the first half of the race being rolling hills that these downhills were setting up for a majorly uphill fourth mile. I saw some of these before seeing the mile three sign and felt good I was maintaining under a 13 minute mile pace.
Knowing I had one more mile to go and I was on pace for a PR, one of my 2017 goals, as well as beating a 13 minute mile (another 2017 goal), I was trying to push hard for a good finish. The hills started to get the best of me as my run intervals became very hard. I also started feeling a blister from wet feet at this point. One little boy does not know how much I needed his high five as that helped immensely. The 20 Stages version of Change Your Mind also came on to motivate me. The hills and blister were mental, however my digestive system chose to be ugly to me the closer I got to the last turn. Because I knew I was going to have a great chance at a PR, I pushed through rather than stopping at the many local businesses I passed. I could see the Marta tracks ahead and knew the turn was closer than that. How could I stop at that point? I got to the point where I told myself to just keep running and I even slowed to a walk when Runkeeper beeped even though I said I wouldn’t, but I forced myself to run once I could see the finish line.
The good news is I got my PR with a 52:27 beating my prior PR by 1:10. My pace was 13:07, so I was so close to breaking 13 minute mile pace. The bad news is I felt so rough at the end, I never did encourage anyone else. As soon as I cooled down, my stomach felt fine, so this reinforces my decision to eat better foods in 2017. I’m sure my body is still trying to get over all the bad foods I’ve eaten recently. I collected my water and bagel and remembered it was okay to feel a major sense of accomplishment for the PR, even though I was disappointed to be so close another goal as well. This gives me more incentive to see if I can improve speed as my next chance at a 4 miler is likely going to be in July, which means heat will make it harder to PR and beat the 13 minute mile pace. But if I don’t try, I’ll never know if I can do it.
Also, I got a few compliments on my skirt and the many Brookhaven neighborhood folks cheering us on was wonderful as it made up for the weather being yucky. I hope to make this race a new tradition going forward.
2017 goal checked off – Set a PR in a distance I’ve already run
2017 goals progress made – Run a timed race each month (checking off January!) and getting my high fives in (gotta make up for encouragement next time and encourage multiple people)
Floors climbed per Fitbit Blaze during race – 31
Do you ever run races that aren’t the usual distances (5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon)? How have you made 2017 count so far?