Race Report: Peachtree Road Race 10k 2017

Jon and I ran the Peachtree Road Race 10k for the second year in a row, and I’m pretty fond of our new tradition together. We spent the night at my parent’s house so that we could leave Cadence in the morning with my parents. I’m still nursing mornings and nights, and I haven’t had a night away from Cadence yet (soon to change when we go to San Francisco).

We went to bed early on Monday night and woke up at 5 am to get ready. Cadence had nursed around 4 am, so that was about as good as I would get as far as emptying before the race. She nurses exclusively on the right side, and I no longer pump. So I’m a little unbalanced. Haha. We drove about 30 minutes from my parents’ house to Marta, where we thankfully caught a train just as we walked onto the platform (last year this was a nightmare).

We jogged to the porta potties as a warm up, and then we made it to the start just as the star spangled banner was being played. Jon started in the A wave and I started in the seeded wave. This was my first year as a seeded athlete, and it was really nice to start in the cooler 7:30 am weather (albeit 90+% humidity) and with fewer athletes to have to weave around. I got to say hi to one of my good ultra buddies, and then we were off!

The course is hilly, but it starts out downhill with an overall negative elevation gain. It’s easy to go out too fast, but for a 10k, I have no idea what that feels like. I guess you have to run a lot of shorter distances to get a good feel for pacing. It felt fast, good, and easy for the first half of the race. It was really fun to run with other fast runners. There were a couple of girls who looked like they had just stepped off of a track, and I tried to keep up with them for most of the race. Also, I noticed that no one at the front was listening to music. Is that just a mid-packer thing?

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Once we hit the hills, my legs burned on the uphills, but I just kept plugging along. Every time that I run a hill now, I judge it against how I’ll feel running the San Francisco marathon on July 23. I’m afraid that I’m in for some pain! About 4 miles into the race, I was running at a good pace, 6:15-6:20s, slowing down uphill, but I just didn’t feel like I was hurting badly enough. I thought about pushing harder, but instead I just kept plugging at that pace. Who knows?! Maybe I would have blown up if I had pushed more in the race. Maybe I would have trimmed a few seconds. I definitely sped up at the finish, but once done, I didn’t feel like I had pushed my hardest. This isn’t a goal race and I wasn’t trying for a goal time, but I was a little disappointed to not feel depleted. BUT I did feel sore for a couple of days after the race, so clearly, I pushed hard enough to tear up some muscle! Maybe I’m just not used to the distance.

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Splits Cumulative Time Distance Avg Pace
1 06:13.3 1 6:13
2 12:24 1 6:10
3 18:36 1 6:12
4 25:21:00 1 6:45
5 32:02:00 1 6:41
6 38:23:00 1 6:21
7 39:56:00 0.29 5:26
Summary 39:56:00 6.29 6:21

I PR’d with a final time of 39:56. Fun to be (barely) sub 40! It’s pretty eye- opening though, because I have dreams of hitting a marathon of <2:45. With a 10k overall pace of 6:21, I need to be a bit faster and learn to feel comfortable at the fast paces for a bit longer. I came in 5th in my age group and 24th female overall. With over 55,000 race participants, that’s not too bad. 🙂

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Over 60,000 racers!

After the race, Jon and I walked around a little bit and then made our way back to Marta. The race was fun, but our little running buddy was waiting for us at my parents’ house! We finished off the holiday with a boat ride on the lake and a fun lunch with my family.

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Hope you had a good Fourth of July!

Race Day Slumber Party (with a baby)

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I’m back at the office today, but my heart is somewhere on a boat with that sweet little first mate and her daddy. ❤️ @jonussery and I are running the Atlanta Peachtree Road Race 10k tomorrow, so I kept my workout at 30 minutes on the bike today to break a sweat. 💦 I’m sure there will be plenty of sweating tomorrow as we race the hills of Atlanta in July! 😂🇺🇲 Happy Monday! #charterboat #hiltonheadisland #21monthsold #perfection #firstmate #peachtreeroadrace #10k #spinbike #crosstraining #motherrunner #womensrunningcommunity #womenrunning #workingmom

Tomorrow is our 10k!  And the Fourth of July! Haha. Jon and I are both running, so we will spend the night with my parents so they can watch Cadence in the morning after we leave for the race. They live 40 minutes from our house in the opposite direction of the race, but we did this last year, and it worked out fine. I’m so thankful to live close enough to parents for the help!

My calf feels a little tight from all of the running in Hilton Head, but my shins don’t hurt anymore. If I don’t feel like I’m injuring myself, I plan to try for a fast race. It’s been a while since I ran a shorter distance, so this will be fun (and hot!)!

Here’s a neat survey of the Western States 100 participants and their gear, experience, etc. Given my newly semi-coachless status, I found it interesting that only 24% of participants had a coach to train for WS.  🙂

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Nana is the best for naps. ❤

What are your plans for the Fourth?

Race Report: AJC Peachtree Road Race 10k

I am a long distance, endurance kind of girl, but I have to admit that I like the opportunity to run fast.  Running fast is kind of new to me, and I am still learning my limits, especially as a post-partum runner.  For this Fourth of July, my husband and I signed up for our second AJC Peachtree Road Race 10k, which is held every Fourth of July on a hot, hilly, crowded course through Atlanta.  It’s a fun race, but not one to take too seriously.  With that said, this is a pseudo race report because this was a race for fun not a goal race by any stretch. I’m training for a 100 mile race in September, so my training has left my legs relatively tired, and I wasn’t sure what level of effort I wanted to put into this hot race.

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Props to the AJC for giving two free downloads of race pictures!!

My husband, baby, and I spent the night at my parents’ house 45 minutes north of Atlanta because what babysitter wants to show up for a job at 5:30 am on a holiday? 🙂  Cadence is still getting up in the night, and I like to be there to nurse her instead of pumping/giving a bottle.  It’s our new normal in this phase of life, and it also means that I live in a constant state of sleep deprivation.  Ha!  We are so thankful to have parents who love to babysit and support our activities.

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My race routine now involves pumping, and the car time was perfect for that.

I did not sleep well on Sunday night, finally getting up at 4:30 am.  Even that early, my phone said that the temperature was 75 degrees (it turns out that this year was the hottest year since 2005).  It was going to be a hot, muggy day!  We left the house by 5:45 am and headed to MARTA to take the train to the start of the race.  MARTA is an extremely inefficient transportation system, and that was once again confirmed as thousands of other suburban commuters converged on the same rails.

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When will Atlanta ever learn?!

We were really cutting it close on time when we got off the train, so Jon and I ran to the porta-potties and then ran to the start in order to make it in time.  I had a minute to spare before the gun went off, and I was already dripping with sweat. At the time of the start, I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to race or just run for fun.

My legs had been feeling like lead on all of my training runs leading up to this race, so my expectations were pretty low. At the start of the race, my legs felt fine, but there were so many people crowded at the start that no one could run too fast. I broke semi-free from the crowds by the second mile, and my legs felt fine. I was really comfortable with my pace, and realized that I could potentially PR if I continued to feel this good, despite the heat and crowds. I knew that my PR 10k was a 6:38 pace and I was easily clocking the 6:20s.

 

Then mile 3 happened and I started feeling like even the downhills were an effort. At that point, I decided to just enjoy the race and not trash my legs. I settled into an easier pace and just focused on feeling strong for the hills. When I reached mile 5.5, I looked at my overall average pace and it was 6:39. Now I had a decision: either push a little harder and go for a PR after all, or just keep cruising. I didn’t have any excuses not to try to PR, so I sped up just past uncomfortable and tried to sustain that for the rest of the race.

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When I finished, my watch said that my overall pace was 6:34 in 6.33 miles, but my time was 41:40. I had missed my 10k PR by 20 seconds, but my pace was faster than my PR race time (because of the extra 0.13 miles that I ran).

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For races this crowded, it’s hard to run the tangents, and sometimes, the course just gives you a little extra. (This also happened in Boston, which is a super crowded course.) I had a great time running, and I got the best of both worlds by racing part of the course and relaxing for part of the course.

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My husband finished shortly after me (he was in a different wave), and he also ran a really fast race. My favorite memory of the race is actually what happened after the race.  I loved walking around Piedmont Park with my handsome, sweaty husband talking about our impressions of the race.  Jon is just recently starting to run more races, and it makes me so happy to share this with him!

It turns out that I finished 30th female out of 28,677 and 521 overall out of 56,914. All finishers in the top 1000 get a free mug at the local running store, so that is a fun treat that I will pick up later this week.  In the meantime, I can’t help but wonder how fast I can run on a different course in cooler weather.  🙂

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My biggest takeaway from the race is to always maintain a positive attitude.  There will be surprises in any race, and heat, hills, and crowds are all part of the experience.  At the end of the day, running is a gift, and it is a way to praise our Creator with our legs.  We spent the rest of the day at my parents’ house at the lake, and then finished up the evening at our neighborhood pool party.  And that’s a wrap on the Fourth of July 2016!

Did anyone else run a summer race recently?

Does the heat discourage you from trying to give it your best?