Friday, March 22, 2013

Georgia Publix Half Marathon Expo & Race recap

This past weekend I ran my second half marathon....just 3 weeks after my first one.  A little crazy?  Maybe...

I got to the expo Saturday morning as soon as it opened to beat the crowds.  I also wanted to get my knees taped up by the fabulous people at the KT Tape booth, and their line tends to get long as the day goes by.  After getting taped, I picked up my race packet and meandered around the expo for awhile.  I had plans to meet up with a couple of Twitter friends at the runDisney booth, so I had some time to kill.

While waiting for them, I stopped and chatted with Dane from See Dane Run.  He ran 52 marathons in 52 weeks, all while working a full time job!  Now running is not only a job, but a passion for him.  He was a lot of fun to talk to, and I bought one of his books.  If you're reading this, hey Dane!
I met Jenn and Patrick, a couple of Team #runDisney members for a quick picture at the runDisney booth -
And stopped off at the Spartan Race booth for some fun!
Once we were done checking out the expo, we headed to Antico Pizza for some lunch and lots of laughs. 
Now...for RACE DAY!!

I got to the World of Coca-Cola at around 6 a.m. to get a group picture with the members of Team #runDisney before the race.  I headed into the park and ran into Ramona and her boyfriend and chatted with them for awhile before heading to my starting corral.  As I was walking that way, I ran into Leigh, a Twitter friend, and we decided to start the race together.

The race started, and we headed down through Georgia State University's campus.  We got close to mile 2 and I had to make a bathroom stop, so Leigh went ahead and I told her I would catch up.  The crowd support was awesome throughout the whole race.  I kept plugging along and made it to the Jackson Street Bridge and got the money shot of the day-
Soon we passed Ebenezer Baptist Church and The King Center -
I loved the different neighborhoods that the course took us through.  The Old Fourth Ward was probably one of my favorite cheer stations.  They had some pretty awesome signs -
 We ran into Inman Park followed by Little 5 Points -
Something new to the course (and new to me) were food stations.  There were two along the half marathon course, and the first one had Jelly Belly jelly beans!  Don't mind if I do!
By this time (just before mile 6) I had FINALLY caught up with Leigh!  We started talking and came to find out that she used to live in the same town I grew up in, AND I graduated with her sister-in-law.  What a small world!
I made sure to go the right way!!  We kept chugging along, talking the whole way.  It was nice to have some company.  It was around this time that my feet started to hurt...when we got near and into Piedmont Park.  (The same thing happened to me during the Princess half marathon!).  Going through the park was nice, and CBS Atlanta had a well manned cheer and water station.  Once we got out of Piedmont Park, O.M.G.  It was almost all uphill for the rest of the race!
Shortly after, we got onto the Georgia Tech campus.  Too bad I wasn't wearing my UGA gear...I'm sure that would have gone over well.  We passed Bobby Dodd stadium and some other Tech landmarks that I'm not familiar with :)
Just before their water station was another food station, this time with M&M's.  I grabbed a cup as well as some water and Powerade (I did this at just about every station to make sure I stayed hydrated).  I've gotta give it to the Techies...they had a good cheer section.
Leigh caught up to me here (I had run ahead just before Piedmont Park) and I could barely keep up with her walking...my feet were killing me!!  We came up on a photo op and had a little fun-
I was shooting for a 3 hour finish, but with the hills, hardly any runs between the Princess half and this one, and my feet killing me, I knew it wasn't going to happen.  The hubby texted me and told me to let him know when I was rounding the corner to finish.  The rest of the way to the finish was uphill, so I decided to walk and conserve my energy so I could run to the finish line.

As I turned the corner to the finish I started looking for the hubby and found him...he was videoing me finishing the race. :)  He snagged this picture from the video -
As I headed to the finish I picked up to a sprint and passed a few people just before the finish line - I actually really like my finisher photo!
I had done it...finished my second half marathon AND have a new PR - 3:18!  That's a 19 minute PR off of the Princess half, and I know I can do better.  Now I have a new goal!

Leigh and Marie waited for me at the finish (they finished a couple of minutes ahead of me) and we went to get our medals, water, and chocolate milk.
The hubby found me, and we made a quick stop by the Information Tent so I could exchange my race shirt - they gave me the wrong size by mistake at packet pick up, and the shirt ran SUPER small!  Then we walked toward the food tent where we ran into Patrick and some other Team #runDisney members, so we decided to get another picture, complete with our finisher medals.
Overall, I really enjoyed this race.  It was well organized, the course was great, and I hope to get revenge on it next year and tackle those hills!






Like my headband?  Look for a giveaway this weekend and you could win one!

Until next time,

Jen







14 comments:

  1. Great job! Especially running 2 races back to back. That race looks like fun, I will have to consider signing up for it next year

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    1. Thank you! I have plans to do it again but don't want to register quite this early :) it was a great course!

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  2. You look amazing, Jen! Huge congrats on your 2nd half! You just continue to kick more and more butt.

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  3. Great job, Jen! 19 minute PR is HUGE!!!

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    1. Thanks Falon! I look forward to tackling it again next year :)

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  4. Congrats on a 2nd half and a HUGE PR. The photos are great! I love that you are already gearing up to run the race again, coming back for 2nds is the best! See how far you have come! Nice work!

    p.s. love the headband

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    1. Thanks Kat! Congrats on your Zooma race yesterday :)

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  6. Yay! Congrats. I hope your foot pain gets better!

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  7. Congratulations on the new PR Jen! That's a tough course filled with hills so just imagine how speedy you'd be on a flat course.

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    1. Haha a non-Disney flat course :P

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Your comments make me smile :)