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My excessive energy, extreme narcissism, and intense love of neon-colored spandex is both managed and fueled by my addiction to fitness. I push myself to extremes and I push other people's buttons. Obviously I needed my own blog.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

First Long Run in About 2 Years

I signed up to run a Hotlanta Half course preview last Saturday. I figured it was a great way to get myself to complete a long run. I got a little nervous as Saturday approached; I hadn't run 10 miles since I completed my last half marathon on November 8, 2014.

So I wake up at 5:45 AM on Saturday in an attempt to kind of recreate race day conditions. I needed to leave the house between 6:45 AM and 7 AM to make it to Big Peach Running Co. on time. Back before I had two dogs, I would have been able to wake up at 6:40 AM and make it out the door on time. Now I dragging two dachshunds around in the dark asking them to go potty. After the troops were pooped, fed, and watered, I ate some raspberries and drank a protein shake. Then I neurotically peed a few times and headed on my way.

The Big Peach's midtown location is 1.8 miles away from my house. I ran/jogged/walked over there and sadly my GPS didn't pick up. I didn't realize I didn't connect to the satellites until a mile into the group run. We started and ended in the same location, but Garmin shows the start as somewhere near Georgia Tech's campus. The nice thing about the Garmin Forerunner 630 is that it continues to track your mileage without the GPS, unlike my 305. I lost so many miles to that damn thing.

The organizers provided directions for 3 routes - one was about 3.8 miles, the middle was around 6 miles, and the one I did was listed as 10.3 miles. I thought we were running the full 13.1 so I was pleasantly surprised.

Huma handed out gels before the run. This caffeinated option is strawberry lemonade flavored and actually tastes pretty good. I had it around mile 5 and washed it down with plenty of water. I like the sour fruity flavored gels. I'm pretty sure I've never tasted anything as foul as a chocolate flavored gels, especially because they look like melted dog poop. Huma gets the In Shape Out of Mind stamp of approval. Good thing, because I won 6 of them in the post-run raffle.

I told myself to take it slow at first because I never successfully complete negative splits except during CrossFit timed 400 sprints. I ran miles 1 through 3 at a slow pace and I tried not to get lost from the group. Somehow there's always a pack behind me and a pack ahead of me and I'm all alone. At mile 4, I fell into pace with a Big Peach employee named Eric who was in charge of making sure we didn't get lost. Turns out Eric was an AmeriCorps VISTA member so we had a lovely chat about AmeriCorps and service years and trying to live on a living stipend. SO THANKFUL I was a professional corps member.

Eric was leading the group on the 6ish mile run and so I bid adieu and headed east. Luckily another runner named Kelly was also making the right turn so I didn't have to run across Boulevard alone. Boulevard is my least favorite street in all of Atlanta. Ever since my little run in with the jackass that attacked me, I roll my windows all the way up and lock my doors if I'm anywhere near Boulevard. A few people have tried to run in front of my car and I'm quite serious when I say that I don't even bother to slow down. Fifty percent chance it is a deliberate attempt to carjack me, fifty percent chance it's someone high as fuck with no concept of moving traffic. One hundred percent not interested in slowing down to find out. Fun fact: I was attacked a year ago May 13 and this run was May 14. No one involved in my attack is in jail. Thanks Atlanta Police Department!

I was pretty nervous running through that neighborhood, even with another person, but we made it safely to the Beltline entrance.

I run the Beltline Eastside trail pretty often because I live on it. It turns out that Kelly has been coming down from her neighborhood to run on it as well, so we felt pretty good with the rest of the course. The run through Piedmont Park was a little rough but the Peachtree Junior was taking place and it was really cute to see all of the little kids running around the Active Oval.

We made it back to the store and enjoyed treats from the race sponsors. I had a Suja juice and a Power Ice. I also enjoyed half of a bagel, even though it wasn't a real bagel from Long Island.

The midtown Big Peach is really big and has so much stuff in it. I was really proud of myself for not buying anything.

This was the table of raffle prizes.

I'm feeling much more prepared to complete the Hotlanta Half on June 12. The weather was damn near perfect on Saturday and I don't think we'll get such nice cool weather in June. 

I'm excited to add this medal to my collection.

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