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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.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hotlanta Half 2016

I ran the Hotlanta Half on Sunday, June 13 and the photos are finally ready (and then I forgot to post finish this post for a while, so the photos were actually ready back in June.) The event has free race photos - yes, I said FREE race photos. How awesome is that?

I tried not to freak myself out about this race. One, I wanted it to be fun. Two, I signed up because I needed to prove to myself that I could do some long runs for the Marine Corps Marathon. So I kept telling myself it was just an expensive long run with hydration stations and 1,600 of my closest friends.

I woke up on Saturday viciously hungover and dragged my ass to CrossFit to sweat it out. I had a great partner workout with Dave (I've been trying to get him to be my best friend for months), but there was rowing, doubleunders, over the rower burpees, and thrusters. All things that would catch up to me on Sunday. I had drunkenly slept through my 5K the previous weekend so riding the struggle bus on Saturday was actually clutch for my pre-race preparation. The boyfriend and I adulted the rest of the day and then I cooked the shrimp in my refrigerator because it was going to go bad and ate a bunch of sourdough rolls. It wasn't my usual pre-race dinner of buffalo wings, but it wasn't bad. I was in bed by 10 PM.

It's Sunday morning and I'm out of bed by 5 AM. I walk the dogs, make some toast, and cover one piece with Earth Balance creamy coconut and peanut butter spread and the other with some Kerrygold butter and fig spread. I decided to take an Uber to the race and conveniently one of my neighbors was coming home at 6:15 in the morning so I snagged his driver.

The race was super easy to get to down at Pemberton Place by World of Coke and the aquarium. I arrived, walked my ass over to bag check, and took my shirt off. I was ready to roll! Unfortunately the porta potties didn't arrive in time and the line for the real bathroom was a bajillion people long. I decided to line up and hope I'd find a restroom along the way.

I took this photo instead of standing in line to pee.

Miles 1 - 4: The race started on time. It was still a pleasant temperature and there was a breeze for the first few miles. I felt really good and my legs felt strong. I decided to listen to a Spotify mix that honors my friend Trevor with his favorite songs. It was a great choice. I spoke to him a little bit and reflected on how lucky I am to have the ability to run. As you can see in this photo taken in the first 20 minutes of the race, I'm looking pretty dang happy. I also look cute as fuck.

My outfit was chosen because I knew I'd be comfortable in each item and it color-coordinated. I am a big fan of Oiselle shorts and Balega Hidden Comfort socks (thanks Nick for introducing me to their splendor!)

Miles 5: I took a gel at 4.5ish. The race was sponsored by Huma and I won some gels at the course preview run. I'm glad I've learned to take gels sooner rather than later because I used to wait too long. The hill at mile 5 was a bitch.

By mile 6, my legs were cramping. I needed salt. I was approaching the Beltine Eastside Trail, which is conveniently where my apartment complex is located. I called up the boyfriend and asked him to grab a salt shaker and meet me by the apartment. While I felt pretty crappy, at least I now had a goal. Get to mile 8 to meet up with the boyfriend. The Power Ice station at mile 7 was a pleasant surprise. As I sucked down my frozen grape treat, I legit thought to myself, "Wow, Power Ice has never tasted so delicious!" I mean it's tasty, but you know you're fucking hot when you think an ice pop is that good. The Power Ice helped and I felt better but I still needed salt. I was trying to stay positive and smile and wave at spectators, and I saw a guy wearing a Pittsburgh Penguins shirt and I thought, "Oh, I need to tell Jeremy about the Pens fan I saw." And then I realized it was Jeremy. He had mixed up salt and water into a blender bottle and I sipped some down making sure to drink more plain water with it. It's honestly the reason I think I was able to finish the race. Thank God for boyfriend's who make salt water. 

Mile 9: Oh my goodness, do I need to pee. I considered getting off the Beltline to pee at my own apartment but I knew I wouldn't finish the race. Luckily I found a porta-potty on 10th Street but there was a line.

Mile 10: I finally made it to Piedmont Park. I felt a whole lot lighter and a lot happier about running. A lot of people are in the park on Sunday mornings and their cheers was the motivation I needed to keep going.

I swear I'm not walking.
Mile 11: There is a terrible hill up 12th Street and then another (up Juniper or Peachtree?). It was brutal. I knew I needed to get up them so that I could head towards Georgia Tech. Some angels were standing on the sidewalk with icy paper towels. The run through Tech is beautiful and a lot of it is downhill.

Miles 12 and 13 had so many hills. I've never had to walk a hill that close to a finish line before and I've run a 50 miler. It hurt. I began to feel discouraged. I also started to get pissed at people on the sidelines who kept telling me to run. Unless you just completed the race, keep your damn comments to yourself. That's when I know that I need to get across the finish line and eat something. #hangry

Finally I got to the last 0.1 mile of the race and I was able to bring it relatively strong. I was so sweaty that it looked like I had jumped in a pool, and my skin was covered in a layer of salt.

2:00:58 chip time
2:01:36 gun time
9:14/M pace

My Garmin shows that I had a total time of 2:01:00 and 1:58:38 moving time. My average moving pace was 9:01/M

I wasn't thrilled with my time but I wasn't mad about it either. Considering the conditions, I think I did pretty well.

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