Default Medals

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Hello!!

What a crazy 2 weeks it has been! I’ve been running a few miles a few days a week. I missed my long run last weekend due to crazy work and traveling schedules.

BUT, today I ran a 5k to support the ADA (something I really like but that’s for another post!), and it wasn’t too bad! I got in at 33:30.4 which is pretty good considering the heat and how little I have been training.

But that’s not all!! I got a medal for being 3rd out of 3 in my age group haha! I wasn’t too far behind 2nd place which made me feel good. Any day I get a medal is a good day! It was fun to support a great cause and enjoy a 5k in my hometown!

I know people shame default medals sometimes, but I’m here to celebrate default medals!

I think sometimes, it is ok to be happy with a default medal. Sometimes, you’ve had two years of not training and eating poorly, and you’re trying to get back out there and get healthy again. Sometimes, you need a default medal to know that you can get back to where you once were as a runner.

Here’s to finding encouragement in the little things!!

What is a little thing you find encouraging?

What do you love most about small races?

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A Year Later

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In training for my Thanksgiving Day half marathon last year, I ran a 10k trail race at a local park.  Prior to this race, I had not been training, really at all.  I ended up walking most of the race, especially since it has 3 majors hills in the last 3 miles, and my time was 1:16:02, which is about 15 minutes slower than my usual 10k time.

This year, I decided to take the challenge again to see if I could better my time.  I trained for about a month leading up to the race.  Race morning it was SUPER cold and windy, and I was a little nervous about how the weather would affect me since I hadn’t gotten used to the cold yet.

On the first turn around, they did not make it clear where we were supposed to turn around, so everyone made the mistake of running too far.  When we got into the woods, there was a really long downhill, so I took advantage of that and gave myself a nice lead over the other runners.  I felt good the entire race {except those brutal uphills!} and never walked which is a goal I had for this race.

I ended up coming in 1st overall for the women and 3rd overall for everyone.  Granted this race only had 16 people, but hey, I’ll take it!  My time was 1:09:28 which is not what I was hoping for, but it was a 5 minute improvement on last year.

Have you ever run a race one year and then run it again the next year to see how you improved? Also, any last minute tips for my half marathon in 3 weeks are welcome! 🙂

AJC Peachtree Road Race 6/4/13

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I ran my first 10k last July at the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta. The Peachtree is a long standing Fourth of July tradition in Atlanta. It has become so popular that runners have a week to enter into a random lottery and 60,000 people are chosen at random to run. It is a huge event and draws huge crowds along the course and at the finish area.
The race started near Phipps plaza. There were the seeded runners, the sub-seeded runners, then waves A-Y. I was in wave F along with my dad. I suggest getting there early to find your start wave, use the restroom if necessary, and stretch. We stayed in a hotel near the start area to make getting there easier because there is limited parking for 60,000 people. It is easy to find your start wave and move around once you get to the start area.
The course itself is not extremely difficult. There are two hills that are not fun though. Cardiac hill is one of these hills, but it isn’t the death trap many people make it out to be if you have any kind of running experience with hills. There is water every mile and misters along the course.
The crowds are very fun along the course and restaurants and businesses get really into it. For example, Moe’s sometimes hands out shirts and Mellow Mushroom gives out pizza and beer. Some people drink along the course but more competitive runners and families are able to avoid this pretty easily, especially in the front waves.
At the finish at Piedmont Park, they gave out the bags with the coveted Peachtree Road Race finisher t-shirts. They also handed out fresh Georgia peaches, ice cream sandwiches, water, Powerade, cold towels, and many other post-race essentials. The atmosphere was fun and it was crowded.
The weather for us was beautiful. It was a rainy week, but the rain had stopped and it was overcast which is nice for a race in July in the south! Normally it is about 80-90 degrees or more at the Peachtree, but the temperatures last year were amazing!
I had a lot of fun at the Peachtree and my time was 1:04:54, which is still my personal best 10k. I am running it again this year with my dad and sister.

This is a picture from the starting line last year.

Atlanta Half Marathon 11/28/13

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Last August, I got the insane idea that it would be fun to run a half marathon.  Who knows what I was thinking (I had probably just come back from a long, hot, summer run 😉 ), but I signed up for it and began training.  About the middle of September, I started slacking off on my training, and I got back at it hard in the end of October.  That month really hurt me in the long run, but it wasn’t as bad as I was afraid it would be.  I ended up running with a time of 2:13:13, and I only thought I was going to die once! Haha

The race itself was very well organized (like all Atlanta Track Club events are.)  The race started out at Turner Field in Atlanta.  There were plenty of porta-potties.  There were about 14,000 people in all of the start waves.  It was crowded, but that is what you expect when you sign up for a big race in the city.  The race started about 8:00 and the first couple of miles flew by.  Before I knew it, we were running through Atlantic Station and Piedmont Park.  There was water and Gatorade every two miles and energy jelly beans at mile 8.  The crowds were fairly good considering the weather and the holiday.  The roads were blocked off with enough room for all of the runners, and we were not squished together when we were running, especially toward the last half of the race.  There were a few big hills that were killer, but coming from the country, I am used to running lots of hills, so it wasn’t too bad.

The weather that morning was something.  It was about 28 degrees at the start of the race and got up to a balmy 37 during the race!  The wind was bad and there was an ice problem around water stations.  The volunteers did their best to keep the people from slipping, but ice is inevitable in those temperatures.  I never slipped, but some people did (all of them that I saw were able to keep running!)  The volunteers made the best of the conditions and always kept a smile on their faces (though I don’t see how they did).

At the end of the race, they had medals and mylar blankets for all of the runners.  There were also waters, gatorades, and delicious snack boxes for everyone.  There was a lot of parking for runners/spectators.  Security was good as well; there were police officers all along the course and at the finish line.  I really enjoyed this race and it was a great first half marathon.  It was also cool to see Atlanta from a different perspective.