Those 3 words pretty much describe the half from this past Sunday. I was lucky enough to receive a free race entry from Running For Bling page for this race!
Lets talk packet pick up it was a cluster for lack of better words. I was excited because on a Friday I like to leave the office around lunch and head home. The pickup was a 1/2 mile away from my office easy right? Lies I arrived Friday at 1:30pm and the parking lot was NUTS first off I hate how people inside of Atlanta loose all manors that they ever had when driving in a parking lot they are always in a hurry to do everything. (I know saying the person from Atlanta). I picked up my shirt, number, and a blue bag and bolted out of there as fast as I could.
It was nice for once to be able to pick up a Women's shirt in my size. I would say they did seem to run a little smaller and fitted tighter than my normal Nike and UA shirts but I do like the V neck. Head over hills in ATL on the back is VERY fitting for this race shirt.
This was only my second half EVER and a challenging one at that. The race started in Brookhaven (a neighborhood in Atlanta) right outside downtown. The race started at 7am! 7 in the morning like AM. Needless to say it was pretty dark when the race started and was dark for about the first 3 miles.
The start of the race had several pace group signs to thin the crowd so I lined up in my 2:30 group and waited for the start. Believe it or not I do believe a lot of people did stick to the right group and did not feel like I had to pass a lot of people. My memories of this race consisting of hills, hills, more hills, and some occasional music.
The above picture does not even do the elevation change justice. I felt like I was far more prepared for this half than my first half this year however all the hills made me feel tired so quickly! I ran for the first 8miles at about 11:30min pace which is a good pace for me on my long runs however after hitting some MAJOR hills when you start to doubt yourself I needed to walk up the hills. I finished strong with the high hopes of setting a new PR but missing it by about 1 minute DARN! However once I started to think about it my first half feels like an Easter egg hunt in compassion to this hilly and challenging course.
Really nice race finisher metal and sorta heavy. The 13.1 in the middle of the metal spins so that was entertaining, I was so happy to finish but with blisters that I could feel getting bigger and bigger I bolted out of the race so fast to just get home. BLISTERS....yea that is going to be another story on another day but my feet hurt! Body felt great not too tired but the tootsies hurt bad.
Overall if you want a HARD race that will test you this might be your race. There was a couple thousand people however it felt like a BIG race on a small scale. The post race party looked awesome even though I ran out of there quick. Wonderful crowd support, music at every major corner, lots of residential neighborhood running. The water stops had water and powerade with many stops. Restrooms at every stop was nice too even though I did stop only once. (shocker)
Race this weekend so I hope my blisters feel better soon. 15k could be rough if I am not feeling 100%.
If anybody has any blister tips I would love to hear them :).