So the tradition for the past few 4th of July celebrations at my house has been to run in The Peachtree Road Race. This is a 10K (6.2 darned miles!) race that is run by 55,000 people who have either managed to get their entry in online (this year's online entry closed in something like the first 2 hours) or by lottery. If you are lucky enough to get in, you run through the streets of Atlanta in the early hours of the morning while 150,000 people line the streets and cheer you on to the finish line (many with wine glass or beer in hand). There's the "real runners" race that involves a sizeable cash prize and is won by someone from an African country who can run a mile in about 6 seconds flat--this year it was a guy from Ethiopia who did it in something like 27 minutes and 19 seconds. That might seem incredible, but when one factors in the 2 miles of hills--and we're really talking about ascent into the Andes kind of hills--and the fact that there is almost no downhill to catch your breath on, it's pretty darned amazing. There's also a women's "real runner" race and a wheelchair race. Then the 8 seeded (you have a history of having a competitive time in a marathon during the previous year) groups run, then the 12 unseeded groups run. My husband and I ran among the seeded groups.
Another amazing fun fact about the race is that I finished and got my trophy: the coveted t-shirt. See my prize!
You have to finish the race to get the shirt. My husband and I got the shirt. I didn't quite make my goal of beating last year's time by 10 minutes, but I beat it by 8 minutes, so I'm pretty pleased; especially since I didn't actually start "training" until about 3 weeks beforehand and then found plenty of excuses to avoid the treadmill during that time. And I am not even as sore as I was last year. The day after is usually a killer, as the body waits until you try to get out of bed in the morning to announce that you won't actually be able to move the lower half of your body enough to even just roll off the bed and onto the floor. Last year I pulled some muscle that connects your knee to the rest of the upper body and I was in pain for about 3 weeks, no joke. This year, however, even though my hip was complaining loudly yesterday, I just have some sore lower back muscles to suffer.
And my time: 1:18:23 by my watch, but less by the official watch because I started my watch before crossing the starting line. That's a 12.5 minute mile folks. The first three I was averaging--really, not kidding here--a 10.5 minute mile; but then I hit Cardiac Hill--so named because it not only is so steep that you could die of an heart attack, but also because it is in front of a hospital that specializes in cardiology. I did pretty well for an old lady of 38. Next year, the whole family's running. Rocket, the 6-year old, says she would rather have a sitter; but I know she's going to want the shirt, too. It's always about the shirt.