Sunday, March 29, 2009

Loved the ING!

My experience was a little different this year than last. For starters, I didn't get downtown with minutes to spare like last year. I took the east-west MARTA line instead of north-south and had an easy commute. (The east-west has a MUCH lower ridership on race days and was the way to go!). Of course, I ended up getting on facebook this morning (why I don't know...) and ended up with about 5 minutes to get dressed and out the door! After I made it to the train station, I felt very relaxed. I arrived downtown with about 45 minutes to get to gear check and use the "happy can" (the official name, not my own creation). I was not nervous at all about the race ahead of me like I was last year. The weather was a little chilly at 45 degrees but once we started running, felt great.

I was in corral 2 (as opposed to 7 last year) so got to see the starting activities and a lovely sunrise starting over downtown before we took off. I did have a celebrity blogger siting. Natalie from The Negative Split whizzed past me making her way to her corral. I only recognized her from her outfit which she posted on her blog. Had she not been darting up to the front of the pack, I would have said hello but didn't have the chance. Kind of funny since I had never met her before. Well, still haven't, I just saw her in passing. You feel somewhat stalkerish when you see someone like that out and about. You feel like you know them but you realize you really don't. You want to yell, "hey so and so, how are you" but then you realize they are going to look at you like you must have mistaken them for someone else.

We took off and I was over the start line within a minute or so of the start (last year it took about 20 minutes to get from corral 7 to the front). For some reason I missed the 1 mile marker and before I knew it we were at mile 2. All the other miles just flew by like that as well. The ING is my favorite half, I really enjoy all the neighborhood support and cheering stations as well as the tour of Atlanta. if you aren't from Atlanta, maybe you wouldn't find it so interesting but being born and raised here, I think it is cool. I do think there seemed to be less cheering stations this year than last year but maybe that is my imagination? Who knows.

There were plenty of well stocked water stations just about every mile or so. The only thing they didn't seem to have that I have seen at most halfs were the GU gels (or Clif or whatever...). They had them last year but not this year.

The one thing that was a MAJOR improvement over last year was the bag check. Last year, they had volunteers that would search for your bag post-race. Picture a bunch of freezing runners waiting in a line for 30+ minutes to get their bag. UGH. This year it was like the Thanksgiving half, you just find it yourself. It took 2 seconds and I was on my way.

Sadly, I do not know my time. I *think* it was better than last year. Definitely lower than 2 hours which is my goal. My stretch goal was sub 1:55 but not sure on that one... I do know that the leader of the full marathon had not finished by the time I did so I am pretty sure I beat last year's time based on that since last year the leader passed me around mile 12. I should see results later today. Honestly, it sounds so crazy to say this even still but it just felt like a training run. No big deal.

All in all, a great race as usual. Lovely weather. Perfect actually. On to tennis this afternoon. (I definitely could not have done that last year after the half!)

In other news...

1. The drama at our house while I was gone was the toaster dying! It must have been suicide as there are no signes of foul play. No eggos to be had this morning. Tragedy.

2. The pollen is out in full force. It has rained buckets for the past three days but already my car is coated in yellow just from overnight. INSANE. If you aren't from GA, we may not get snow but we get pollen. Every spring, our cars and homes are coated in layers of yellow. Yuck!

3. Apple Spice Cake with Cream Chees frosting. That would be a Fruit and a Dairy on the food log, right? ;)

have a great weekend!


lindsay said...

congrats on the sub-2! great report and love that you had the energy to play tennis after. i usually hit the bed and stay there myself. :) this is definitely not my fav time of year with the layer of yellow. i hate how the rain does not help at all.

Nat said...

Congrats on sub 2! You must have been near my sister at some point but she was super cranky pants and probably would not have been friendly.

You should have said hi and do so next time but Please tell me how I should know you when you do. I have lived in Atlanta my whole life and run into people from elementary school through adult life all the time and every one assumes I know which Jen or Mike they may be. And I feel soo rude if I guess wrong.