This year Michelle and I decided to travel to Atlanta to race a half marathon for our 4th anniversary. It seemed to fit in nicely with our HIM training plus Michelle came up with a sweet name for it, our Half Marathon-iversary.
We booked the closest hotel we could to the starting line and I do not think it could get any closer. We arrived late Thursday night and had plenty of time to explore before the race on Sunday.
One thing we have learned is that we should keep the sight seeing walking to a minimum the few days before the race. We did walk a bit the Friday before and went on a short 3 mile jog, but it was not very intense. The Saturday before the race was relaxed.
We started dark and early. We had preped our clothes the night before and we were quick to get dressed and start our nutrition. We made peanut butter and banana sandwiches and drank some pre-fuel.
The weather was perfect, cloudy and a bit humid. The humidity kept us warm for how early it was in the morning. We walked out the front of the hotel and my corral was right out on the street. Within 10 minutes the race started.
It was slightly odd that they announced each corral would start within 30 seconds of each other. What happened was a rolling start and before I knew it I was off.
I was unaware of the elevation I would be facing but I was going to race hard anyways. Turns out there were a lot of hills. Not the Texas rolling hills we have experienced, but rather sharp inclines followed by sharp declines. So I knew I would have to hit the downhills a little quicker and power through the up hills.
I worked on using a slight change in posture in the uphills and focused on using more of my hamstring and glutes. I would lean forward slightly and not launch off my toes as much going up hills.
Nutrition wise I hit every water station for Powerade or water. I had 2 Hammer gels, one around mile 6 and another around mile 10. I do like the late gel to help me finish strong. And it showed in this race as I increased my pace for the final 2 miles which increased almost 100 feet in elevation. I also took about 6 Endurolytes to keep my electrolytes up.
1:38 overall which equates to a 7:26 min/mi pace. I was able to finish strong and I felt great afterwards. I would say it was a great success.