Publix Georgia marathon 2012 race recap

Categories: marathon   Race Report   Running

Just like the last 5 years, this last Sunday I ran the Georgia Marathon.

Heres the recap of it (Short version:) Did the Cuties 5K on Saturday along with the kids fun run. It was a blast, and we ate a whole bunch of Cutie oranges. For the 6th time, I toed the line at marathon on Sunday. It was everything that was expected, plus about an extra 20 degrees of heat, making it a hot and hilly day in the sun.

Long version: This year’s race weekend started on Saturday, where the Wife, Ike and I took a stroll around Centennial Park during the Cuties Luckie 5K and Kids run. Our youngest, Max, stayed over at his aunts, since he can’t walk yet. This 5K is fun, and takes one through most of the last mile of the marathon course, with the same finish line.

As a walk on the day before the marathon, it’s a good way to get warmed up and in the mood. Ike ran his very first race at the 4 and under kids run. It was, by far, the best 1/10 of a mile I have run. He actually did pretty good, and only went off course one time (at which point I took his hand).

Running with a bunch of 3 year olds was hilarious. When the man yelled “Go!” every kid went in a different direction. As they started going the right way, there were tons of random stops to look at bricks, and point at bugs, all the while parents uselessly yelling “this way!” After the race, and gorging out on oranges, we went to the race expo.

Dianna spent some time talking to Grant, the Swiftwick sock man, while I picked up my number. Grant was very helpful, and we picked up a few pairs, including a pair of 12 inch compression socks that Dianna is enjoying now. If you’re looking for good socks, we recommend them.

We enjoyed some of the Publix samples, but were a little disappointed that we couldn’t find any coupons, since we do the majority of our shopping there. Chobani yogurt hooked us up with a couple tubs that made Ike as happy as can be.

Sunday, I rode MARTA down to the race, and happily chatted with everyone around.

I ran into Jason R and talking about running for a few minutes.

With my planned 4 hour finish, I got to snag a spot in Corral E. Let me tell you, I’ve always been at the back of the pack. Starting that far forward was awesome if you’re running from the beginning. I didn’t get caught behind any groups walking/running that I had to dodge around. Everyone was there to run. And run we did.

Around mile 2 or 3, I heard someone talking about rescuing 5 kittens, and I turned around figuring it must be Susan. It was her, and keeping her company was Scott Ludwig. It’s always a pleasure to run with such elite company, and we stayed together for a little while until my legs carried me away. I figured I’d see them in a few miles as I slowed down…Turns out, my guess was wrong, and they didn’t catch up until around mile 24.

Right after the half marathon split off at mile 7, the 4:10 pace group caught me, being led by Debbie. We hadn’t seen each other in a few years, so we caught up a little bit. When I was at the expo, I looked into the pacing, and was surprised that there was a 3:55, 4:10 and a 5:00. That seemed like a huge gap to not have something in, like 4:30. Debbie said it was because of the changes to the Boston qualifiers. Oh well.

For a while, the miles flew by with little problem. I spent time with a number of random people, including a guy from Jersey, who had just flown in from Seattle for the race, and was hopping on a flight back north that evening. The halfway point came around 2:10, which isn’t a too bad, with a steady 10 minute mile. Not quite as fast as I’d have liked, but a very realistic time for me.

Mile 14 is where I started to go downhill. I had been drinking like crazy at every station, and it felt like I had water just sloshing around, so I didn’t think the heat was getting to me. But I was cold. Not like minor chills, but almost wanting to put a sweater on cold. For me, that’s pretty strange, so figured it was the beginning of some heat exhaustion setting in. (Sure glad I had that Army training 20+ years ago that actually taught me this.) And then I noticed that I wasn’t peeing, which is another big sign. So, I started to think of a “take it easy” approach.

By mile 16, I decided to walk uphill and I’d make up time running downhill. Good idea, but I swear, there must have been 2 miles up from 16 to 18. I’m not sure why it doesn’t show on the GPS log, because surely I couldn’t have imagined that much climbing. Guess I’ll have to double check it next year.

Somewhere during this time, I passed a guy and said hi. A lot of people passed me, but they didn’t all say hi to me. While I wasn’t mentally bonking too bad, and was actually in pretty good spirits, my legs were getting pretty worn out.

By the time we got to Piedmont Park, I was in serious need of some salt. I kick myself now for forgetting about my fancy-shamcy sports beans, which probably would have been really good. Good ol’ Kim was in the park cheering people on, and she gave me some Pringles. They were good, and I probably could have downed the whole can. But that wouldn’t have ended with a pretty sight!

Now, here’s where I got mad. They took the water station out of the park! Instead, it was up the big ass hill after the park. That was MEAN! That was CRUEL! Whoever thought that was a good idea needs to face the Wrath of Rahn! Oh, they had Cuties…a whole bunch of oranges…okay, they are slightly forgiven. I think I had about 3 handfuls. They were wooonnndddeeerrrfullll.

Just after this, I was slowly bopping along, and the guy who I said hi to, Vernon, caught up to me, gave me a pat on the shoulder and said “let’s go”. So we did. We took turns trotting down hills, and walking up them. And talking, and walking, and every few minutes, “okay, let’s go to the corner” or “I’m gonna run to the bottom of the hill.” It was nice and kinda motivating. Nice guy. He usually got ahead of me on the run, but then I’d catch up walking. I like knowing how to walk fast.

Right as we hit the really long dreadful stretch that is the last mile and a quarter, Vernon turned to me and said “you know Jesus is our lord and savior.” “Uh sorry, not for me, since I’m Jewish,” I muttered.

Now I’m mad at Vernon, because he made me go fast when I didn’t want to! I had to speed away, so I went into almost fast walk mode and started moving. I guess it was good, because he probably got me to the finish line 10 minutes faster.

So, for the record, mile 25 in a race is not the time to get evangelical! I’d guess 90% of the racers are praying to their own personal deities of choice at this point. Heck, they’re probably having some pretty serious conversations and making mental offerings of great sacrifice. But really, that is not the time to try to convert someone. Really.

I finished the race in 5:02. Not the 4 hours I wanted, but still a 15 minute PR. I’ll take it, and be happy with it, given the conditions. As soon as I stopped after crossing the finish line, my legs cramped pretty bad. So I bent over, which caused a bunch of people to jump up and run over. “What’s wrong? Are you okay?” “Uh, yeah, it’s just a cramp. Anyone have any S-Caps? And I think I gotta pee. ” Well, being right in front of the medical tent is not the place to say that. “Go in there. They’ll get you some ice, and you can use their porta-potty.”

So, for the first time in 10 years of racing, I went to the medical tent. They gave me some ice. No one in there knew what an S-Cap was. But one guy said to the other “Hey, they got some pretzels over there.” He replied, “no thanks, I’m good.” Guy one said “uh, for him.” And then I broke out laughing “Doh!” No kidding. It was funny. And I laughed at guy two. I think we all did.

Sean finished his Athens to Atlanta run right as I came out, and I said hi. Christian and his wife were there too, so chatted with them for a few. Another year down, see you next time.

Written on March 22, 2012