Thursday, April 23, 2015

Singleton 10K Race Recap and Weekend Update

[Delayed post... meant to put this up on Monday!  I am slacking this week so I figured I'd just post it live regardless.  Don't hate!  Blogging duties take the back burner when there are drinks to be drunk.]

It's the start to another beautiful week here in Atlanta!  Except it's another rainy week here in Atlanta and the past couple of days have been filled with fun tornado warnings.  Today's was particularly exciting as alarms started going off while at work and we all had to go down to the building basement/ground floor.

Well, to be honest, I don't know if we necessarily HAD to.  But as soon as the alarm went off on my phone, I got up off my butt and said, "Welp, see ya! I'm getting out of here!" to the people in the meeting I was with.  Because we sit on the 14th floor and I do NOT mess around with weather.  It was two years ago that I totally panicked when we had a tornado warning in Albany and I hid in my unfinished basement for a half hour.  

Much like that time, the weather didn't really look too bad.

But I don't take chances, you guys!!

Today's weather extremes fell after additional ones came up yesterday.  The weather warnings we got yesterday actually caused the group run I participate in to get cancelled.  It is the first time I have seen that happy, but it is important to always be safe!  With the afternoon free, it was weird to have a full Sunday with nothing to do, but I filled it with a trip to the farmer's market, some time cleaning up at home, dinner with a friend from out of town, and a three mile solo run as the weather cooled down.

Despite not having a Movers and Pacers run on Sunday, I did have a lot of time with the running group on Saturday as a bunch of us went and ran one of the Atlanta Track Club races, this one was a 10K called the Singleton 10K that is named after the man who started the Peachtree Road Race, which is the big 60,000 person road race in July in Atlanta.

It was a really fun race to go to as a group and cheer for everyone running, and also run into a number of other people I have met by being a part of the local running crew.  It makes me proud that I've already met enough people in the time that I have been hear that I now run into people I know at different events.  I guess I need to stop thinking of myself as a newtimer in Atlanta as its now been about 7 months that I have been here.  It's crazy how time flies.

The Singleton 10K was a PR for me and I ran it in 55:02 - my fastest official race time.  However, I somehow feel less proud of it than I do other times I have gotten PRs.  I guess I feel like I should be able to run faster at a 10K.  And by looking at the numbers, I should be able to.  My 10K split time from the Publix Half Marathon where I broke 2 hours was a 55:22 and I ran 7 more miles after that (seriously guys, how did I run that fast?)

The race on Saturday was a tough one mentally.  It was a looped course with some sharp turns and out-and-back sections.  You spent the whole course running across from other people who were running and did the same 5K loop two times.  I wasn't a huge fan of it, but it was a fun course to have a lot of people that you know running because I got to cheer for them all throughout the many times of crossing their path during the course.

It was great to have such a big group out there at the race and everyone waited to cheer for all the finishers.  One of the best parts of the race to me was when one of the girls finished who was not only running her first road race, but her first 10K ever - it was the first time in her life she had run that distance and, as I do too at the end of hard races, she finished crying.  It was so incredible and I started crying myself, I am a total sap when it comes to races because I know SO well the feeling of not thinking you can do something and accomplishing it.  I have felt that pride and that sense of empowerment and excitement and emotion.  It is what I love about running and chasing that feeling is what keeps pushing me to run harder and further and faster and continue to accomplish and go after the things that felt impossible at one point.  Conquering new distances or times makes you feel invincible and is the greatest high I have found.

After everyone finished, we lightened things up a bit with some playground pics.  Seriously, who does not love a good photo op in a playground?  Okay, well, probably a lot of people would walk by a playground and not feel the need to take lots of pictures on the different equipment.  BUT if you enjoy it as much as I do, then we are going to be friends.  But then again, there is also not much in my life that I come across that I don't see as an opportunity to take lots of silly pictures with.

We followed the race with brunch at Cracker Barrel, I did a quick body shower, and then headed to a volunteering event put on by an organization another one of the members of the running group founded.  It is called Hip Hop Gives Back and the group is all about promoting the charity work and public service that members of the global hip hop community take part in, as an effort to change the stereotype of hip hop.  It also puts on its own public outreach and service events, such as the one on Saturday called "Breaking Bread" in Atlanta, where everyone got together to make sandwiches to distribute to homeless shelters.  There were lots of DJs and music and a fun atmosphere at the event, and overall everyone made more than 1300 sandwiches, which is pretty incredible!

It was a really cool event and I was really happy to participate in a volunteering activity in Atlanta.  I know that coaching Girls on the Run is also a volunteer activity, but coaching girls at a private Catholic school after school is a bit different than preparing food to be donated to people who don't know where their next meal is coming from.  It was also FUN to have the music blasting and people dancing and I met a number of cool people.  My general practice is to dance around my apartment and blast music while I am cooking and hanging around so it is fun to be around people who do the same!

And believe it or not, my Saturday was still going on with a number of other social events and happenings.  I knew going into the day that I had overbooked myself, but in my normal fashion, I also said screw it, I just want to do everything.  So, on Saturday night I met up with a couple other members of the running group for my SECOND race of the day, this time running an evening 5K through Piedmont Park called the lantern run.  It was supposed to be run in the dark with glo sticks and whatnot, but they moved the time of the race earlier in the day because of forecasted bad weather (the damn weather lately!!!)  It was still a fun race with lots of energy, that I ran with one other person who had also run in the morning, and another friend came out to cheer us on.  When I tell you that this is the most supportive group of people I have ever met - I mean every word of that.

So, my original intent was to run this race easily, not get too sweaty, and then change in my car and go meet some people out.  But let me tell you, I WAY underestimated the amount of sweaty I was going to get during this race.  I figured 3 miles easy?  I could do this without getting TOO bad.  Yeah, not the case.  At some point it got super muggy out or something because I was DRENCHED after the race.  I have no idea what happened, but I was so gross and there was no way I could go anywhere like that.

Well, anywhere enclosed that is.  We did all go for a drink after the race at a place where we could sit outside.  And when I say "we" all went for a drink, I mean I was the only one that got a beer and I drank it.  But, hey, semantics.

I did a quick (uplanned) trip home to shower and change after the 5K and then went out to see a friend (from the running group...) host a poetry slam competition that was taking place that evening at a small venue that I had been to one other time for a performance, Apache Cafe.  It is a really cool venue and it was PACKED for the poetry slam, which was neat to see.  I had been to some spoken word and poetry events before but never a competition like the one I went to Saturday night where there were 3 different rounds that concluded with one final winner.  And because this is my life and these things happen to me, I ended up being a judge for the final round of the competition.  I was SO uncomfortable judging because I felt bad and didn't really know how to score people!  It was funny today at work because I mentioned it to a friend and she said, "Of course you were chosen to be a judge!" as I had totally forgotten about my celebrity judging experience at the improv show in Schenectady last year!!  Apparently I have a pattern.

I was really impressed with all of the people who had the guts to get up and perform, whether or not they actually were good.  It still takes a lot of courage to just put yourself in front of people with the knowledge that they are going to judge and critique you!  It's scary and hard and I don't know if I ever have or could do it.  I had the same respect recently when I went to the auditions for The Voice when they were in Atlanta and saw all the brave people singing in front of strangers waiting to be judged.  That's scary!

So, it was a fantastic weekend.  I stayed on track eating healthy for the moooost part.  I ate a bigger meal on Sunday night (okay it was a burger and sweet potato tots) but also put in a lot of work between the 9 miles I ran on Saturday and the 3 miles on Sunday.  Today I started the morning off with a spin class and a 1.2 mile run that puts me at 76 miles for the month.  I've been aiming to do 25 miles a week and I am pretty much on target for that!  I also went back to the gym in the evening to do a short arms/upper body workout.  It was really a workout that I could have done in the morning with the other stuff, not a full workout, but I had run out of time.  I also felt guilty because I ate a bit more than I should at my 2nd work dinner of the week.  I just cannot handle myself in front of chips and quesadillas and so much goodness!

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