marathon

2014 Publix Georgia Marathon

Kris with Medal

I finished a freaking marathon!

I ran the 2014 Publix Georgia Marathon in Atlanta on March 23. I got up at 4:00 AM, drove to the MARTA train station, and took the train to Centennial Park, where the race started and finished.

The weather was good for running a marathon. Temperatures were in the 50's, and the sky was covered with clouds. The forecast called for rain, but aside from a few sprinkles halfway through the race, we stayed dry.

I have previously run two half marathons with times around 2:10, so I was expecting my marathon time to be somewhere between four-and-a-half and five hours.

That was wildly optimistic.

The Georgia Marathon course is very hilly. The course I run when training has more hills than the average marathon course, I think, but it didn’t prepare me for this course.

For the first ten miles, I kept to my goal pace of ten and a half minutes per mile. After mile 12, I had to walk up most of the uphill stretches, and there were a lot of uphill stretches. After mile 21, I couldn’t even run on the downhill stretches anymore. My legs would cramp whenever I tried to run. I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to walk those last five miles.

My final time was 5:41, about an hour longer than I expected. I think I did everything right in terms of preparation, nutrition, hydration, and pacing. I just hadn’t built up the endurance to run 26 miles of hills.

But hey, I finished a freaking marathon.

My FitBit says I took over 54,000 steps (including steps walking to/from the marathon). I suspect that will be my daily step record for a while.

On mile 20, some spectators were handing out cups with a brownish liquid. I assumed it was iced tea, but was delighted to find that it was cold beer. I’d like to nominate those people for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Action photos available here: Facebook photo album

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