On April 19, the second annual Georgia Peach Jam Half Marathon by Dirty Spokes was held at our local greenway. It is a fantastic trail with some gorgeous views. You run either on concrete or broad walk. Pretty flat which leads to fast times. Fast time if you are properly trained which I was not. Nope. Not even gonna lie, I slacked majorly. All failures lead to lessons learned. Wisdom at its finest.
The race started out in the rain! AGAIN. I have had every.single.race. in the rain this year. WHY?! Not only did I sleep poorly the night before, I was starving and cold by the time the race started. They have packet pick-up the morning of, and it very easy to get to. Not a single long line, which is great because the race caps out at 500 runners. They offer a 5K and half marathon, both the limit for the whole event(s) is 500 crazy runners.
After getting my bib, we all headed back to the car (Zach, my mom, and I) so I could calm my freak out and stay warm. Then all of a sudden I forgot I didn’t grab safety pins for the bib, and then I had to get to the bathroom, only to see that the line was super long. And the race organizers kept cycling by with a megaphone screaming how many minutes we had until start. By the time I got into the restroom, we had 4 minutes until the gun went off. And I still had to pee, get back to my car, get my bib on, figure out my spi-belt with gels, and for the love of all holy things, get my stupid yurbuds untangled. I was in freak out mode…FULL ON. When I reached my car, I literally screamed “GET OUT WE ARE GOING TO START RIGHT NOW! RIGHT NOW! GET OUT! GET OUT!” And forgot about the 2 peeps I was with and bolted. Then I couldn’t get my bib on, walking and trying to pin it was too much so I stopped and Zach came to my rescue. My mom was calming me down, and I just realized how diva this is all reading. Sorry!
The race started at the top of the hill and we ran down onto the trailhead which kinda made it hard to get some space, but once the downhill broad walk portion was over, it was easy to move. I went in knowing this was probably not a PR or PB, it was a JUST FINISH race. The first mile was easy, going into the second mile I had no option but to run through a foot deep mud puddle, from there on it was icky. My feet would get soaked, then dry and bam! another puddle. They warned us beforehand that the race was going to be wet (thankfully the rain stopped) but if you run on the greenway, you know it will flood super easy and large, massive puddles remain for days. The first turn-around point was 3.5 miles away and I was still running and not walking.
I walked for 30 seconds at mile 6.28 because I had a crazy stabbing pain in my left ankle. I’ve never had this before, it felt like a nail driving into my ankle…but only when I wasn’t putting pressure on that leg. Once I knew I was ok, I started running again. I had the best surprise waiting for me coming back to the main course…my mom!
I chatted with her for about a minute, told her how I felt, how my ankle was iffy and gave her a super sweaty hug and left her. I started to run/walk around mile 9. My whole body was beginning to cramp, especially around my chest. It wasn’t my shoulders, it was every where. I was struggling to move and breathe so I took it super easy. Mile 10 was the second turn-around and I knew the home stretch was near. 3 miles, I could do 3 miles! Or so I thought. I started to have a mental breakdown. I was hardly shuffling, every move made my body ache so bad. At mile 12 this girl started to run with me and we chatted, this was her second half marathon and it was the hardest one. We talked about the weather, the race, and before we knew it, we were heading back uphill to the track to finish. She severely needed a walk break so she goes, “you go ahead and best of luck!” I told her the same and headed to finish alone. I had to sneak this photo in…I was literally coming uphill thinking, “I’M ALMOST DONE!”
I swear to God, that last .25 was going to kill me. I saw my cheerleaders and was pissed that I still had to run around a freaking track. I wanted to walk, my body was seizing up. I finished and once I walked toward Zach and my mom, I just stood still so my body could relax. It felt like heaven.
Once I received my medal, I wanted to get out of there. Not really. I wanted to see Jen, but Zach had to get to work. He’s a trooper! He stayed out in the cold and rain for 2 and half hours for me and then went into work. He’s the best!
I stunk so bad. That was all I kept talking about. I wanted a shower, and then I wanted food. Pronto. Once we got back home, I hobbled upstairs (seriously hating that we had stairs) and I showered for what felt like forever. Came back down and my mom took me out to brunch. I only wanted one thing: something salty and carby. Enter lox bagels. Yep, it totes hit the spot.
All in all, the race was great. I finished with 2:34:10, not my worst but not my best. I knew that going in like I said. I was just happy to have another race in the books. Plus the medal is super cute!
I definitely plan on running it again next year, it was super organized and the trail is my favorite place to run, I knew the course like the back of my hand. I highly recommend this race! Great for seasoned pros and new runners. I think the fact it being a smaller race made it all that much better.