If you ever want to find out if a pair of shoes are right for you, try breaking them in with a half marathon. You will know VERY quickly if you have made the right choice.
Turns out, I am not as dumb as I look.
I knew that the new Asics I just got, fit me like a glove and had a feeling that they would perform well. So… I slapped them on, laced ’em up and took off in the inaugural 13.1 Atlanta half marathon with a group of friends from the neighborhood. About 2,500 other runners took to the course with us on a beautiful day in Atlanta.
With temps in the mid-50s and slightly overcast skies, we couldn’t have asked for a better day.
The course, which wound through the Brookhaven neighborhood along Peachtree Rd., took us past the newly renovated Capital City Club and the legendary Peachtree Golf Club, two of Atlanta’s top courses.
Not so surprisingly, there wasn’t a single golfer to be seen as we passed by the exclusive courses at 7:15 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
After all, if you’re going to play these courses, you can sleep in and tee it up whenever you darn well feel like it. Membership has its privileges.
Once we got past by the courses, the route winds through some nice neighborhoods then along the very busy Peachtree Road. The road had two lanes open and occasionally cars were allowed to enter and exit some of the local businesses along the way.
No car (that I saw) ever interfered with a runner. Police did a GREAT job of controlling traffic. Kudos to the organizers. It was a very well done race!
Numerous bands lined the route, playing a variety of Southern Rock songs. Some of the bands were better than others, but that wasn’t the point. They all showed up bright and early to entertain the runners. I wore my headphones for the run, but paused my tunes as I passed each band so I could hear what they were playing.
As for my shoes, they didn’t bother me one bit. They seemed to be a tad heavier than some of the other shoes I have run with, but I think the extra cushioning helped. My legs are a bit sore still, but not as bad as I thought they would be.
I made sure to take advantage of the complimentary massage offered after the finish, which I think also helped.
As a bonus to end a perfect day, I ran a personal best time of 1:39:10. This accomplishment wasn’t too difficult considering that I had only one other half marathon to compare it to. Unlike the first one though, I didn’t have a pace group to run with. Instead, I just ran at a pace I felt comfortable with. I had intended to run 8 mins/mile. When it ended, I averaged 7:33/mile. (I kicked hard over the closing three miles when I sensed that I had a chance to break 100 minutes) The finish put me in 120th overall and 24th in my age group (35-39). Yeah, I’m old…
I have plans to do one more LONG run (20 or 22 miles) before the NYC Marathon on Nov. 1, but I’m not entirely sure when. Hopefully, I will feel well enough to do it next weekend, which will give me about three weeks to fully recover. One thing is certain, I still have no plans to run if my legs aren’t feeling strong enough.