Where there is a will…

5 Jul

Yesterday I ran the Peachtree Road Race for the fourth time. My husband and his family are all runners and athletes. My family enjoys things like good wine and conversation (OK, to be fair we like tennis and swimming and walking, and we’re good when we want to be, but we just don’t have traditions like running the Peachtree together for the last two decades). So when we first started dating and I said, “Will you go running with me?” and he said, “Yes,” I had to go buy some running shoes. He took me through a training program I found online and we ran a couple races that year including the Peachtree. It was hot and fun and I felt wildly accomplished when we crossed the finish line, especially since I was the girl in high school who hated being forced to run a mile and then get graded on my performance.

The second and third year we walked the Peachtree. I was 7 months pregnant this time last year, and it was a struggle to finish the race. We were very slow.

This year, David wanted to run it without me. I’m not sure I realized that when we signed up together, but it’s an expensive race, so I decided to walk it by myself anyway. I hadn’t really trained this year except when I walk a few miles with the baby either in a carrier or in his stroller. He gets bored when I take longer than that. So, needless to say, I was not quite in shape for a 10k.

There is nothing like the start line of the Peachtree. Everyone is excited, the announcer is loud, and there is music pumping everyone up. People are dressed up and some people are even drunk already. It’s Independence Day, and 60,000 people are waiting to join in on the great Atlanta tradition.

I ran the first half mile for good measure, then started walking, already tired. I was getting a little upset that I had no one to walk with and had so much longer to go, so I decided to put on my Janis Joplin Pandora radio station. Luckily, soon after that I found these older guys running/walking that were going exactly the speed I wanted to go. I was good until mile 3, when I thought I wouldn’t be able to follow them any longer and would have to fall back, but then the older guy needed a couple longer walk breaks too. I pushed myself to keep up with them until mile 4 at least. Then somehow the race got easier. You’re so much closer to finish line, after all! I think they noticed me obviously starting and stopping exactly when they did a couple miles in (I wasn’t too stealth about it), and around mile 5.5 we started chatting. We finished it in 1:30, my second best time, and gave each other high fives. The weather was perfect: 70 degrees, cloudy, with a bit of a breeze.

I felt better at the end of this race than I have at any other race. My spirits were lifted, I felt good about my work, I thought about incorporating running into my life again, and Dave cheered me on at the end.

The only two bad things about it were Piedmont Park (the finish line) was a huge mud pit because of all the rain that’s been falling in Atlanta and today my whole body has been yelling at me with every movement that I should have trained a little bit beforehand.

Little boy watched some neighborhood fireworks last night too, and cried a lot. Either from the noise or the fact that his parents hadn’t put him to bed by 9:30pm.

We did it!


2 Responses to “Where there is a will…”

  1. boblarkin July 6, 2013 at 12:27 am #

    I liked this report. What a great day for you. I am sure you know Peachtree Road Racers are highly admired people … envied even. I also liked your new photo album … all 223 pics. Everyone looks great and happy. Who would not be happy around that little treasure of yours.

    • mamajohnston July 6, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

      Hey Bob! I know, the smiles on that boy’s face light up my world! I’m so glad you like those pictures. It was a joy to travel with Walt and David for so long!

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