Tag Archives: Peachtree Road Race

Independence Day 2015

7 Jul

I love a good July 4th. July is my favorite month because 1. It’s summer, 2. It’s my birthday month (I was a Christmas-in-July baby), and 3. Do I need another reason?

This year we made plans to drive up to Chattanooga to visit Dave’s sister for the holiday. They’re very busy (a lawyer and a nurse anesthetist student), but the boys love seeing each other. Cousin W is only a year younger than Walt, and at this point it’s not super noticeable except for the verbal communication.

Dave started the day running the Peachtree Road Race in the pouring rain but had his best time in years. He’s been running recently and really enjoying it again. We met up after the race at his parents’ house for a Beer and Bagels event — they have a long-standing tradition of running and knowing lots of other people who run too. We took off after and headed up north to eat a late lunch of homemade BBQ. My sister-in-law’s in-laws were there too and that’s the greatest thing about extending your family. You can find lots of wonderful people in the process. The meal finished off with delicious banana pudding, and then Walt took the nap he forgot to take in the car on the way up.

We ate pizza and calzones at Lupi’s for dinner, then found some fireworks over Coolidge Park. We stayed out of the crowds but our view was perfect. It was probably better that we did because Walter kept asking to go back inside (we were at my brother-in-law’s office). Once we turned on some music he seemed to enjoy the lights and ignore the loud bangs. Dave said that because Chattanooga is in a valley it’s possible that the mortars are extra loud.

It was lucky that the rain stopped for our outdoor lunch and the fireworks, because it didn’t stop the rest of the weekend. Of course I don’t even own a raincoat for my son!

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Like brothers.

After a yummy Sunday morning pancake breakfast, we went to the Tennessee Aquarium.

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Walter is insane about bridges right now, and luckily for him, Chattanooga is filled with them, both the walking and driving kinds!

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These two goofy, sweet boys love exploring — and copying each other!

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Butterfly house, right before Walter promptly slipped in the muddy water and basically ruined the shirt his Mimi and Pop brought back for him from Italy.

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I shouldn’t have been, but I was surprised over how much Walter loved the aquarium from the first exhibit, nay, the first escalators, on. I guess it’s just another way he’s growing up, that he’s actually experiencing things now. We sat in front of the glass at many exhibits and just stared.

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The boys got a kick out of climbing in to the crab tank — over and over again. I thought it was awkward being that close to the giant spiders of the sea.

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Very cool jellyfish that light up throughout their bodies in rainbow colors. One boy didn’t think they were real. I think I liked these best of all, though I didn’t go through the river side of the aquarium. At that point I had a terrible headache from staring through all that thick, distorted glass. A headache that lasted several hours. I wonder how the fish feel about it. The animals don’t look as sad as the ones at the zoo do, but maybe that’s cause I haven’t watched Finding Nemo enough.

Sometimes I get this feeling like we’re not really taking care of the world and its creatures well enough. I don’t really know what to do about it though.

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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.

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We did it!