GEORGIA!!! COULD HAVE BEEN HOT...RAIN, SO NOT...NUMBER 26!
I had sort of been dreading this race because I knew it would be hot…but…did I ever get lucky!!! Brian and I decided to leave after work on 07/02/2015 and drive for a couple of hours just to get a little ahead of it, so we left at 7:45pm and drove to Merrillville, Indiana and stayed in a REALLY NICE Marriott extended stay. It was a suite and Starbucks was just around the corner. We didn’t leave to get on the rode as early as I wanted but we hauled ass and somehow made it to Totally Running in Cumming Georgia, before 6pm (3 mins to spare) to get the race packet!!! Our hotel was really nice and as usual we ate out of the cooler on the way so we weren’t too hungry, until we found that there was a Red Robin (yummmm) just around the corner from our hotel. I had the usual, Bonzai Burger, steamed broccoli, Blue Moon…fantastic!!! We rolled by the park where the race started on the 4th and it was an easy drive, no problems. I had forgotten my makeup so we took a trot through Target and I did a little shopping and we were in the hotel and relaxing by 9:15pm. I powered down and was pretty much sleeping by a little after 10. Oddly enough, I went right to sleep and slept pretty great for a pre-race day. I woke up at 5am and did my thing. I decided to try the wireless headphones, but I brought my wired ones too just in case. We were ready to go to the park by 6:15 for the 7:30 start. We got there and I did a couple of bathroom stops and then they told us that the ½ marathon course had been changed and the changes were emailed to us…really??? The changes had been made at 6:16 am…to the effect that they cut it to a 10.1 miler, because the Greenway, which is an asphalt and boardwalk path through the pine forest, had flooded with the huge amount of rain that had fallen in Georgia in the recent past. As we were hearing this, I was formulating a plan. Well…I had been really looking forward to running on the greenway as it meant NOT dodging cars. The inherent risk of running with music is not hearing the crazy people in cars as they run over you while texting or plugging in their electric dog polishers or something. So, on the road we went. The race went off exactly at 7:30 and I turned on my wireless earphones and they sounded great and fired up my RunKeeper to keep track of my distance beyond the 10.1 mile finish. I told Brian as I left that I was going to run through the finish and just keep on going and find another 3 miles to run to make it officially a ½ marathon as per my quest. We were off and it started raining lightly. The temperature had been projected to be in the high 80’s low 90’s, but it was on in the high 60’s low 70’s and that was great!!! It was extremely humid and because we were not on the fairly flat greenway and instead on the road, it was hilly! Whatever…The roads were manned by cops, thank God and it was going fairly well. The L earphone felt great, but the R one with the blue tooth, being a little heavier kept feeling like it was falling out. I got it in there pretty good and was doing ok, except it got a little jiggly when going downhill, then it started to rain harder and the earphones started to get wet and the wetter I got the more slippery the ear canal and pretty soon, the R one was falling out so I tried tucking it in my bra but it really didn’t work very well because it kept disconnecting itself from the L one and I finally just took it out, turned it off and turned my music on out loud. I actually really like hearing the traffic and having the music playing aloud. It was oddly relaxing. So I ran, and pretty soon, there was the finish line. The difference between 10 and 13 miles is a lot. 10 felt like a quick jog around the block. I ran through the finish line and grabbed my metal and met Brian about ½ way around the track. I gave him my medal and an empty water bottle and told him that I was gonna take a lap, fill the bottle and I grab it from him and run out 1.5 miles and come back. He filled it…I grabbed it and headed out to the greenway. I was really curious about it and wanted to see if it really flooded. Oh yea, it flooded, I ran through a patch that was about 10 ft across and about 8 inches deep, a couple spots were 3-4 inches deep. I did a little loop and ran back just in time for Brian to come down the stairs and tell me that I had gotten 3rd place in my AG. I picked up my medal and we went to Starbucks and back to the hotel. After getting cleaned up, we tried to find something on Lake Lanier to go to, but….it was raining and everything we tried was a dead end so we found a pub and had a couple of beers and then moved on to a microbrewery where we had a couple of flights, yummyyyy!!! We had a little snack and went back to the hotel. At some point, someone might have checked their eyes for light leaks and we had BBQ for dinner and went to bed. We were on the road by 6:45am, had breakfast at the hotel, had Waffle House for lunch and drove through the top of Georgia, all of Tennessee, all of Kentucky, all of Indiana and a little bit of Illinois. Next race…September…Rhode Island!!!