#12 is in the Books

previously posted on the soon to be discontinued mssoulpower.com

On July 4, 2010 50,043 folks and I ran and walked down Peachtree to Piedmont Park in the 40thPeachtree Road Race in Atlanta, GA.  Always held on the 4th of July rain or shine, folks have been lacing up since 1970.  This year I completed my 12th and it was just as special as all others.

Puttin’ in Work

This year I got a little more serious about the training. I figured lighter equals faster so I worked on my diet and got started building up base miles a bit earlier.  I also made sure to stick to the regimen regardless of any distractions, outside/inside, physical and mental and trust me there were plenty.  I don’t follow any specific program or anything, just one that works best for me. Knowing that I’ll not be able to repeat any of my times from the mid 90s when I first started doing it, the goal was to finish faster than last year – that goal was attained.

The Details

Being in a late time group (slow runners, walkers and folks who didn’t turn in times from previous 10ks) my schedule is always the same, get down to Lenox about one hour before my time group gets to the start line, chill out, talk to the folks around me and start running when they say go. This year the weather was perfect. Having suffered through most of June with 90 degree heat daily and high humidity, this morning felt more like May, trust me I was THANKFUL.  The only glitch was GETTING to Lenox. You must have a BREEZE card to get on Marta (our rail system) all of the machines weren’t working at Doraville, the line was a MILE long and it took nearly an hour from arrival in the lot to boarding the train.  Back in the day, prior to the electronic set up, you got a token or placed exact change in the bucket and went right through the turnstiles.  That was a BREEZE – the BREEZE card, not so much. This card has been in use the last three years that I participated in the Peachtree Road Race but this year, was a hassle.

Once getting to Lenox, for the first time I believe EVER I had to go to the bathroom – the long wait without any sweating took its toll and let me tell you the Port-a-John’s were as nasty as ever but you have to do what you have to do.  Did I say that the weather was perfect?

Outside of the long Marta lines, the course was fine, the runners were fine, no one fell out that I know of, there was no ambulance activity.  The music was great, the crowds were there to cheer all of us on and give us the energy we need to get up the dreaded Cardiac Hill.  For the first time since 1996 I think I was able to run the entire course, no stops, no walking and it felt GOOD!

Why I do it

Because I have to.  There were four years since my first in 1995 that I didn’t run or walk it for various reasons, all of which in hindsight were lame. I say I have to do it because it gives me a reason to stay on track with my fitness goals.  I have to do it because training for it keeps me sane. Many a problem, many a bout of depression as well as many good days have been spent on the road or in the park or on the treadmill running.   Besides, the years that I didn’t run Peachtree I felt like something was missing on the 4th of July.

This originally appeared in my soon to be phased out blog mssoulpower.com

Going forward

As long as I’m upright and above ground, healthy and living in the metro, I’ll be waking up and running down Peachtree Street with all the other nut jobs, talking about long Marta lines, nasty Port-a-Johns and laughing at some of the silly costumes seen in route and of course copping the coveted Peachtree Tee.  I love it, wouldn’t trade it for the world and if you’re in the area, I invite you to join me next year for Peachtree 41, my 13th. Registration is in March.

Happy Running!