(I have been off-line for a bit, traveling, getting my head together, and actually blogging for a non-profit about our Mission Trip to Guatemala – I think I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled sarcasm soon!)
Check this one off the bucket list y’all.
The Peachtree Road Race.
I have lived in Atlanta on and off for over 40 years (mostly on) and every Fourth of July I watch as thousands (like 60K) of people get up early, get on Marta, and go run or walk this famous 6 plus mile race on our famous Peachtree Street.
And every year, I said I was gonna do it.
One year I got a number but it was right after 9/11 so I totally wimped out and fearing dying on the streets in my Target gym shorts and Spam T-shirt, I gave away my number.
Take that Al Qaeda.
Anyhoo, fearing I would ALWAYS regret not at least ATTEMPTING to get across the finish line, I signed up this year.
I joined a fun running group at the urging of a friend (ok, begging) called No Boundaries. It’s a fun organization designed to get you out there on the roads for friendship and health and in my case, plantar fasciitis. More on that later. We jog each Monday and Wednesday evenings during the week and start the sloooowwwwww way. Perfect!
Week One : Run 1 minute, walk 4 minutes. Hell yeah, I GOT THIS!!!
Week Ten : Run 4 minutes, walk one. Kill. Me. Now.
But I did it. And ran a 5K (well, walked and ran, that’s a secret to this whole fiasco I didn’t know of and the reason I stick with it).
I thought THAT was long.
But I got the T Shirt. Boom.
So the Peachtree was next.
I signed up last March and planned on training for it. Mostly so I wouldn’t be carried off by hot Atlanta Fire Dept. guys in my Target shorts and you know…
But, guess who showed up to the party???
First I thought I was just having heel pain. Thinking maybe diabetes? Arthritis? Old Age? Bad shoes???
Nope, Web MD saved the day and told me I had this thing that makes the muscles and ligaments sore-especially runners and athletes get it a lot. WOO HOO – I have a RUNNING INJURY I CAN TELL EVERYONE ABOUT!!!!!!!!!!!
But I was not going to bag on the Peachtree. Unless of course, it was 80 plus degrees and humid at 8 am that morning. Sadly Arthur the hurricane helped us out and it was 67 and dry.
Time to hoof it for the coveted T Shirt.
I was in the next to last pack of folks to start. By that time all the Elite Runners were in their hotels showered with their Starbucks…
But it was the party pack and I was with my people. As we got waved to start, the local radio station started blasting Sugar Hill Gang’s Apache. One of my all time faves. Next to me was a guy dressed in a grass skirt with a coconut bra on.
I was going to be OK.
And here’s the thing. All ages, sizes, abilities, races, were out there. The right half of the street were walking. The left half were jogging. I was in the middle.
Mile 4 was the turning point. It was up hill from there. All of a sudden both sides of the street were walking. Totally no guilt! There were photographers a few hundred feet before the finish. All I can say is no. That was NOT a Kodak Moment for me.
As I limped over the finish line with sweat in places I didn’t know could get sweaty, sore hips, a numb left foot, shin splints and wobbly knees all I could think of was – I am HUNGRY and I need a REAL COKE.
And I came in 49,616 out of 60,000. Not last, not first. Hell I’m 54.
But I got that shirt. And wear it proudly. It is a badge of honor in Atlanta.
So what’s next?
Not sure, but joining No Boundaries again in September.
Week One: Run 1 minute, walk four minutes.
I so got this.