Publix Half 2016: First Spring Race

Whenever you are fit and trained well enough, you make stupid last minute decisions. At least, I know I do. That is a fact. I have been running the Publix half since 2011 and I love doing it for multiple reasons: it is on “my backyard”, lots of faces I know and it was my first sub 2 half too. However, this year I choose Albany Marathon over Publix Half.

It was the 10th anniversary of Publix Half, so I figured I would, at the very least, check out the expo. I met with a friend of mine so she could pick up her bib. I saw the shirt and yes, I broke under pressure. I signed up for the half. I figured that my 8 miles could be a 13. Why not? Oh well, I knew it would not be my best. At the very least, I should be able to keep up at 9:15 ish pace, I thought. Why? I rode 40 miles and ran 2 miles right before registering, and I have not run hills in 3 months. It seemed like a such great idea…. 

EXPO: A bit disappointing but I guess that the will call feature (started last year) drove down its attendance making the expo very tinny comparing to the other years. I missed the Sweaty Bands stand but there were some really good deals on Atlanta Track Club shirts: winter gear ($30-40)  and past races ($5). Yes, you read it right. I wish I did not have a issue wearing shirts that I did not run. I am obsessive with the shirts, if I have not run, I could not wear it. I had to pass on the $5 deals.

All set up

All set up

PREP: Weather was supposed to be a little chilly, about 45F. Looking at the Runner’s World What to Wear app, It said shorts and long t-shirt for the conditions I input. Brain freeze at the moment, I choose a short sleeve shirt and go to bed.

RACE DAY: Woke up, breakfast, changed and off to Marta. Oh… It is pretty chilly. I think about long sleeves but I keep moving, I did not want to miss the 6 am Marta train. Well, that was a VERY POOR judgment on my call. I got there on time, met my friend and check in my bag. I have a “fake” jacket that I got a Thanksgiving Atlanta Track Club, it is a cover that does not warm you up. AT ALL.

THE RACE: The race starts. It is freezing: cold and windy. I did not tie my shorts (it is only the 2nd time I am wearing these) and yes, they are falling. Constantly. The tie is lost inside the hole, there is not way I can tie right now, unless I stop and waste 15 minutes. So I run and pull them up, every 5 minutes? How come I forgot to tie the shorts? Funny now, I know. They are in fact really good running shorts from Coeur, even with all the annoyance (well, it is my fault, I forgot to tie them.) I wish the cord was longer and that the ziper opened from right to left, (I’m a righty, can you tell?). Both upgrades would be the cherry on top. Fitted Running Shorts

IMG_0232

After the race, trying to warm up!

I warm up during the first 2 miles (while dealing with my loose shorts) and decide to threw away that jacket that does not warm up. Well, it was bad with it and MUCH worse without it. The first 3 miles were downhill so I kept the usual 8:50ish, but then comes the hills. The first hill was a wake up call, the second one I knew I need to really treat this as a long run. I have not ran hills in a long time so I kept the pace pleasant which made me really regret my short sleeve decision for the next 10 miles. I ended up finishing in 2:04:12. (not a 9:15ish… more like a 9:30ish). Running and learning: Never underestimate the wind or hills! What a cold long run for the first day of Spring.

Notes on this year’s race: I notice that the corrals were not that well structured, passed too many A, B corrals. Lots of walkers. I do not mind walkers but I do not like them in front of me. Some zigzagging was heavily required this time. Not so much fun. Gear bag was a bit messy this year, long lines and no one checking your bib and bag number. I am glad mine was still there when I got back.

NUTRITION: 

  • Breakfast: One bagel with cream cheese and orange juice.
  • Prior the race: Nothing.
  • During the race: 1 Huma Chia Gel Strawberry Lemonade (at mile 5.5)

HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE THE 1ST DAY OF SPRING? 

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