It’s official! I survived the Atlanta Half Marathon, my first run of that length, finishing in a little over two and half hours. My sister finished just a few minutes after I did, and we ran together for most of the race, which was a lot of fun. The run itself was much more difficult than it had to be because I somehow managed to forget my running shoes, leaving them back in Fayetteville, which meant that I had to break in a new pair of running shoes during the race. In addition to that, it was raining for much of the race (the first time it had rained in about a month in Atlanta), which meant that my shoes weighed about two pounds heavier than they normally would, making conditions even more difficult than they had to be (even the winners were about 5 minutes behind their best times), so now I really want to try another half marathon to see how much I can improve my time.
Other impressions: The so-called Cardiac Hill, in front of Piedmont Hospital, about nine miles into the half marathon was entirely harmless. The hills I prepared on in Fayetteville were much more difficult. The cheering from rain-soaked spectators and volunteers was actually surprisingly encouraging, especially somewhere around mile 12 in front of the Rialto Theater on Georgia State’s campus. High-fiving a guy in a turkey costume was priceless.
Oh, and here is a short video of me full of pre-race bravado taken on my sister’s camera phone (my very first YouTube video). If you look carefully, you can see the bright lights of a Waffle House in the background. Hoping to have a few more pictures later on.