Does anybody else find the phrase “get your swag on” in their heads whenever they think of race swag? Cuz I do. All we really got from ING was the tech tee (soooo much better than last year’s) and a box of Wheaties Fuel. But I we got some powder to dissolve in water for electrolites, a Publix bag, some Cascadian Farms samples, and Larabar samples!!! I’ve never been able to justify buying Larabars so I’m psyched to try them (clearly still haven’t, part of me wants to hold on to them for a special occasion… which means they’ll never get eaten).
After my dad and I stopped by the race expo we drove the race course, which was cool, and I’m glad my dad got to see it. It went through so many of the big Atlanta neighborhoods.
Sarah and her parents (thankfully!) picked me up that morning, we got our bags checked and headed over to the CNN center to hang out and get in one more pit stop that didn’t involve a portapotty.
The race started out downtown, here’s the start line and the wheel chair line up!!!
After winding through Georgia State University we crossed I-85 and I had to get a picture of the skyline in the near dawn light:
We passed through midtown and the MLK memorial. Here’s Ebenezer Baptist Church (and Sarah!):
And the King house:
We continued through the Old Fourth Ward (oh that takes me back to high school…) and on through the oh so funky Little Five Points. We ran down an ex-boyfriend’s street and he and I would walk from his house to L5P all the time. Seriously, almost every weekend, the same route that I ran Sunday.
From L5P we continued past Jimmy Carter’s library and the Carter center, after which Sarah and I had to go our separate ways:
From mile 7 on I was alone but I got to run through Virginia Highlands where I spent a lot of time growing up. This is the store I bought my wedding dress from! It was in a slightly smaller location at the time though.
After rounding a corner and grabbing a Luna bar at about mile 8 I got to run past my middle school:
And got to see my parents! That was really cool! They came out in the rain to see me 🙂
From there we ran through Piedmont Park with more views of the skyline:
And came out by the corner of my high school!
Another run through midtown… once we got to mile 10 I started taking one minute walk breaks at each mile marker. The hills were killing me!
Next up was my dad’d Alma Mater, Georgia Tech! I had some friends who went to college there after high school that I’d occasionally go visit too. I’m a huge Tech fan (and currently living in the town of their rival!)
As we were passing the stadium the marathon route joined the half again and we started getting passed by the super marathoners (guy on the right in the blue shorts)! That was pretty cool.
From Tech we headed back downtown and to the finish.
I’m serious when I said the hills killed me. I ran this one 6 minutes slower than Disney. I also kept a faster pace than I might have otherwise in the first half in order to get Sarah off to a good start. It was really cool getting to run through all of my old haunts though. The full marathon took Sarah through our alma mater, Agnes Scott. That would be a fun route to travel too 🙂
And I ran in my Disney tee and actually got a “You go, princess!” at one of the water stops 🙂 I didn’t realize until I was looking at the race photos just how huge it is on me though. Lame!
I still had a smile while crossing the finish line though! It was such a struggle to run the last few blocks. I lost the mental fight this time, but I don’t mind. I was doing it just to do it, not to PR or impress anyone. I’m happy, and that’s all that matters!