Well folks, the time is finally approaching. Yep, that’s right. I am about one month out from the Atlanta Half Marathon a.k.a. Earn Your Turkey. This half marathon is so named because the race takes place on Thanksgiving day. So while some of you are at home cozy on your couch watching the Macy’s parade or baking your pumpkin pies some of us here in the A will be up in the early a.m. grinding. In 2012, this was my first race and I had no idea what to expect. I wondered if I had trained enough, if I was ready and if I would explode with nervousness, but somehow I managed to collect myself and finish. My time was amazing on race day. My goal was to finish in under 3 hours since I was training at a 14:30 minute mile pace, but I finished in 2 hours and 49 minutes so I was thrilled. I also promised myself to run the entire time without walking and I did that too minus a couple strides.
A lot of things in my life have changed since 2012 but others have not. My love for running is deeper and fuller than I could have ever imagined and after all the setbacks I am so thankful to be able to push my body like this. The night I met my husband in 2012 I told him I was running my first half marathon in six weeks and he vowed after just meeting me to be there at the finish since my family lives out of state. I am so thankful for his encouragement and strength. Since we moved back in May I have been able to train around my neighborhood and that has been the greatest blessing. I no longer have to spend hours on the dreadmill or drive to run laps around a pond at the park. I can instead get up before the sun and run the road right out my front door. Our neighborhood is also quite hilly which has proven to be very helpful. Check out the course below. No one wants a surprise hill right before the finish line. Yuck! I’m not worried though. I have been running murder hill #1 and murder hill #2 (affectionately named) in my neighborhood every week.
You will not see me complaining that the course for the Disney Princess Half Marathon is basically flat. I don’t get to run that until late February though. There will also not be too many people out to support us runners in the Earn Your Turkey Half Marathon. I guess most normal people are at home watching the parade or making pies. I plan on taking quite a bit of food to my in laws for Thanksgiving and will be making most of it the day before. Every week on my long runs I see improvement in my running times and my body’s endurance and strength. The human body is mind blowing and just when you think you have hit your limit you can go a little further just a little faster. My training plan has been serving me well and I am almost to taper time. For all of us runners that is the time when you can justify lowering your miles per week or even taking an extra day off if you feel like your body needs it.
Some people will only train to 10 or 11 miles, but I don’t mind training up to the full 13 miles. I’ve been training since August so why not? My body can do it without too much strain. I enjoy the security of racing knowing that I have been able to shave time off my personal record because I have trained the full bit. If you are new to running or haven’t been able to train for more than 8 weeks I would probably just train up to 10 or so miles before race day. Just listen to your body and know when you need a break. Two weeks ago I was mega stressed with work and fighting sinus problems from the fall allergies so I took some time off and I’m glad I did. I rested up and did shorter runs and now I am ready for the last leg of my training before the race.
This race is sentimental because it was my first half marathon but is also so emotional because of all the hardships from the last year. I was honestly not sure if my body would ever be able to shake my hypothyroidism and if I would ever be able to train at this level again. I am SO excited for race day and cannot wait to see how it turns out. I feel stronger and faster than last time. I’ve been training at an 11:30 minute pace and completed 11 miles last Saturday. Let’s do this thing!!!!