Going to the Marta station in Midtown for the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon is nothing like taking it for the Peachtree (July 4th). Kind of surprising considering that November generally has much better running weather than July. But there's nothing like the Peachtree. I guess that's the appeal.
The streets around the station were empty save one suitcase toting couple apparently taking advantage of Thanksgiving Day airfares. There were a few runners waiting in the station - the trains run only every 20 minutes on holidays, and even longer if you want to catch a specific train (like the Doraville train) so there was plenty of time for us to collect there and get to know each other a little.
The conversation between four of us continued on the train - topics that no one other than fellow runners would appreciate. Laura, the weather lady for the local CBS, had run with Dean Karnazes when he was here for his 50 marathons in 50 days. One of the guys was running for a running buddy who is undergoing treatment for cancer and unable to run himself. No newbies, it was clear that each of us was a little obsessed with running.
The train arrived at our station at 6:50, for a 7am race start. I just had time to use one of the plentiful port-a-potties and on exiting that, to see the pack starting the race a block down the street. Talk about timing.
Timing - Mother Nature had that down today too. 7am sharp and the drizzles began. Within a few minutes it was a downpour and the most notable sound was from the hundreds of feet "squish-squishing" on the street around me.
It rained for the first 3 miles, then sprinkled sporadically, and then stopped. I contemplated whether it was better to get dumped on at the start of a race or at the end and decided the start was better. Put it all behind you.
At about mile 6, it started feeling steamy and I peeled off my soaking wet shirt and tied it around my waist. At mile 10, the rain returned full force, but I was warmed up and feeling good enough that it was almost nice to have something new to focus on. I saw a friend from the Wednesday night group volunteering just before mile 11 and called out to him. I was feeling really good at that point.
Actually, I felt good for pretty much the whole race until I hit that last hill by the capital building. I had to coax my legs to keep moving, and they didn't do too bad. I don't know my official chip time yet, and I forgot to start my watch until the first mile marker, but I think I probably finished somewhere between 2:02 and 2:03. Not a PR, but not so shabby for me! I think my last half was around 2:10.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone (the two of you who may still read this! You know who you are.) My favorite holiday is even a little better this year because I really earned my turkey today!!