Carla’s Corner: My Peachtree Road Race experience

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Like many people, I have a list of things I would like to accomplish before kicking the bucket.

That list includes traveling overseas, vacationing in Hawaii and on some Caribbean Island, seeing the musical Rent on Broadway and covering a major sporting event, i.e. the Super Bowl.

Those are just some of the big items on my bucket list. My list also includes some small items, two of which I can cross off my list. One was to climb Stone Mountain, which I have done multiple times in the past year. The other item was to participate in the Peachtree Road Race, which I did July 4.

The Peachtree Road Race was my first experience of any type of race/marathon. I have never done a 5K race or any other type of race prior to the Peachtree—a 10K race. I am also not a person who likes to run, walk long distances or exercise frequently, although I try to work out every now and then.

I just kind of jumped right in there, so to speak.

However, I did do some slight training to prepare myself, which only included walking the 5-mile trail around Stone Mountain. So, I was a little prepared for the race, and for me to finish this race in two hours (walking and jogging a little) on my first try, was quite an accomplishment for me.

It was raining the morning of the race, which I was happy about because I did not want my first time to be in 90-plus degree weather. Although I prayed for rain, I was not expecting the downpour that occurred throughout my entire two hours. But, again, I’m not complaining.

The weather did cause a 30-minute delay. There was a lightning strike in the area and the race officials paused the race for our safety. My wave was scheduled to start at 8:51 a.m., but we started at 9:30 a.m.

Most people would have used that time to do more stretching, but not me. I was in Dick’s Sporting Goods looking for a small backpack to carry on my back during the race.

Unfortunately, I did not find what I was looking for.

I did do a little stretching before the race got started, so my muscles were ready to go. Before my wave was given the cue to go, I found my cousin and her best friend so I was not alone–well at least for some of the race (I will explain later).

Once we got started, I was super excited and hyped because I was actually doing something that I have always wanted to do. However, after the first mile, I was over it! You never realize how long a mile is until you have to walk a mile.

Although I was getting tired half a mile in, I was not discouraged. I was determined to finished this race and I was going to finish at my own pace.

I had planned to walk most of 6.2 miles, and jog down hills, but I did more jogging than expected to keep up with my cousin and her friend.

They have done the Peachtree before so they were more experienced than I. By the time we got to “cardiac hill” near mile 3, I told them to go ahead of me. I was not jogging up that hill!

I walked “cardiac hill” without stopping, which I am extremely proud of. I only stopped twice–to use the restroom and to tie my shoe.

While walking, I noticed people of varying shapes, sizes and physical disabilities participating in the race. It was good to see that people did not let their physical conditions stop them from conquering this rigorous feat.

My goal was to finish the race before noon, and I did, crossing the finish line around 11:30 a.m. Instead of feeling tired after crossing the finish line, I was full of energy and adrenaline. My foot and leg muscles were screaming in pain though.

I was happy to receive my T-shirt and free pizza and snacks after the race. Overall, it was a great experience and I plan to do it next year.

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