What better way to start your St. Patty’s Day than by running a 5k? This year my friends and I signed up to do the Publix Atlanta 5k. The race is done by Atlanta Track Club, and there was an option to do the Half Marathon, Full or 5K. I knew I was running my first trail race on Saturday, so I thought the 5k would be my best option.
My friends were nice enough to pick up my bib and packet for me at the expo on Friday. They said that it was very small, and I didn’t miss anything. Morning of, I woke up at 5:00 am, ate some peanut butter toast, drank my Nuun, and headed over to their apartment. We were carpooling to the Marta station, so we could take Marta in. There are a lot of road closures and the parking situation is dicey so we didn’t want to chance it. We got there right before the race was about to start.
The marathon and half marathon had started before us, so it was just the 3 waves waiting for the 5k to start. They weren’t really checking to see if the right people were in their waves or not. I saw a lot of people in earlier waves than they were assigned. I think this was the only disorganized part of race day. It was really one big group that started, and if you weren’t in the front you were stuck walking close to a half mile before the crowd thinned out.
Once on the course, things were a little better. The crowds weren’t as dense and you had a lot more room to actually run. I passed a lot of people who had earlier waves, so I don’t know what the criteria was for wave assignments. I don’t think those were very accurate, and I will make sure I’m in an earlier one next time. This course was full of hills! Oh man, every time I thought the hills were over, there were more hills! It wasn’t a super hard course, but it was definitely a challenge. I can’t even imagine what the runners going the longer distances went through. I ended up walking up almost all of the hills. Basically everyone around me was walking, so it was hard for me to stay disciplined and run the whole time. I really let myself off the hook a lot during this race. I know I could have gone faster than I did, so I regret not pushing myself harder. I did get a nice little sprint in for the final .10 mile. Despite not putting in my full effort, I did manage to PR. I shaved 3 minutes off my last 5k time. My overall time was 35:41 (11:29 pace). I’m glad I’m getting faster, sometimes being a slow runner can be discouraging, but I’m glad I track my times so I can see my progress.
Overall, I had a lot of fun. I’m glad I signed up, and it was a great way to spend my St. Patrick’s Day. I would definitely recommend this race. The bling is awesome too!