Ahhh... traditions... changing for the better...
Atlanta Half Marathon because of tradition. I ran it first in the mid 1990s and numerous years after that. Now I'm on an alternate year schedule... when my daughter is with her dad. They changed the course this year; I was sad to hear. I have such fond memories of running the same course over the years with a variety of friends, my ex-husband (when we were still married), and sometimes alone. I know that course like the back of my hand. I had a bad experience two years ago and wanted to beat my time... But... they changed the course route so I can't compare.
For decades, the race began near the Chamblee MARTA train station and went down Peachtree eventually ending in Piedmont park. I used to park at/near the MARTA station, run the race, and would hop on MARTA after the finish to return to my car. While waiting in my starting coral this morning I saw a couple wearing t-shirts that said, "In memory of..." and then had a map of the former route. I smiled nostalgically and totally sympathized. I felt the same way.
At mile 6, I HAD to stop at the porto-potty. I hated to lose so many minutes, but I run more for fun than for speedy times, and the much needed relief was well worth the added minutes. I felt so much better physically, as well as mentally, afterwards!
Sports Medicine South t-shirt. I was in awe and my self-defeating thoughts floated away. As I ran past him, I said that Dr. Levengood and his wife are close friends of mine. He lowered his head and then said sweetly, "They are great people." I regret not slowing down and talking with him more. I wish I had asked his name and his story. But I trotted along instead thinking about my amazing friends: Gary & Lisa Levengood and their incredible children. I've known them for 6-7 years now; our girls are best friends; Gary surgically repaired my torn ACL/meniscus in December 2005, as well as treated my IT band, hamstring tendonitis, plantar faciitis, etc.; and Lisa is one of my best friends and we ran the Chicago marathon together with our other BFF, Ty, in 2009. They truly are great people!
Georgia Tech, where I went to college in the late 1980s. We ran past Ikea, where I bought my couch before knee surgery in 2005 and spent many days/nights recovering on and now the pup has chewed out parts of the cushion (repaired with duct tape). We ran through Piedmont Park which has been a part of many races I've run; most memorably the pup runs with my daughter and our oldest dog, Tasha. We ran past my old office building and later past my current office building.
After showering, I went to one of my best friend's lake house for Thanksgiving. I have the best friends ever! I had such a relaxing afternoon hanging out with Ty, Will, the kids and their relatives. I knew most of them, but enjoyed meeting others and getting to know the rest better. The only thing that would have made this day any better would have been to have my daughter there. The girls have been close friends since before kindergarten. I had so much fun helping cook, playing corn hole, relaxing, chatting... We made plans to do it again next year, and Ty and Cassie said they'll run the half marathon with me. I wonder if Lisa will join us? Looking forward to it!